Mercer Avenue - 03.11.11

Interviewed by
Mercer Avenue - 03.11.11The following is a mini interview of generic questions that we posed to all bands that wanted to answer:

Mercer Avenue


1. How did you get your band name?
Tom: “We were biking along the boardwalk to go to deli one day after we’d been playing together for a couple months. Somewhere along the way, Dan lost control and fell off. When he looked up, the street sign in front of him read MERCER AVE. We liked how it sounded and just rolled with it. There’s no great meaning, it was just sort of an accident to be completely honest. But a ‘mercer’ is a textile dealer, in case you were wondering.”

2. How did this band get started?
Tom: “We started as a Beatles cover band that used to play school events in late 2007. After a little while, we started playing the bars in Asbury Park and then started getting around New Jersey and building ourselves up as an original band. We recorded a shitty demo in 2009 with this guy who ripped us off, but we’ve grown up a lot since then. We all went away to college and came back with a new outlook, so we’ve really started over since then. It’s basically a new band, and we’re excited to release a new EP in May.”

3. What bands are you influenced by?

Pat: “Jimmy Eat World, Taking Back Sunday, The Starting Line, Fall Out Boy, Blink-182, Bruce Springsteen, Green Day, Outkast, Dr. Dre, Devo, Reno 911, P!nk, Facebook.”

4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Tom: “I’d love to tour with The Starting Line since they had a huge influence on me. We played with Kenny once with Person L, and he was just a great all-around guy. They’d be a lot of fun to hang out with. But right now I’m really into Go Radio as a current act. Jason Lancaster seems like a really honest and humble guy, and their new album is what our genre should sound like. They’re a great new band.”
Pat: “Blink-182, if we met Mark Hoppus we’d be best goddamn friends.”

5. Best food to eat on tour?

Tom: “We’re from New Jersey, so it’s hard to turn away from a diner or a Wawa. The Dollar Menu used to be a staple, but I’ve seen Supersize Me. We already have one portly member in this band, we can’t let it get out of control.”

6. Why should people listen to your band?
Pat: “People should give our sound a chance because we think we can breathe new life into pop punk. We try to focus on unique chord progressions, interesting lyrics, and unusual arrangements. Try us out if you want to hear something original.”
Tom: “We’ve been working on this EP for a long time and we really poured ourselves into everything behind it. I think it’ll really connect with people if they take the time to listen to our songs. And to me, that’s what music is all about.”

7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with?
Tom: “Shaq, hands down. He’s got championships, awards and money, and yet everyone still likes him. He’s also an advocate for childhood fitness and the most world’s followed athlete on twitter. His life rules.”

8. If you won a Grammy, whom would you thank?
Pat: “Probably just the stock people: moms, dads, uncles, priests, pirates, Legos, accountants, and Britney.”

9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?

Tom: “Make shows worth going to again. The bands need to get better overall and just step up live, but the ticket prices also need to be more reasonable for the audience. The kids going to shows tend to be younger, which makes the money hard to come up with.”

10. Memorable tour experience?
Pat: “At a show one time we sold our lead singer to a bunch of girls after a show. They were way too young, but one had our band’s sticker on her ass. Tom barely avoided being seduced and therefore avoided prison. We took the dollar and ran. Good deal.”
Tom: “Dan also had a run in with Kenny Vasoli after a show, when he was just getting bombarded by this annoying promoter from our area. The guy was just laying it on thick to Kenny, talking about how all the local bands work hard to be successful. At that point, Dan walked over and asked for our pay before we left the venue. With the promoter successfully distracted, Kenny issued a quick ‘thank you’ under his breath as he was able to escape into the Jersey night. Basically, Dan saved his life and sanity.”

11. What does AP.net mean to you?

Tom: “AP helped get us a lot of exposure but putting one of our songs in the main page player over the summer. For that, this website means a lot to me. But also, I keep up on a lot of news through this website, so I can actually stay in touch with what my favorite bands are doing.”

12. What is your favorite song to play?

Pat: “We have a song called ‘Honest Enough’ off our upcoming EP that is a complete bear to tackle live, but when we nail it it’s such a sense of accomplishment and relief; the thing is seven minutes long.”

13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
Pat: “Sojo. All of us.”

14. What music reminds you of your childhood?

Tom: “Anything off the Madden 2005 Soundtrack. Green Day, NFG, Midtown. That year really got me into the style of music I’m into now. The old Fall Out Boy records are also a great throwback for me.”

15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?

Pat: “Tom would like to be able to update his twitter with his mind. #winning.”

16. Any pre-show superstitions or ritua
Pat: “Last summer we would all get in a huddle, hands in, man on man, skin to skin. We’d then chant ‘1, 2, 3 Jermaine Dupri.’”
Tom: “It was one of those things that just sort of happened. We have no explanation, it just felt right. The tradition lives on to this day.”

17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
Pat: “Dan has never lost a game of Apples To Apples in his life.”

18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish?
Pat: “Radio is in a bad place right now. There is a lot of garbage out there that is being crammed down listeners' throats because 90% of people don’t know that good music is still out there. Radio programming needs to get more adventurous and take chances on bands who don’t use cookie cutter recipes to make their music. As it is, we would not cut it on radio because none of us look like Rihanna.”
Tom: “None of us wear jeans that choke our own balls off either, so MTV and the radio aren’t exactly made for us.”

19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Pat: “What spare time? Practicing, recording, promo stuff, booking shows all takes a lot of time. We party, but nothing too crazy. We’re all full time students so we barely have any time to spare.”
Tom: “The college thing definitely makes it tough. But personally, I try to follow a lot of sports and stuff. I work at a concert venue during the summer, too.”

20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
Pat: “Myself, I’m great with a paint brush. But Dan can make a bangin’ stir fry and Joe’s got a pocket full of kryptonite. James has got the magic stick, he’s the love the doctor. Lastly, Tom CAN connect the dots.”
Displaying posts 1 - 4 of 4
05:08 PM on 03/17/11
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CrossTownTrain's Avatar
greatest fucking monmouth county local band out there. glad you guys are getting exposure. i still wear my Get Out Of The Car And Fight Me shirt to school, and kids think its the coolest thing in the world
07:09 AM on 03/18/11
master of disaster
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Ravelle17's Avatar
Mercer fucking Ave.
08:00 AM on 03/19/11
And away we go
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scmaley's Avatar
Good music. Funny guys.

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