One of the most ambitious projects of last year was the Murders In The Rue Morgue Vol 1 album, and the great news is it was so successful that Rue Morgue now has Vol 2 well and truly on the way. Once again the album is going to be full of some of Australia’s most creative artists and one of the first people to put his hand up to be involved with the project was Mat Robins from Melbourne’s very own Cicadastone.
“You have to go with what is working don’t you,” says Robins with a laugh when I ask was he was so quick to become involved with Murders In The Rue Morgue Vol 2. “John promoted the first one like crazy and it made a big impact around town so I really wanted to be involved with Volume 2 on as many levels as I could. So I got the studio involved, I helped find artists and I obviously thought that being involved, myself, musically was a good thing to do. I thought this would be a win-win for everybody.”
As we talk more about Robins’ involvement with Vol 2 we begin to talk about how he and Rue Morgue founder John Rapitis went about finding artists for the project.
“There were some artists that were just so obvious because they were people that I have worked with,” explains Robins. “I would just be sitting there and think well who have I worked with. And then I would think well this artist was good that artist was good and I would just suggest those people and then I would get John to check them out.”
“Then there were some artists that John discovered himself,” says Robins continuing. “We would discuss those through Facebook and we would send each other links and stuff and more often than not he was on the money. In the end it ended up being quite an alternative style of bands and artists so I think it is quite cohesive what we have chosen.”
For a lot of music fans compilation albums were a big way of discovering new bands – you would buy a couple of new music magazines each month and suddenly have a goldmine of new artists to listen to, and that is something that Robins feels is important with Volume 2 – it is a way for people to discover new bands.
“I have always been a fan of the formula,” says Robins again laughing. “I grew up in the era of the cassette tape and I would have albums like 1985 On Fire and it would have bands like Crowded House and INXS and I loved all that stuff, but they were all big bands that you would see on TV so to see it on a more local level a it is great and b there are not many labels around town who are doing that these days at all. So it is definitely needed and it is exciting… it is great to be involved.”
The fact that compilations like Vol 2 allow artists to get their music out to a whole new audience leads me to ask Robins whether albums like this have just become even more important given that we are living during a time when artists can’t get out there to play shows to get noticed due to the Covid-19 lockdowns.
“It is a definitely a way to do it, and it is definitely a good way to do it,” says Robins. “I think we will see an explosion of new music over the next six months and I think when it comes to the compilation album it really depends on the power of what the label putting it out can do. I think compilation play-listing will be the new standard but I think guys like John who are true to the vinyl format I think that is fantastic. It is such an art form to do – to create a vinyl record.”
To finish off the interview I ask Robins a simple question – why should everyone go out and grab a copy of Murders In The Rue Morgue Vol 2?
“It’s pretty simple,” he answers. “Everyone should go out and grab themselves a copy if they love any kind of alternative rock music… I think they will find there are a lot of great gems on this record. Secondly supporting local music is a big deal and buying actual physical copies where the money goes to the artists is definitely better than streaming it and supporting a local label that is still getting off the ground in the big picture. John has come a long way in such a short period of time so if people buy the album it helps the label a lot more.”
Murders In The Rue Morgue Volume 2 is available for pre-order right now.