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Mercy Music: The Misfit Melodists of Punk Rock

In the sprawling, ever-evolving landscape of punk rock, Mercy Music emerges as a beacon for those who never quite fit in. Sitting down with Brendan Scholz (vocals/guitar), Ryan Seaman (drums), and Jarred Cooper (bass), it is clear that this Las Vegas-based trio is not just another punk band—they’re a testament to resilience and authenticity.



Despite a few technical glitches during our chat, the band's energy and camaraderie shone through. Brendan Scholz kicked things off with a smile, "I'm Brendan, I'm the singer and guitar player," he introduced himself, with Seaman quickly jumping in to troubleshoot some sound issues. Once everything was in order, the introductions continued with Cooper and Seaman adding their roles.


Mercy Music's sound is a melting pot of influences spanning several decades. When asked to describe their music for the uninitiated, Scholz reflected, "I guess melodic, punk rock, rock and roll, I guess would be... for the misfits." It's a fitting description for a band that draws inspiration from the '70s through to today, aiming to resonate with those who feel out of place. "To go back to the misfits thing, or the people that don't fit in, the kind of band we are, I think it goes hand in hand. With the people. And I hope to continue to," Scholz added.


The band's journey hasn't been straightforward. "Mercy Music's been around for a couple of years," Seaman explained. "It kind of started to emerge when the pandemic was happening." They released "Nothing In The Dark" just as the world shut down, but the pause allowed them to hone their sound and work on their latest release, "What You Stand To Lose." This record, according to Seaman, is their way of reconnecting with their audience and reaching out to new fans.


For Scholz, the new album is deeply personal. "The entire record's about my personal life the year prior," he shared. "I was in a really terrible, upset place, and I think almost every song on that record kind of reflects that." It's this raw honesty that makes Mercy Music's work so relatable. They're not just telling stories—they’re opening veins.


Despite the challenges, the band remains steadfast. "It's difficult, but we're all very... we have tenacity, we don't give up easily," Scholz said. Their collective experiences and determination are palpable, a driving force in their relentless pursuit of success. "We're playing music for ourselves, but if people like it and they reminisce with it, then that's really great."


Excitement is high as Mercy Music prepares to hit the road with Strung Out and the Adolescents. "We kind of reached out and said, 'Hey, we heard you're looking for an opening band,' because we need to get out there," Seaman recounted. This tour is a significant milestone, a chance to showcase their new material and connect with fans both old and new. "I'm sure we were up against several bands, but we got the tour and we're just really excited and very lucky to just be able to go around America," Seaman noted, highlighting the band's appreciation for joining the lineup.


Mercy's Music's journey is one of passion, persistence, and punk rock spirit. As they set out on tour, they bring with them a powerful message: music is a refuge for the misfits, the outcasts, and anyone looking for a place to belong. And in the world of Mercy Music, everyone has a place.


For those like us in New York, catch Mercy Music at Gramercy Theater and experience the raw, melodic force that is Mercy Music. As Seaman invites, "It's been a minute since we've been out there to do a full U.S. tour again, so we're really happy."


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Jarred Cooper: Can I zoom in? Ah.


Kaya Morrison: It's the Venetian Palazzo.


Jarred Cooper: Neat architecture.


Kaya Morrison: In Vegas. Yeah, yeah. What, uh, what role in the band are you?


Jarred Cooper: I play bass. 


Kaya Morrison: Oh, awesome.


Jarred Cooper: Yeah. You play music at all? 


Kaya Morrison: Mm-hmm. Yeah.


Jarred Cooper: What do you play?


Kaya Morrison: I play, I can play guitar, bass, piano, a little bit of cello.


Jarred Cooper: Oh, cool. I just got an electronic drum kit because, uh, I had my second kid, so we have a newborn baby in the house. So I've got to keep it quiet. With the headphones on. I've been playing drums lately, it's super fun.


Kaya Morrison: Well, congratulations on the baby. 


Jarred Cooper: Yeah, thanks.


Kaya Morrison: Uh, what kind of, what kind of bass do you play?


Jarred Cooper: I play jazz bass, I play 74, white jazz bass.


Kaya Morrison: Awesome.


Jarred Cooper: Yeah, yeah, I love it.


Kaya Morrison: Any other equipment you're a fan of? Any other instruments? Any other basses?


Jarred Cooper: Yeah, I just use that one all the time. I have a handful of them, but that's the one I use always. 


Kaya Morrison: You have a favorite.


Jarred Cooper: Yeah. I think everyone ends up with a favorite.


Kaya Morrison: Oh, is this the rest of the band?


Brendan Scholz:Hi.


Kaya Morrison: Hello.


Brendan Scholz: I'm Dan.


Kaya Morrison: Uh, I'm Kaya with the Concert Chronicles. I guess we are slowly gathering all of you guys.


Brendan Scholz: Yeah, I don't know where Ryan's at.


Jarred Cooper: He knows about this?


Brendan Scholz: Yeah, he does.


Jarred Cooper: Okay.


Kaya Morrison: So, uh, are you the vocalist?


Brendan Scholz: I am, sorry.


Kaya Morrison: Neat. Are you a three-piece or a four-piece?


Brendan Scholz: Just a three-piece.


Kaya Morrison: It can be a little bit harder as a three-piece to kind of fill out the sound. How do you guys manage that?


Brendan Scholz: Um, one, we're lucky, two, we're really loud, so it kind of helps the situation.


Kaya Morrison: As soon as, you're a drummer, I'm assuming. Yes?


Brendan Scholz: Jared. Jared, can you mute your shit?


Jarred Cooper: Yeah.


Brendan Scholz: You're loud. causing a lot of noise. 


Jarred Cooper: Is that me? I'm just in my car, like it's silent in here.


Brendan Scholz: I don't know. Is it me?


Kaya Morrison: I don't know. Hold on. Let me see if it's my microphone. Hold on.


Brendan Scholz: It's not you, Jared.


Jarred Cooper: Yeah.


Brendan Scholz: Hey!


Kaya Morrison: Hello!


Ryan Seaman: How's it going?


Kaya Morrison: I am doing good. I'm with the Concert Chronicles. I'm going to be interviewing you guys today.


Ryan Seaman: Sweet.


Kaya Morrison: If you're all ready, we can start the interview right now.


Ryan Seaman: Yeah, totally. Sorry I was late, I was just wrapping up, sorry.


Kaya Morrison: Anyway, Jared, I don't want to distract you while you're driving. Again. So if you'd like to wait a few minutes, that's totally fine.


Jarred Cooper: I'm going to be here for a while, and I'm totally kidding.


Ryan Seaman: Hey Jared, can you put it on mute if you're not talking? There's a lot of background noise in here.


Jarred Cooper: I don't think that's me. I'm just in my car, it's silent in here. I think...


Kaya Morrison: I don't hear anything on my end, if you guys are all good.


Jarred Cooper: Here, I'll mute it. Tell me if it's...


Ryan Seaman: Yeah, 


Kaya Morrison: it totally all went away. It totally all went away.


Ryan Seaman: All right, well, hi there. Thanks for taking us.


Kaya Morrison: Yeah, let's get this started.


Jarred Cooper: Is it back?


Ryan Seaman: Yep.


Jarred Cooper: That's crazy. Okay, how about now?


Ryan Seaman: Still like kind of there.


Jarred Cooper: All right, I'll just mute it. I'll chime in if I want to say anything.


Ryan Seaman: Okay.


Kaya Morrison: All right.So, thank you guys so much for sitting down with me today. I'm Kaya, I'm with the Concert Chronicles, and if you guys want to introduce yourselves...


Brendan Scholz: I'm Brendan, I'm the singer and guitar player.


Ryan Seaman: Wait, is that your mic, Brendan?


Brendan Scholz: You tell me, here.


Ryan Seaman: Something's going whack, I've never had this happen before.


Kaya Morrison: This is a little bit... a little bit odd. I really don't hear anything wrong over here. I think...


Ryan Seaman: Sorry, it just sounds really distorted. Maybe if I turn it down or something.


Kaya Morrison: It's no problem. I'm sure we'll get it fixed. Unfortunate technical difficulties, but we will resolve them. 


Ryan Seaman: Okay, let's give it a try again. I'm so sorry.


Kaya Morrison: It's all good. All right, back it up again. Thank you guys so much. I'm Kaya, with the Concert Chronicles, and if you guys want to introduce yourselves...


Jarred Cooper: I'm Jared, I play bass.


Ryan Seaman: I'm Ryan, I play drums.


Brendan Scholz: I'm Brendan, I play guitar and sing.


Kaya Morrison: And you guys are Mercy Music.


Brendan Scholz: Yes.


Kaya Morrison: Awesome. So, for anyone who's never heard of you guys, or if you've never heard of Mercy Music before, how would you want to introduce yourselves? How would you describe your sound?


Brendan Scholz: I guess melodic, punk rock, rock and roll, I guess would be... for the misfits.


Kaya Morrison: Yeah? You think you're inspired mostly by more 80s punk?


Brendan Scholz: I'd say 70s, 80s, 90s to today. Today, yeah.


Kaya Morrison: So just the whole landscape. Do you think your message goes along with that?


Brendan Scholz: I do. Yeah, I do. To go back to the misfits thing, or the people that don't fit in, the kind of band we are, I think it goes hand in hand. With the people. And I hope to continue to.


Kaya Morrison: How do you think… So, how long has the project existed? How long have you guys been working together? Outside of just putting music out.


Brendan Scholz: Ryan?


Ryan Seaman: Well, I'm kind of a new addition to the band, but Mercy Music's been around for a couple years. Kind of started to emerge when the pandemic was happening. Before I got involved, they released a record Nothing In The Dark. And basically, they didn't really get a chance to do a lot of touring, because COVID happened. And then they sat on some music, wrote this last record that came out, that we're promoting currently right now, which is What You Stand to Lose. And, you know, I was looking for a band, and they needed a drummer. I've known those guys for probably a good 14 or 15 years now. And we've just kind of been orbiting in each other's universes. But once I learned they needed someone to come in, that's where I came. And we're just really looking forward and curious about this record that we have.


Kaya Morrison: Yeah, that's awesome. I've seen you before. I saw you when I was like 12 in Asbury Park.


Ryan Seaman: Oh, me?


Kaya Morrison: I don't know how, but they found me, right?


Ryan Seaman: Wait, say that again?


Kaya Morrison: You were in another band, weren't you?


Ryan Seaman: Yeah, I've been in a couple different bands. My career kind of spans over I would say the better half of like 15 years. So this is like a new project for me. But, you know, Mercy Music has been around for a few years, but we already know each other from other bands. It's cool to have that existing connection there.


Kaya Morrison: Yeah. With this album, what did you want to branch out into? What did you want to do with this?


Brendan Scholz: I mean, I'm always trying to reach as many people as possible. You know, hoping for the best possible outcome. That's generally the goal. Hope people enjoy it.


Kaya Morrison: Not just that, but stylistically, where were you going? What did you want to write about?


Brendan Scholz: The entire record's about my personal life the year prior, and how it was a complete and total mess, and I was in a really terrible, upset place. And I think almost every song on that record kind of reflects that. I imagine there are people out there that have gone through similar things. So, you know, kind of hope to reach people and let them know they're not alone, also.


Kaya Morrison: That's a very powerful way to use music, I think. Especially in the punk genre. I listened to some of your music before the interview. You have a lot of progressions that I think are pretty reminiscent of early 2000s emo stuff, too.


Brendan Scholz: I’ll Take it. Thank you.


Kaya Morrison: So, yeah, I think that's a really cool thing to try and do. But even though you guys have all been in projects before, this is still a new band for all of you, relatively. So what has it been like navigating the industry from the ground up again?


Brendan Scholz: It's difficult, but we're all I think very... we have tenacity, we don't give up easily, but it's just about continuing to push as hard as you can to get in front of as many people as possible and just kind of never give up. It's kind of all our attitudes. We've all been doing this, you know, it's kind of been our lives since, you know, as long as we can all remember, as far as anyone wants to… I mean, yeah. I think we all have that in common. 


Ryan Seaman: Yeah, we've all been doing this for so long, you know, and it's just like in our own right, but I think that what's so exciting about this venture is that we kind of get to pick and choose our own path, you know? And it's like we're playing music for ourselves, but if people like it and they reminisce with it, then that's really great. 


Kaya Morrison: That it is. Speaking of reaching people, you guys are heading out pretty soon on tour.


Brendan Scholz: We are.


Ryan Seaman: Yeah, we are, yeah. We're going out with a band called Strung Out and the Adolescents. And so we've known Strung Out for a long time, just through other endeavors, but we kind of reached out and said, hey, we heard you're looking for an opening band, because we need to get out there. I'm sure we were up against several bands, but we got the tour and we're just really excited and very lucky to just be able to go around America. And you said you're in Asbury Park? I think we're hitting, closest to you, I think we're hitting is like Philly and New York City.


Kaya Morrison: I'm in New York.


Ryan Seaman: Wait, what'd you say?


Kaya Morrison: I'm in New York. I'm out in Manhattan.


Ryan Seaman: Oh, okay, cool. We'll be at the Gramercy and we're really stoked about it.


Kaya Morrison: Anyone in New York, hit up the Gramercy Theater, 23rd Street, I believe.


Ryan Seaman: Yep, that's right. I haven't played there in a minute, but have you guys played there, Brendan?


Brendan Scholz: Yeah, last year we did with Unwritten Law.


Ryan Seaman: Okay, cool.


Kaya Morrison: Yeah, but it's neat that you guys are touring with Strong Out. They've been around for a while. They've been around since the 80s, right?


Brendan Scholz: I wonder, yeah, maybe early 90s.


Ryan Seaman: Yeah, I think early 90s, late 80s, it's pretty cool though. For a band like that to still be going and have fans is pretty crazy.


Kaya Morrison: Yeah, and those fans are die-hard then. It's gonna be a cool tour for you guys to go on.


Ryan Seaman: Yeah, I'm stoked. It's been a minute since we've been out there to do a full US tour again, so we're really happy. 


Kaya Morrison: Yeah, and then I'm guessing you guys are gonna have plenty of new songs that you're gonna be playing. So...


Ryan Seaman: Yeah, we're gonna be mostly playing songs off this record, but maybe we'll throw in a couple old ones even. 


Brendan Scholz: Yeah, a few surprises.


Kaya Morrison: Oldies and goodies.


Ryan Seaman: Oldies and goodies, yeah.


Kaya Morrison: Well, thank you guys so much for talking to me today.


Brendan Scholz: Thanks for having us.


Kaya Morrison: Jared, I'm sorry about your microphone, but thank you for being here anyway. We all appreciated your presence. It's been great talking to all of you guys. 


Ryan Seaman: Jared, do you have anything to add?


Kaya Morrison: Well, he's got lots of emojis.


Jarred Cooper: I'll add you to the list of the Gramercy if you wanna come out, so let me know.


Kaya Morrison: Thank you. I will let you guys know. I'll show up. Why not?


Jarred Cooper: Cool.


Kaya Morrison: Anyway.


Brendan Scholz: Yeah, you should come.


Kaya Morrison: Thank you guys so much. I'm Kaya with the Concert Chronicles. This has been Mercy Music. And we'll see you guys next time.


Ryan Seaman: Cool.


Brendan Scholz: See ya.


Kaya Morrison: Bye.


Brendan Scholz: Bye.


Ryan Seaman: Bye!

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