M.U.S.E had a chance to talk to the boys of alternative rock band Have Mercy after their sold-out show at Chain Reaction in Anaheim. Have Mercy has been on tour with Real Friends, Neck Deep, and Cruel Hand, singing songs to the emotional youth since October and will be concluding the tour this month in Cleveland, Ohio.
Their set featured their tracks â€œThis Old Ark,â€ â€œPete Rose and Babe Ruth,â€ and â€œHell.â€Â Right after melodically catering to the adrenaline-filled crowd, vocalist Brian and guitarist Andrew stepped outside to have a chat about their album A Place Of Our Own, interesting tour stories (apparently you can trade a pineapple with a cigarette), and the fact that they donâ€™t have a problem sleeping at their fanâ€™s houses!Â
Q: Howâ€™d you guys come up with the project? How is it different from your past albums?
Brian: We went to the studio and we barely had an album name, but we went in with a bunch of ideas. We had a month this time and we had four days on the last record. And for the EP we only have like two dates…Â so we hustled! This time it was easier – more relaxing just to be able to take our time.
Andrew: On our first full length, I had four hours to record all my guitar parts and then on A Place Of Our Own, I had a whole weekâ€¦ I could fool around and push ideas back and forth.Â
Q: Who writes the lyrics to your music?
Q: What inspires you the most for the lyrics?
Brian: I guess just life in general: the good times and the bad times. This most recent record was a break-up record and the one before that was just compiling my life over the years prior.
Q: What are your guysâ€™ favorite bands?Â
Andrew: A listen to a lot of weird stuff; a lot of atmospheric stuff. Like these two bands I really loveâ€¦ Oneâ€™s called Whirr and they are kind of like up-tempo, kind of makes you feel like you are going through a wormhole. And then this other one called Nothing – theyâ€™re kind of similar, they actually share members with Whirr and Deafheaven, and the lyrics are kind of really weird. It makes you so happy but it also makes you want to die at the same time. Thatâ€™s the best way to describe it because itâ€™s so depressing like the lyrics but their music is so weird. Thereâ€™s this other band Iâ€™ve been listening to a lot called Beach Slangâ€¦ and Jimmy Eat World, stuff like that. Lots of stuff that I listened to in high school.Â
Brian: I decided on this tour that Coheed is my favorite band. Then I decided tonight that I like them because they write great songsâ€¦ lyric wise, Manchester Orchestra. They are all very relatable.Â
Q: Any crazy stories in the tour?
Andrew: We were in San Francisco, we were coming back from seeing the â€œFull Houseâ€ house, and we were like by this hospital or like a medical center or something… This taxi cab has this door open and itâ€™s on the cross walk like right by the curb putting together like a wheel chair for somebody to get in. And this homeless guy has a baby carriage with a cat in it and heâ€™s walking across the crosswalk and he stops and says, â€œIâ€™ve got a disability! You got to get out of the way!â€ and he wouldnâ€™t move! He wouldnâ€™t just go around the taxi, so heâ€™s blocking traffic in all directions, and causes this huge traffic jam all because he wonâ€™t move like two feet. And the cat in the baby carriage and weâ€™re just sitting there watching the whole thing go down like, â€œwhat is going on?â€ Crazy!Â
Brian: Oh and somewhere on tour we traded with this guy a cigarette for a pineapple.Â
Andrew: Yes! Salt Lake City. We were coming out of this thrift store, buying our Halloween costumes and this guy walks by and goes, â€œHey Iâ€™ll trade you this pineapple for a cigarette!â€Â
Brian: And we were like, â€œYeah! Lets do it!â€Â
Andrew: And then we smashed the pineapple like two days later.
Brian: Yeah, I donâ€™t trust â€˜em!Â
Q: What has been your favorite band to tour with?Â
Brian: Iâ€™m really digging Neck Deep.Â
Andrew: Neck deep is awesome!
Brian: But nothing will ever top off when we toured with Major League, Seaway and Better Off. They were awesome. I still talk to those dudes like every day. Neck Deep on this tour though, they are really chill.Â
Brian: And West, their guitar player, is a huge nerd â€“ Iâ€™m a huge nerd â€“ so we play a lot of Magic, talk about video gamesâ€¦
Q: Whatâ€™s something you wish someone wouldâ€™ve told you before jumping into the music industry?
Brian: (laughs) Yeah, donâ€™t do it! I donâ€™t know like, I guess just be prepared for anything. Weâ€™ve had so much stuff go down, like getting our van broken into, it breaking down in the desertâ€¦
Andrew: Weâ€™ve rushed some decisions early on on our careerâ€¦
Brian: â€¦ I wish we wouldâ€™ve had a mentor!
Andrew: Yeah, I wish we had like a mentor early on because we made some decisions early on that still kind of suck. But now theyâ€™re over!
Q: Favorite songs to perform live?Â
Andrew: â€œCigarettes and Old Perfume,â€ â€¦a lot of the stuff we played earlier on.
Brian: The new stuff is still a challenge because we are getting used to playing it live. â€œHellâ€ is probably my favorite one because itâ€™s jam-my. And the slower onesâ€¦Â
Andrew: â€œLets Talk About Your Hairâ€ is good because weâ€™ve been playing that song for like three and a half years and every tour we re-write the ending.Â
Brian: It doesnâ€™t get old!
Andrew: It doesnâ€™t get old and I know that song like the back of my hand so I can mess around with it, I can throw a guitar solo in on any part if I want!
Q: Would you guys really stay over at a fanâ€™s house?
Andrew: We have!
Brian: Yeah, we do it all the time! We give them CDs and t-shirts and stuff. We can afford hotels, we are doing all right but itâ€™s nice to have a home-y feelâ€¦ and we can hang out with people who we will eventually be friends.
Andrew: A lot of our friends on the road started off as fans and let us crash at their house now a lot of my best out of state friends started off as me saying, â€œhey can I crash at your house tonight?â€Â
Brian: We do evaluate the situation!
Andrew: We do ask point blank questions. Back to the early on about what we wished somebody told us â€“ there were a couple of times that we stayed at some pretty sh*tty houses. Like we stayed at this house in Florida one time and I woke up with a rat on my chest.
Brian: We stayed at this venue and I woke up with roaches falling on me!
Andrew: There was another one where we stayed at an awesome house, really cool bros, but when we went to use their bathroom â€“ mold everywhere! Stains! But yeah, we do stay at fans houses pretty often.
Q: Lastly, describe HAVE MERCY in one word:Â
ENJOYABLEâ€¦ Partyâ€¦. Enjoyable!Â