Nate Smith of Mercy Mercedes had a few minutes after playing his last holiday show with Valencia, Automatic Loveletter, and Terrible Things to do a great interview with PropertyOfZack. Nate and I discussed the delayed release of Believe It, the frustration that surrounded delay, a new acoustic EP set for Q1 of the New Year, future touring plans, and more. Read up and enjoy, it’s a good one!
For the record, could you state your name and role in Mercy Mercedes?
My name’s Nate Smith and I sing for Mercy Mercedes.
This is the last day of your tour with Valencia, Automatic Loveletter, and Terrible Things. It was a short run, but how were the shows?
It’s actually been amazing. It’s one of the more fun tours we have done this year. We did the Bamboozle Roadshow, which was awesome, but it was an outdoor festival, so there was so much work involved in it that we didn’t get to really hang with the bands and stuff. This tour’s just been amazing. All the bands have been super cool. I couldn’t ask for a better group of bands to play with.
I spoke to Brandon on the Roadshow this past summer and the consensus was that the album was set to be released in July or August. Believe It was of course released just a month and a half ago. Can you discuss the delay?
It was a mixture of a few things. We recently were released from The Militia Group, because The Militia Group kind of folded. That went well for us, but it took some time and we couldn’t really release anything with all that legal stuff. We kind of got held back a little bit, but we were able to release it a month ago finally. We actually ended up releasing it ourselves. We did think about doing the label approach, but it would’ve taken another six to eight months to get through all of those different obstacles. So many things have to get done by different deadlines. It probably wouldn’t have happened until mid-next year. We didn’t feel like waiting that long. In the future we may go that route.
How has the reception been to the record?
So far, so good. Like I said, it’s been out since November 12th and we’re about to get our first sales reports in a week, so we’re pretty stoked. We’ve had a lot of good responses from fans on Facebook, Twitter, and all the online avenues. People at shows seem to be digging it and buying it. Pretty stoked on it.
I imagine it was incredibly frustrating to have to wait so long from the time you finished recording until the release in November. How tough did it get?
It was so frustrating. We wanted to release it before the Roadshow this year. It was supposed to be in July. These kind of things are out of our hands. If we could have released it then, we would have, but like I said, it was labels and lawyers. The music industry kind of gets in the way sometimes, but it’s necessary when you get to a full-time touring level. It was definitely frustrating. We finished the record last year around November, and we were set to have it come out in early 2010 and hit some bigger tours. Since it didn’t happen we’re going to just start touring on it in 2011.
There was talk about Mercy Mercedes recording a possible EP in November or doing some acoustic tracks. What’s the status on all of that?
We actually did do that. Since we had a couple months off, we did an acoustic EP. I don’t know the exact date we’re going to release it, but probably sometime during the first quarter of the New Year. It’s three tracks; one new track and a couple of older redone tracks. We might actually have an acoustic cover on there as well, but we haven’t decided on it yet. Look forward to it sometime in the early New Year.
The band will obviously support Believe It as much as possible, but has any writing taken place since the recording process for that record finished?
We’ve written about three or four new songs. We haven’t had as much time to get together as a band and write, but we’re probably going to be doing that while we’re touring this year because when you’re touring full-time it’s tough to do it at home. When you’re at home you just want to chill for a little bit. If we’re only home for a couple weeks we’ll try to get together and get new stuff going. We have about three or four new ones that we’ll hopefully release in the next year and a half or so.
What about touring? When can we expect to see some more dates?
Probably in February. January we’re going home and doing some hometown shows. We’re from Greensboro, North Carolina and we haven’t had a chance to play there since December 28th, 2009, so it’s been a full year. We’re kind of stoked to be with our hometown fans and stuff and reconnect with them. We’re looking to start touring heavily in February.
POZ: Is there anything solidly booked yet?
Nate: Not at the moment. We’re getting some of the offers in now, but nothing is set yet. It might be February or March before we actually know what we’re going to be doing. Hopefully we’ll know soon and we’ll start posting some info about it.
After that will you be on the road as much as you can be?
Yeah, just supporting Believe It. We’re not going to be doing any headlining runs or anything. We’re going to try to stay as support until we’re comfortable enough with our draw to do a headliner. It’s basically just supporting Believe It for the whole year.
If there are overseas offers, can we expect a trip over there?
Hopefully Japan actually. That will hopefully be an opportunity around this summer. We’ll see how that goes. We’re pretty stoked on it. It’s finally could to have a full-length out. We’ve had that EP out for about two and a half, three years. It was a little frustrating, but now that we got it out we’re just trying to push it.
The record was self-released like you mentioned earlier. Was that tough to do on your own?
Sort of. It was a decision we came to as a band. We talked to a few labels and we could have went that route, but having to wait another six to eight months for the processing was too much. It takes at least four to six months to know when it’s going to come out, so we didn’t feel like we needed to wait that long. Our fans have been holding out for a long time and we didn’t want to keep them waiting. Plus we can make a little more money this way. We were lucky enough to have a decent fan base with our EP, and that’s why the response to the full-length has been so great. As far as labels go, we’re not opposed to them. Down the road we may end up going with another label, but at the moment we’re just kind of enjoying it on our time.
Thanks for your time, is there anything else you’d like to add to that we should be on the lookout for?
Keep an eye out for some tour plans coming up. We’ll be updating our Myspace, Twitter, Facebook pages with all that info. Hopefully we’ll see you guys.