The Merrylees – An Interview by Carl Stanley

downloadLouder Than War talk to The Merrylees about their debut single ‘For You’.

Fast becoming everyone’s favourite new psychedelic pop band The Merrylees have just released their debut single ‘For You’. Louder Than War recently caught up with the Edinburgh group for a quick chat.

Thanks for talking to Louder Than War… and congratulations on the recently released single ‘For You’, a beautiful / wondrous song which is already receiving some great reviews, its a fantastic debut single eh?

We’re very pleased with the feedback for the single. It was released through Eighties Vinyl Records on February 4th and the first run of 7″ singles are nearly gone already. We were very lucky to have a producer like Bill Ryder-Jones (The Coral) behind us and we’ve got a lot of great memories from the session that we’ll never forget.

Both tunes on the single (‘For you’ & ‘The Coroner’) come from the wonderful self titled E.P released late 2011, all 4 tracks on the EP are really good songs so was it hard picking out the single?

Both ‘For You’ and ‘The Coroner’ were chosen by Bill as the two songs we should record. They were his favourites and I think they’re up there with ours too so we were lucky there. The two songs form a duo of western themed songs so it made sense to add trumpets and violins. Bill’s first solo album was all orchestral so we couldn’t have had a better man for the job. The single is just a taster of what’s to come though.

Its been a great start for The Merrylees, do you feel the hard work’s paying off from last year, building a great rep for the live shows, being handpicked to support The Zombies as well as selling out the likes of King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut yourselves?

We’ve had an amazing run at it over the past year. To work with Bill Ryder-Jones and for Lee Southall to have joined us on stage is amazing. The Coral have always been a favourite band of ours. 2013 is shaping up to be brilliant too. We’re spending as much time as possible in the studio just now as we’re set to be on the road most of the summer and beyond.


Is it fair to say maybe that there’s a new wave of British guitar groups coming through at the moment, bringing together skiffle, folk, psychedelia, rock’n’roll as well as country and producing something quite unique and new? 

I reckon there is. Guitar music is definitely making a comeback of sorts. There are some brilliant guitar groups like Folks and The Sand Band within the UK as well as Tame Impala down under. The influence of country / skiffle / folk & psychedelia in our own music wasn’t planned to merge together but it’s crept in through various articles in our record collections and now our songs can sound like Glen Campbell and 13th Floor Elevators at the same time!

I know some of you have played in groups before but could you tell us how you all initially came together?

download (2) We literally all bumped into each other on various nights out around Edinburgh and before we knew it we had a band together. We’ve stopped going out now before the line up gets ridiculous.

A strong feature of the groups material is within the song writing, conjuring up dramatic scenes with some really imaginative song writing, ‘For You’ kinda sounds like the closing credits to some long lost Sergio Leone classic …. who’s the groups songwriter?

Ryan will come in with the lyrics, melodies and chords and when we get together we just build from there really until we all like our parts and we know we’ve got another good tune in the bag. It’s very much a group process just now.

Does the idea of ever committing your music to film interest you at all, or which film would you have liked to have written the soundtrack for?

It can really bring a song to life when put to film….We loved Django Unchained but we’ve missed out on that one. We’ll try our best to get Tarantino into the tunes before the sequel…

You’re in the studio at the moment recording with Bill Ryder Jones, what’s the new material sounding like, and where can we see The Merrylees play this year?

Our new stuff is definitely a departure from our first demos. Some of it is more pop than we’ve ever done before and some of it is a lot further out than we’ve ever been. Regarding live dates we’re going to make a few announcements in the coming months but nothing we’re allowed to announce yet unfortunately. Watch our Facebook page!

All words by Carl Stanley. More features by Carl on Louder Than War can be found here.

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