Mumblr kept something familiar on their upcoming full-length debut, Full of Snakes, coming out next month on Fleeting Youth Records. Mixed in with their usual fuzzed out basement punk ethos is a recognizable ode to the city in which Nick Morrison, Ian Amidon, Scott Stitzer and Sean Reilly dwell. Though a song of the same name and chord structure appeared on their 2013 cassette White Jesus/Black God, the version of “Philadelphia” on Full of Snakes isn’t exactly the same.
In the time between recording the cassette and the full-length, Mumblr revisited the portrait of the city they live in, rewriting the lyrics that Nick sings over the same charging guitars and crashing drums. Whether to better convey their original picture or to repaint a new portrait of a new Philly as it, or any city, changes over the years, the new version adds more universal lines (about laughing at the perception of power, and letting a city teach you that you aren’t as fragile as you once thought) to their specific experience of the City of Brotherly Love (getting high under overpasses after buying snacks through bulletproof glass).
Stream “Philadelphia” below, and keep scrolling to see what Nick had to say about the band, the original “mumbl[e]r” and how his first portrait of Philadelphia still lives on in his day-to-day purchases.
Impose: How did you all meet?
Nick: Ian and Scott actually went to high school together and then parted ways upon graduating. Scott and I were in a lot of the same film classes in college and started playing music together with me on drums and Scott playing guitar. Then I met Sean and became roommates with him. Ian, coincidentally, moved into the same house little later where he became reacquainted with Scott. We were collaborating musically for years until we finally found a combination that worked, hence Mumblr was born. We are like a family. We live together, help each other with money issues, cook for each other, and ultimately are always looking out for one another.
How long have you lived in Philly proper (or don’t you)?
For about 6 years. However, most of us were born relatively close (Nick and Scott were born in PA. Ian and Sean were born in Jersey).
Who’s the original “mumbl[e]r” that inspired the name?
I (Nick) am the original “mumblr”. While demoing the songs to the rest of the band, I would mumble melodies over the music because I hadn’t yet written lyrics. I also have a really bad problem with mumbling in my day-to-day life. I kind of liked the idea of a person who softly talks to themselves, either because they have no one to listen or they think nobody cares.
What did you want to say/capture about Philadelphia when you were writing this song?
We mostly wanted to try and highlight the city we live in because it has been a huge part of our lives. We came of age here and the city taught us a lot of things that college didn’t, for better or for worse. It’s kind of us paying our respect to Philly.
In the spirit of the [original] lyrics, what’s the last bootleg DVD you’ve bought in Philly?
Davinci Code and The Hills Have Eyes.
And when was the last time you bought Sour D in Philadelphia?
I’m literally doing it right now $$$$$$$
Full of Snakes is due out September 16, you can pre-order it now via Fleeting Youth Records.