Singled Out: Wazu's Murder 1

01/10/2012
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Today Matt from Wazu tells us the incredible story behind "Murder 1," the hit single from their brand new self-titled EP which hit stores today. Here is the story:

There is a story about the inception of this song that proves it's really a small, strange world.

While we were in Los Angeles in 2009-10, during the end of our previous band, we were struggling and trying to find whatever work we could to get by while writing new music, rediscovering ourselves and figuring out what to do next. I ended up finding a job with an ex-attorney who had become a part time magician. His stage name is Fantastic Fig and he was 75 years old at the time, and he still maintained a small law office and would perform magic at as many parties as he could in the hope of finally achieving his lifelong dream of being a magician. His father had pushed him into law, he had become incredibly rich and successful during the 60s and 70s, lost it all in the 80s, recovered during the 90s and then realized being a magician was what he really wanted to do all along. He was good at it too…now he was scraping by on law while trying to chase the dream of magic. Anyway I digress...

While working at his office, I got a call from a man named Jack Hollywood. He told me his son had been incarcerated for murder but he insisted his son was innocent. He went on for around 10 minutes about the injustice of the situation, how he could not afford proper legal representation (my boss was struggling, therefore would work for very little or for media exposure), and assured me that this case would be a big deal in the media, his son would be vindicated and if my boss took on this case it would be a once in a lifetime win-win.

His son's name was Jesse James Hollywood.

Anyway, we pressed on for another few months, did some shows in LA, Vegas and Texas with some temporary Australian band members, but still playing our old songs under our old band name. Our mini tour came to an end, and we decided it was time to head home to regroup. It was around this time Rizz and I decided to become a duo. One night in Sydney we were watching a movie called 'Alpha Dog.' This movie was basically a true story about a small time LA drug dealer who - long story short - kidnaps a rival's younger brother. The dealer and his friends have no real intention of hurting him, and they even strike up some unlikely pseudo-friendships, but the longer they hold on to his young man, the more jail time they face if they let him go. Eventually, even though the young man pleads for his life, they make an ill-fated decision to kill him.

I found out after watching this movie, the drug dealer's name in real life is Jesse James Hollywood. It was the son of the man I had spoken to in Fantastic Fig's office.

This was too much of a twist of fate to ignore. We were inspired by the story, and the wider themes it generated…

Musically, Murder1 feels very much about LA. We were pretty fascinated by its heavy contradictions – glittering promise vs broken dreams, sunshine, beaches and palm trees vs poverty and inequality. It's a place where dreams and promises are often very different to reality. But we were also influenced by the beauty of old cinema, which was born in LA – hence the cinematic feel of the track.

Lyrically, the song also touches on a few themes…the first verse is all about promise – and how it can be deceptive. What you sign up for is not always what you get. It also ties into the dynamics of a dependent relationship, especially one in which you look up to the other person or people. This happens a lot in 'the biz' in LA, it happened in Alpha Dog, but obviously it just happens in life too. The person you need provides the promise, their promises may be true, they may not. Sometimes that kind of intensity can be a beautiful thing….but it's a multi-faceted contradiction in the end, and it's always unclear.

From there, the song wrote itself. I've often found the song to be a bit of a strange contradiction, which maybe suits…but that's just my view…I can never tell!!

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the EP and Wazu right here!

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