The Mercy Stone are an alternative-indie outfit whose leftfield style of writing sets them apart from the rest. Their newest release ‘Pale Moon’ is a valiant single and betters their already impressive back catalog. We caught up with Scott about the band, lock-down and more:
Hey Scott, how are you doing?
How are you coping with lock-down?
It’s definitely been an adjustment in many ways. Like most people, I’m wondering how this situation will play out and what the world will look like in a month, in a year, and beyond. My personal response has been to work at a happily frantic pace and take advantage of the time and space that the quarantine has given. I hope my work can help manifest positivity in a variety of ways in these challenging times.
With The Mercy Stone’s large line up, have you managed to do any collective writing – whether physically or virtually?
I have done all of the writing up to this point. Once I have the basic vibe of a song locked in, I tend to work very intensely and finish songs pretty quickly. I’ve shared some song ideas with others in hopes of collaborating only to finish the songs before I get any input. When the inspiration for a song really hits, it’s like having an extra person move into the house for a while.
You recently released Pale Moon, how has it been received by your fans and new listeners?
I think that our fans are getting used to the idea that The Mercy Stone is constantly evolving in terms of our sound and how we explore different styles of songwriting. People seem to really dig the song. I’ve received a lot of kind words from our fans. People who like what we’re doing have been incredibly vocal and supportive.
You describe the narrative as “an upbeat song about darkness and betrayal”, can you elaborate?
While I understand that a lot of people like to know the backstory behind their favorite songs, my approach has always been to leave a lot to the imagination of the listener. When I am writing lyrics, there are often images, feelings, events, etc. that I am expressing through the music. But, the lyrics are constructed in such a way that each listener needs to fill in a lot of gaps in the narrative. For me, this has always been something that I have found very profound in my own experience with much of the music that I love. Articulating the meaning of a song feels somewhat similar to explaining why a joke is funny. Until recently, I did not share any of the song lyrics publicly. I’ve always liked trying to guess the lyrics of my favorite tunes that were hard to understand. But, since I will not be explaining the meaning of any of my songs, this was my compromise (: When I was a little kid, sometimes my friends would tell me that I was singing the wrong words to a song. Once in a while, the lyrics I made up for a song would actually be really cool. This might have been a good primer for learning to write my own songs.
The Mercy Stone have a varied age range within its ranks, do you think the band benefit from the varied outlooks of their members?
It’s been extremely cool to work with people of such diverse ages, backgrounds, and musical tastes. Even though I have been the songwriter for all of The Mercy Stone’s songs so far, the contributions of others have been invaluable. Our youngest member began recording with us at age 15. While she is a very skilled singer, her true gift is the ability to effortlessly understand the expressive core of each song and just break your heart with each note she sings. The experience and backgrounds of others have definitely helped shape the direction of the project as well. Most have cool projects going on outside of The Mercy Stone which draw on everything from classical and jazz to hip-hop, rock, pop, and more.
Where do you see the Mercy Stone this time next year?
We will continue to be working in the studio and dripping releases that will make up the next full album. With any luck, next year we’ll see live music performances start to get in full-swing again.