Interview / Anna Murphy (Cellar Darling): «Chaos Is Very Inspiring»

Anna Murphy
Anna Murphy

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A lot has changed in Anna Murphy‘s life since the last time she visited our country with Eluveitie. Two years later, she returns to Greece alongside her new band, Cellar Darling, stronger, more confident than ever and forged by the difficulties of the past. She spoke to us about the hard times she faced, her new steps and herself, always describing things through her romantic and always sensitive point of view.

-Anna first of all, I would like to thank you for your time and for this interview. Let’s begin… Cellar Darling have already released their first album. What have been the main sources of musical and lyrical inspiration for this record?
Inspiration mainly happens subconsciously. As soon as an idea begins to materialize I don’t ask myself where it’s coming from, I just work on the ideas and then later on when I feel like it I interpret where it might have come from. Usually I’d say it just comes from every day life, the experiences and feelings we deal with. Writing lyrics and writing songs is a good way to cope with certain things, it’s like a therapy. During the writing of our first album life was very chaotic. We lost our main job (our previous band Eluveitie), we had no money and some of us even couldn’t take our instruments with us. A lot of frustration and uncertainty came with all of this which was good ground for some creativity. Chaos is very inspiring. As for the lyrics I just gave myself one guideline: That the lyrics must be presented in the form of stories. In a way this makes the lyrics a bit less personal, but I think it’s also more interesting on an interpretative level. Because the feelings I have are still hidden in there, you just have to look for them in my stories.

-The album’s title is ‘This Is the Sound’. Does this unusual title have a deeper meaning?
‘This is the sound’ is a phrase from one of the first songs we wrote: ‘Challenge’. We had a long list of potential album titles, we mainly wanted the name of the album to represent it as a whole and not just go with one of the song titles (which to us seemed very uninspired). And ‘This is the sound’ is a statement. More to ourselves than to anyone else, because we are extremely proud that in just one year we found what we believe is our very own, unique sound.

Anna Murphy
Anna Murphy

-In Greece we have a saying that every difficulty in our life, eventually turns into something good. After leaving a band you have been a member for ten years and forming Cellar Darling, would you say that you agree with the saying?
Yes. For me personally our band is the best example for that saying.

-Was it a difficult step? Did it help that you formed a new band with two good friends? How is the life on the road with Ivo and Merlin?
It was extremely difficult. Like I said in my statement I didn’t actually want to leave the band, it was never part of the plan. But as already mentioned in your question, I want to be in a band with friends who are honest with me and care for me. If I wanted to be in a band with just “work colleagues” then I could just go work at an office, but that’s not who I am. I’m an artist and with our new band I feel I can be a lot more of that which is great. Life on the road is amazing! We’re on tour with Lacuna Coil at the moment (playing in Greece for the first time!) and things couldn’t be better, we’re all extremely happy.

-You will be performing in Greece for the first time since 2015. How do you feel about returning here? Do you think that things will be different this time? Have you ever been here apart from being on tour?
We are all really excited to be here! We have very warm memories of Greece from when we toured here with Eluveitie, the crowds were so welcoming and energetic. I was never here apart from being on tour, but I really want to change that. Recently I just went on my first holiday as an “adult” so I’ve been getting into those things now… I might just go to Greece one day.

-How much has Anna Murphy changed since 2006 that she joined Eluveitie? If you had that chance to return to the past and change something, what would it be?
Well I hope I’ve changed a lot in twelve years (laughs). Part of me obviously is still a child, but I want to keep that part because it’s part of what makes me creative. I wouldn’t change anything honestly, because even all the bad things somehow led to where I am now and I’m very happy about where I am now. You have to accept all the wrong turns too, they’re what make you grow.

Cellar Darling
Cellar Darling

-I am guessing that you have discussed with the guys about a second album. Or is there something more than discussions about it?
Already working on it!

-Have you considered recruiting more members in the band? Or do you prefer to remain a three-piece band with guest musicians on your tours?
Yes, we’ll remain a trio with session musicians.

-How about your inspirations? What are your main musical influences and which are your favorite artists?
The list of my favourite artists is so long I couldn’t really just pick a few. My taste varies a lot and I can listen to anything from black metal to ’90s pop music. At the moment I’m listening to a lot of Agent Fresco, Leprous, Killing Joke and The Police. Singers that really have inspired me are Björk and Jeff Buckley.

Anna Murphy on stage
Anna Murphy on stage

-Your fans in Greece are eagerly waiting for your upcoming shows. Do you have a message that you want to send them?
We can’t wait to play for you!

-Anna thanks againg for your time. We are eagerly waiting for your shows too!