Music

20 Questions: Old 97's Murry Hammond

Photo (partial) by Alex Myers

Photo (partial) by Alex Myers

Old 97's co-founder and bassist Murry Hammond released a solo album in 2008 called I Don't Know Where I'm Going But I'm on My Way. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, singer-songwriter Grey DeLisle, and their three-year-old son, Tex. Old 97's will soon begin recording their eighth studio album.

1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?

Junebug. Amy Adams's sweet old Dad reminded me alot of my sweet old Dad.

2. The fictional character most like you?

I'd like to claim George Bailey from It's a Wonderful Life -- he tries his best to be good and take on the weight put upon him, but he often falls into frustration and has to hunt for new sources of strength.

3. The greatest album, ever?

The Beatles' Revolver. I've had it since I was six and my jaw still occasionally drops at "She Said She Said" and "Tomorrow Never Knows". And the companion 45 "Rain".

4. Star Trek or Star Wars?

I never really attached to one over the other, but probably Star Wars would tip the scale slightly for sheer imagination.

5. Your ideal brain food?

I'm a coffee drinker, but black tea sharpens me up best.

6. You’re proud of this accomplishment, but why?

Last few years I've done some fund-raising for a charity, something I've never done before. It was for a finite cause, the building of a number of small houses in a poor part of Mexico near Tijuana. I was able to see both the beginning and the very end of the project, which was very satisfying in a way I'm still chewing on. It changed me some.

7. You want to be remembered for...?

Hopefully for being a good and positive community guy.

8. Of those who’ve come before, the most inspirational are?

He's not "real", but definitely Johnny Appleseed. He's the one I look to most for inspiration to keep doing the small things that eventually add up to bigger things.

9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?

I wish I could say I invented ambient music. The most under-rated musical form out there.

10. Your hidden talents...?

I once owned my high school's record for the high jump, and I can juggle four balls.

11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?

"You're gonna have to bear up to it and take it." A family friend of ours -- an old farmer where I grew up who also was my school bus driver -- told my Dad that very thing at our mother's funeral. In his life he had lost two sons, one at 17 and one at 40, so those words carried a good bit of power from him. It helped my Dad a bunch, and it always stuck with me, too. Sometimes, even when you don't know why, you got to simply be tough and have faith that peace will come again, just as it has before.

12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?

A typewriter! An old Royal manual job that worked very well. My mom taught me to type over the summer when I was 9. I learned to type, then type fast. In my teenage years that same typewriter was what I used to make a punk music fanzine. In my adult years the skill gave me typing-related jobs that enable me to support my music somewhat painlessly. Nowadays, I type probably an average of four to five hours a day working on a Texas history website I run called the Texas Transportation Archive. So, that early typewriter gave me a great deal that otherwise I wouldn't have had, or had as easily.

13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or...?

Levis, workshirts and boots, all the way.

14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?

My wife. She's already got the outfits ready to go.

15. Time travel: where, when and why?

Since I don't think you get to carry things through the time tunnel, I'd go to the 1920s, take a lot of pictures in Texas, hide them in a safe place, and retrieve them when I get back.

16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation or Prozac?

I've done a bit of all three, but vacations by far yield the best results.

17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or...?

Coffee.

18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?

West Texas.

19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?

Stop playing nice.

20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?

Writing for the new 97's is done, and I work on my website every day of the world.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

A Certain Ratio Return with a Message of Hope on 'ACR Loco'

Inspired by 2019's career-spanning box set, legendary Manchester post-punkers A Certain Ratio return with their first new album in 12 years, ACR Loco.

Books

Oscar Hijuelos' 'Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love' Dances On

Oscar Hijuelos' dizzyingly ambitious foot-tapping family epic, Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love, opened the door for Latinx writers to tell their stories in all their richness.

Music

PM Picks Playlist 2: Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES, SOUNDQ

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES' stunning dream folk, Polish producer SOUNDQ, the indie pop of Pylon Heights, a timely message from Exit Kid, and Natalie McCool's latest alt-pop banger.

Film

'Lost Girls and Love Hotels' and Finding Comfort in Sadness

William Olsson's Lost Girls and Love Hotels finds optimism in its message that life tears us apart and puts us back together again differently.

Music

Bright Eyes' 'Down in the Weeds' Is a Return to Form and a Statement of Hope

Bright Eyes may not technically be emo, but they are transcendently expressive, beatifically melancholic. Down in the Weeds is just the statement of grounding that we need as a respite from the churning chaos around us.

Film

Audrey Hepburn + Rome = Grace, Class, and Beauty

William Wyler's Roman Holiday crosses the postcard genre with a hardy trope: Old World royalty seeks escape from stuffy, ritual-bound, lives for a fling with the modern world, especially with Americans.

Music

Colombia's Simón Mejía Plugs Into the Natural World on 'Mirla'

Bomba Estéreo founder Simón Mejía electrifies nature for a different kind of jungle music on his debut solo album, Mirla.

Music

The Flaming Lips Reimagine Tom Petty's Life in Oklahoma on 'American Head'

The Flaming Lips' American Head is a trip, a journey to the past that one doesn't want to return to but never wants to forget.

Music

Tim Bowness of No-Man Discusses Thematic Ambition Amongst Social Division

With the release of his seventh solo album, Late Night Laments, Tim Bowness explores global tensions and considers how musicians can best foster mutual understanding in times of social unrest.

Music

Angel Olsen Creates a 'Whole New Mess'

No one would call Angel Olsen's Whole New Mess a pretty album. It's much too stark. But there's something riveting about the way Olsen coos to herself that's soft and comforting.

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

Masma Dream World Go Global and Trippy on "Sundown Forest" (premiere)

Dancer, healer, musician Devi Mambouka shares the trippy "Sundown Forest", which takes listeners deep into the subconscious and onto a healing path.

Music

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" Is an Ode for Unity in Troubling Times (premiere)

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" is a gentle, prayerful tune that depicts the heart of their upcoming album, Crucible.

Music

'What a Fantastic Death Abyss': David Bowie's 'Outside' at 25

David Bowie's Outside signaled the end of him as a slick pop star and his reintroduction as a ragged-edged arty agitator.

Music

Dream Folk's Wolf & Moon Awaken the Senses with "Eyes Closed" (premiere)

Berlin's Wolf & Moon are an indie folk duo with a dream pop streak. "Eyes Closed" highlights this aspect as the act create a deep sense of atmosphere and mood with the most minimal of tools.

Television

Ranking the Seasons of 'The Wire'

Years after its conclusion, The Wire continues to top best-of-TV lists. With each season's unique story arc, each viewer is likely to have favorites.

Film

Paul Reni's Silent Film 'The Man Who Laughs' Is Serious Cinema

There's so much tragedy present, so many skullduggeries afoot, and so many cruel and vindictive characters in attendance that a sad and heartbreaking ending seems to be an obvious given in Paul Reni's silent film, The Man Who Laughs.

Music

The Grahams Tell Their Daughter "Don't Give Your Heart Away" (premiere)

The Grahams' sweet-sounding "Don't Give Your Heart Away" is rooted in struggle, inspired by the couples' complicated journey leading up to their daughter's birth.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.