Matthew Murphy brings his solo act Love Fame Tragedy to The City. (Courtesy Shervin Lainez)

Wombats’ Matthew Murphy goes solo with Love Fame Tragedy

English musician busy with new SoCal life

Fans of snarky U.K. alt-rockers The Wombats — whose single “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” perfectly encapsulated the band’s mirthful mindset — might be wondering where it’s been since the delayed 2018 release of its fourth full-lengther, “Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life.” Frontman Matthew Murphy says they need not worry. The Rolling Stones picked the trio to open a date on the current No Filter arena tour, an all-time career high. But he adds that the group won’t be making a fifth album anytime soon — at least not until he works through his new solo project Love Fame Tragedy, whose poppier, Los Angeles-penned debut EP, “I Don’t Want to Play the Victim, But I’m Really Good at it” features cameos from Soundgarden’s Matt Cameron, The Pixies’ Joey Santiago, and Alt-J’s Gus Unger-Hamilton, among others. With with a followup EP already in production, it could be awhile.

So you’re phoning from your new hometown of Los Angeles?

Yeah. I just dropped my dog off for some dental surgery.

That’s a decidedly L.A.-type thing to say.

Well, we left her in the kennel, and when we got her back, half a tooth was missing, and we were like, “What’s going on here?” But the vet said that she was probably in agony — dogs can’t tell us how they’re feeling — so we’re getting it extracted.

Who is “we?”

My wife and I. And I suppose the dog. That happened two years ago, in 2017. I came out here on a bit of a whim, met her through a mutual friend, and that was that, really. But I’ve been in L.A. for three and a half years, and I don’t think I’m particularly fitting in. But part if the attractiveness of L.A. is that if you’re not fitting in, then you are actually fitting in. I golf now, too, My handicap’s three but it could go up to four if I don’t post a good score soon. But then again, I just had a baby, a daughter named Dylan. So I expect it’ll be going up even higher.

What other changes have you been going through?

I feel like I got opened up for a big old spiritual awakening. I feel more content in my own skin, because now my career isn’t the most important thing in my life anymore. And somehow because it’s not, my work is actually getting better. And after the last Wombats album, I wound up with all these songs left over, which turned into this collaborative project.

And Dan Smith from Bastille is working with you, too?

Yeah. He’s on EP 2. I can’t even remember who all is on it. I haven’t had my L.A. coffee yet!


Love Fame Tragedy

Where: Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., S.F.

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17

Tickets: $18

Contact: (415) 861-2011,

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