A Conversation with Mulherin

From the moment I began writing for Lyrical Lemonade, I fell in love with unearthing the true gems of the music industry; Artists who definitively transcend the fad obsessed world that we live in and truly present themselves as individuals who can have a long lasting career filled with success and influence. At first, these types of artists weren’t easy to find, but after some time, I came across two guys who truly made me rethink what I considered great music to be. If you haven’t heard of Mulherin, then allow this article to serve as a PSA for anyone who is in dire need of discovering the next big thing. I use lofty phrases and words like that lightly, but when it comes to this LA-Based duo, I firmly believe that they are generational talents that need to be seen and heard in every way. I really can’t stress how great their art is and I’m so glad that I got the chance to catch up with twin brothers, Parker and Marshall Mulherin to talk about their artists project and everything that they’ve got in store for 2021. Like I said above; If you’re looking for your newest obsession, make sure you read this full interview in it’s entirety to get to know a duo that need to be on your must-listen list. Without further ado, please enjoy this Conversation with Mulherin.

Sam: So take me to the beginning. How did you both get into music as kids?

Marshall:  I feel like as kids, probably the earliest stuff that I can remember us singing to and seeing videos of us singing to was The Beatles. Our family was just huge into The Beatles; So that was probably like the first memory of us singing…just singing along to A Hard Days Night by the Beatles. And then I feel like the moment we started figuring out that R&B music is dope was probably like Middle School when Chris Brown was coming out; Especially 8th and 9th grade when Birthday Sex came out, Jeremih came out, Trey Songz’ Ready album…For us, we were just like, wow this is R&B…I love this stuff. And then obviously Miguel, Frank, The Weekend. It was just a lot of the big guys in that space. I wasn’t like super obscure and alternative like *you weren’t on the shit that I’m on*. Frank Ocean was almost that when we first found him.

Parker: Yeah, I agree. I think it was really just being in band that played a huge role in our music as well growing up. 

Sam: So ya’ll were both in band in Middle School?

Parker: Yeah and High School!

Marshall: Yeah, we were section leaders and played snare. Like Drum Line the movie I loved, I thought that was like the coolest shit ever, so we were snare drummers and weren’t really singing like that really. We were never in Choir or anything like that. We would just sing at home with our friends.

Sam: So there was no formal singing training or anything?

Marshall: Yeah, we got private lessons for drums for a few years. We thought we were going to be these pro snare drummers and band directors. We really thought that was about to be the path for a second; And I think kind of later in High School, we were like, I think I can sing kind of. I just remember when Deuces by Chris Brown came out, I’d sing that while walking out to Football Games. We were like okay, maybe we can sing, but it wasn’t until like college; Parker took like a freshman year songwriting class and started writing in that class and he was like, here’s this software Logic and this is how you do this and that. But, yeah he started making songs for this class and I was like damn that’s really dope, Parker is like writing songs. And it wasn’t until that Summer after Freshman year the we started making music together.

Sam: And what was that like? Was it one moment where ya’ll were like…we need to the do this…

Marshall: Parker was kind of apprehensive about it at first, because it was like his thing. We were 18-years-old and we were twins, so you know, out whole life we were a package deal and everyone viewed us as the same person and at first, he was like I don’t know man, I’m doing my thing; Then we took a vacation, and we were literally walking on a beach and we were like, “Dude, we gotta do a duo”. And we came back from the walk on the beach and we told our mom that we were going to make a duo. It was just so funny that it was on a beach too out of all places.

Sam: That joint sounds mad emotional. That’s like something out of a movie; As far as the name goes, obviously Mulherin is your last name, but were there any other names that ya’ll were thinking about?

Parker: Actually, when we first started making music, we called ourselves 2pm. Because there were 2 of us and then “Parker” and “Marshall”.

Sam: Yo that’s kind of dope!

Parker: Yeah, when we put our first song on Soundcloud, it was 2pm; And my dad is like a super google warrior, always researching shit and he was like, oh there’s a huge K-Pop group called 2pm, so ya’ll should change your name before you get a cease and desist. And so then, we’re like, what should we do. So we just started typing different names out with our friends and one of them typed our name out and they were like, it looks really cool. But we were just like, that’s just our name though and we’re not sure if people will be able to pronounce it..but on the other hand, we were like, it’s kind of cool and unique. Now, when you type in Mulherin on Google, we’re the first thing to pop up which is sick.

Marshall: It definitely took persuading from friends though, like we weren’t crazy hype on it at first, but our friends just kept telling us that it was dope, so we rolled with it.

Sam: I love that. I’m going to back track for a second really quickly; But, let’s say ya’ll didn’t end up doing music…What were some other hobbies that ya’ll were doing as kids that you could’ve seen becoming your career?

Parker: We both skateboarded a lot. We watched all of the skate videos and had all of the shoes. We were filming a bunch of skate videos too.

Marshall: And this was mainly in middle school. We weren’t like amazing though. Then when we realized how quickly we got good at drums and thought about how much better we were at drums than Skateboarding, we were like, okay we gotta switch it up. But, I feel like if we didn’t do music, it would’ve still been music in some way. Whether it was drumming or music education, I still feel like we would’ve ended up doing music some how.

Sam: Was your family really supportive when you both decided to start the duo?

Parker: They still are. They’re still hype. Even now, sometimes when I’m like, I don’t know…stuff isn’t catching, they’re like just give it some more time and just keep doing what you’re doing which is really great.

Sam: I mean, they’re absolutely right. The stuff is going to catch. It’s just way too good not to, so I’m with them. Your parents are 100% right on that.

Parker & Marshall: We appreciate that so much.

Sam: Alright, now take me to the beginning of the musical journey. From putting stuff out on SoundCloud to officially putting stuff on Spotify and starting this stuff officially.

Parker: Right, yeah in 2014, we were going to college in New Orleans. There’s this singer named Ambre who we met around that time and we randomly opened for Kehlani in like 2015.

Marshall: Yea, We did okay on Soundcloud. We were getting a good amount of plays and, you know there’s always the people you see, like “Don’t” has 3M plays and we’re like, oh Bryson Tiller is blowing up…why aren’t we blowing up?” We put our first song out in 2013. the first 9 songs we ever made, we released them as 3 EP’s. We were just doing that for a while and Spotify was not really on anyone’s minds. It was such an afterthought. We were like, I’m not going to pay to upload something. It was like $50 to upload a single. It was just really expensive and after college, we decided to put our first song on Spotify that had already been on Soundcloud for a while. It was a song called, “Rendezvous” and that was our first Spotify drop. And we had debated about putting our Soundcloud shit on Spotify but we were just on a different wave songwriting wise at the time so we decided to just start a fresh and clean Spotify.

Sam: So with that, what does y’all’s creative process look like? Obviously ya’ll are brothers and the two of you work together, but what does that look like? Do ya’ll start all of your songs together or does one of you start one and the other finishes it? Tell me about that.

Parker: Yeah it all depends on the song. Sometimes we’ll start ideas together and sometimes we’ll start our own ideas. Sometimes it’ll be just a verse or I’ll make a beat and do a verse and say, let’s try and do a hook for this. Sometimes he’ll have a hook and a verse and we’ll be like cool, let’s finish this out.

Marshall: Yeah, I agree, it’s really different for each song..”Faraway” was a very back and forth; he did the chords and I put these harmonies and claps on it. Then we kind of went back and forth writing the verse and he did the first lines of the hook and I finished the hook; Versus “Your Turn”, which was kind of this demo that I had done, verse and hook. We actually originally wrote it for Justin Bieber. It didn’t end up getting cut obviously, but one of our managers was like “yo ya’ll should finish this for ya’ll”; But, we were like, nah this isn’t our vibe, and then we ended up producing it out way more, but that was originally my song and Parker came in and did the second verse and we kind of finished that verse together and I produced it out. Versus a song like “Never Get Me” that was mostly Parker; Parker wrote that song and I came in and helped produce it out at the end and added more harmonies and stuff like that. So sometimes, there are songs that I’ve fully written and Parker has fully written and then, there are some that we start together.

Sam: This is a lofty question, but, what are some of y’all’s favorite songs that ya’ll have dropped thus far?

Parker: Man, I’m still really proud of “Anniversary”. That was one of those things where I did the guitar stuff in one day and the next day I came back and I was like, I’m going to try and write something to this; and I did that whole first verse in a few minutes and I was like, “I LOVE THIS!!!” I was just so hype on it. It was one of those moments where it just happens and you lock in and you’re just in your zone.

Marshall: That’s honestly how I feel about “Faraway”. That one was one of the first ones where I was really trying to play piano on it. Before it was just all guitar and we had the song pretty much written, but I told Parker that I felt like we could go like full Beach Boys shit on this one. Just the way that the song came about…it’s very simple songwriting, but it’s not overly cliché or overly simple which is my favorite shit. I can still listen to that song and be like, this is dope, people aren’t making shit like this; which is a good feeling, because it can be so easy to over analyze and over criticize yourself but there are sometimes where I’m like fuck yeah, this is some great stuff.

Sam: Man , I think my favorite song of all time by ya’ll is “Thank You”. That song right there got me through a crazy break up. I was going to school in San Diego for my last year of football and there was just a period of time during my stint there, when I was just bumping the music heavy. It was crazy, I was the first person to show my ex your music and that was the same music that got me through the break up. So for real, ya’ll were giving me life during that entire time. That song jacked me up. That joint is so fire!

Parker & Marshall: Man, thank you so much!

Sam: But, tell me about this recent song. Ya’ll kind of alluded to it a bit, but tell me more about it!

Marshall: Yeah, it was just one that was sitting around for a while. Like I said, it was just first verse and hook. It was sitting there for kind of like a year and we were like okay, Justin isn’t going to cut this. So, it was kind of summer of last year when we realized that we were going to focus on making this our song. So, Parker had already put a verse idea down on it, so after that were were like, okay let’s do it. And then, he did a verse and I put the guitar down on the second verse and we were like wait, we can actually open this up and make this feel like a part of our world. That was one of the ones where as we were finishing it,  it was interesting, because, we haven’t really come from songs from that angle before since we were writing a pop song for someone else, but it was still based on my own experience . So it was the tension of trying to come to it from the angle, but then trying to finish it from this angle. So yeah we were just trying to make something that had an air tight song structure that focuses more on arranging and cutting the fat out. Which is cool because this song is definitely going to set in motion the songs that we’re going to put out this year. They have that same feeling of classic structures and arrangements.

Sam: Right now, in your careers, who are some of your favorite artists that you pull inspiration from?

Parker: Honestly, a lot of our friends. Like Zack Villere, Cehryl, Dijon. We’ve also been going ham watching a bunch of Dallas Austin interviews…Some of the classic R&B guys from the 90’s-2000’s. Obviously we’ve known the music, but to go in depth and learn their stories has been really inspiring.

Sam: As we wind down, whats next for ya’ll? What are some goals that ya’ll have set for yourselves and what are you exited for as far as 2021?

Parker: We just have more singles coming out. Thats’s the plan; like 5 songs including “Your Turn”, so there’s about 4 more.

Marshall: Yeah, it’ll be getting those out…Hopefully doing some videos and continue growing what people think of when they think of us; Because “Thank You” is a much different song than “Your Turn” which is different than “Faraway”, which is different from “On Me” and so we just try to expand it without being too confusing to people. So I want to keep pushing what it is that we do. I never want to be one sided or get locked in to something, so hopefully these singles will show people that we want to do a lot of shit.

Sam: Okay, last question: When ya’ll make music, How do you want to make your listeners feel when they hear and experience your music? What’s the intention behind it all?

Parker: I feel like it’s dependent on the song really, but generally, I want people to be surprised…like pleasantly surprised. From a general sound of a song to the way it’s arranged, but just always giving the feeling of “Wow this is so cool”.

Marshall: We were actually talking to a friend of ours the other day who had just heard “Blurry” for the first time and she was like “this sounds so honest and genuine” and we were like damn that’s a great compliment and I feel like that feeling of always making shit that’s not trying to be something we’re not and making stuff thats’s just genuine and truthful is the goal.

My excitement for the Mulherin duo is truly uncontainable and I’m immensely excited to see what their career ultimate materializes to. Make sure you take the time to dive into their music and learn more about what makes them so special. Ive attached their most recent song, “Your Turn” down below, so give it a listen and peep their entire catalog ASAP! You truly will not be disappointed. Ive also linked their IG handle right here, so give them a follow to keep up to date with their future drops!