The members of Halifax’s Walrus are wedged into a cafe booth that’s almost shaking with laughter. Jordan Murphy, the group’s drummer, is talking about the time one of their teenage band practices got a little too rowdy.
“Remember the time we broke dad’s guitar and blamed Keith? For sure we weren’t taking the heat on that one,” he says with a chuckle.
“What? You blamed me?" says Keith Doiron, the bassist, throwing his head to the side.
The laughter reaches new heights and the table wobbles slightly.
Having grown up together in Truro before relocating to Halifax, Walrus’ members share the ease only old friendships provide. The laid-back feel filling their crowded booth is also present in their music, creating an easy, relaxed vibe over a dreamlike mix of pop and psychedelic rock.
Back in Halifax supporting their newest EP, Goodbye Something, they’re prepping for their first local show of the year on June 4th. "It’s gonna be a real party,” says vocalist/guitarist Justin McGrath with a grin.
After criss-crossing most of the country since January and watching their song "Wearing It" slowly climb the charts at CBC Radio-3, the rockers have earned a celebration.
But, that doesn’t mean work will be taking a back seat just yet. The guys agree that being in Halifax again means a chance to record new material, something they’ve been craving for months.
The conversation soon turns to what they’ll record first. "Maybe we’ll throw in a mandolin, give it a real Maritime feel," Murphy says, while the others nod and toss about ideas.
“It doesn’t have to be any one way for it to be a Walrus song,” says Murphy. This philosophy, something the other members nod in agreement with, explains why Walrus’ sound is one not easily defined—and why, maybe, it doesn’t really matter if it ever is.
For Walrus, genres, labels and definitions don’t matter. It’s more about the music’s mood. As Doiron puts it: “You can’t think about it too much, you just have to go with the feeling”.