Peter Murphy
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Peter Murphy

New York City, New York, United States | MAJOR

New York City, New York, United States | MAJOR
Band Rock Gothic


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The best kept secret in music


"Goth Icon Peter Murphy Talks 'Twilight' Cameo"

Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy has arrived onstage suspended upside down like a bat, but he went a step more goth for the latest Twilight film, guest starring as a vampire in Eclipse, which hits theaters today. The British singer tells Rolling Stone he had never read Stephenie Meyer's book series, but he thought the movies might be a good match for his music, so he approached music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas at last year's South by Southwest festival with a pitch.

Check out Rolling Stone's complete Twilight coverage.

"I didn't assume there would be any interest, but just as an aside, I told her, 'It would be excellent to be in the film, too,'" Murphy says. He's had previous experience, performing Bauhaus' "Bela Lugosi's Dead" in the 1983 vampire film The Hunger and has a hunch one of his tracks was key to the birth of Twilight: "I'm sure 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' helped inspire the naming of Bella," he says. "I'm not a Twilight geek, but if I had to choose between Bela [Lugosi] and Bella [Swan], I would choose Bella Swan."

The Vampire Chronicles: See Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Madonna transformed into Twilight characters.

Patsavas told him the casting for Eclipse was complete, but four months later director David Slade called, saying, "'Come be in my film,'" Murphy recalls. Slade offered Murphy a role as the Cold One, one of the original vampires, in a brief but "pivotal" moment, to illustrate a story about the beginnings of the werewolves' struggle with the vampires. "It's an imaginary flashback," Murphy says. "Almost like a dream sequence."

Read Peter Travers' review of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.

His shoot for his minute-long scene took a whole day, including makeup and choreography training so he could do the stunts himself. "They technically have this neutral gray canvas object that represents the wolf," Murphy says, "and that gives you something to fight back [against]. I couldn't fight a real wolf, though — I'm not that brave."

Now that Murphy's performed in one vampire movie and acted in another, he says he's open to continuing to play the undead as long as the roles are compelling. "I don't mind being typecast. I've been typecast for years!" he says. He likes True Blood ("Why don't they cast me as a vampire king?") and he's intrigued by the upcoming Neil Jordan/Neil Gaiman film of The Graveyard Book ("They should ask me to play Silas, shouldn't they?").

But above all, he wants to revisit his current role in one of the two upcoming Breaking Dawn films, or get his music onscreen. He says the Eclipse team considered using a slow song from his upcoming album Ninth called "Never Fall Out" in the film. "What I like about Twilight is that it's not overtly adult," he adds. "It's actually very beautiful, with no sharp teeth or protruding fangs. I think it's truly a post-modern story about vamps, and I think it works in a way. If you think about it, Edward's love for Bella leads him back to humanity, which transmutes his love into something pure and perfect," he tells RS. "I love that there is hope for what we consider to be the damned." - Rolling Stone


Solo Career:
Should the World Fail to Fall Apart (1986)
Love Hysteria (1988)
Deep (1990)
Holy Smoke (1992)
Cascade (1995)
Recall EP (1997)
Wild Birds: 1985-1995 (compilation) (2000)
A Live Just for Love (live) (2001)
Dust (2002)
Unshattered (2004)
Ninth (2010)

In the Flat Field (1980)
Mask (1981)
The Sky's Gone Out (1982)
Burning from the Inside (1983)
Go Away White (2008)
This is for When (live album recorded in 1981 but released in 2010)



Murphy was born near Northampton, England, and raised in Wellingborough, England. Whether rising from coffins on-stage, driving a hearse called the "Bauhearse," summoning thunder storms, or appearing in concert as vampires, Bauhaus were one of the establishing acts of the goth movement.Their use of spacey recording effects and theatrical aesthetics was evocative of both early horror films and glam rock; they became an influential group in the early days of gothic rock.

Murphy's solo career over time became more varied than Bauhaus, ranging from pseudo-pop to haunting ballads that showcased his deep and complex vocals, with lyrical themes that are often metaphysical or religious. His knack for such lyricism and the occasional pop-reinvention did, however, cause some initial trepidation by the record-buying public. After the commercial non-start of Dali's Car, Murphy's first solo album was similarly overlooked. Should the World Fail to Fall Apart did spawn several singles, including a cover of Pere Ubu's "Final Solution" that made a minor splash on the club scene.

The followup, Love Hysteria, sank without trace in his native UK along with his career there. However, in the USA it performed better than his previous solo releases. The albums also marked the beginning of a long-term collaboration with songwriter Paul Statham, who co-wrote songs with Murphy until 1995. The resulting singles "All Night Long" and "Indigo Eyes" helped garner a wider following, and the black-and-white video for "All Night Long" entered rotation on MTV.

The pinnacle of Murphy's solo popularity in the US came with the release of Deep. For this album Murphy sported hair dyed platinum blonde and returned to the more aggressive alt-rock sound that was a trademark of early Bauhaus. The single "Cuts You Up" from Deep held on to the top spot on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart for longer than any other single before displacing "So Alive" by his former Bauhaus-bandmates Love and Rockets. The record was unbroken until the release of R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion."

Although he had grown up in an Irish Catholic household, Murphy converted to Islam in the 1990s.He eventually moved to Turkey with his wife, and a subsequent Middle Eastern influence can be heard in his later albums. In particular, Murphy has been inspired by the mysticism of Sufism. 1992's Holy Smoke mixed some traditional Turkish influences into the music while continuing the sound pioneered on Deep.

Murphy continued to release solo albums throughout the 90's and 2000's. He also reunited with Bauhaus in 1998 for the resurrection tour and released "Go Away White" in 2008 with Bauhaus.

More recently, In 2009 Murphy appeared at shows across the United States with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, and the band members Reznor had for the 'Lights Over the Sky Over North America 2008' tour. He also appeared with Nine Inch Nails on in August 2009 at Terminal 5 as special guest musician. Additionally, he appeared with Nine Inch Nails on 28 and 29 August at the Aragon Ballroom.

In 2010, Murphy made a cameo appearance in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse as "The Cold One".He also collaborated with Sarah Fimm and Leigh Nash on a song called "Crumbs and Broken Shells".In Summer 2010, Murphy will begin his "Dirty Dirt Tour" in promotion of his forthcoming studio album Ninth to be released in the fall.