You Can Catch Me By The Beach – An Interview w/ Murder Beach

*written by A’Damaged Pro for Electronica Life

The creativity and ingenuity of the up-and-comers is integral in shaping the local scene. New Orleans is definitely no exception. A classical foundation fuses with a new school energy in the works of Peter Klingelhofer aka Murder Beach. We discuss how he made the personal voyage into EDM and his plans now that he’s there.

New Orleans has a deep and rich history. Our attitude and our passions, whether it be for: music, food, or football, have solidified our role as a forerunner in multiple industries. One of the things we are best-known for is taking something from elsewhere and making it our own. This applies to everything, from cuisine to people. While there is no shortage of the “born-and-raised” demographic, the ever-faithful transplant brings with them new ideas and a new hope for the next chapter. Peter Klingelhofer aka Murder Beach discusses how his musical journey led him to the “Big Easy” and where he’d like to take things from here.

A’Damaged Pro: Where did you grow up?

Murder Beach: I grew up in Arlington, Virginia, which is a few miles outside of Washington D.C.

A’Damaged Pro: What were your earliest musical influences?

Murder Beach: I used to be wildly into ska in middle school, and listened to a fair amount of jazz because I played sax in the jazz band. So for specifics I would say: The Skatalites and Cannonball Adderley. High school and on I’ve been very into indie/indie-rock stuff.

A’Damaged Pro: When did you realize that you wanted to start making music?

Murder Beach: I played alto saxophone in band and jazz band and band from Fourth Grade on through college (wasn’t too awful either), so I’ve been pretty into music for a while now, though only recently have I really been creating for myself.

It might be a bit embarrassing to say this but I have to give credit where credit is due: it was “My Name is Skrillex” and that first EP of his came out. I hadn’t listened to that much electronic music before then or knew much about it (it was mostly just stuff that had been on hypem.com at the time, I had no idea that “Cracks (Flux Pavilion Remix)” was ‘dubstep.’ I just knew it sounded cool). I thought that early Skrillex stuff was really creative and he had such an ear for melodies. It was very inspiring to me, even if my music isn’t at all similar to his style-wise.

A’Damaged Pro: What equipment did start with?

Murder Beach: Actually started with a laptop and it had Ubuntu Linux on it, which was a lot of fun but didn’t have much in the name of tutorials for all of the open source music stuff they had. Switched over to OSX and have been kicking ass with Ableton Live and more recently Logic 9 for my collaborations. I have an Axiom 49 keyboard and some pretty chill KRK Rokit 5s that I got on the cheap on eBay. They aren’t anything special but I know them and I know my room: so things translate well.

A’Damaged Pro: Do you feel that where you’ve lived has affected your style of music?

Murder Beach: Definitely. In Washington D.C., some clubs like U Street Music Hall really opened me up to how effective some styles of electronic music (i.e Nu Disco and Deep House) can be in clubs, which is something I would have never really gotten to experience if I’d grown up in New Orleans, unfortunately. Sadly the scene for those genres is much smaller down here, but I think it will only be getting bigger in the future what with folks like Disclosure and Viceroy killin’ it so hard these days.

A’Damaged Pro: How would you say that living in Nola, specifically, has influenced your music?

Murder Beach: I’ve always loved horns and horns in electronic music coming from playing the saxophone myself, but I definitely wouldn’t like them to the extent that I do without living in Nola… all of the awesome brass bands, funk shows at Tipitina’s and Maison, jazz at the Blue Nile etc. We definitely need way more funk and soul in electronic music that we have at the moment (that goes for my own music as well)!

A’Damaged Pro: Who are some artists that inspire you?

Murder Beach: Deep House: Disclosure, Amtrac, Klangkarussel, Claptone, Chris Malinchak. In terms of trap: I think Jackal is truly great. The M Machine, Phonat…

In terms of less electronic stuff: Bon Iver, TV on the Radio, Andrew Bird, Of Montreal, The Flaming Lips, Purity Ring. There are a bunch I’m forgetting/leaving off in both areas for sure though.

A’Damaged Pro: What aspects of their music speak to you directly?

Murder Beach: Naturally their originality/creativity: all of those guys are brilliant and in totally different ways. But probably the most obvious example would be with Disclosure: they don’t just write dance music they write SONGS.

A’Damaged Pro: How would you like your music to speak to others?

Murder Beach: Depends on the genre I’m going for… if I’m doing something hard like house or trap ideally I want to see people in the audience’s eyes go wide at the drop. Stuff can be heavy but still creative, you can attack a problem from many different angles.

With respect to deep house and less aggressive stuff, I definitely come at it from more of a songwriting approach: I want it to be listenable casually as well as work in a club atmosphere. As I said before, Disclosure is brilliant at this.

A’Damaged Pro: Do you enjoy producing or performing more?

Murder Beach: This is always an interesting question. I definitely prefer producing more, but it’s not that cut and dry naturally. There’s also the question of when you’re producing, the only real validation you receive is from yourself and your friends, and I suppose from people on the internet after you upload your song. Obviously when you’re performing it’s incredibly validating to see 1000 people going nuts right in front of you: it’s much more memorable.

I will say this: I don’t lie awake at night thinking about “man what could I mix into this after that in my set”, I lie awake thinking about “if I moved that one sample a bar earlier I would have space for THAT!!!” So while my brain definitely prioritizes producing, I am incredibly thankful too.

A’Damaged Pro: What is your dream gig?

Murder Beach: A deep house/nu disco set at U St Music Hall. That place sounds AMAZING.

A’Damaged Pro: Do you have any new projects that you’re working on now?

Murder Beach: Yeah, another collaboration with Matt Slaughter should be out in a few days, it’s probably one of the most nuts songs I’ve ever made, in the House/Electro House vein I guess you would call it.

Also nearly done are a deep house/nu disco track with sax and flute, along with another nu disco song with my first ever self-recorded vocalist.

A’Damaged Pro: How did you land on the name “Murder Beach?”

Murder Beach: The name Murder Beach is a shout out to the book “Sick Puppy” by Carl Hiaasen, which is a pretty awesome satire novel about development and environmentalism. It’s meant to be a geographic location with a history more than anything… and I’m definitely not the one murdering anyone… the magic is in the mystery I guess.

A’Damaged Pro: How long have you lived in Nola?

Murder Beach: I’ve lived in Nola for five years now: I attended Tulane since 2009 and am continuing on to get a Master’s in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology. One of the primary reasons I decided to stay at Tulane longer is because I love it here so much.

A’Damaged Pro’s final words…

From our nation’s capital to a city atop assorted #1 lists, Peter has found a home in Nola. Through embracing the inevitable change this city brings within while still maintaining his classical background, Murder Beach has been openly welcomed. Now if we can only work on his football franchise of choice…

He also just hit 100k plays on his soundcloud. Go check it out.

Connect with Murder Beach on: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud