the Mercers

the Mercers

BandRockPop

Biography

While the comparisons to early Peter Gabriel, the Psychedelic Furs and Guided By Voices are apt, the Austin group is perhaps most proud of the occasional country influence. "Combining our brit-pop inspired sound with the occasional pedal steel or country western chord progression gives our songs a sort of eery quality I think," says lead-singer Peter Wagner. "We’re from Texas, but it’s obvious that our minds have wandered elsewhere."

Bass player and keyboardist Bryan Ray and singer-guitarist Peter Wagner have together been part of the Austin music scene for years. Ray’s brother Erik and drummer Terry Irwin joined the group more recently. Erik took over Wagner’s guitar parts when he cut tendons in his left hand. Now that Wagner has healed, the two guitarists have combined for a bigger sound.

Going through various name and personnel changes, the group’s focus has been recording. Ray, a talented engineer, has cobbled together enough recording equipment to give the band the tools needed to demo their songs and experiment in the studio. They now share an old dentist’s office in east Austin with another group where they can rehearse and record free of studio fees and schedules.


After the label’s bankruptcy cost the band a record deal in 2003, which had confirmed Guns n Roses producer Mike Clink to record an album for them, the group continued writing and recording. Now with new members, a new manager, and in the process of recording eleven new songs, the band seems poised to finally make the impact they’ve been looking for.

In keeping with Wagner’s often esoteric lyrics, the Mercers named themselves after the inventor of a method of shrinking fabric to increase its luster and affinity for dye. Their music shows a similar talent for layering and creating rich textures with both words and sound. Picture the band’s forthcoming album as a well kept secret covered in cloth, waiting to be revealed.