LCD Soundsystem

James Murphy’s life may be at risk.

The mastermind behind New York City’s LCD Soundsystem has been touring on and off for a few years and while he manages to juggle the daily road duties of soundchecks, press and after-parties, he has a bigger problem on his hands – a spouse who wants him home for a change.

“My wife is going to slit my throat in my sleep if I don’t stop,” Murphy told Pollstar. “I’ve been touring for about three years now, which is murdering me. … I need to take a significant break from touring after this.”

Being on the road is old hat for the 35-year-old New Jersey native. Murphy spent a good chunk of the ’90s touring alongside Jesus Lizard, Laughing Hyenas, Six Finger Satellite and others while playing in his own punk/indie bands Pony and Speedking.

But times have changed and Murphy feels the years catching up with him.

“Now I’m too old and I’m married,” he said. “My band is too old; they have kids and shit. … [Touring] is just a strange part of my life that takes me away from home and from making music.”

Back home in Manhattan, Murphy spends most of his time DJing in clubs, producing bands with partner Tim Goldsworthy, writing music and running DFA (Death From Above) Records, which he co-owns. In the last few years, Murphy and Goldsworthy have produced dance-rock albums and remixes for artists including Le Tigre, Radio 4, Nine Inch Nails, and The Rapture.

Manager Mark Beaven started working with LCD about two years ago following DFA’s success with The Rapture’s hit “House of Jealous Lovers.” He said the band has toured constantly since then, building a worldwide buzz.

“It’s been a global approach to an act,” Beaven told Pollstar. “It’s been one of those things that has had such a groundswell in so many places. You can’t be in enough places at one time.”

The manager learned early on not to treat Murphy as an ordinary artist.

“You’ve got a guy who is so artistically creative. I think any environment he finds himself approaching, he does a phenomenal job,” Beaven said. “This is a guy who doesn’t give less than his all. … I would assume that if he wasn’t doing LCD, he’d have his own TV show.”

LCD’s launch into the world of disco dance-punk came with the 2002 single “Losing My Edge,” which can be found on the group’s 2005 self-titled debut album. The double-disc is a compilation of LCD’s 12-inch and single releases.

What was Murphy’s inspiration to start writing LCD songs?

LCD Soundsystem

“I was just pissed off about dance music so I decided I would make a 12-inch,” he said. “Then I was pissed about live bands, so I decided I would make a live band.”

But maintaining a live band isn’t easy when touring isn’t your number one priority – something William Morris’ Marc Geiger learned quickly after signing the group.

“It’s hard because he is a multitalented individual – he’s an artist, he’s a producer, he’s a DJ and more,” Geiger told Pollstar. “When you have a new wife that you love and family life you want to have … spending time on the road isn’t necessarily something you want to be doing.”

And don’t expect LCD to fill a support slot anytime soon. Despite several offers from big-name acts, Murphy’s not into it.

“I definitely do not like opening,” he said. “I don’t want to court someone else’s audience. I’d feel too much like a fuckin’ salesman.”

He recalled going to concerts as a kid and viewing the opening band as “the fuckin’ spinach before the ice cream.”

“I don’t ever want to do that. It seems undignified to me.”

Ultimately, Murphy doesn’t feel the need to gain more exposure. In his mind, supporting a mainstream act would be too “careerist” for the band.

“I don’t give a shit,” he said. “I’m too old for that. I’m not in this to make a ton of money. I make a much better living at being a producer if I just stay home enough.”

After LCD’s North American / U.K. tour wraps in December, Murphy plans to go home and begin working on a new record. In the meantime, Geiger won’t be waiting by the phone.

“They’re going to call me one day and say, ‘Hey, we have a finished record, let’s talk,'” the agent said.