My HeadBangers another week and another band, with interview coming your way. This band is from Malta. For those of you who can’t google it Malta is an archipelago in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast. From what I saw it is so full of history, and you all know I’m all about the history. Please welcome Mur.Doc 104…
I love this song, I think it’s going to be my favorite, not to mention this band had attitude and I like that!
Ok on with the interview, as always mine in blue and the his in black. I would like to thank him for taking time to answer some questions. I really appreciate it and so do my HeadBangers. On with the show…
The band started in 2017, is that correct? Who started the band and what made you want to start one?
The band was originally started in 2015, it was founded by guitarists Joseph Marmara and Steven Azzopardi, with Oliver Farrugia (aka Perez) joining soon after on drums and Andrew Galea on bass. In 2017, Luke Debono joined the band as frontman to complete the line-up.
In 2019, the band parted ways with founding member Steven, later to be replaced by Shaun Farrugia on guitars in 2020, then in 2022, Sean took over bass duties instead of Andrew, thus being what we are today.
See my HeadBangers everything we read on the net is not always correct. How did the band come together? Did you know each other before starting the band?
Joseph and Steven worked together whereas Oliver was a longtime friend of Joseph. Since they were teenagers, Oliver and Joseph always said that one day they would form a thrash metal band together. It only took about 18 years haha but it finally happened.
I think most bands start that way, as a teenage dream, some of us actually do it and some of us blog lmao.
Most of us play in other bands:
Luke (vocals) – Killerwitch (Heavy Metal)
Oliver (drums) – A Black White Satellite (stoner doom)
Shaun (guitars) – Rankin (sludge)
Sean (bass) -Psycopath (black-thrash) & Zabbeth (Pure Bathory worship haha)
You know I have never heard of Stoner Doom, but I’m sure going to look for it lol. This one is killing me, I always have to ask what does the name Mur.Doc 104 mean to the band? Who came up with the name?
It’s a bit of a secret lol. There’s two main stories about it. One of them is related to Oliver’s love for DareDevil (whose civilian name is Matthew Murdock). The other is tied to a number of tracks we wrote as a trilogy (the undying, mur.doc 104 and a third that has not yet been released) that tell a story of a serial killer and Mur.Doc 104 stands for the Murder Document #104, a fictional case file that contains the details of the case. In reality, the 104 was our rehearsal space door number which in actual fact was 103 but they had mixed up the numbers and wrote 104 with red paint on ours.
I love hearing how bands pick their names, I think it is fantastic and it does show thought went into it. Just like my cat’s name is Snake, people look at me crazy, but he’s a big black and gray maine coon with an attitude. He is the metal cat! But that’s another story.
What is your process for creating you songs?
Everyone pitches in with the song writing but it is mainly brainstorming between Joe and Oliver. Since Sean joined he has given a massive contribution to our writing though. Sean’s other projects are all one-man bands so he tends to have a more complete perspective of what the different instruments should do from the get go.
With that said, a lot of the riffs start off with either Joe trying out stuff in the garage or Oliver senselessly trying to hum a melody for Joe to play it(Oliver is completely atonal vocally so deciphering what he is trying to convey is a feat in itself). He gets the job done though. Luke has total freedom on vocals and Shaun focuses on solos.
Every band has their own way, and it sounds like yours works for the band. No need to change!
I see you have a live gig coming up in October, do you do local gigs, or do you do any touring?
We will be supporting our buddies Animamortua (who have Steven, one of our founding members playing with them) this October and we are also organizing a big event for Christmas time with two local and two international bands (all of them being prime examples of the immense quality of the new wave thrash scene that we have these days).
Since our first show in 2018, Mur.Doc 104 were called in to play all major local metal events & festivals and have shared the stage with various international acts including Leprous, Omnium Gatherum, Kryptos, Insulter & Doomas amongst others. Now we tend to organize our own gigs locally, focusing on thrash oriented events getting other thrash bands from abroad.
We are also currently looking into organizing some gigs abroad for next year. Being from a small island like Malta, travelling means strictly using planes so touring for us can be quite expensive. With that said we are quite ambitious and do not feel disheartened. It just needs good planning. If any thrash band from mainland Europe reading this would be interested in helping us out, we would greatly appreciate it.
Some of them just may my friend. I’ve had Kryptos on the blog and they are so good. It’s amazing the great bands I run into that we don’t here about unless you dig for them like me. I can’t help it. When I spent 6 months in Finland it changed my life as far as bringing bands from across the water to the states and vice versa. I’ve been at it for 5 years next month and love every minute of it, met some great people and now we have a huge metal familia here, and you are part of it now. Sorry for running on, I do that incase you haven’t noticed lol.
Thrash is one of my favorite genres. What made you choose Thrash and on FB is says you play old school Thrash. What do you consider the difference is between the current Thrash and old school Thrash?
Most of us have been thrash heads since we were kids. Oliver traded cassettes since he was 8 years old. Joe is a devout Metallica fan since he discovered Master of Puppets some 30 years ago. Luke is an Exodus & Overkill disciple since forever, Sean has a penchant for black metal and loves the crossover between black and thrash (clearly audible in his music style) and Shaun went through the punk avenue (he played with a local punk band for a long time before joining us) and got into crossover thrash and the like following Oliver’s multiple attempts at brainwashing him with bands like D.R.I. and Municipal Waste. With that said, we all listen to other genres as well.
Our style is clearly old-school in both the approach and the sound. We love bands like Exodus, Hirax, Evildead, Atrophy, etc. We try to avoid “overly producing” our material. Today there is a massive New Wave Thrash scene that reminisces the 80s style with bands like Traitor, Chemicide, Pripyat, Methane, Riffobia, Burning Nitrum, Electrikeel, Grindpad etc. so technically it can be referred to as the New Wave of Old School Thrash Metal. There is a great sense of community and we find a lot of pride and pleasure in being very active in this scene. Today’s thrash is once again old school and it’s probably one of the healthiest scenes in all of underground metal. Maybe we use that term “old-school” not to be confused with the “modern thrash” of the 90s that was more groove metal and was in a clear identity crisis after it’s first peak in the 80s.
What would you like to see happening down the road for Mur.Doc 104?
Notwithstanding the fact that we all have demanding jobs and families (some of us with little kids), we got plans for the band and we will try our best to put them to fruition. This year we released our debut EP and we are very happy with the response so far. We already have written enough material for a full length album which we plan to record early next year. This time we plan to distribute it to some labels before releasing it though.
In the most immediate future, we are focusing on making December’s event the biggest thrash event of the year in Malta. In the meantime, we’re also trying our best to try and get a couple of gigs in some festivals or events in mainland Europe for next Summer.
Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
We just want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who has given our music a chance. For a small band from Malta to have our music played in different continents means the world to us. The love for music makes the impossible possible. We would like to give a special shout out to “The New Wave of Thrash Metal” group (on fb) for being the most active and wonderful metal community in the world. Go check that group out for a ridiculously huge amount of new underground thrash metal waiting to be discovered. Finally we wanted to thank you Sandy for taking the time and giving us the opportunity to spread the word of thrash around. People like you are the pumping heart of the underground metal scene and for that we can never thank you enough.
Thank you so much for that, I’ve seen how hard it is to bring a band and their music to the world. It is my passion to do it for all and any bands out there. Like music fuels your fire, blogging about it is my fire. And when I get an interview, well I about lose it lmao. There are things that only the bands can tell us, not a manager or label, but the words that come from the players who are the ones that feel in their heart what that music means to them and to us. I so appreciate you taking the time to give some great insight into Mur.Doc 104. You have to come back after your Christmas gig and let us know how it goes. I know you will have a fantastic night. With that being said, let’s meet the band.
Check them out on FB and Instagram, also here’s the link to their web page which has a lot of info:
Well my HeadBangers, that’s one of the most informative interviews yet. I love it when a band takes the time to write answers. As you all know I feel when you write, it digs deep and that comes across.Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t but if you are doing a written interview or writing a blog you will know exactly what I mean.
That’s it for this week HeadBangers. Join me Wednesday for Hump Day and next Saturday for the week band. In the meantime don’t stand to close to the fire if you can’t handle the burn…..