Interview with Mother Mercy

Ohh Mother Mercy, I finally hooked up with R.J. Blaze from California's most metallic band. We have tried several times the last couple of weeks but the our schedules didn't seem to match. Mother Mercy first got my attention a couple of years ago with their first tape "Bad Boyz in Black", an impressive effort. I was convinced that I've found Motley Crue's successors. Some months later I got an advance tape of their "Love at First Bite" from Morning Star Records. It was stunning stuff and showed that Mother Mercy was ready to paint the world black. Then Lady Luck turned them away and several years passed.

Now  "Love at First Bite" is finally out and it was about time for Glitzine  to penetrate Mother Mercy, from past to present.

Could you give me a brief history of the band? Members, when/where and why?

R.J. Blaze: Mother Mercy was created to keep the music we love from dying. It was formed in 1993 during the whole grunge evolution..

Mother Mercy wanted to keep the Bad Boyz In Black image going along with Kick-ass heavy music.. No one has taken the black haired image and sounded as heavy as we do.. We usually shock the hell out of people who see get on stage and expect a light, happy glammy style and what they get is "High Velocity Sleaze" that is as heavy as White zombie and old Metallica.

Mother Mercy's current Members are:
R.J. Blaze- Vocals from Hell
Seann Scott-bone crushing Drums
Randall Justice-The god of Bass Thunder
Damien Winter: Screaming Guitar Virtuoso

Please try to describe Mother Mercy's music for those who haven't heard you.

Mother Mercy's Sound is combination of our favorite metal bands who inspire us..Old Motley Crue, Judas Priest, Kiss, Shotgun Messiah, Metallica and L.A. Guns. We wanted to create our own sound. Just like when you hear a Crue song. You knowexactly who that band is. Mother Mercy is it's own beast, ever-changing, evolving into it's own metal monster!! Our material on the album "Love at First Bite" is just scratching the surface of what we have become now... As we say- Mother Mercy "Metal for the next Millennium" MM equals 2000!!

I wrote in my review on your CD that Mother Mercy was "heavier metal injected glamband, sounding like a heavier hybrid of early Crue, L.A. Guns, Faster Pussycat and Kiss." Do you agree?

Yeah, that's a great complement. We look to the past for influence but, we put our style into to keep the familiarity of a older 80's band but make it for the 90's.. You could listen to "Love at First Bite" and it would fit perfectly in 1987-89 along side the top Metal albums.

Tell me about the band's namesake, where did it come from?

Well, The name Mother Mercy came from. Let's say you see a knockout, Drop-dead girl walking down the street you would wolf whistle and yell. "Oh, Mother Mercy" It was just a real catchy name that everyone seemed to know. We played with the idea of a female sexy nun mascot but that's been done to death. We do have a song about her called "Nasty Habit". It's about a sister who sneaks out at night to go downtown to see rock and roll bad boys. It probably will be on the next album.

I agree. It's a great name for a more metallic band. Tell me a bit about this Vampire image of yours (I'm referring to the full-moons and your CD-cover).

The vampire image is to go along with our title song "Love at First Bite". We wanted something sexy yet provocative. The vampire is a Creature of night. Just like we are. Up all night, sleep all day. Stay away from the light.

The Artwork and the layout on your CD is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen, could you tell me how you got the idea and how you worked it out?

Well, we all brainstormed for cover ideas, and this one fit very nicely. We wanted a Vampire seducing a beautiful woman taking a bite. We went through many sketches and layouts. Finally we composed it in Photo-shop 4.0 and created doing various Digital Composting. It took while to get as tight as it turned out but we are very ecstatic with the end result.

Ok, the result really smokes! Let's go back to the music again. Your Demo "Bad Boyz in Black" caused quite a stir. When did you release it and can you describe your development since then?

We released "Bad Boyz in Black" in the summer of 1994. It had four of the songs currently redone for "Love at First Bite" 1) Bad Boyz in Black 2) Goodbye to You 3) Love At First Bite 4) Dead End Kidd

The production of the demo was cheaply done and we thought the songs were too good to let go.. So we spent a hell of a lot of money to re-record them to there full potential. Here's some Mercy trivia.. We released the demo in three different tape shell covers. There were 75 red, 100 blue, and the rare 25 purple!! I just recently managed to get a red and purple. You just don't think to hang on to them.

Ken Anthony (Morning Star Records - Ed) told me about your CD "Love at First Bite" several years ago but it didn't get released until recently. What happened?

We originally had a deal with Ken's company and Morning Star records went out of business. We ended up financing the entire production ourselves. And let me tell you my friends. that's not cheap!!! We actually recorded the album completely in 1996 but, had to do mastering, mixdown many times to get just the right sound..But the end result was well worth the time involved. It was recorded on 24 track analog converted to digital by the engineering genius Jim Barnes, who actually sang some incredible background vocal harmonies on "Helltrain" and "Slow n Sleazy"

Thanks Jim!

What did you do in the meantime, while you were waiting on the CD-release?

Wrote new material, and played out live, and made a killer professional video for "Bad Boyz In Black". We also became the poster band for the new KNAC PURE ROCK. Doing live shows, promotions etc.

I didn't know you had done a video? Please tell me about it?

We shot it last August. It's basically captures the stage presence and persona of out live stage shows. It was shot with 4 crane cameras, and all the energy and intensity that is Mother Mercy..

Sounds great! Back to the CD. Since much of the material on the CD is quite old, are you satisfied with it? Does it show where Mother Mercy is today?

Well, if the mass majority of people haven't hear it. I don't consider it old. Guns N Roses ran into the same thing by having their record released two years after recording. That was their best album to date.. Every song on it was killer.!! We hope "Love at First Bite" has that same potential for longevity. I personally love every song on the album as much as the day we wrote it. Mother Mercy has let's say gone Darker & Heavier but, still retaining our trademark sound, catchy choruses, and twisted lyrics.Mother Mercy is exactly live what you hear on the album. No vocal harmonizers or strange effects are used on my voice to create my vocal sound, except for the evil deep voice on the end of the song "Love At First Bite"..

Ok, I like the sound of that! What have you accomplished with the "Love at First Bite" CD so far? Is it going as you're expecting?

Well I'm Glad you asked. We have had phenomenal response from all over the world. Currently the only airplay we're getting is on Hardradio.com, one of the top 3 cyber-radio stations in the world.. They are currently playing track 2 "Gimme a Scratch" in regular rotation!! We are the only unsigned band playing there. If you go to their site, go to their hard music button and there you'll see us right sandwiched between Metallica and Motorhead's new releases. We sent Tracy Barnes a copy of the album on tape about a year ago, and waited like the rest of you. As soon as he received it, it was on the air!! Mother Mercy will be doing more things with Hardradio down the road...Thanks Tracy! L.A. and the surrounding area has a big problem on their hands.. NO METAL/ROCK STATION!! KNAC went off the air in 1994 and there hasn't been any station to replace it!! So local airplay is really hard to get around here. Hopefully the new KNAC will acquire a new radio station and we be at the front of the new Metal Madness that is coming!!

Glitzine is considering to put up a soundbite on your "Love at first Bite", the title track. I need your permission though.

You got it Bro!!!

Great, then soon everyone can listen to Mother Mercy on Glitzine's Soundbites-section. I get the impression that you play live quite a lot. What's Mother Mercy's relation to the stage?

Mother Mercy makes the Audience an extension of the band. We are a high energy, nuclear assault of visual and audio!!! You haven't seen a show like the Bad Boyz In Black put on since the days of old Crue!! We give 120% on stage make the audience wanting more!!

Who is the typical Mother Mercy fan?

Anyone who enjoys metal music. We have die hard head-banger guys and or course femme fatale rocker babes. We even have teenagers who live for our music!!

I know that you aren't that fond of being considered as glam. Aren't you a bit afraid of being caught in the middle, too heavy for the glamfans and too much make-up to appeal to the metalfans?

No not at all. I think Mother Mercy has enough diversity in our music to embrace all. The makeup is for effect and image and once the see and hear what our music is about, they see past the makeup and get to the real substance- the music.

That is correct, unfortunately many people aren't that open minded. Please give a prophecy on Mother Mercy's near future.

Metal will make a major resurgence and we'll get signed by a Major Label. Record our next album "Dancing With The Devil", Tour the world and Mother Mercy will become a household name.

Ok, I'm looking forward to that. Metal surrounds us all! Let's look a little deeper into your debut CD "Love at First Bite". Could you please tell me about Mother Mercy's songwriting, from idea to reality?

The way we write is simple. We go into our studio and start jamming. Damien will start playing a killer riff, Seann will lay down a driving beat. Randall will start playing a thunderous bass riff and I'll start spurting out vocals. Myself or one of the boyz will come up with an idea for the name for the song based on the feel. Then I take it home and start writing conceptional lyrics. I take them in and we try it with the song. We just keep refining it until we feel it's done. That's it. Mother Mercy writes as a team.

The way it should be.  Ok, let's go track by track throughout the CD.  Let's start with the opener "She's Wild"

She's Wild is all about the Hollywood strip scene 1987-92 "Going out on my Harley baby, looking for that sweet thing tonight." "Going to find me some action baby, A Mistress of the night" I feel it captures the feeling of reckless partying, lifestyle of our generation of rockers that is sadly missing on today's Hollywood Strip. She's just a really nasty girl who will do anything and everything you ask...

"Gimme a Scratch"

A very sexual innuendo laced song influenced by Bon Scott of AC/DC writing style.

"Hey little kitty, sitting looking pretty you're a sight, a sight to see. Hey little pussy, with your legs very loosey. Well come on and play with me... "

"Goodbye to You"

A damn good ballad.. The perfect breaking up song... It was written in the key of d-minor. .That key instantly makes you weep. Ha, Ha!

"I'm lying awake in our bed, I try to kiss your lips you turn your head, I softly say "I love you. I'm feeling so hurt inside, It's a feeling I can not hide I know I'm Losing you."

"Love At First Bite"

Life from a vampire's point of View.

"The Theater of life is my domain, Will the whole world changes I stay the same, Just a child of the night, made my choice got to pay the price.."

"Psycho Bitch"

"The groupie from Hell". "Woke up next morning, head still spinning They she was just a smiling and a grinning Says to me "Babe you were real good last night" I'm going to keep your dick cut off with a knife,a knife,a knife"

"Helltrain"

Inside the mind of a killer and his mental battle for inner redemption..

"Midnight, cross stabbed in the ground Sacrifice, body hits, no sound Something's playing with your mind Has the madness made you blind"

"Bad Boyz In Black"

The song speaks for it's self... It's a Crazy Rock n Roll life

"The sun comes out, it's a another day I wipe my hair out of my face Don't know who you are or what to say Just another night I try to erase I take a walk to the liquor store I drink some Cisco, then some more Gotta bum a dime to call a Bro Got to make it to the Rock n Roll Alright boyz here we go!!"

"Dead End Kidd"

This is the story of madman bent on self destruction. Planning to take out as many people with him as he can!!

"I come from the wrong side of the tracks A cat with nine lives never land on my back Got a runway train in my brain No wonder my destination's not the same I'll take your life, No regrets Bottle of Jack, Makes me forget I'm a one way ticket once aboard Better start praying, Oh Lord "

"Pain In The Streets"

Jack the Ripper in Hollywood...

"I've got my gun and you better run, Blood is sweeter then wine.. Street gutter trash looking for some cash I need a victim to find. Street walking trash selling your ass Such a nice night to die."

"Slow N' Sleazy"

Another party song in vein of 'She's Wild".

"Took a walk down Hollywood & Vine Saw you standing there, you were 69'ed What I've got, It doesn't come cheap Satisfaction is always guaranteed Come on baby, going to give you a shot Shot of love is what I've got"

Well, I guess that's it. We will be playing the Glitter & Glam Rockfest in Hollywood at the Coconut Teazer on May 31st at 10:00 PM 18 and over show. If anyone who lives in the area, call us 714-224-3199 and we'll put you our discount admission list.

Thanks R.J. and good luck!

Thanks everybody for your support and interest in Mother Mercy.

Keep Rock Alive!

Mailto: R.J. Blaze  Or Mother Mercy