In his four decades of service in the post-punk culture wars, PETER MURPHY has confounded fans, critics, even himself. As the main man of the acclaimed outfit Bauhaus, he helped usher in ground breaking opaque moods and atmospheres into the post-punk landscape. When the band broke up for the first time in 1983, the singer set off on a solo career that found him challenging his audiences in numerous ways. When the music press tried to tag him as "the new David Bowie," he'd close his shows with a vamping of the Thin White Duke's disco classic "Stay," only to switch into a cover of Bauhaus' funky punch-up "Kick In The Eye," followed by a cover of Pere Ubu's "Final Solution," which ended with a burly roadie physically picking up the singer and putting him in an airplane spin. When fans and critics tried to paint him exclusively as "the King of the Goths," his response was to encore with Prince's venerable "Purple Rain." When the singer began to explore more melodic concerns to distance himself from the gothic-rock culture he helped create, he accessed both new audiences and successful records.
"People remember those things," the singer says, laughing at memories of his onstage audacity. "They don't remember some digital file they downloaded from the Internet that gets lost among the other 3,000 ones they already have."
It's doubtful Peter Murphy will be assigned a similar fate. He's aligned himself with Nettwerk Records to release NINTH, his first solo album in seven years and the first since the permanent dissolution of Bauhaus in 2009. Produced by David Baron, Ninth is a culmination of where the singer has been and where he is now, all imbued with a confidence that has been Murphy's stock in trade. While countless performers and industry types bemoan the demeaning of music in current download culture, Murphy's only concern is continuing to connect with his audience with unparalleled honesty.
"I think younger audiences are just as aware that they don't have any identity in the music they follow," he says, commenting from a place of aesthetic analysis than any kind of bitterness. "Once they start listening to older music or music that isn't generically issued, they start to hold onto things more. That's why it's more important for people like myself to connect with an audience. I'm not talking about Facebook—I'm talking about a live show. People can really start to form a congealed idea in their relationship with an artist. That kind of connection is missing in the digital world: You experience things more in a tangible realm than in a virtual existence. I don't deny or get anxious about being labeled; I can't really describe what I do, but it does have an outside effect on an audience. But I mustn't get stuck holding onto that, because you mustn't rest on your laurels."

For over three decades, Peter Murphy introduced new ways of thinking in the rubric of rock music. He'll be the first to tell you the work is its own reward and that it's acceptable if the world at large still hasn't caught up with him. Well, maybe...
"Although people tell me I'm famous, I don't feel like it," he resigns. "Right now, it's quite nice: I feel like I'm 24 and I think a lot of people are going to get to know my music. I have a very hardcore audience who've been with me for a long time, but I do have a great urge to broaden it."
He stops to laugh. "I'd like to play theaters; I'm more able to be lowered from the rafters on a chain than in a club!"

$20

Tickets

Peter Murphy Celebrates 35 years of Bauhaus with a very special ALL BAUHAUS performance. Purchase very limited VIP tickets and get balcony seating and early entry, meet & greet with Peter Murphy, exclusive edition t-shirt and signed poster.

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Mr. Moonlight - Peter Murphy Celebrates 35 years of Bauhaus

Wednesday, May 1 · Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM at The Orpheum