INTERVIEW WITH… D.C. ALTERNATIVE QUINTET MERCI
Merci are the D.C based quintet formed in 2018 featuring members Seth Coggeshall [vocals, guitar], Nick Jones [guitar], Colby Witko [vocals, keys], Justin Mason [bass], and Jack Dunigan [drums]. Their sound fuses pop hooks, alternative grooves, and even a bit of psychedelia to create dreamy tunes. The latest ‘City Haircut’ is features a trippy music video and is off their new EP. As they prep for their debut album, I did a quick interview with the band which you can read below.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Hey, guys, Thanks for taking the time out! How are you doing? How have you guys gotten on for this past year or so?
MERCI: Thanks for talking with us! We’ve been well, finished up the record and been working hard on music videos!
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Can you talk about your background as a quintet? How did you guys come together to form Merci and ultimately find such a unique sound?
MERCI: The initial collaboration that lead to Merci started back in 2012 when Nick invited me over to play in a band he was starting. Parallel to that I had been in bands with Jack and Colby throughout high school. Eventually it all coalesced into one band around 2013 with the addition of Justin in 2016.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Let’s chat some about your new music. You just dropped your debut EP, “Subtle Fiction I”. How did the writing, creative and recording go for it?
MERCI: It was good and bad all for the same reasons. The pandemic completely halted our recording schedule and extended the recording process from a 6-month timeline into almost 12. It was a blessing in disguise though, it allowed us to really evaluate each song and help elevate them to the point they’reat now.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Having released two singles before “City Haircut”. Which include tracks “Foolish Me” & “Haunt Me”. Can you talk about the bands’ thought process when choosing singles? Also when creating concepts for any music videos? I particularly love the kaleidoscopic artsy visuals for “City Haircut”?
MERCI: We let the record label decide the order in which they wanted to put out the material. We were proud of all the songs and trusted their expertise. I’d say we’re a very visual band, even in the song writing itself we sort of imagine visuals that might accompany a song. A lot of the concepts were very instinctual and usually stem from some movie we really love, or the visual style of a particular director or cultural moment in history. The elevator pitch for City Haircut was “60’s Psychedelic meets Beatnik meets Wes Anderson”.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What was the recording and writing process like for EP? How have you grown or changed in your artistry from when you first started?
MERCI: The recording was slow but it was worth it in my opinion. Our sound has become more and more experimental as the years have passed. That’s mostly due to our growing experience in the studio.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Who are some of your favorite D.C artists? How does the D.C music scene influence your sound and artistry as a band?
MERCI: We owe a lot to Fairweather. Their guitar player Ben Green was one of the main producers on our record and had recorded/produced a lot of our prior indie records.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: I want to ask what does music and the craft of songwriting mean to each of you?
MERCI: Its an opportunity to let hidden parts of yourself speak.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Throwing in some fun ones here… What’s your go-to karaoke track?
MERCI: Zombie – The Cranberries
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What’s the single piece of pop culture that‘s gotten each of you through this entire quarantine?
MERCI: Probably Tiger King, I feel like everyone has some relationship to that show.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What artists have been “On Repeat” for you lately? What music are you playlisting?
MERCI: The new Don Broco singles have been amazing.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What is your earliest musical memory?
MERCI: Seeing The Doobie Brothers with my parents.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: To end… What’s next for Merci? Is there anything that I forgot that you would like to add?
MERCI: Keep an eye out for more music!
Subtle Fiction I is out now.
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