“Jesus Christ!” says Danny Even, “I lived there eight years!” Even spent six of those Salt Lake years as a member of notorious local rockers Thunderfist. Although the band was and still is one of the most recognizable and reliably awesome acts on the scene, Even chose to exit the Fist last year.
“When I realized Thunderfist wasn’t going to be able to keep up the hard charging, I bailed out.” The story goes, he continues, much the same as Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69”: “Jimmy quit, Jody got married … should have known we’d never get far.”
“Marriage, jobs, babies and bands don’t go together, really,” he continues, regretting a portion of his career path. “I didn’t start doing this as a teenager like I should have.I was an idiot and went to college and got a job before I realized how much that sucks and that all I ever wanted was to play in a rockin’ band.”
As we’ve seen countless times with countless bands, career changes are for rockers, too. Even, wanting to do it right this time, elected to start over “in a new, bigger ‘music’ city, like Seattle.”
Having played Seattle often with Thunderfist, Even grew to love the town. “I was always so disappointed when we had to leave,” he recalls. Once his mind was made up, he tried to get the other Thunderfisters to do likewise, “but to no avail.” He left a year ago this month.
It’s neither the first, nor will it be the last, time one of our better local musicians has split for ostensibly greener pastures—but it’s one case in which the move bore some killer fruit.
After a serendipitous pursuit of shelter (the perfect apartment over a friend’s home opened up almost magically) and employment (“I drove by a restaurant that looked like the one I’d just quit, Squatters. The manager was from SLC and hired me the next week”), Even placed an ad in a Seattle weekly, The Stranger: “Guitarist in search of band … influences: AC/DC, Turbonegro, GNR …”
Even received a call from got a call from a guy named Lou. His band, Murdock, had been working Seattle and the surrounding region for a few months and happened to be in the market for a second guitarist. After hitting Murdock’s “crappy Geocities Website” to hear MP3s, Even became “so excited I couldn’t sleep.” Murdock—named for the loose-cannon character from The A-Team, was loud, proud, lewd and rude. In other words, a Northwesterly Thunderfist.
Even met Lou and singer Alx (they eschew last names) at a bar. They talked music and got along well, hiring Even—the first and only guitarist they called—that night. Two weeks later Murdock’s five-man lineup played its first gig at one of Thunderfist’s favorite Seattle hangouts, The Lobo. Soon after, they landed a record deal with LA indie label The Local Cannery. Amplification, produced by Seattle semi-legend Jack Endino (who produced Thunderfist’s Daddy’s Been Drinkin’) was released in October and the band has been touring since.
“Needless to say,” Even dishes, “I was pretty damned excited—still am.”
There’s plenty of reason for us locals to be excited as well. Murdock concerns themselves with bring real rock & roll—song-oriented, thrilling rock & roll—back. A visit to RockWithTheDock.com for some MP3 streams will show they succeed tremendously. The minute-and-a-half “Yeah, You Really Want It” lays it out in a concise, carefully crafted—but deliciously unstable—manner. Alx’s bold yowl and the twin-guitar surge of Lou and Danny are instant catalysts to headbang, and one lines sticks out as a rallying cry: “You said I’m ready/ I said I’m good/ Just take one look/ It’s understood.”
One look, one listen—that’s all it’s going to take for Murdock to soften your skull. Pencil that in for Wednesday night at Burt’s. Wear clean undies, and when you see Even, be sure to congratulate him on getting his wish—playin’ with a rockin’ band—a second time.
MURDOCK Burt’s Tiki Lounge, 726 S. State, Wednesday March 30, 10 p.m. 521-0572