Dover Post
  • Artist Q&A with Todd Murray and Derek White

  • Todd Murray and Derek White are more about creating an atmosphere than a spectacle. The duo said although they’re acoustic, they still rock. They’ve been showing off their range of originals and covers, from laid back to full throttle, for about three years, and took some time out to talk to the Dover Post about it.

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  • Q What kind of guitars did you start playing on?
    A Derek: It was this old Yamaha. It couldn’t have been more difficult to play. But that was part of it … I just fell in love with it.
    Todd: It was this off-the-wall brand. I got it from my grandmother, it was in a closet. I tried it, I couldn’t get the hang of it but I started talking to my uncle, Deloy Moore. He’s really big into music. He had a Fender that he wasn’t using, a Fender acoustic, and he lent me that and I’ve had it ever since. It’s been what I’ve been playing on lately. I’ve been through a lot of Taylors, but Fender is basically what’s kept me moving.
    Q How would you describe your sound?
    A Todd: Acoustic rock. We like rock music, not pop rock, not some of that stuff that’s on the radio today. Early ’90s grunge rock.
    Derek: Those were our mutual getting together things, like “You like Nirvana and Alice in Chains?” We got all these guys sitting down and then we started playing together and we were talking about how we really enjoyed that old cool classic rock like Bad Company or Boston you could rock out to but it wasn’t necessarily, like, angry or political.
    Todd: We’ve got songs that are just about rocking out when you go out to play together. Then we’ve got some [originals] that are longer and very dynamic, like “Canvas White.”
    Q For people who don’t know you personally, what are the biggest differences between you?
    A Todd: Personality-wise, we’re a lot alike. But musically, I do vocals and guitar and he’s guitar, and that’s just what you follow.
    Derek: A lot of our differences are just subtle differences. Once you really get to know us you notice the differences between us. But we both as people are very dynamic, and chill as you can be the one day and outgoing the next.
    Q Why is it just the two of you; why does that dynamic work?
    A Derek: We’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs and it’s just this two or three years that we’ve really been pushing stuff. Things have gone from really well to [not well]. There have been a lot of people coming out to no people coming out, nothing going for gigs. It’s been hard to maintain a mutual kind of goal with other people, whereas we enjoy just playing music even if we don’t get to play out. We get up on the weekend and just jam.
    Page 2 of 2 - Todd: Some people are on that same plane and you can really mesh well.
    Derek: When we started really playing, we were looking for the same thing. He was looking for that lead guitarist, or someone else to thicken out the sound. And I just wanted to play guitar and I didn’t want to worry about vocals. But now we’re at the point where I am doing that, it’s something we’re still learning. So we found each other without explicitly saying it.
    Todd: That’s why it’s hard to get other people in the band. It’s hard to find that other element where, can you chill with them after you’re done playing? That’s the hardest thing to find. If it wasn’t for Derek, I wouldn’t be playing out right now. It would just be something fun to sit at home and do. But it just came together and people seem to like it.
    Q You started with open mic nights. Was it a hard transition to playing a full show?
    A Todd: It was, it very much was. But the open mic let us build that up because when we were running them we had to fill an hour or so, so every week we would find songs on the radio and say, “That’s cool, let’s try that.” I think it just accumulated.
    Derek: I feel it helped with the ease with which we’ll try out something. We’re more at ease doing something adventurous on stage because we’ve tried it so long at open mic … we know enough to know that we won’t butcher the thing.
    Todd: We won’t try it if we know it’s that bad. You come out and you want to see somebody be their best, you don’t want to go out and leave a bad taste in your mouth.
    Email Sarika Jagtiani at sarika.jagtiani@doverpost.com
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