Interview Don’t Fight It, Feel It: Easy Life
From selling jacket potatoes to fronting the UK’s biggest cult band, Easy Life’s Murray Matravers has taken an unusual route to the top. Debut ‘life’s a beach’ proves it was worth the wait.
Murray Matravers has a mantra for the success of his band Easy Life: don’t try too hard. As he explains with equal parts glee and flickers of shame, most of the band’s formative moments have come in the form of happy accidents, trusting gut instinct and spur-of-the-moment decisions over meticulous planning and torturous self-examination. As for a potential band motto, ‘Go with the flow’ wouldn’t be too far off.
“Try less hard, that’s the only way I can write good music,” the frontman reflects ahead of the release of their widely-anticipated debut album ‘life’s a beach’ this month. “Unless the song came instantly, it never made the album.”
Growing up on a cattle and sheep farm on the outskirts of Loughborough in Leicestershire, it was Murray’s older brother who first nudged him towards a life in music. Looking up to his sibling - six years Murray’s senior and his best friend to this day - Murray tentatively started playing the piano at a young age, before getting his first drum kit.
With no prospect of angry neighbours, he was given ample space to thrash about. “I’d just stick it out in a garage somewhere on the farm and I was content,” he recalls. “That was a big part of my musical upbringing - the ability to actually have a drum kit. A very shit drum kit, but it was great at the time.”
Murray describes his parents as “salt of the earth” and strongly environmentally-focused; their family farm is entirely organic. Growing up, he had no access to television or video games, and still doesn’t touch social media (“I don’t believe that that’s important to me”). He only bought his first smartphone recently, meanwhile, when the need to access emails for band-related activities necessitated it.
“That was the way I grew up, and because of that environment, I had a lot of time on my hands compared to my mates who would play Call of Duty all the time,” he says. “So I’d just be bored. That’s why I wanted to play the drums or bash on the piano. I still kind of only write music when I’m bored.”
As well as their philosophical impact, his parents also had a deep effect on him musically, and their respective tastes can easily be put together to resemble something close to the sound of Easy Life. While his mum blasted the huge choruses and sugary pop melodies of ABBA and the Bee Gees around the house, his dad’s influence - classical music and jazz - represents the leftfield-leaning elements of the band Murray would later go on to form.