Mother of Mercy's vocalist, Bob Wilson, just took a few minutes to sit down with AMP Magazine and talk about the band's new album, Symptoms of Existence
, their tours with AF and SOIA, and Bob's favorite releases coming in 2011...
Check out the interview below or here
and pick up a copy of Symptoms of Existence
if you haven't already!
MOTHER OF MERCY
Interview with Bob Wilson
By Dylan Duffiney
Last year, Bridge 9 Records made the wise choice of signing Pennsylvania natives MOTHER OF MERCY. The band’s take on metallic-hardcore has earned them the recognition of being one of the top-tier hardcore bands of this century. Their Bridge 9 debut IV: SYMPTOMS OF EXISTENCE will have just been coming out by the time you read this, so do yourself a favor and pick it up. There isn’t anything to not like about this band.
Your fourth release entitled Symptoms of Existence comes out about two weeks from now on January 25th, that’s the official date. What was it like writing and recording it? Did most of the writing take place out on the road or were you guys home enough to sit down and really write it?
Basically, after the one tour we did, I can’t remember which one it was, we came home and started writing the songs for it and everything. They would send me demos for it and I would just listen to it on my phone and stuff like that, and then I think I maybe went to one practice the whole time while they were writing stuff. Eventually they sent me all of the songs at once. I was supposed to get to writing the lyrics, but I kept pushing it off, so recording was supposed to start and then I literally had no lyrics still, so yeah. That sucked because I had to really sit down and get everything together. It took about two months to finish off vocals and everything like that.
The name of the album is pulled from a track of the same name. What made you decide that you wanted to name the record after that song?
Basically, it was just what stuck out with it. We actually decided we were going to call it that before we wrote the actual song. We had a list of names, like ten or fifteen names, for potential names for the record and then song titles and stuff like that. And then I just thought we should do a song called the same thing as the record and do the song based on that.
I got the chance to listen to the record a few days ago, really good by the way, but I’m not sure if it’s the production, how it was recorded or what, but your vocals sound a little different than they did on like III. Was it something you figured with changing your voice and implemented it or was it just the result of your voice changing due to being out on the road and playing shows every night for months at a time?
I’ve been in bands for like seven years now and I don’t think my voice has ever sounded alike on any two releases. I can’t really control what comes out of my mouth, I guess. I’d say that actually the two first seven inches we had, the vocals for this are more on line with that. I don’t really know how III happened vocally, but I’m definitely more happy with how it came out for this record. I think it sounds less, I don’t know if rough is the word, but it sounds more natural.
I’ve heard people say the same thing since you put the title track up on Lambgoat. People say the vocals sound similar to No Eden and stuff like that. So tonight you guys start off a tour with SICK OF IT ALL and OUTBREAK until the end of the month. A few months ago, you guys were out on tour with AGNOSTIC FRONT. What’s it like touring with bands that helped set things off?
It’s pretty crazy, actually. We actually just got this tour about two weeks ago I think because ALPHA & OMEGA dropped off. They were like, “Do you guys wanna get your name in there and see if you can do it?” and we were like, “Yeah, obviously.” I grew up loving SICK OF IT ALL, same thing with AGNOSTIC FRONT. Both bands that I really liked a lot when I was younger and it’s crazy that they’ve been around, like SICK OF IT ALL started in ’86 to 2011, and AGNOSTIC FRONT, it’s like their 28th anniversary or something like that. It’s just super-weird being with guys that are all older, they could definitely be my dad, you know what I mean? They’ve been doing it for so long, you know? Hopefully I’m still doing shows and stuff like that, playing shows and taking younger bands like us out on tour. It’s cool.
My next question had to do with that a little, actually. I was gonna ask if you notice any type of generation gap when you play with the older bands, or is it pretty much the same as playing with a newer band since you guys are all out there for the same thing pretty much?
The older bands obviously since they’ve been doing it for so long, they’re just more tight than a newer hardcore band that goes out there and does their thing, you know what I mean? Not that they’re a professional thing, but they’ve been playing together for so long they sound more fluent and everything. I’d say the major difference with touring with bands like this is the crowd that comes out to see them. Like Agnostic Front, there’d be forty-five year old dudes who had no idea who we were, so it’s weird to see people like that.
What do you guys have planned after this tour that’s about to start? Because by the time this wraps up, Symptoms of Existence will have been out for a little bit. Are you guys gonna do a headlining tour, and do you know if you’re going to be done any of the fest dates coming up because that’s starting pretty soon?
I’m actually not sure. We don’t really have any solid plans as for after the release. We have a record release February 5th in Philadelphia. Other than that, I guess we’re playing United Blood. We’re trying to get to Europe around summer time and then other than that, we’ve toured October, November, December in Europe, and now we’re just kind of going to, not sit back, but wait and see what offers come along and then try to figure out what’s our best options for that.
Now that it’s 2011, what were your favorite releases from last year and what are you looking forward to hearing this year?
My favorite things all came out from Wilkes Barre, I guess. You’ve got DEAD END PATH which I liked a lot, UNITED YOUTH demo, the STICK TOGETHER demo, their new record’s awesome. The RIVAL MOB record was really good last year. RIVAL MOB’s actually trying to do an LP. The STICK TOGETHER record would actually be this year, so I’ll count that. There’s supposed to be new RINGWORM, there’s supposed to be new CROWBAR, so those are probably going to be pretty good.
*photo by Danielle Parsons