Mercy are a British alternative rock band, formed in London by singer-songwriter and guitarist Mercedes “Mercy” Diett.
After a few years of Mercy performing solo-acoustic gigs in and around London at the likes of 100 Club and 229, the full-band line up made their debut in April 2015. The line up includes: guitarist Sunil Tailor, bassist Annie Ellis and drummer Holly Mallett.
The band perform guitar-driven, catchy, high gain rock songs with a strong female edge.
Mercy are set to release a mini album to coincide with several music videos towards the end of the year. In the meantime, they continue to perform on the London circuit.
I’m grateful for having music in my life, as it’s taken me through some incredible journeys and I’ve met some amazing people.
Music has eased my pain when I’ve been sad, kept me happy when the sun has been shining, allowed me to be angry and not become aggressive and given me a beat to dance to with my friends.
Music is a part of me and I’d be happy to perform it, record it and listen to it every day for the rest of my life.
What Music activities are you involved in? Recording artist, songwriter, composer, producer, engineer?
I’m actually involved in several musical roles. With this band, I’ve been able to be the songwriter, performer, recording engineer and producer. The mini album has been at the pre-production stage for a few years, as I’ve been studying music production and sound engineering at Alchemea college in London. I really wanted to develop my skills in that area, as I like to be involved with the recording process as much as possible. I’ve also just started my own music production company and have a studio, recording other artists and bands.
What aspect of what you do musically, do you find challenging?
Settling on a final mix is usually tough. No matter how satisfied I am at the time, a few months later I’ll think of something else I could have added. This goes with songwriting too. Some of the songs I’ve written for this band have changed as the performances have. I’ve gone from performing acoustic songs to now playing with a live band. Obviously playing acoustic and electric are two different things. Especially as I love to rock out on stage and was never really able to do that playing acoustic guitar on my own.
How would you describe your music?
I don’t really like to categorise into one genre. I listen to and am influenced by a lot of music. I would say there’s elements of pop, rock, grunge, blues and punk in there. So maybe we’ll just call it Alternative Rock for now? I prefer to have the freedom to write whatever I feel like writing, without putting it in a box. My boyfriend and I have been talking about starting an EDM project sometime in the future.
How much of what goes into your music is life experience?
I would say about 90% of the music I write is how I’m feeling at the time. The mood I’m in or my previous experience of something is what gets put on the paper. The music is just what comes naturally. It’s whether I choose to write it down when it comes. I’ve been quite lazy recently with that. Probably could have written some great music!
What are you trying to say through your music?
There’s no absolute “message” with the music I write. I write because it helps me get things off my chest if I’ve been feeling low. I’ve written a couple of songs about feeling good, so I’d hope people would like to listen to those if they want to feel good. I’d hope if people listen to any of the songs they can relate to them on some level, as they’re mainly about experiences we’d have at some point in our lives.
How important is performing to you?
Very. I’ve done the bedroom artist thing and got bored quickly. At first I thought the music I was writing for “Mercy” was just going to be for listening only. I put some demo recordings out and people started asking when I was playing. I’ve played in several bands now, both as front person or guitarist. Performing live is a total buzz. I’ve had people jump on the stage with me, singing my songs back at me. It’s a really nice feeling to know others enjoy what you’ve created. I love performing with my friends and band mates and I’d hope to be doing it for a very long time, with or without “success”.
How did you become interested in music?
I think I’ve always been interested in music from a young age. I used to have ballet lessons when I was four or five years old. Instead of dancing, I would sit by the piano and try to play it. One day the teacher told my mother I wasn’t a ballet dancer and she needed to buy me a piano. I began having piano lessons shortly after that and also clarinet, vocal and guitar.
How important is music in your life?
Music is my life. I love listening to it, writing it, and playing it live. Car or train journey’s would be pretty dull without it. I think it also helps us see the world differently, depending on what we’re listening to at the time. I need to write music sometimes, just to make me feel better.
As a musician do you ever think you’ll quit learning your art?
There will always be new things for me to learn. I have an open mind to knowing new music techniques. With music, I feel like there’s still a long way to go for me.
Do your family and friends support you pursuing your passion for music?
I probably couldn’t have got this far without the support of my family and friends. I owe them a lot and I’m so grateful for their encouragements and help along the way. I’ve been really lucky. I would still encourage those wanting to pursue music, to do it. Whether people support them or not. If that’s your calling, why let someone else stop you?
What advice would you give to young musicians starting out?
Keep practicing, keep writing, play with many other musicians, practice different styles and play live as much as possible.
Do you use social media to share your music with others?
I use Twitter and Facebook mainly, where I can post links to our website or Soundcloud.
What instrument or instruments do you play?
In Mercy I’m lead Vocals and Guitar. I also play bass, percussion, piano/ keys and ukulele.
What is your favourite time day or night, to work on music?
Night time. I’ve written some 2am songs before. Not that it means they’re any good. I’ve also written songs in the afternoon, so it really depends when that inspirational spark happens and if I choose to acknowledge it.
Do you ever have trouble finding time to work on your music?
I make time for music.
Do you ever get burnt out working on music?
Not really. I think if it’s forced or there’s a lot of pressure it can feel exhausting. Sometimes if you’re working with people and there’s a clash of creative differences, it’s hard to keep morale. When creating music, I work best in a chilled environment, with as little tension as possible.
How do you deal with writers block when writing music?
I’ve had this a few times and then suddenly write a great song. I usually just play anything on guitar and if I can’t think of anything lyrically, come back to it later. I usually come up with vocal lines immediately. If i’m stuck for words, I refer to notebooks or notes on my phone I’ve written while I’ve been travelling or had inspiration elsewhere.
Do you ever use mobile technology to help you record your ideas?
I used to record voicenotes on my old blackberry bold. I’ve loaded them on my computer and some are actually songs on my mini album. It’s funny to hear them in their foundation stage and how much they’ve changed. I now record most new songs using Pro Tools or Logic Pro. Or I just write chords down. I’ve had this rule that if I don’t remember the song later, then it wasn’t a good song in the first place.
My final thoughts to inspire young musicians:
Be yourself and don’t compromise your artistic vision/ goals to make others happy. Do what makes you feel happy.
Thank you on behalf of Listening Edge Records for taking time to share with us your thoughts on music, and helping inspire musicians of all ages.
Listening Edge Records