INTERVIEW: Rob Jarvis and The Mercury Sons

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Hi Rob, welcome back to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been soooo well thankin’ you! Keeping really busy travelling between the UK and US, writing a new record!

How’ve you been?

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Four Walls”?

Indeed I’d love that, so the way I usually describe Four Walls is a kind of happy reflection on a time where musically speaking I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with myself. How to start again after the band I’d been the five years previous was set to be no more, i suppose. It’s basically about how easy it is, to become absorbed in a situation and forget about all the other amazing things you could be doing.

If you narrow your world, to just a room, or a place or even a routine, its very easy to forget there is a wide world, kinda waiting for you to go at it.

You don’t need to know where you want to end up really, just start putting one foot in front of the other, look after the small tasks and see what happens.

But more importantly than my ramblings! The single artwork is actually based around an amazing piece of original artwork by my good mate Brian Craddock of Daughtry! Not just an amazing guitarists, song-writer, producer and pretty face! Ha.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

In a sense yes, it was triggered by the ending of previous band Great Man Theory, when most things come to an end it’s sad: nWhilst being in a band on its way up  and making its way with your best mates, is a dream come true, the toll on the relationships can be heavy, as most band would attest. Don’t get me wrong I look back on everything that band achieved so fondly and we’re all best mates again now, just grew apart. Was a good old case of friction making fire, as all bands need.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

I’d love to get round to it at some point, but with the main focus being on the new material and doing this record in the US, finances and more importantly time are being spent elsewhere. I thought the live acoustic video, was perhaps a nice touch in the mean time.

How was the recording and writing process?

The full version of this record was done at the same time as the previous singles with Paul Frost, which you so kindly wrote about!

I look back on that time fondly, was a new creative peak for me after the previous band ended. Was a fairly natural write honestly. I think Four Walls was just very reflective of the time.

What was it like to work with Greg Archilla and how did that relationship develop?

Greg’s a very creative guy, with a really great ear, making things sound dynamic and just cool, comes very naturally to him. He also understands my process and I how I like to work. Lets me get on with it in a way that feels natural, which is important. Ultimately I do have a process for writing songs, but the method very rarely happens the same way, at least not consecutively. Could be a riff a lyric, a progression, or a the whole song all at once.

How did it develop!? So crazy this life of ours, some sort have stars must have aligned, I was very fortunately introduced to Greg by a great friend of mine! Brother from another mother D. Vincent Williams.

Due to some very fortuitous happenings, I met D. (insane songwriter/absolute top bloke.) We got to hang out for a few days surrounding a car racing event, through some friends. It was on the last day, after I’d tried to play it cool, he  asked to hear my stuff, after my lil’ brother had mentioned that I’d just written a new record and demos.

He asked to hear it, more out of courtesy I imagine ha, week or two later I received an email saying he’s sent the tracks to Greg Archilla, (Matchbox 20, Neil Young, Buckcherry, Collective Soul, Jonathon Jackson Enation et al).

They then offered me a opportunity to come out and meet in Nashville to get a feel for the place, meet some cool people and generally see whats up. Again, I totally tried to play it cool, not.

Pretty Lucky really.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than in your own?

Yeah of course you naturally need to wind your own neck in a little, to accommodate ideas from collaborators.

I tend to categorise my song ideas into three sections,

  1. the ones that naturally just flow out I’ll finish on my own.

  2. Ones that I think are cool, but don’t finish in a sitting

  3. Ones even I think are completely pants upon listening again ha.

I usually take the second category into collaborations.

Theres no method to working with other people, we’re all weird and creative, individual and have our own ideas and methods. Though if you can put agree on a finishing point, all you have to figure out is what to say about it, and how to get there. Many minds make light work in some cases.

How would you say the City of Music has influenced your work moving on?

The music culture there is so rich and varied, theres a sprawling scene for just about every genre you can think of, none more so than rock and roll; seeing so many genres and sub sections of said genres in one place, you cant help but what to absorb lall of it really.

It’s not just that that though, Nashville is by nature inspiring, it’s all music talk and all music walk, all the time. If there’s a show on, everyone is there, I cant remember a single show I’ve been to watch that isn’t well attended. You can’t help but want to push yourself.

On top of that I’ve had so many amazing opportunities since being there, I’ve written songs, with members of bands, I’ve definitely cited as influences from time to time. Like with anything getting opportunities to work with people that have been there and done it, at the top of the game, is really a second to non experience. Huge shoutout to everyone I’ve been so lucky to work with. Some really inspiring opportunities.

Has also meant that I’ve got a couple collaborations that I’m really excited about moving into the next record.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Yes indeed it does! I’ll be cutting a new record in Nashville, with Greg Archilla at the production helm, as soon as the logistics are sorted out.

The writing is pretty much finished. All we have to do is decide which tracks we want to do. Greg and I already sat down and short listed 13, all of which need ironing out in parts, whether its a word change here, or an arrangement adjustment there’ but the basis is solid. Expect High Energy!!

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

I have a few ideas, but wouldn’t want to give a false statement ha

Any plans to hit the road?

Absolutely, as soon as the record is finished aiming to start touring up again, First Stop USA!

What else is happening next in Rob Jarvis and The Mercury Sons’ world?

Most imminently just trying to get logistics of getting back to the US, in a manner in which I can start work on this new record as soon as possible, sorted out.

Still doing the nitty gritty, writing, designing, dreaming. I know where I want to be, just putting one foot in front of the other, taking care of small tasks and seeing where I end up.

One final word, just wanted to say a huge thanks to everyone thats supported, bought a ticket, track, t shirt, or just followed on social media. All made a huge difference, literally got me an opportunity of a life time and sent me round the world, unreal, thanks again!!

Watch here




About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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