The titles of Peter Murphy’s two musical offerings of this year are telling of the singer’s contrasting expressions, the abstract and the concrete. He titled his full length album, “Ninth,” as it is his ninth solo effort without Bauhaus, one of the first gothic rock groups of the 1970s. Straight-forward enough. His more recent EP, however, “The Secret Bees of Ninth” is more esoteric in title and approach. The word, “secret” crops up in Murphy’s work a lot. This, he says, is with good reason.
“There’s always with my work, the unseen oblique undercurrent of, I think you’d call it spirituality,” he says in a voice a few shades darker than his usual deep velvety croak, as he is recovering from bronchitis.
”I like to put out words or statements that somehow evoke the idea instead of laying it out with actual words, it’s a more poetic thing in that sense,” he says. “I try to communicate what the muses were, the inspirations and ideas going around my head.”
As he considers, he steers his sentiment more towards the concrete.
“It is quite a process but I don’t want people to think it’s an intellectual sort or purposefully mysterious thing or approach,” he says. “I don’t have poetry books or a cave anywhere.”
Spit ye rosebuds while ye may
“I Spit Roses”?is one of the strongest songs on “Ninth.” Its title comes from an incident that has been widely cited as the breaking point for Bauhaus when the band reunited a few years ago. Instead of continuing an argu-ment, Murphy gathered a nearby bouquet and, well, consider the title. Have his ex-bandmates reacted?
“No, the reaction happened when they were spat upon,” Murphy laughs. “They know what happened. They were there. They didn’t have to react.”