Sometimes, life tends to paint a dull picture. From our actions and outcomes to the generic weather; everything seems to be marked by a composite of the color gray, and defined by the term BLAH. However, when a change comes, everything feels balanced and restored. For us at Beyond The Stage (BTS) this refinement was our experience when speaking with frontman Jacob Bullard of the soft rock group Major Murphy.
Conversing in a kind and gentle manner, the Michigan native gave us his thoughts on: the group’s latest album Access, what it means to be an artist in the current day, and fatherhood.
The singer can best be described as an individual who holds inner serenity. Answering each question with a vast amount of clarity, Bullard begins to describe the spark that ignited his passion for music. Explaining the presence of it as a kid, Bullard attributes his musical origins to a gift. “I was lucky enough to get a guitar for my 13th birthday. That was a pretty big moment for me, musically, I think I started to consider myself a musician at that point.”
Since the gifting of the guitar, Bullard has blossomed. Following the debut of the group’s album No.1, Access is Major Murphy’s sophomore album. Access provides a tighter emotional connection between us, the listener, and Major Murphy. Still, the two albums hold a strong and emotional voice while having distinctive voices.
For Bullard, these differences are simple. ” No.1 is an alternative sound. From the crafting of the album, we wanted to grow and try something new. So, on our last record, we chased a vintage/ retro sound.”
The chase for a new sound for Access was truly brought to life within the album’s production. “Crafted from the layering of live performances and piecing of multiple layers of sound,” Access can only be described as a “special record.” As Bullard explains, “the energy coming through the mix when you have a live performance happening is something that’s indescribable, making it so special.”
— Major Murphy (@majormurphyband) April 2, 2021
Now, with a banging nine-song set it’s hard not to let your thoughts roam free with the individuality found within its 34 minutes. However, the album’s opening title track “Access”, is a song that offers a peaceful transition into the album’s collective work and soothes the soul for what’s yet to come.
Written as a personal plea for patience and humility, “Access” stands out as an open-ended pep talk for reimagining our ambitions and finding peace.
As Bullard states,” “Access” forms a reflection on life, death, and everything in between. It’s all about trying to find your place in the world and how to accept the things that life gives you even when they happen to be some of the most unwanted situations.”
Shot at Russian Recording studios in Bloomington, Indiana, the visuals for “Access” offer a peek into the lives of Major Murphy. Shining a light on the intimate and serene environment that was created for the album’s production, it can be said that both the title track and album are a labor of love.
The work of Access is a continuous testimony to love. Bullard and his partner/bandmate Jacki Warren opened up on the vulnerability that comes with parenting.
In the song “In the Meantime”, Bullard recalls the terrifying experience of their son suffering from lead poisoning. The poetic body contains a lamenting narrative of Bullard missing his son and partner Jacki; and the thoughts, feelings, and ideas of navigating newfound parenthood.
For Bullard, parenthood has taught him that ” every moment is just as important as the next.”
The vulnerability and emotional connection that comes with being a parent are undeniable. So to channel those emotions into one’s music has allowed Bullard and Major Murphy to “trust the process and enjoy creating at every step of the way.”
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