Wednesday, 6 June 2012
An interview with Murray from The Wiggles
The Wiggles are returning to the Brighton Centre on Sunday 17th June and Lynn, our resident Wiggle expert (thanks to her daughter) was given the chance to interview Murray, the Red Wiggle. So here's how she got on...
Murray was such a lovely and down-to-earth guy and laughed a lot throughout the whole interview so thanks Murray for taking the time to talk to me. Thanks also to Hopscotch Nursery at Preston Park who asked the children to come up with some of the questions:
L: You’re coming to Brighton in a couple of weeks
M: Yes we love Brighton. It’s a beautiful place
L: So, my daughter is 4 and I went to her nursery to gather some questions for you, so the first question is What is your favourite Wiggles song?
M: I think my favourite Wiggles song is “Play your guitar with Murray” just because it’s got me in it (laughs). No really, it’s just because the children play along with me and it’s fun.
L: What is your favourite Wiggles dance move or routine?
M: I get to play the guitar a lot so I don’t have one really. Let me see…I think “Hot Potato” because everyone can do it and I can do that one.
L: What’s your favourite food?
M: My favourite food has got to be fruit salad
L: Do you like train rides? (Just reminded Murray that these are from 4-years olds)
M: Yeah, I do like train rides. I think it’s a great way to get around. When we’re not in the Big Red Car, I love going on the train
L: Where do you live?
M: I live in Sydney, Australia
L: Who is the best Wiggle?
M: Ahh that’s hard. I couldn’t pick the best wiggle. I think we’re all good wigglers
L: How do you become a wiggle?
M: Well, you have to love playing music for children and have some good friends who play music too, that’s how we started.
L: Why does Jeff always fall asleep?
M: Well, Jeff falls asleep all the time because he doesn’t get much sleep at night. He needs to go to bed a bit earlier.
L: This is one of my favourites…how long can you wiggle for?
M: About 21 years (laughs)! We can wiggle for a really long time.
L: And if you could get your face painted, what would you be?
M: Ah, maybe a tiger.
L: Does the Big Red Car actually work?
M: Yes it does. It doesn’t go very fast, but it does work.
L: And what music do you listen to when you’re in the Big Red Car?
M: Oh we love music from all round the world. We don’t really listen to Wiggles songs because we can sing them ourselves. I love listening to The Beatles.
L: Great – thanks. Just moving on to a couple of questions not from kids.
Have you ever had any groupies?
M: No, not really. We have had some attention sometimes, but we’re all married men, so no we haven’t.
L: What’s the main piece of advice you’re going to pass onto the new Wiggles that are joining?
M: I guess the main piece of advice is that the show is about the children and not about them, really. It’s about communicating with the children, so you always have to be thinking about what’s in it for them and what are you trying to get across to them. So I guess in our 21 years, our focus has really been on the audience rather than on ourselves.
L: Has anything ever gone wrong on stage?
M: Oh things go wrong on stage constantly! We quite often try things quite spontaneously and sometimes they don’t work but you just try and make it part of the show. We’re usually pretty honest with the audience and you usually get a laugh from the parents if you tell them “that wasn’t supposed to happen”. Probably the worst thing that happened was when we used to have this bone-shaped container that we used to put all the bones in that people would bring for Wags. We were actually on stage at Madison Square Garden in New York and this big bone was really heavy and it started to topple over on the stage and Anthony, without really thinking, put his hand out to stop it and broke his wrist. So he was then playing the rest of the tour in a cast. I think that’s probably the worst thing that’s happened on stage. You quite often get little injuries, people fall off things. I fell off the stage at the Hammersmith Apollo last year. I was actually climbing off the stage and my foot got caught. Fortunately, there were no children that close to me so no-one got hurt and I was fine. I was lucky because people often break bones falling off the stage. I think it was just my pride that was hurt a little. It didn’t really matter though as I’m pretty hard to embarrass actually. There were lots of concerned parents around me and I just went “I was meant to do that” (laughs). I did a similar thing in Los Angeles, I think. I was walking down some stairs and I had my guitar on. It didn’t break or anything but it made a pretty horrible sound.
L: Are there any countries you’ve visited on tour that you’d like to go back and re-visit as a tourist?
M: Yes, we did a tour about 10 years ago in Japan, but we just played in U.S Military bases. What I saw of Japan was amazing , but we really didn’t get a chance to see it properly, so I’d love to go back to Japan and have a proper look around.
L: Have you met any of your heroes?
M: Yes. Probably the biggest one was John Fogerty in Clearwater. We got to record with him. He had a young child and we invited him to play on a couple of our songs and sing with us, which he did. That was pretty amazing.
L: Did you have a nickname at school?
M: Erm, not really no. Australians always shorten or lengthen peoples’ names so because my last name is Cook, I was Cookie and Murray is often Muz. If it’s a long name you shorten it and if it’s a short name, you lengthen it (laughs). You do that a bit too here as well.
L: What are your fondest memories of being in The Wiggles?
M: There are lots, but I guess the fondest thing I will take with me from being in The Wiggles is meeting some of the families. We’ve met a lot of children with special needs and their families. Children whose lives are quite difficult but maybe were made a little easier by listening or watching The Wiggles. I think that’s probably my fondest memory and my kind-of proudest memory too, that we made a little bit of a difference in people’s lives.
L: The last question is, what inspires you to come up with new songs?
M: Well, a big part of it is the audience. Thinking about what children like, what’s in their world and what’s important to them. Then I guess, sometimes it’s just the crazy stuff – adults and kids both sometimes like a lot of crazy stuff. But mostly it comes from the audience and the children so I think that’s probably the biggest thing.
Murray then went on to say that they’re really looking forward to coming and playing in Brighton, as it’s one of their favourite places in the UK to come.