Halifax is a relatively small city on the eastern coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. It’s about a 12-hour drive from there to Montreal and an 18-hour drive to Toronto. It’s a little out of the way, to say the least.
When I got Walrus guitarist and vocalist Justin Murphy on the phone, the band was in “the middle of nowhere,” aka Utah on the way to Boise, Idaho.
“This is the most west we’ve ever been,” Murphy said. “We’ve actually never been to California.”
Walrus’ sound falls somewhere between slacker rock, psych-rock, prog and ‘60s/’70s pop rock -- like their hometown, it’s relevant but still on the outskirts.
The band started five years ago when Murphy started writing songs, demoing them and bringing them to his brother Jordan, the drummer of the band.
“It sort of snowballed from there,” Murphy said of the project.
The insulation of Halifax “can be a little monotonous,” according to him. “The music scene there is really incestuous … really small.”
But insular anxieties can often be exorcised by driving to alien places, moving in and around new cultures and landscapes. It can be cathartic -- liberating even.
“If you want to have a good cry, listen to ‘Drive’ by the Cars,” Murphy said as we wound down our conversation and agreed to see one another at Walrus’ show on Wednesday, June 28, at Soda Bar.
Until then, they’ll continue driving along this foreign coast.
Rutger Rosenborg was almost a Stanford neuroscientist before he formed Ed Ghost Tucker. He now plays in the Lulls and makes music on his own when he's not writing. Follow his updates on Facebook or contact him directly.