Walrus Defines The “Family Hangover”

The holidays are for spending time with your family. Unfortunately, that can drive a person crazy.

Halifax (Nova Scotia)-based Walrus recently released an album entitled Family Hangover, which I believe everyone has experienced in one-way or another.

Lead singer Justin Murphy, tells BTRtoday that it really didn’t have to do that deeply with family issues. “Not sure what ‘Family Hangover’ exactly means,” he confesses, adding that the new album title came from a combination of lyrics and just being hung-over. “My dad definitely looked too deep into it and was texting me about it.”

The album is a mixture of synth-rock and Brit-pop—keeping things eerie yet melodic with light guitar strums and breathy vocals set to a steady beat. Murphy cites The Beatles as one of their biggest influences—their name was inspired by “I am the Walrus”—but their synth-driven sound is decidedly contemporary.

“I’m a huge Beatles fan,” he says. “We tried to make things sound as Beatles-y as we could—not sure if we succeeded, but that was always the intention.”

Walrus recently released a music video for the title track of Family Hangover. The video features a nice family celebration in the park of a clan with abnormally large and veiny heads. Towards the end of the song, the party starts to get wild and everyone ends up barfing.

Walrus finished up their most recent U.S. tour this past October and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Murphy says they want to keep touring and exploring new places. They also intend on coming out with a new album very soon.

Read the entire interview with Walrus’ Justin Murphy below.

BTRtoday(BTR): You guys give kind of an eerie vibe that I love, how does the name Walrus come into play?

Justin Murphy (JM): It just comes from The Beatles, I’m a huge Beatles fan.

BTR: How did you guys meet and decide to form Walrus?

JM: Jordan, the drummer, and myself are brothers. When I was in school in Halifax I started writing up all these dream pop lo-fi demos and brought them to him and it all just evolved from that.

BTR: Tell me a little about your latest album Family Hangover? What does that mean? Like, your family gives you a hangover, because I kinda get that…

JM: Not sure what “Family Hangover” exactly means, the title stems from a song where I say, “Mother, Brother, Father” in the lyrics and the first half of the song more or less dealt with the feelings of waking up hung-over while your better half had to work the next day. So, I kinda combined the two. But my dad definitely looked too deep into it and was texting me about it.

BTR: What was the creative process like?

JM: Typically I would send a demo to the band and we would kind of work off that. But in the studio it was more hands-on with more of a collaborative thing happening, which I grew to prefer.

BTR: What kind of inspirations went into the music and lyrics?

JM: We tried to make things sound as Beatles-y as we could. Not sure if we succeeded, but that was always the intention.

BTR: Tell me about this new music video—very cool! What inspired it?

JM: The new music video was actually dreamt up by these fellas in BC. They came to us with an idea, got a grant and they killed it. We really had no involvement other than writing the song.

BTR: What should we keep our eyes peeled for in the future of Walrus?

JM: More and more touring to somewhere we haven’t been to before. And, of course, a new record soon enough.