Recorded at: Vibrosonic Sound at Carlsbad Art Farm
Drums recorded at The Parish Studio
Co-produced: Jaimie Muehlhausen, Dave Garcia and Rob Quillen
Mixing and Mastering: Rob Quillen at The Parish
Thanks to: M.J. Franks Guitars, Carlsbad Art Farm, Western Doughty Photography, Vibrosonic Design Studio, Wil Kimbrel and Joe Marlett
JAIMIE MUEHLHAUSEN: VOCALS, BACKGROUND VOCALS, ACOUSTIC GUITAR, ELECTRIC GUITAR, LAP STEEL GUITAR, KEYBOARDS, GLOCKENSPIEL, PERCUSSION
ROB QUILLEN: DRUMS and KEYBOARDS
DAVE GARCIA: BASS
JASON POSTELNEK: FIDDLE
DAVE QUILLEN: ELECTRIC GUITAR
OLIVER FIEDLER: ELECTRIC GUITAR
NICK DIBACCA: ELECTRIC GUITAR
GREG NOLL: ELECTRIC GUITAR
TIM GODWIN: LAP STEEL GUITAR
WILL LERNER: PIANO
ALAN DEREMO: BASS
PATRICK MCCLORY: BASS
MICHELLE QUILLEN: BACKGROUND VOCAL
"The music is what is important. Good music comes from all kinds of places and people, at all points in life...and that's why we're here." -- The Murderers of Love.
AVAILABLE ON SPOTIFY, APPLE MUSIC, TIDAL, ITUNES, PANDORA, GOOGLE PLAY, AMAZON MUSIC, AND MORE
It's been awhile since Jaimie Muehlhausen put out an album of new music. There were a few recordings here and there for fun, but nothing official since "Best of Sort of" in 2010. So, when he realized there were enough new songs for a solid album, it became clear that it was time. 10 years prior, Jaimie had owned a Korg digital 16-track recorder that was state-of-the-art at the time, but eventually sold it. At the same time that he decided to begin this new album, he came across an article in a recording magazine about how these Korg recorders had a big cult following and people were recording real albums on them. It was a machine he was familiar with, so he found one on Craigslist for $350, drove up to L.A. at 11:00 at night, and bought it from a guy in a Hollywood 7-Eleven parking lot overrun with an Armenian biker gang on the prowl. And with that, the album was officially in the works.
Basic recording began, progress was quick and then, out of the blue, while watching TV one night, Jaimie went deaf in his left ear. Still no explanation. After working for many months with a specialist, he got some, but not all, of the hearing back and finally just decided to move on. Six months later, recording resumed and the project was back on track. By this point, Jaimie's modest home studio was now in service and it became easier to work. Jaimie would get as much done as possible on a song, take it to drummer Rob Quillen's studio and put down drum tracks. Then back to Jaimie's for bass, guitars and more from the talented musicians who eventually became The Murderers of Love.
The name The Murderers of Love started as a song title (a song included on the album). But it seemed like an appropriate name for a band, and since this was quickly turning from a solo project into much more, it felt like it needed a real name. The Murderers of Love just stuck. The album turned into a group effort featuring former band mates, friends and even a soccer dad.
JAIMIE MUEHLHAUSEN: "I had basically given up on music beyond my own living room. I spent many years leading a couple of moderately successful bands...opening for famous people, had our own tour bus, recorded in some nice studios and did a little touring. But about five years ago I was having a harder time singing, and walking up a flight of stairs was exhausting.
I was diagnosed with adult onset Severe Asthma, a rare form of asthma that affects you full time (this later turned out to be an incorrect diagnosis). I stopped playing music, sold most of my gear, and was wondering if my days of playing music professionally were done. With a full schedule as the creative director for all things Tony Hawk, and then launching my own Vibrosonic Design Studio, and doing the single dad thing, my plate was already pretty full. But, I started to realize how much I missed playing and creating music and how it got me through the hard times. Whether it was the outlet of songwriting, the thrill of playing live in front of a crowd, or just the mundane process of rehearsing and practicing...music has been an outlet of emotion and stress. And I missed it and needed it on whatever level I could muster.
Slowly, I started figuring out how to sing again, started writing new songs and it just all came together. I wanted to record an album, enlisting the help of all my great musician friends. On the day I decided to make this happen, it was like it was supposed to be. Little did I know how it would evolve and expand over the next year and a half."
MURDERERS OF LOVE • OFFICIAL INSTAGRAM FEED • @MURDERERSOFLOVE
THE COVER PHOTOGRAPHER: WESTERN DOUGHTY
"COOL PHOTO ON THE COVER. WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH THAT?"
You know, you're right. You have good taste in photography. The "deal on that" is that a couple of years ago I was in Tulsa visiting and went out for drinks with a friend at a great local bar called The Cellar Dweller. It's in the basement of an old apartment building in downtown and it's now my favorite bar. The regulars at the Cellar Dweller include a lot of interesting creative people, including the incredible Western Doughty. I very briefly met Western, but the following day saw an exhibit that included some of his photography and I started following him on Instagram (@westerndoughty). Really great photography and dry, jaded wit to go along with it. Just my kinda stuff. One day Western posted the photo that would eventually be our album cover and I knew instantly that THAT was the one. I even mocked it up as a cover that night. I contacted Western, we worked out a deal, and the rest is history. Western has a lot more where that came from, with many great series of photos. I urge you to check out his work online (or in person) and why not buy a few of his prints while you are there? And if you are in Tulsa, go to the Cellar Dweller and have few drinks and maybe see some good music. And say hi to Western.
WESTERN DOUGHTY'S OFFICIAL BIO
"My work is a series of studies in vivid contrasts and unseen beauty, reflective of the gender, race and class struggles that impacted me during childhood and teenage life in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I was raised in a world of art and photography and first began shooting images for my father’s company as early as nine years old. I draw from anything I see that leaves a profound impression. Andrei Tarkovsky, David Lynch, Robert Mapplethorpe, Francesca Woodman, James Baldwin, Akira Kurosawa are all significant to me in that I could relate to their work. Each has in different ways enabled me to see that my own struggles with the world around me can be incorporated into my art. My photography career has spanned over twenty years of portraiture, advertising and commissions."
WHO IS PLAYING ON THE ALBUM?
One by one, I enlisted the help of some incredibly talented friends...some from old bands, some were musician friends made over the years, and even a couple of soccer dads who turned out to be amazing musicians in hiding. I have called in every favor, scratched, clawed and scraped this thing together...and I got lucky. I have extremely generous and talented friends. Over the course of the last year we have been slowly-but-surely recording this album, making sure nothing is a compromise, and coming up with something we are all proud of. Here are the amazing people who helped make this album a reality:
Rob Quillen: Rob and I have been in several bands together over the years and he is, for the most part, the only drummer I have really played with. I'm fortunate to have lucked into such a talented musician. But Rob had a much larger role on this album besides just playing drums. Originally Rob was going to play drums and help remix one song, then do a "quick master" at the end. After mixing that first song, we knew that he had to take on the rest of the album and make it just as good. We have spent weeks and weeks mixing the entire album, dissecting songs, fixing tracks, rerecording parts, adding, subtracting, and making sure that, when we put our names on this album, it's something to be proud of. But it doesn't stop there. Rob is also mastering the album at his studio, The Parish. And is even throwing in a little surprise instrumental at the end of the album that he is composing as a reprise of the final song. Be sure to wait for it. Rob started as the drummer, and ended up as co-producer, mixer, mastering guru, and composer. How's that for a friend? Rob is also known as the drummer in Deliverance Machine, former drummer of Villain, The Deadlites and Acid 9, and a talented composer of film, video games and corporate videos. You can check out his work at: Rob Quillen Music.
Dave Garcia: Dave is an outstanding bassist and great guy as well. Another one of the stories of someone who started off to play a few songs on the album and became personally invested in the project. His input became invaluable as the project took off, really getting into the core of each song and what it needed. I knew Dave was making this album better with each session and he quickly became a co-producer on the album.
Dave Quillen: Another Quillen? But wait...there's more! Part of the talented Quillen family, Dave is a guitar genius whom I've been lucky to play with for many years now. Through a few bands, and a ton of acoustic gigs together, all I have to do is look at Dave and twitch my head and he knows exactly what to do. His contributions to the album are sometimes subtle, sometimes right in your face. Either way, he knows just how to make a song better and add that crucial little part that sets it apart. I am forever grateful for my musical relationship with Dave and even more for his friendship over the years.
Patrick McClory: I am so indebted to Patrick. He played the very first track on the album other than what I had recorded of myself, and, as I look back on it, I don't know what he must have been thinking when he showed up. I didn't have my studio space yet, so I invited Patrick back to my bedroom where I had a makeshift set-up with very little gear. It must have looked ridiculous now that I think about it. He was incredibly gracious and worked through my ineptitude to put down a great bass part that we built the first song...and the rest of the album...off of. I met Patrick when he was playing in a friend's band and knew that I'd love to bring his style and sensibility to what I was doing. My instincts were right and I can't thank him enough for his contribution to the album. Patrick is a great pro touring and recording musician, and is currently on tour with Sara Petite, supporting her new album.
Alan Deremo: I always say, Alan is one of the monster bass players on the planet. He is a much in-demand touring bassist, an outstanding guitarist, as well as a pro record producer. How's that for intimidating on my little project? Fortunately, I'm lucky enough to call Alan a friend as well and he was really generous with his time to contribute one of the outstanding tracks on the album, adding a fantastic bass part on Back to the River. When he's not in his studio producing major label albums, you can find him on the road with Belinda Carlisle, Colin Haye of Men at Work, and many others. His many playing and recording credits include John Denver, Glenn Frye, Dave Alvin, Jimmy Buffet and even major motion picture soundtracks.
Oliver Fiedler: One of the many incredible guitarists who contributed to this album, Oliver was someone I knew I had to have play on the bluesy Only Way to Heaven. I have always admired his tone and style in his band Deliverance Machine, and I've been lucky enough to play some gigs with him as part of a big group of friends we called The Small Pox Mountain Boys. Oliver walked in completely prepared, with an exact idea in mind, we did about four takes total, and boom...it was perfect. Oliver will also be joining in the live version of The Murderers of Love, so come see Oliver and his beard of many wonders.
Jason Postelnek: What an fortuitous meeting at soccer one night. Jason and I have kids the same age, and they ended up playing on a soccer team a couple of years ago. One night he and I were standing around talking and I asked what he did for a living. He mentioned that part of what he did was play music in a band or two. I asked what instrument he played and he started reeling off a long list. But the one that caught my attention was fiddle. I invited him to come sit in with Dave Quillen and I at a wine bar acoustic gig, and, two songs into the set, I stopped and begged him to join up with us full time. We've been playing together on and off ever since. It's hard to pin him down though...Jason might be the hardest working man in San Diego music, playing in three other bands (that I know of). He is an extraordinary violin/fiddle player, bassist, guitarist, keyboardist, and sometimes vocalist too. I keep saying this, but I was extremely fortunate to have Jason's contribution on the album, and his fiddle playing really helped define the sound of the album.
Nick DiBacca: Another fortunate meeting at a kids sporting event. Many years ago my son played on a little tiny kids' basketball team with Nick's son. I still remember his son Roman hitting one from half court at the buzzer, like a pro. A couple of years later, Nick and I met again at our daughter's YMCA Adventure Princess camp out, playing music around the campfire. What I found out that night was that Nick was an incredible guitarist who had spent time in LA in the '90s playing all the big rock clubs, opening for famous bands, and getting a record deal with his band Charlotte. We have talked for a few years about playing together in some fashion, and this became our opportunity. Nick showed up to play on What If We Never Went to Sleep with some really creative ideas and we spent the next hour or so putting down some great tracks, including a searing guitar solo that keeps getting stuck in all of our heads.
Tim Godwin: I was lucky enough to meet Tim through my boss at work and we hit it off right away. Tim is the artist relations chief at Taylor Guitars, and I was tapped to design some custom graphics for a series of guitars that Taylor was donating to a charity. The guitars came out great and I was able to learn more about Tim's guitar playing as well. Tim spent time on the road touring with '80s pop powerhouse Laura Branigan and with the legendary America. His own band, Farmer, was signed to a record deal as well. I discovered that Tim played a mean lap steel guitar, and he was generous enough to contribute a very haunting and cool track for Empty Sky. One of my faves.
Greg E. Noll: My buddy Greg was the first person I ever played with professionally in a duo we called The Primates. We had a blast playing the bars of San Diego together, played on local television and even opened up for Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Leon Russell. Greg was the guitarist in a very well known metal band Villain, whose album still get reissued around the world from time to time. I should mention that Rob Quillen was the drummer in that band as well, and I met Greg through my work relationship with Rob. Forever indebted to both of these guys. Greg has been a northern California legend for years, but had a stroke a few years back and had to cut back on his guitar playing. He's been continuing as a powerhouse lead vocalist, but letting his guitar playing take a back seat for awhile. I was happy to learn that Greg was willing to come play on a few tracks for me, and he didn't disappoint, adding just the right ambiance and lead sounds to a couple of tunes.
Will Lerner: Will played keyboards on a couple of songs, and he really helps define both of those tunes. I first met Will when he was playing in a band with a friend of mine who asked me to do a logo for their new project, Shake Before Us. That band quickly became one of the popular bands in the San Diego music scene, and opened up for a big handful of famous touring bands. However, all good things must end, and eventually I ran into Will again at one of my favorite longtime pubs. I gave him my sob story and begged him to play on a couple of tunes and he was quick to say "Of course!" It took us awhile into the project to finally make it happen, but when we did, it was the icing on the cake. Check out Will's new band, The Strawberry Moons, quickly taking over San Diego as we speak.
Michelle Quillen: Yes, that's another Quillen. Michelle sang with us in the aforementioned Small Pox Mountain Boys and has a beautiful, soulful voice. When I was first recording the song Back to the River a few years ago, before this album really became a notion, I knew I wanted to add some soul to the end of the song, and Michelle was the perfect choice. Her part will get stuck in your head, I guarantee it. As this project started coming together, we knew we needed to bring this tune out of the moth balls and it quickly turned into one of the standout tracks on the album. I think Michelle's incredible voice is a big part of why.
Additional Thanks: A special shout out of thanks to our friends Wil Kimbrel and Joe Marlett for all of their insightful tips and advice as we navigated the mixing and mastering process. Their years of knowledge was invaluable and their willingness to freely offer up this sage advice was instrumental (no pun intended) in helping us get to the finish line. THANK YOU!