On a mild Tuesday evening in a congenial apartment in Somerville, three friends are crowded in a kitchen. The room is rustic and warm, the smell of different spices and bread drifting through the air as bassist Cameron Raia pounds away at dough on the wooden island counter.

“What do you love most about music?” I ask him as I sit at the kitchen table, and he grins. “What do I love most about music? Well, music as a system is just bizarre. We have twelve notes and they mean so much, you know? Music’s just so satisfying. Our brains just make us love it somehow. I don’t understand it, but I love it.”

The band talk as they cook together, minds moving a mile a minute—chatting about everything, from music, to rehearsals, and funny times between the three of them. They’re chaotic, they’re creative, and they’re funny, as they work together to put the uncooked pizza in the oven. That’s Golf Weapons—three intelligent, close-knit musicians that don’t take life too seriously, but have a staggering passion for creativity and the art they make. They get it. “Music itself is about capturing an emotion. I’ve never been able to tell if you reflect an emotional state or cause one in music,” Patrick Murphy, the band’s lead vocalist, muses as he shuts the oven and finally sits down. “Some stuff I listen to, I get it. Others, there’s a gap, and that’s why I started writing. I like to be quiet most of the day, then get loud—I like creating a space to be able to present something. The goal is to create something that you’ve been through at the end, you know? You gotta be capturing a feeling.

 



 

The zany musicians hail from Millis, Massachusetts. They’ve performed at well-known Boston venues like Great Scott and The Bohemia Club in Cambridge. Murphy and drummer Brian Walsh have known each other since they were kids, and still do their rehearsals in the basement where they began. “We used to jam all the time during the summers throughout college,” Walsh says. They wanted to continue to make music, but found it difficult between seasonal classes. Once graduation came around, things solidified, and we started making music together again.” Murphy knew Raia from when he played in a band with his sister, and the three of them – Murphy, Walsh, and Raia – came together to form Golf Weapons. The band’s unique name juxtaposes the mundaneness of suburbia and contemporary violence. “None of us play golf at all,” Raia laughs. “Golf and business culture is not who we are.” Golf Weapons have a quick, jumpy sound alternating between tight and wide-chord voicings. They name musicians such as Bishop Allen, Sonic Youth, Modest Mouse and The Dead Kennedys as their influences. “I feel like if our music was used in anything, like in film or television,” Murphy laughs, “it would be some weird passing reference that set designers would put in the background of a David Lynch thing like Twin Peaks or the Eric Andre Show.” Murphy is right; the band’s unique personality and aesthetic, fused with outlandish and intelligent lyrics, would be a great addition to the soundtrack to surreal films like Blue Velvet or Eraserhead.

The members of Golf Weapons know music and production. The trio can speak on the process effortlessly, from the creation of sound to the curation of lyrics on a record. Most importantly, they know how to create enthralling, vivid imagery in their songwriting. The band’s freshman LP, Manure For Your Garden, showcases their clever lyricism and powerful guitar work. “Hey Julian,” is a cover song from Murphy’s former London-based band, YesButNoButYes. Using anger as their fuel, “Champagne Socialists” attacks a type of mock-political individual that doesn’t really care, while “English-Only Blues” comes from the disappointment Murphy felt in society when he saw a racist bumper sticker in his hometown. “English Only Blues” incorporates gritty chord progressions infused with a bluesy vibe, punctuated by haunting lyrics. Some of the most staggering on the LP come from “English Only Blues,” in which Murphy croons in an unforgettably vehement tone: “I pass my fear onto my children / I pray for peace but I deny them the tools.” “It isn’t our job to change anything,” Murphy says, “but we can put it down in writing.” Raia nods, and adds in that, “we’re exposing the hypocrisy of neoliberal pretension.”

Each member has outside interests that contributes and encourages the growth of their musicality. “I’m into video editing,” Walsh says. “It’s helped me with my drumming, with pacing, and with rhythm.” Raia, on the other hand, listens “to obscene amounts of music. Hearing great music makes me strive to make better music,” he explains. 

The band writes music and lyrics entirely separately. They do the writing, it sits, then they do the music. “Then we sit down jam it out, listen to something, maybe the music would have a vibe,” Walsh says. “We fit the music to one another to let it happen naturally. It comes together.”

When I asked them about what they feel have been their biggest hurdles to overcome as they grow as musicians, it’s getting everything together. “Learning how to record, learning how to distribute, promote, book shows, meeting people about different musicians and other shows,” Murphy laughs. “This isn’t fun, but I love it. I’d jump in front of a train if I wasn’t doing it. We want to find the opportunity to be performing music full time.” In the upcoming year, Golf Weapons have high aspirations. “More recordings. Ideally, we’d like to release two albums,” Walsh says. Murphy nods, and adds, “There are some songs that are sitting without a home that we play in the set and have been for a long time, but aren’t released. So we’d like to do a single or EP,  maybe five songs. We’d like to release them during the summer, to maybe have that done by the end of the year.”

You can catch Golf Weapons on May 22 at The Midway Cafe and May 29 at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston.

You can also check them out on Spotify, Instagram, Band Camp and Facebook.

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