How you feel in your head as a young Irish male
“I think that’s lazy journalism,” says a stone-faced James McGovern. He’s got a point. I’ve just broadly compared The Murder Capital, a McGovern fronted five-piece from Dublin, to Idles and he’s having none of it. “To be honest, and I suppose we have to keep the honesty thing going, I think it’s lazy journalism when people throw us into that group of punk bands when there is a credible Irish scene.” Having spent the last half an hour discussing sincerity and directness with James, it’s a fair cop.
James arrives with guitarist Damien Tuite off the back of a busy Irish tour that’s taken in Galway, Limerick and Cork. Now they’re back in Dublin, the city where they first met through music college and are now based. “Here we are, I suppose,” smiles James, “there is not too much romance involved.” Damien slouches back into his armchair, comfortable in James’ shadow. “We’re lacking romance that’s for sure,” he says. “We will come back to you with fake folklore next time.”
There might be no folklore but there is a story that emanates through The Murder Capital’s biting voice. It’s caustic punk with widescreen ambition; music that sounds and feels like where it came from. “The Murder Capital is a reflection on something that happened,” explains James. “I had a very close friend of mine take his own life in February and we wanted to reflect the neglect held towards mental healthcare in Ireland. Unnecessary deaths happen due to neglect from the State, or from general emotional intelligence from our society. My friend simply couldn’t afford the help he needed.”
The band exist to reference the city they live in and candidly depict modern life as a young Irish male. “I think the way we experience socialising in Dublin can have its dark side,” says James. “Everyone our age likes to party and I think if you’re living that life well it’s fun, but the other side to it is that with the grip of technology on our generation everyone is trying to fabricate community at the weekend. They’re using drugs to do that and that can have a darker side to it.”
They formed barely a year ago and are a group stripped to their core with muscular principles that match a muscular sound. These five men want to change society – something they stand by and regularly voice. “We are not joking around,” James assures me. “We want to allow our generation to express themselves again and to regain the community that’s being lost.” Damien instantly backs him up. “That’s right,” he says, “we want to be taken very seriously in what we do. It does feel like the highest level of what music is capable of – to affect culture and make a change.”
“Of course, it can be on any scale,” says James, “whether you are expressing an opinion on how you feel about mental health or simply how you feel in your head as a young Irish male. Even to de-stigmatise alcoholism and excessive weekend bingeing, if you are open about it in your friendship group and that creates change then you have done something there.”