White Murder: Taking an All-DIY Approach to Merch & Madness

Genre: Frantic Lo-Fi Punk
Hometown: Long Beach, CA
Artistic Approach: Twisting stage rage with bubblegum pop.

As drummer Paul Gonzalez describes it, “I heard a Redd Kross song and I had met Hannah Blumenfeld and I liked the way she sang. When we initially started I saw Hannah and I thought, ‘Man this girl is punk as fuck,’ she just tells peoplen ‘Fuck you’ and ‘Fuck off.’” In some ways, White Murder is Southern California’s new indie-punk super group.

Comprised of Hannah Blumenfeld of Jail Weddings, Reuben Kaiban and Mary Animal of The Commotions, Mike D’Amico of Neon King Kong, and Paul Gonzalez of Red Onions, they are currently unbeatable on the LA live circuit. They are sweaty and loud enough for the punk scene, but musically tight enough for the indie rock crowd.

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White Murder’s most apparent characteristic is their duel female lead vocalists, Hannah Blumenfeld and Mary Animal. The two bring a new dynamic to the live show, twisting and writhing across dance floors with dangerous abandonment. They possess both an apparent rage, while also harboring a pop sensibility not often seen in punk’s seedier dive bars. White Murder is The Go-Go’s if they one day woke up pissed off and decided to start smashing bottles over people’s heads and sacrificing Katy Perry posters at the shrine of SST Records.

They also currently operate on a 100% DIY business model. Their 7-inches (currently there are three of them), shirts, buttons, stickers, and even music videos (four) are all produced 100% in-house. As Hannah Blumenfeld describes it,

“It’s a very natural DIY thing. It’s our norm. Mike’s roommate silk-screens all of our t-shirts and album covers. One of Paul’s oldest friends from high school does our album cover artwork. We make our buttons. It’s like, ‘Oh, we need a video, Reuben will make it.’”

Currently, the band is traversing the West Coast on tour and getting ready to release their first full-length album. The release details are currently unconfirmed. As the band explains, “We don’t have a big distributor, so it’s just us working and we’ve sort of thought that that’s not the best thing to do with the full-length. Maybe we should wait for a label, but we don’t really know.” With that said, bassist Mike D’Amico chimes in, “Everything has changed. More people are putting stuff out themselves. We’d rather have the ball in our court so it’s all up to us. If we’re going to fuck around and be lazy then it’s all on us. If you’re a good band, word of mouth is the best way.”

photo by Caryn Rafelson

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