At this point in I’’s span of existence, I thought it would be an interesting time to break out of our mode of mostly self-centered blogging to include people that we think are interesting. In doing so, I also figured that, since most people don’t have time to read on-line epics, we’d follow somewhat of the same five-point bullet format I’ve been using as of late in my blatherings. Hence, “I’ve Got A Question” was given birth.

Our inaugural guest is Murder By Death‘s Adam Turla. Murder By Death is a musical act that I find difficult to classify. They are certainly indie, but in style and approach come closer to the elusive “art rock” tag that so many bands strive for but utterly fail at attaining. Tomorrow, March 4th, Murder By Death’s newest release, Red of Tooth and Claw, hits the streets. Before rolling with the questions I have to divulge that I have known Adam for close to a decade now and his combination of kindness, affability, and unmatched quirkiness is rare in the world of music. Asking him to do this was pretty much a gimme and I admit that. Nonetheless, I thank Adam and the rest of Murder By Death for starting our newest blog section off on such a good note.

And, here to begin “I’ve Got A Question” are five questions for Adam Turla:

Adam1. From Murder By Death’s inception, I’ve watched the band grow into something that can’t necessarily be lumped into a category. Your music sounds distinctly American, almost even “Western” in flavor, in that it sounds like a melting pot of influences. Was this the intent? Or did this evolve because of touring and crafting through America and various parts of the world?

Adam Turla: The music came naturally, and being a product of the Midwest, there is a definite identity that comes with location. Some of the lyrics are fantastical and seem to be from another time but I feel like they never feel foreign. American expansion has always been an amazing backdrop for books, music, and movies, and it’s hard to pass up.

2. From a vocals standpoint, your voice, Adam, seems to have morphed into a deeper, darker tone, as evidenced by the new track, “Comin’ Home.” To me, it’s very reminiscent of Steve Von Till’s (notably of Neurosis) solo dark folk work. Has the voice come to represent more of a character, so to speak, in your songs? A narrator, maybe? Because, as most fans can tell, your music is more storytelling than straight up songwriting.

Adam: Most of it came from taking voice lessons and learning that I should sing low. The style was the best I could do to make the vocals match the music. The music is dark and brooding and I like to think the vocals fit in. At times there is a narrator and at times it’s just me singing how I feel most comfortable.

3. Touring as much as you do, what version of America do you see from town to town? Is it as bad as this pessimist writer thinks it is?

Adam: We mostly see the insides of rock clubs and the diners near them, but from the many repeated visits we make we get a wide variety of experiences. We are pleasantly surprised by some towns and disturbed by others. Two nights ago in Springfield, MO, a city we have enjoyed fun shows for years, an older guy who had just bought an MBD hoodie dropped ‘the N bomb’ three times when introducing himself. All we could do was say “what?!?” and walk away. But we still like the town and know great people who live there.

4. While on tour, do you take much of an opportunity to taste and experience food on the road? I recently heard an interview with Alex Kapranos from Franz Ferdinand on American Public Media’s The Splendid Table. Apparently, he’s written a book about fooding on tour and I was curious, knowing how you and Sarah love food like I do, if you’d taken the chance to seek unique eating opportunities on the road?

Adam: Absolutely. We eat a lot of Thai and Japanese for dinner and a lot of home-style cooking for breakfast/lunch. We have favorite restaurants all over the country- from an Italian place in Houston, to a Japanese joint in Cleveland, to Ethiopian in Nashville.

5. And, finally, I have to go there: Are you destroyed that Delphina’s crush on you has been replaced by a crush on Pete Wentz? How much does that hurt?

Adam: A girls got to go where the money is. And it ain’t here.