Another Peter Murphy interview…
I’ve read that you stopped singing “Stigmata Martyr” because, after you became Muslim, you wanted to avoid the Christian-referencing lyrics. Do you still feel the same way?
That’s a myth. I stopped playing it in 1998 because, to be honest, I don’t think the other members of the band really got what I was writing about, and the collective intention suddenly became very anti-religious. And that song is not an anti-religious song at all. The message is, really, the dangers of obsession, of almost psychosomatic induction of that masochism. That alone can be an illusion. And it’s way off the mark as to the actual source of the message of any religious God. God doesn’t want you to be in pain and die. It wasn’t ant-ireligious. It wasn’t demonic. It was alluding to the manifestation. Is it truly a mark of the Holy Ghost or is it simply an obsession condition? That’s all there is to it.
When we were coming back in 1998, I basically banned it. No, we’re not doing it. I couldn’t even explain to the band why, I would just not play it. Now I do. I’m clear of those associations of the other members of the band, not that I have any bad energy. It’s a great refreshing space now. I can play my work in a way that is pure of frankly, various worn-out clichés. Last night I played it without singing a note and it was pure instrumental energy, which was actually quite intense. It went well.