The Ionia-bred group showcased its music during this week’s Local Spins on WYCE, which also debuted new music from The War & Treaty, Bedroom Ceilings and more. Story, video, podcast.
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There’s a certain inspirational charm about recording songs in an isolated spot in the woods, far from the madding crowd and daily distractions.
West Michigan indie-rock band Drinking Mercury took advantage of that vibe for its first full-length, self-titled studio album, released late last year.
“We recorded it in a cabin up north in Bitely,” said guitarist and singer Tommy McCord. “That was the thing that I had wanted to do as a kid because I’d been going to that cabin my whole life.
“It’s not like a particularly great acoustic environment, but I just always thought it would be cool to do the thing where the band retreats to nature and makes a record by the lake. And these guys were into it.”
What resulted from two cabin sessions in 2018 and 2019 was a delectable 12-track project that not only shows off the band’s significant Beatles influence but infectious helpings of psych-rock and power pop.
“All of us were pretty much raised on the Beatles,” said bassist Timmy Rodriguez. “That would probably be, for me, the absolutely most important influence. I know there’s a lot of Beach Boys that influenced all of us here, too, (and) Nirvana.”
Add the Rolling Stones and the Byrds to the mix for this band – McCord, Rodriguez, guitarist Michael Boyes and drummer Kevin Adams – that was the featured guest for this week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE. Performing the songs remotely from their residences due to COVID-19, Drinking Mercury unfurled renditions of “Stay Home” and “Man With No Name.”
Watch the video for “Stay Home” here, and scroll down for the full interview and radio show podcast.
VIDEO: Drinking Mercury, “Stay Home”
While band members, indeed, have stayed home during the recent pandemic, they’ve continued to work on videos from their own homes, even posting daily videos from mid-March until early June on the GTG Records Facebook page.
“What we’ve been experimenting through this whole quarantine is how do we actually still work together,” Rodriguez said. “I’d say we’ve gotten pretty decent at doing these videos.”
The band’s plans for touring this year were shelved due to COVID-19. And even with many bars and venues starting to reopen, the band is leery of jumping back into live performances, though a late September GTG Fest performance in Lansing remains on the books. The band recently performed a live-stream for Local Spins Wednesday at SpeakEZ Lounge and was one of many bands featured as part of Grand Rapids’ Festival of the Arts’ Virtual Arts Festival.
“Talking to musician friends that are in Michigan and other states, it really just kind of seems like 2020 was a bust for the most part. Everybody’s just kind of planning on next year,” said Boyes. “We’ve learned a lot doing these things online and we can continue doing stuff online.”
Get more information about the band and listen/purchase its music online here.
This week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE – which showcases Michigan music at 11 a.m. Fridays on WYCE (88.1 FM) – also featured the on-air debut of tracks by The War and Treaty, Bedroom Ceilings and Calliope, as well as music from Fauxgrass, Hannah Rose & The GravesTones, Billy Strings, Elijah Russ, Myron Elkins & The Dying Breed and The Barbarossa Brothers. Listen to the full radio show here.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (6/12/20)
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