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The Mercy House. Drew Davies (UK)

The Mercy House. Drew Davies (UK)

Described by Kerrang! Radio’s Alex Baker as a band possessing killer riffs, monstrous vocals and more hooks than a slaughterhouse, London’s heavy-rock innovators THE MERCY HOUSE debut album A Broken State of Bliss pioneers what is already being labelled as the Black Grunge Sound.

On their second trip out of the UK, and for the first time in Romania this weekend (NOV.1 @ Irish&Music Pub in Cluj-Napoca and NOV.2 @ Bohemian Flow in Sibiu), we interviewed lead singer Drew Davies from The Mercy House through a Live Chat on our debut collaboration with Romanian Rock Radio on 30.OCT.2012.

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RiCo for CZB: Listened to your album this morning. It gave me a feeling of Seattle Grunge meets British Glam. How do you feel about that?

Drew Davies (The Mercy House): I think there is a definite 90's feel to it, that's when we all grew up so it's a natural influence...the British Glam I'm not so sure, I can't think of one Glam band we sound like, plus glam is such an umbrella term it's hard to pin down specifics.

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RiCo (CZB): How did the band take shape? Are you all Londoners? 

Drew Davies (The Mercy House): We are all Londoners though we originated from different areas, I am from the north of the country, Dan from the south west, WR is Polish, nick Chilean and Dany Spanish...pretty much all London bands are like this - united in a love of quality music ;)

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CZB: Wow. That's quite a melting pot! For how many of you is Mercy House your first band?

Drew Davies (The Mercy House): Well we have all been doing music for many years so it's not a 'first band' situation for any of us, I've been hammering it with bands the last 10 years so it's nice to have this one connect with people and do well. but I think in the UK The Mercy House has always been a glint in Dany's eye.

Dan has been in bands since 13 playing around the UK, …it's sad but despite being young men we are old campaigners (ha ha)

RiCo (CZB): So this isn't the first time you're riding the horse.

Drew Davies (The Mercy House): no no this ain't our first rodeo.

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CZB: what have you learned from past experience that may help you make the breakthrough I think you all are hoping for? 

Drew Davies (The Mercy House): I think the biggest thing experience teaches you is that if you don't make the music emotive, real or give any emotion live then people will never get it - and why should they? Music is not a sport so no prizes for technique, it's all about soul and whether your personality is there 

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CZB: What does Mercy House mean to you?

Drew Davies (The Mercy House): To me it's the dark side of my personality, some would argue that is my personality I'm sure but that's it's meaning to me. And maybe a symbol for us all to believe in things getting better. I just want to record as much as possible so I can leave it behind.

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CZB: Some band members have battled against health issues that almost broke the band up… What was the time frame this happened in and can you give me an example of one of these unfortunate circumstances?

Drew Davies (The Mercy House): Well we've never really documented what happened there ...basically I didn't look after myself and worked a bit too hard and that caused a burn out and some issues I had to fix which took about 9 months straight edge living, but we recorded a lot of the album in that time... Doctors just said I shouldn't play gigs 

Yeah, I don't like to romanticize it though because it isn't cool. It did nothing for me. I live a clean life and enjoy it now. To me the r'n'r lifestyle is for the easily led. Just be yourself and know yourself. Anyone can get dragged down by life when they push hard. 

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CZB: How did you feel when you found out you won the Guitar Hero Competition - and subsequently won the right to open for Biohazard?

Drew Davies (The Mercy House): Winning Guitar Hero was amazing and we were very lucky because we entered for a laugh! Biohazard was immense, and still I think it was the coolest gig we ever played. They treated us very well and took a lot of time with us. That was the most energy I've ever seen from one band. 

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CZB: In interviews I have read on-line you keep talking about not being a mainstream act …but you've had Greed added onto the current Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock game.. which is a mainstream thing... 

Drew Davies (The Mercy House): Well, we're not mainstream but if people want to make us mainstream we would be stupid not to go with that. At the end of the day, we have a message and we want to get it out there. We are underground, we're not played on Radio 1 or headlining arenas so it was a little victory for the underdog that time… Our message won't change; the rest doesn't matter. We don't glorify being a small band but we do have a voice for those like us

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CZB: What is your opinion of the UK edition of GBOB - The Global Battle of the Bands and do you plan on participating (the Romanian final will take place on NOV.24)?

Drew Davies (The Mercy House): we don't do contests, over here it's just a way to rip off the band ...pointlessly. I've never heard of GBOB… it sounds like something out of a videogame (ha ha) but I think if the prizes are good for the artist and they are starting out, maybe it doesn't hurt. It is just that in the UK promoters use them to rip kids, promising the world and delivering nothing. 

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CZB: Why did you choose to celebrate Halloween in Transylvania? I understand you'll be having a Metal Hammer Magazine road feature…

Drew Davies (The Mercy House): We thought it would be the best way to celebrate Halloween plus we never played a Halloween show before and didn't want to do what all bands in london do and wear a mask and play a Michael Jackson cover or something...

Plus, I love Eastern Europe! we've heard great things about Romania!

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CZB: in what sense do you love Eastern Europe... i think this is your first trip over here with the band?  

Drew Davies (The Mercy House): Well, personally I've visited Eastern Europe quite a lot...I studied Eastern Europe at university so always enjoy the culture and experience when I'm there.

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CZB: I heard you'll do a photo shooting at Sighisoara after the show in Sibiu … who helped you discover these breathtaking medieval places?

Drew Davies (The Mercy House): Ah, we have a Romanian friend of ours coming to assist and she kindly pointed out some of the local 'beauty spots'. 

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CZB: it is quite surprising that you don't play Bucharest (our capital).

Drew Davies (The Mercy House): It was very difficult for us to arrange logistics once we get there so we just went with what was possible. Next time maybe we will do more.

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CZB: Your debut album, A BROKEN STATE OF BLISS, was released through your own indie label on APR.23. What merchandise can your new Romanian fans buy at the Cluj (Thurs.NOV.1 @ Irish&Music Pub) and Sibiu (Fri.NOV.2 @ Bohemian Flow) gigs?

Drew Davies (The Mercy House): We will have t-shirts that you can see @ www.facebook.com/themercyhouse and also albums. I think some badges and stickers too (whatever we can fit on the plane!)

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CZB: Sounds great. I hope you have a safe trip and an excellent time in our country. 

Drew Davies (The Mercy House): Yes hopefully we can all get together and have a couple of great shows. I hope not to bring my cold with me!! Thank you for the chat, take care and much respect.  

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Our thanks going out to Drew, Mercy House and Romanian Rock Radio.

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The Mercy House are:

  • Drew - Vocals
  • Dany - Guitar
  • Dan - Lead Guitar
  • W.R. - Bass
  • Nick - Drums

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www.facebook.com/themercyhouse


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