Charlie Murphy is a pretty busy guy. Delving as much as he can within prolific creativity, Murphy plies his hobby in Falmouth favourites The Red Cords, Power-Pop group Planet Jazz and now, with the emergence of ‘I Wanna Be (Someone Else)‘ his own solo work. His love for the vast space to create that he exists within and the ability he has to work within it has driven Murphy to start Nerve Centre Records – an independent record label for which he’ll release his solo work and other projects from his Cornwall home. We spoke with Charlie about what consistently drives him and what he would like to achieve with this prosperous idea.
Q: Looking at the label from a foundational perspective to start, what were the main reasons behind starting the label?
A: There are a few, but generally its been something that I have wanted to do for a really long time now but didn’t have the money to properly start. I still don’t (have the money) but I figured why not just start it anyway – put up some stuff online while I save enough to do some proper vinyl releases. Its going to be a really small thing for a while but hopefully I will have the chance to build it up.
Q: Does running Nerve Centre give you another creative channel – one different from writing music? How do the two compare so far, even with the label in it’s progressive stages?
A: Yes absolutely – its really important to me from a happiness point of view to have as many creative outlets as possible and hopefully I can turn this into one. I really want to be able to put out stuff that I like in some form or another, that prospect is great – I already have a few things in mind that I would like to do.
Q: You can already tell from the artwork you have personally drawn – for the label and the release of the first single – that Nerve Centre is very much a hobby of sorts for you – a personal endeavour. Did you set out to display that vibe?
A: Absolutely, The Nerve Centre is still primarily a sort of Fanzine/Comic because I moved back to mums house aged 25 (not the most impressive life move) and found that I really liked drawing comics as a way to start my day. Then I had all these comics and didn’t know what to do with them so I started the fanzine, the label is another extension of that which is why the artwork is obviously similar.
Q: When it comes to approaching creative choices, would you like to look at the label and say “this is what my own personal record collection would look like” or would there be more defining factors within your direction?
A: I have a pretty clear idea in my head of the sort of thing I want to do with it, it will definitely stay pretty close to my taste in music obviously. I also want to try and work a lot with my friends on their projects – maybe stuff that they wouldn’t push enough to get released otherwise, I want to do a compilation with stuff like that on a little later in the year. With Red Cords we have been lucky enough to play with loads of great bands – so I am gonna ask some of them if they have anything lying around they want to release as part of the comp. I’m also hoping our first vinyl release will be one of the bands I’m in called Planet Jazz with my friends Josh, Sam and Jake.
Q: I personally view independent labels with a warm sentimental value – labels that exude the passion and exuberance for music excites me intensely. Are there any independents that have had a personal influence on how you’ve approached music and running Nerve Centre?
A: Absolutely – it is generally labels that have a really good succinct roster. To name a few I would say Dirtnap, Goner, Burger, Alien Snatch, Douchemaster and Flying Nun, there are loads. Basically any label where i know when they put out a band that I am probably going to like them.
Q: You’re first release is – I believe – the first taste we’ve had of your own solo work. It seems fitting that the first release on your own label is the first solo track of your own. Was releasing this single an influence in creating the label?
A: Yes absolutely, I had forgotten all about the song because I recorded it about a year ago – but it came on in the car on a cd I made the other day and I thought that I should do something with it. It feels a bit lame releasing under my own name but i’m already in three bands so I didn’t want to start another band. I just figured it was simple this way, I want to try and maybe do album of this stuff later in the year.
Q: Lets talk about physical releases – a lot of independents, for many reasons – whether financial or other – only release via digital means. You’ve spoken on the desire to give your releases the vinyl treatment – how important is that to you?
A: I really like buying records so it would be really nice to be able to put music out in that format, but in the meantime anything I can do – digitally or on tape – should help. But yeah – releasing as many vinyl records as I can get away with without ending up in debt prison is the long term goal.
Q: What are your thoughts on the state of the label industry? Independents have come a long way since their emergence, and the way in which they thrive has changed in many ways.
A: I think the important thing is that people can still find great weird stuff and that’s why its important to start a label, however small – if you think that anyone could find it and get excited about it then great. Sometimes I find myself being high for like a week on albums I stumble across that very few people where fussed about at the time – it just so happens to be exactly what I was looking for at that moment in time.
Q: The name Nerve Centre exudes a feeling of intensity and a hub of excitement – how did you come up with the name?
A: It started as the name of my comic and I got the title From an illustration in Breakfast Of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut, I copied the illustration and stuck it on my wall and the idea just came from there .
Q: What would you like to achieve with the label?
A: it would be really nice if in a years time I had managed at least a couple of releases that I was really happy with in physical format. Also, I really want the label to be an outlet for loads of the good stuff that gets recorded and then forgotten about by my friends bands, we will see though -there is so much I want to do with it.
Charlie Murphy’s ‘I Wanna Be (Someone Else)‘ (the first release from Nerve Centre Records) can be heard here at Wax.