“I’m hearing those scales all the time.”
So notes Peter Murphy of the distinctly Middle Eastern melodic sense informing his bold new disc, Lion. Considering he lives and raises a family in Turkey, homeland of wife Beyhan, it’s probably difficult for the Bauhaus singer to escape the influence. It’s a good thing he considers it “a very perfect sound.”
“It’s almost absorbed, really,” he says over the phone from Los Angeles.
Murphy explains that Lion was birthed last year during his Bauhaus:35 jaunt, on which the singer undertook performing nuggets like “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” with his own touring band rather than reuniting again with the men considered goth’s fathers. Incidentally, he bristles at being described as “goth.”
“I worked [on Lion] with the producer Youth, in England. He’s in Killing Joke and an old friend. We did it in two very quick sessions – the only recordings I did – so it was like being pushed off the elevator. And it worked out well. It’s a very powerful album, I think.”
Murphy retrofit lyrics and melodies to the producer’s backings in the studio. That left him and his band in the unusual position of having to learn Lion for this current tour, since only violinist Emilio DiZefalo-China recorded with him.
“There’s a lot of density, orchestration, and stuff,” acknowledges the 57-year-old frontman. “I only have a fourpiece [band], so we have to make that work with ... electronic help, backing tracks. But not so many. We’ve got about six of the songs worked up well.
“Then it’s all down to making a set that works and flows for the audiences. Of course, I’ll include my own solo work and a couple of Bauhaus songs here and there.”– Tim Stegall