Music News

The Informants give the drop on Crime Scene Queen

While being hailed as one of the city's best blues bands, the Informants also mix it up with soul, rock and rockabilly, as heard on their outstanding 2007 debut, Stiletto Angel. The group continues down a similar path on its new album, Crime Scene Queen, which was produced by Big Head Todd and the Monsters keyboardist Jeremy Lawton, who also mixed and mastered Stiletto Angel. One of the Informants' founders, bassist Mac McMurray, says the act spent more time recording Crime Scene Queen than its debut because he and his crew didn't want to settle for "pretty good"; they wanted it to make it sound really good. We asked for more details.

Westword: How do feel about the way the record turned out?

Mac McMurray: I really like it in that it's hitting on a lot of different styles and feels and grooves. It's kind of indicative of what we do live, which is not just one thing right down the middle. We're kind of all over the board, which is fun and keeps it fresh.

It definitely sounds like you guys mix it up quite a bit, from a little bit of rockabilly to soul to jump blues, a little bit of gospel and funk. It's kind of similar to what you did on Stiletto Angel.

I would say this one is a bit more far afield than the last one, although that one did have a number of different sounds involved, too. You've gotta look at the songwriting from Mark Richardson, our keyboard player. He writes it, and if it's good, we don't care what style it is.

You do the same thing live as far as mixing up the genres, right?

Yeah, our live I always say, "Either get on the freight train with us, or get off or else get run over." We bring a lot of energy, and the energy is in a lot of ways because of all the different sounds and tempos. We keep it moving from song to song, with little or no messing around between songs. Bring your dancing shoes and get on board.

Do you think the album captures the live energy of your shows?

Absolutely. There's a live feel that we want to convey. Of course, we used all the tools that are out there for us. But you can really be kind of sterile if you're not paying attention to keeping a good feel and a good live sound, and if you do it one instrument at a time or one song and then come back and do one song a month later, you're just not going to have the continuity and/or the spontaneity that I think we really bring with this record — and the last one was the same way.

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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon