Soul Asylum Co-Founder Dan Murphy Leaves Band - Rolling Stone
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Soul Asylum Co-Founder Dan Murphy Leaves Band

Guitarist departs 31 years after helping start the group

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Dan Murphy of Soul Asylum performs in Louisville, Kentucky.

Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images

Dan Murphy announced today that he ‘s leaving Soul Asylum, the Minneapolis band he helped found with Karl H. Mueller (who passed away in 2005) and David Pirner 31 years ago.

Murphy explained his reasons for leaving the band in the final paragraph of a post on the message board on Soul Asylum’s website: “To survive in the game of music in this current incarnation of digital downloads, short attention spans, tabloid-style press wrought with desperate headline grabbing antics, it occurs to me that one needs an unhealthy and combustive internal combination of two seemingly distant attributes – naivety and swagger. I no longer have either and am looking forward to a quieter life with family and friends and my adorable chiweenie Lily Belle.” 

All the same, the guitarist was effusive in his thanks to all the people in the music business “that have worked tirelessly for the band and have given Soul Asylum a chance to be heard.”

Murphy also mentioned the work of all the musicians that Soul Asylum have played with on stage or in the studio, including Tommy Stinson, the Replacements and Guns N’ Roses bassist who took over on bass after Mueller died and “gave us the courage to continue and soldier on.” He also pointed out the contributions of former drummer Sterling Campbell: “Perhaps my proudest moment ever in the band was going into the control room of our Manhattan studio and listening to the playback of the track ‘New World’ on [Grave Dancers Union] and listening to Sterling’s drum fill before the first chorus, it gave me chills and a smile as wide as a New York City mile.” 

And, of course, Murphy expressed his gratitude to his fellow founding bandmates. “Leaving with great admiration and respect for David Pirner, whom I felt like I grew up with and who provided me and all of you with so many memorable musical moments,” Murphy wrote. “I have great love for Michael Bland who has a big heart, a big sound and an even bigger laugh that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my days. My deepest respect and love for Karl H. Mueller, and his widow and loving wife Mary Beth Mueller, and his mother Mary Mueller who provided us with a start in their family garage and supplied us with endless encouragement, engaged us and instilled in us all the prospect of ‘possible.'” 

It’s unclear how Murphy’s departure will affect the future of Soul Asylum. Back in July the alt-rockers released their first album in six years, Delayed Reaction; you can check out that record’s first single “Gravity.”


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