New Music

Thriving in the Apocalypse: MURF unleash chaos with “Already Dead”, discuss horror inspiration, Shaq checking out obscure hardcore tunes and punk evolution

9 mins read

MURF’s dropping their new album “Already Dead” on June 7th with Learning Curve Records, and it’s not just a bunch of songs thrown together. It’s a raw shout from the heart, blending their rough edges, personal battles, and a love for everything from horror movies to WWE into something that’s really their own.

The pack—Jeffrey Truckenmiller on drums, Evan Clark rocking the bass and vocals, with Hunter Ness and Tom Davoux on guitars, and Dan Hoffstrom leading the charge with vocals—has turned their personal losses into fuel, creating music that hits hard and doesn’t apologize.

“Already Dead” is MURF looking inward but also throwing punches outward, tackling everything from the pandemic to police violence, all without losing their dark sense of humor. Jeff Marcovis, Adam Tucker, and Tom Davoux have all had their hands in making this album something special, blending intense lyrics with a sound that grabs you and doesn’t let go.

Oh, and guess who’s a fan? Shaquille O’Neal. Yeah, the basketball legend digs what MURF is putting down, which just goes to show how their music can cross lines and bring all kinds of people together. We discussed this cool story and a bunch more in our interview with vocalit Dan Hoffstrom below.

Oh, and don’t miss their new music video for the album’s opener, “5 Iron”, which we’re unveiling below as well.

Diving straight into the abyss, ‘Already Dead’ sounds like it’s shredding the manual on punk norms. What sparked this dark, apocalyptic vision for the album?

OH SHIII HERE WE GOO DIVING IN!!!! -AAAAUUUUUGH!- The first spark for ‘Already Dead’ was first always a push to go darker and more into death metal territory. After “Video Nasties” we always knew we would go deeper into the cave of heavy music to see what kind of terrifying sounds we would uncover.

The other sounds were sourced from the feelings of intense claustrophobia, paranoia, confronting feelings from people that have been living with me for quite some time but now surfacing through other traumatic events/Lighthouse style isolation during quarantine.

This album for me showcases feelings of grinding tension and freewheeling acceptance of traumatic events/scenarios that occurred. Particularly “5 Iron” and “Nice Try/Little Man” I always look back to “Nervous Breakdown” and “Fix Me” off the “Nervous Breakdown” EP by Black Flag during the Keith Morris era. It just gets bottled in my system so being able to really lay it all out on the table then set the table on fire and flip it off a roof onto a car below feels great!

From personal tragedies to pandemic survival, your journey reads like a hardcore odyssey. How have these intense experiences fueled your music, particularly this latest record?

Our journey is definitely a hardcore odyssey, Gwar meets Joseph Campbell type story! They have fueled our music by charging us with negative energy that we then transfer into positive energy by communicating, performing and showing up for one another. MURF started with me feeling at the lowest, bonding with Tom and then making the most intense song we could with no pressure or strings attached other than just making it sound cool. Basically it’s not a matter of what crazy things happen to us, it was just a matter of what type of song it will be.

It also has fueled us to be stronger, we’ve been together seven years now and have all bonded through success and trauma so there’s a deep loyalty and necessity to continue creating as brothers in sonic destruction.

You’ve mentioned a blend of horror films, Robocop, and WWE as influences. Can you give us a deeper dive into how these elements shape your sound and stage presence?

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU GOT!? Fuuu- Yes. Strap on your helmets and plug your nose!

Old school horror movies from the 70’s-00’s are firmly lodged into my brain and soul so there’s no turning that off, Robocop and WWE push us to wear insane costumes and include props like creepy dog masks, severed arms, heads, etc. It’s just so much fun! Our first record is all about Robocop so that’s a pretty big influence. But then it’s just the simple thing of being a fan and saying “that’d be a great punk song!”. We take that idea and craft a song around it. Usually starting with the riff- and then I come up with lines for it. Or I have lyrics and these guys magically interpret the work into a fuggin HIT!

But for other visuals, In our first show we dressed up as dead cops with these bullet holes in our heads then juggalos and from there we kind of decided to have a visual element. But being lovers of WWE and horror/insane films we always knew we’d be doing something absurd with our appearance. We went to heroes like DEVO and GWAR, we knew MURF couldn’t just be a couple of guys in cargo shorts.

For me as a filmmaker/frontman I don’t feel comfortable going up in street clothes as much. I have to look absurd in order to fully let go and rip shit up. But I also have a deep personal connection to WWE – my Dad played football with Hawk from Legion of Doom so I decided that’d be my gimmick. Which has led me to training every day so I can keep up with the insane work that Jeff, Hunter, Evan and Tom do in the songs. It’s definitely a fun house mirror, I think more intense forms of visual art will often inspire/co-mingle with intense music such as metal. It’s ingrained in us- we’re just letting it fully possess us and take us where it wants to with our instruments.


Shaquille O’Neal as a fan – that’s not something you hear every day in the punk scene. What’s that story mentioned by Racket?

So I worked as a videographer at this place called Shop HQ – it’s a home shopping television studio in which Shaq was partnering with for a huge selection of cookware, watches and his very own cookbook- but he was there as this “Investors Day” which was a bunch of business people from all across the globe meeting in this television studio space for drinks. Everybody was there to see Shaq though.

My boss had mentioned that I was in a band during our video/photo session with him and he asked about MURF. About twenty minutes later we’re in this kitchen set and he’s listening to “I’d buy that For a Dollar”. I’ll never forget the electricity that ran through my legs when he asked “Is this you singing? That’s fuckin’ nice man!”. He then clicked onto the next song and played our DEVO-esque “Your Move Creep”. It was so amazing to watch him crack a grin to Hunters catch riff and widen his eyes as the bass and drums rolled in “this is the one I’m gonna use”.

He sent it off to his producer right then and there and about another 20 minutes later I see him on this electric scooter cruising around and he plays me a dubstep remix of the song! Then he’s like “what’s your number, I’ll send it to you!” He sent it to me, I then quickly made a video of it that night and sent it over to him for approval. His words: “that’s dope, post it.” So I did!

He came to the Skyway a few years ago and played it live which was insane…and we’ve worked with each other a few more times. The last time was in Georgia where he was surprising customers and giving away a bunch of his stuff. Truly a surreal yet totally comfortable and somehow familiar experience to be sitting across from him and he’s humming the riff of “Creep” and then making Ace Ventura jokes.

If you’re reading this Shaq, we hope you’re well and let’s get a MURF x DJ DIESEL world tour going in 2025.

Your live shows are legendary for their theatrical chaos. Can you share one of your most memorable on-stage moments?

ONE!? Ok- yes. Just know there have been a lot of kids we’ve made cry, so much confetti blasted, fake blood spilled, crowd surfing, bandmate dry humping, guitar-hero controller and computer keyboards smashed and general disruption that all deserve to be told, but if it’s one I have to tell the tale of ICEHOUSE.

So we weren’t allowed to spray fake blood at Icehouse- they said “if we spill any in the venue nobody on staff will be getting paid.” Which is insane, and very rude. So I decided if I wasn’t going to be able to spill fake blood I’d have to make up for it in the acrobatic department.


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I recall doing my best to jump from spot to spot in this swanky uptown jazz club, straddling chairs, twirling over here, leaping over there all while screaming my lungs out. I decided to take a simple stage leap to the floor which was about a 3 foot drop during a pivotal part in our song “christian mingle”.

My feet sprang from the stage and I was flying towards an audience member, hitting my line and maintaining a shocked reaction to the enthralled concert-goer when my left leg made contact with the ground but rolled and it broke, tore some ligaments.


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I remember hearing a crunch- and being like oh fuck I just rolled my ankle, better get balance and then a beam of pure PAIN shooting through my toes out my eyeballs came through. I then realized this was worse than I had thought- looking for help, my arm swung over to a guy to have him help me walk back to stage, but he thought I wanted to crowd surf, I begged him to not pick me up, and screamed in the mic “I think I broke my leg!” He then gave me a large OH NO face and helped me back to the stage.

The rest of the night I decided to finish out the show as a lounge singer sitting on the stage, looking up at Evan and the rest of the guys. It was actually quite refreshing to sit down and be able to really hear myself on the monitor.


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But that one cost me about a half year- luckily we had an album to still record, so I spent that time screaming, ordering hoagies, smoking tons of weed and watching “Rock of Love with Brett Michaels”.

With themes of police protest songs, PTSD, and social media landscapes, your craft is intensely topical. How do you balance these serious subjects with the fun and absurdity that also defines MURF?

There’s a natural balance that occurs in us- it’s like making someone laugh after they just cried their eyes out. For me it’s always been something that is a constant battle- and sometimes very hard to distinguish. At times the darkest of things can be hilarious simply because you have no other option to laugh at it or make a joke of it. If you do that, you take back power in a way.

That and together we’re just a lunch table full of guys who all share the same sense of humor and interests so for me it’s writing to them and trying to make them laugh/say this is cool.

The local and global hardcore scenes are ever-evolving. What new or underground bands are you excited about? Feel free to drop some links to their music.

It is ever evolving and it’s so amazing to be in a city where you can see live music any night of the week. We have some seriously insanely talented friends/colleagues. Here’s a few that you NEED to hear.


Texture Freq

In Lieu

Buio Omega

Surviving carjackings, a pandemic, and personal loss, you’ve seen it all. How has the hardcore community, both locally and globally, supported you through these times?

Takes long drag of cigarette- WE HAVE SEEN IT ALL…Cue the Vangelis man…

The community has supported us in every way! Emotionally by reacting to our work on social media/performances, physically by coming to our shows and freaking out with us, financially by buying our records and merch- being genuinely excited about art that we make. And we in turn give our support, so it’s a really nice community. It’s really amazing to be in a community of such talented artists with such big hearts, we all really have each other’s backs through the good times and the bad. Huge shout out to the global community of punks, artists and cool people of every path.

Looking forward, where do you see MURF taking its unique blend of crossover thrash and hardcore punk? Any hints at future projects or directions you’re eager to explore?

Two words: ACOUSTIC-SKA! We’ll be renting a castle in Spain, smoking lots of advil and re-inventing the wheel that is rock and roll. Just kidding- man that’d be sweet….

We’ve got two efforts plotted for music, probably an EP first and then another LP. As far as inspiration right now it’s Dungeons and Dragons, lo-fi and fuzzed out old rock ‘n roll and the texture of a greasy, beer soaked, phlegm coated dive bar as a sound.

But I also want to make a sequel to our movie “NASTY NASTIES”, finish the second episode of this cartoon that some of the guys voiced/recorded and tour Europe the rest of the world on this LP before we even begin to think about bongo solos and adding a 12-person ukulele section to our group.

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