Interview: Mercy Music – “Living Through The Grief Process”
Mercy Music, the dynamic rock trio hailing from Las Vegas, NV, is gearing up for the release of their highly anticipated upcoming album, What You Stand To Lose. Ahead of the album release, the band caught up with Recordspin to talk about the recording the new record, working with Bill Stevenson, and touring.
Led by vocalist and guitarist Brendan Scholz, Mercy Music’s journey has been one of transformation and growth. Scholz’s personal experiences have served as the driving force behind the band’s latest record, as he candidly shares in a press announcement, “My world was kind of flipped upside down between this album and the last.” The result is an album that beautifully captures the paradoxical blend of regret, nostalgia, and hope that accompanies major life changes.
What You Stand To Lose marks a departure from their previous works, showcasing a cleaner and poppier sound. Scholz’s songwriting prowess shines through the album’s eleven tracks, while bassist Jarred Cooper and drummer Rye Martin provide a solid foundation, infusing the music with energy and groove. The album effortlessly combines melodic sensibilities with raw, honest emotions, making it a relatable and engaging experience for listeners.
To bring their vision to life, Mercy Music enlisted the expertise of acclaimed producer Bill Stevenson, known for his work with legendary bands like Descendents, ALL, and Black Flag. The album was meticulously crafted at The Blasting Room, Stevenson’s renowned studio in Fort Collins, Colorado.
As the album’s release approaches, Mercy Music is preparing to embark on an extensive tour to share their music with fans across North America. Their live performances are known for their high energy, creating an electric atmosphere that leaves audiences craving more.
Recordspin caught up with Mercy Music’s Brendan Scholz via email to talk about What You Stand To Lose. Here’s what he had to say.
Hey Mercy Music! Thanks for spending the time to talk today. How are you doing?
Thanks for wanting to talk to us! Just gearing up for another beautiful Vegas summer over here, haha.
Your album What You Stand To Lose is due out June 30th. The record seems to tackle the themes of personal growth and conquering fears. Were there any specific experiences or influences that inspired the record?
I’d agree with that. I had a year with a lot of significant changes in my personal life. Ending of relationships etc. Putting pen to paper on a lot of the songs caused me to see things as they really were and not as I was wanting them to be so badly. So, in that aspect, it was a really difficult album to write.
“Found Out I’m Useless” carries a powerful title and represents a significant change in your life. How do you feel this single shaped the album’s overall narrative?
This song kind of sums everything up. Living/going through the grief process. It touches on the painful aspects, but also has certain sarcasm/dark comedy that comes with the inevitable acceptance of everything.
Watch Mercy Music’s “Found Out I’m Useless” music video below
Having worked with the esteemed producer Bill Stevenson, renowned for his collaborations with Descendents, ALL, and Black Flag, how did his involvement impact the essence of the album? Any memorable anecdotes from their studio collaboration?
Having Bill on the project was a dream come true for all of us. He understands where we’re coming from. That’s something that is priceless in a band/producer relationship. It was an amazing experience all around and would be too hard to narrow it down to a few things.
Aside from your recent single releases, are there any particular songs that you’re excited for fans to listen to? What is it about that song that stands out to you?
I think “Begin,” the last song on the album, is one I’m excited about people hearing. It’s kind of a departure from things we normally do. It’s stripped down, but also has an atmosphere. The finished product has a really haunted vibe. Funny enough, it almost didn’t make the album, but Bill insisted.
Mercy Music draws inspiration from a diverse range of artists like Superdrag, Squeeze, Samiam, Jawbreaker, and Thin Lizzy. How do you feel these influences manifest within the songs on the album?
I generally like pop music, and when I sit down and write, it is generally what comes out. There are moments of guitar hero-esque bullshit, aggression, and misanthropy too though. I think it all comes across in how we sound. A horn of plenty/melting pot. Hahaha
Watch Mercy Music’s “Suddenly” music video below
With your upcoming tour dates, what can fans expect from a Mercy Music live show? Any show you’re particularly excited for?
I’m excited to get out and play in general. Being that they are headline shows, and we have a little bit more time, fans can expect a set list that covers the entire catalogue pretty well. I think they’ll be stoked about that.
Finally, what song/EP/album have you been playing on repeat recently?
Momma – Household Name
The Flatliners – New Ruin
Bayside – The Blue EP
Teenage Fanclub – Grand Prix
Billie Eilish – TV
Scared of Chaka – How to lose
Masked Intruder – S/T
Watch Mercy Music’s “Love You/Need You” music video below
Mercy Music 2023 Tour Dates
June 16 – Long Beach, CA @ Supply and Demand
June 17 – Los Angeles, CA @ Permanent Records Roadhouse
June 28 – Tempe, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room
June 29 – Costa Mesa, CA @ The Wayfarer
June 30 – San Diego, CA @ Tower Bar
July 2 – San Francisco, CA @ The Kilowatt
What You Stand To Lose is out on June 30th, 2023, via Double Helix Records. For more information Mercy Music, visit their website here.