EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW – ROB JARVIS & THE MERCURY SONS
Last week, a brand new track landed in the RUSHONROCK mailbox, a track that made us sit up and pay attention. Filled with big sounds and Scott Wieland style vocals, it rang of the unfinished business of Velvet Revolver.
Just To Make You Happy demanded your undivided attention, and it got it from a number of outlets across the country, including RUSHONROCK. We wanted to learn more about the unknown quantity that are Rob Jarvis & The Mercury Sons, so co-editor Adam Keys sat down with Rob Jarvis himself for a quick chat.
RUSHONROCK – Hi Rob, thanks for joining us. Things are starting to get exciting for you. Tell us a bit about your sound.
Rob Jarvis – You’re quite welcome! thanks for having us. Yeah it’s really exciting, awesome to see everyone’s hard work, leading up to this point paying off. The reception and support has been stunning.
We play dirty alt rock our way; like all new music it’s a combination of influence from favourite bands and artists, with whatever the Rob Jarvis and The Mercury Sons, secret ingredient is.
Amongst my all-time favorite acts are Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains, through to modern rock bands like Biffy Clyro and Foo fighters, and further afield to the likes of Jeff Buckley; also have huge appreciation for blues and older rock n roll too.
In a previous interview I was asked to describe what we do in three words.. I came up with refined melodic dirt and personally think that describes it fairly well.
RUSHONROCK – You’ve just released your debut single Just To Make You Happy, which has been championed by RUSHONROCK along with a number of other outlets. Tell us a bit about this one.
RJ – Thanks for that by the way! We really do appreciate how outlets such as yourselves have taken to us. Just to Make You Happy. is big groovy, dirty riff track, opening up into a big wide harmonised chorus sound. Pulse led tracks and big vocal harmonies, are certainly a key part of the Rob Jarvis and The Mercury Sons style, simply because I like how it makes me feel, when I hear them.
Nick Jennison (Lead Guitar) and I will then find a space somewhere, get into some arrangement and he adds what we like to call, ‘guitar sparkle,’ which really is the best term for it. Drummer, Adam Forster picks up the groove and we’re away. Rob Jones (bass) being the newest member hasn’t been featured on a record as yet,
he has clearly just understood what it is we were trying to do and his playing on the live arrangements of newer tracks, makes that very obvious.
RUSHONROCK – Biffy Clyro, Stone Temple Pilots and Alice In Chains are all listed as key influences. What can you tell us about this, and the music you’re trying to make?
RJ – I’ve just always wanted to make dynamic rock music, loads of groove and pulse, light shade.. Write what ever feels inspired on any given day and not be worried about making a particular sound, the end product will always sound like us.
One of the common threads between the bands you’ve mentioned and bands I cited earlier is that they all have a really noticeable sonic trademark, everything they do, sounds like them, respectively; but its very obvious that none of them just keep trying to rewrite the same track over, they all do hard, soft, melody driven, acoustic, ballads, big rock and stick it on an album.
I keep going back too a quote that Nick Jennison (Lead Guitar) told me he’d heard somewhere. Unfortunately I’m not sure of the source of the quote, but it was about writing to, ‘your true north.’ What I draw from that, is although new music will always be a product of the writers influences, you should never try to sound like something else and to be uncompromising when it comes to the finished song, make sure the original vision is maintained.
As we put more music out, I think it’ll show that we aren’t afraid to just write what we feel like at the time and go with it. There are some very major musical influences but I don’t feel we are constricted by them. We do big riff rock tracks, melody driven ballad style stuff, even stripped back material. I suppose the point is we like to just be who we are and really enjoying making music that way…
RUSHONROCK – You recently sold out Newcastle’s Think Tank. How was the experience?
RJ – Newcastle is somewhat of a spiritual, music home for me, as well as geographical one for around 6 years. So going back to play our debut show only seemed natural. Plus it’s where Nick, Adam (drums) and I all met, playing in different bands at the time.
The show itself was great, was a long time coming and our first chance to let loose. The gigs are the reward, only complaint was that it was over far too quickly. The crowd turnout was also amazing.
Main support act, Elessar UK travelled up all the way from Gloucester and nailed it, they’ve got some really catchy tracks, and Newcastle super emo acoustic man Nic Wood (also starting a new band), opened the night. Should check both acts out!
Being the debut we went out out after to celebrate, we were joined by the majority of those at the show. Was a brilliant night and a perfect reflection of what I know to be true about the Newcastle music scene, great bands, great crowd, great venue and a great laugh.
RUSHONROCK – We’ve heard the first single, but we want to know – Have you got any album plans in place, and what can you tell us about it?
RJ – There is no official plan to release a full length album at this stage but it is certainly something circulating around my mind. There is music ready to go, stuff we’re massively proud of and cannot wait to get out, just taking our time to make sure it’s all ready for release.
RUSHONROCK – When can we expect this to land?
RJ – Although there is no specific date set, for a single or EP just yet, you can definitely expect new material and content across 2017. We promise we aren’t resting up, very much still hard at work.
RUSHONROCK – You told us on Twitter you’d be back in the North East (hopefully) in the not too distant future. When can the rest of the UK expect to see you live?
RJ – Funny you should ask as I literally just this second got a return email from a venue manager. I’m talking to venues country wide at the moment, concentrating on getting our next lot of dates nailed in as soon as possible. It looks very much like we’ll making our next appearance in London. As soon as the dates set, we’ll be letting you know – So please WATCH THIS SPACE!