INTERVIEW: Shoegaze Collective Mercvrial

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thanks for having us.  We’ve been well.  All’s quiet on the Western Coast.

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

Sure.  It’s our first single which, along with “Otherworld,” was released in July.  It’s on our debut EP, “The Stars, Like Dust,” which was released on August 9.  It’s a bit of a lush, dreamy affair – plenty of Space Echo and guitarchitecture.  The production is very ‘80s post-punk.

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

Not one event in particular, but most kids that grew up on the East Coast in the ‘70s and ‘80s can remember when the carnival came to town in Autumn.  The leaves were changing colors, it got dark early, the nights were cooler, and the carnival, with all the lights and bizarre pageantry, was this strange world of sounds and smells that was intoxicating as a youngster.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

The filming process was… unusual.  As only two of us live close to each other and the other two live quite a ways away, we all had to film our parts individually and then send them in to Mercvrial HQ in Baja, Mexico, where they were edited and subsequently sent away to a quasi-professional for a final edit.  So, we were never all in the same place at the same time for the filming of the video.  The background images in the video are from some public domain carnival footage from the ‘60s.

The single comes off your new album The Stars, Like Dust – what’s the story behind the title?

“The Stars, Like Dust” is the title of book by Isaac Asimov from 1951.  Since the EP’s sound is a bit, uh… otherworldly, by design… it seemed like an appropriate title.

How was the recording and writing process?

David wrote three of the songs, co-wrote one of the songs (with prior bandmates from way back), and “Pink Frost,” of course, is a Chills cover.  His parts were recorded in his studio in Baja.  The others added their parts via the Cloud (thanks internet!), then the EP was mastered in San Diego by a guy named Christian Cummings.

How have Slowdive and The Chills influenced your writing?

While we like Slowdive, we wouldn’t really consider them much of an influence.  Certainly other Creation bands of the same period like Ride, House of Love, and Razorcuts.  But, coincidentally, another critic compared us to Slowdive, so what do we know.  The Chills are definitely an influence, particularly where the guitars are concerned.  The last two Chills records are among the best they’ve released in our view.  They do such a great job with melodic reverb-y melancholy.

What aspect of humanity did you get to explore on this record?

The only aspect we really know; the somewhat bewildering state as a human being on a planet spinning around a star in the far reaches of a random galaxy.  It’s all rather absurd if you think about it.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Aside from what’s mentioned above, there’s a song on the EP called Hsieh Su-Wei, who is a rather unorthodox Taiwanese tennis player.  It sounds a bit like Pinback meets power pop.  Maybe.

Any plans to hit the road?

Not at the moment.  The logistics would be pretty daunting.  But who knows what the future will bring.

What else is happening next in Mercvrial’s world?

We’ve got a few Spanish-language songs that might get released before year-end.  And next year there will likely be a full-length LP.  So, more recording on the horizon if leisure pursuits and miscellaneous obligations don’t sap up all of our time.

Listen 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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