Vancouver duo The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer are fresh from a handful of European dates, in support of their recent record Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To. Although the name suggests something of the extremes (I had dutch happy hardcore, or Swedish death metal in mind) they actually make this rather intoxicating mix of soulful blues, with plenty of blues harp, stripped back guitars and a sense of melody that makes you pull on a pair of boots and light up cheroots.
We caught up with the band to find out a little more.
We are The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer
We are from Vancouver, bc, Canada
We met when Shawn was recording a radio jingle for a Jamaican pizza restaurant. He hired me (matt) to play skanked out guitar.
We make music that sounds like Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Otis Redding, Freddie King, Led Zeppelin
When people ask us who or what we sound like, we say Blues that gets you in the crotch.
We bonded over Anything by Mississippi John Hurt, Taj Mahal – leaving Trunk, royal canoe – today we are believers, deep dark woods – jubilee, the Barr brothers – sleeping operator, the wood brothers – smoke ring halo, dr dog – b-room, Fred eaglesmith – 9 volt
Our name comes from In Kris kristofferson’s ‘me and Bobbie mcghee’ he says ‘I took my harpoon out of my dirty red bandana’. We had never heard of blues harmonics refered to as a harpoon before. So Shawn became ‘the harpoonist’ and I became ‘the axe murderer’ because I play the axe, aka the guitar.
We got together, and our first rehearsal was in a basement filled with rats and mice where holes in the walls were stuffed with socks.
Our first gig was at a tiny coffee house. We played to about fifteen of our friends.
Our new record/track etc is‘Don’t make ’em like they used to’ is about a longing for bygone days. Like when you could smoke on airplanes.
We recorded it in vancouver at a studio called afterlife studios on an old bygone tape machine from the stax era.
The writing process for us is never the same twice.
We tried to make it sound like Alabama shakes
You could say our live show is Like getting zapped by 110 volts to the crotch while drinking whiskey from a trough.
You can catch us (any live shows)….
Look out for We Are the City, Bend Sinister
This year, we are going to try to Stop procreating.
Keep in touch with us at