Murals is an exciting and innovative new project which showcases three talented instrumentalists and an ever-rotating range of vocalists. Shane Gann (guitar) met Blake Dahlinger (drums) at a shared gig in 2012 where their personalities meshed seamlessly. Shane approached Blake in 2015 to play drums for a project called Sufferer – a stand-alone album about a day in the life with anxiety & depression. Shane and Blake recruited industry friend Tony Bautista (bass) as the touring bassist for Sufferer before being invited back to be involved with Murals.
After originally considering the potential future of Sufferer, the pandemic ended up changing Blake and Shane’s trajectory when they saw a broader set of opportunities opening up with the idea of Murals. The band’s mission is to offer support to those facing challenges and injustices in our modern world by collaborating with a range of artists speaking personally on issues they themselves have been affected by. The whole idea is to have different vocalists speaking not on these topics, but from these topics, to connect most earnestly with the groups they aim to support. Murals hopes this approach will allow them to channel the love & support within the creative community to help create real progressive, social change.
The main influences for this project are the actual stories from the vocalists, which drives the band to make powerful works that fully capture the feelings involved. While they may finish a song before it’s presented to the vocalist, they revise their arrangement and production approach to correlate the music to support the story once it is completed. All three members are rhythm-section players at heart, and the listener can distinctly hear their love for solid foundations and infectious patterns.
“Windbreaker”, the first track released from the group, features Kaonashi vocalist, Peter Rono. The title refers to Peter’s friend Nick who used to wear a blue & pink windbreaker and unfortunately took his own life in 2020. “Suicide has sadly affected so many of us, and it seemed most fitting to start with Peter’s story, given that our previous project surrounded mental health. This song is our way of going a little further, to provide support in another area,” Gann remarked. The single was self-produced, and recorded individually in Chico, CA (drums), Phoenix, AZ (guitars), and Houston, TX (bass) before vocals were added from southern New Jersey.
With the release of “Windbreaker” and other upcoming singles, Murals is placing emphasis on the importance of community and how collaborations can do more than just create awesome music – they can help support people. For each single, one-third of profits will be directly donated to organizations and causes pertaining to the vocalist’s chosen topic to help those who have been impacted by those situations or circumstances.
“The songs we make are meant to provide an outlet, a support, or a track to play whenever that mood hits or you’re reminded of that event, that moment, that feeling. We want people to appreciate that there are many others who have been impacted similarly,” Gann added on. While “Windbreaker” fits within the hard rock/hardcore realm, the music of this project will adapt with the styles of the rotating vocalists, which leaves listeners of Murals on the edge of their seat waiting for more.