We are so fortunate to live in a county that promotes and supports the arts in such a big way. We celebrate music of every kind and many famous musicians began here, live here or play here. The Mercury Brothers band fits all three categories. Watch for great things from this band hailing from Little Silver and Lincroft. Dan Apy of Little Silver plays guitar and sings the lead vocals. Ryan Lascelles is also from Little Silver and is responsible for the Bass/Effects. Percussionist Luke McKenna grew up in Lincroft. The band will be launching a new album, “In Retrograde”, on August 25th at The Saint in Asbury Park. We asked Dan about the band’s background and where it’s headed.
CM: What events led to forming The Mercury Brothers?
I grew up in Little Silver and I met our bassist (Ryan) in elementary school because he also lived in Little Silver. We became friends through a mutual love for music, as well as getting into trouble…so naturally he and I started our first rock band in the sixth grade called Mr.C4 & the Plastic Explosives which lasted through middle school and allowed us to get a great head start on our ability to play and write with one another. During high school and college we continued to work together, while also pursuing our individual interests. In the Summer of 2014, Ryan and I were fired up and ready to play in a band again, but unfortunately the music scene was facing a shortage of available drummers. I would play frequently on the streets of Red Bank. During this time I first met Luke McKenna. He lived in Lincroft, but I would see him walking down the street because he worked at the Starbucks that I liked to play near. He was always complimentary and would say, “We should jam sometime!” Later that fall, Ryan and Luke started working together (serendipitously) at Dean’s Food Market. That’s when we were finally able to get together and play, which went phenomenally right off the bat. We started by playing covers and had a lot of mutual influences like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Ramones, Modest Mouse, Arcade Fire, The Black Keys, and so many more. We felt an immediate connection as both friends and musicians, and began to dial in our sound as a trio throughout the fall and winter of 2015.
How did the band decide on the name The Mercury Brothers?
By Spring 2015, we felt like a real band. We realized quickly that we needed a band name if we wanted to get any exposure as a group. After weeks of brainstorming, we were going by The Rooftops but something about it felt forced (and we later discovered that name was already taken by at 1960’s Motown band). So, we threw a party to try and inspire creativity, which ended in the three of us telling stories about when we were kids. This was when we had the divine realization that the three of us had an uncanny fascination with liquid mercury growing up. In that moment, we came up with the name The Mercury Brothers, and all felt that it was a perfect fit.
Are there any exciting or special moments that stand out from your shows?
At one of our shows in Asbury Park, Bruce Springsteen walked in and caught our entire set. It was a real thrill and compliment that he stuck around, and even took some pictures. It is definitely not an experience we’ll easily forget. But there’s something funny and exciting and special that happens at every show we’ve ever played. It’s an incredible honor to be part of the music community in our area. There’s a deep respect for local bands and that’s a palpable feeling at shows. It’s a very cool thing to get to hang out with nationally touring acts or get to talk music with people you never expected to meet. It’s also a beautiful thing when a crowd of strangers simply comes together in one moment to support your art. There are times when people have told us how deeply touched they were, and that could be the main reason why we do this. It’s important.
The band has many original songs. What is the songwriting process?
For the most part, we all write the songs together. I’ll usually bring a guitar progression, paired with some lyrics or a specific idea and then we’ll play around and run with it until it starts coming together organically. We all contribute different tones and unique musical phrasing to our writing. It allows us to create music that we all feel very personally connected to, while also incorporating an eclectic mix of styles. One of our first songs was “Bandoliers.” We were all going through different transitions in our lives and felt inspired to write a song that touched on overcoming our demons, and banding together to stay true to ourselves. We all related so much to that struggle.
Where have The Mercury Brothers appeared?
Once we had a band name and a couple of songs, we went straight into the studio with close friend and producer Bruce Tunkel. We laid down a four-song demo of our best original songs at the time, and began using it to book as many shows as possible. In 2015-2016 we played 44 shows in venues all over the state, including several shows where we played live sets on local radio and TV. We’ve already started working on new songs though, so it’s only a matter of time until we’re back in the studio to start our next project. We hope to be heading out on a short tour later this year.
Where will you launch “In Retrograde”?
We will be launching our new album on August 25th at The Saint in Asbury Park. We’ve been working toward this a long time and are wildly excited. We wanted this album to convey our hopes and past experiences through honest and passionate rock music, and we’re really psyched to see what people think. This show will feature some incredible local bands. The show begins at 7:00 p.m. and the lineup is: The Burns, Sex Office, The Mercury Brothers and Cranston Dean Band.
Where will you be appearing next and how can readers hear your music?
You can catch us live at several shows we have coming up: 8/11- The Chubby Pickle (Highlands) 9PM; 8/23 – The Asbury Hotel (Asbury Park) 8PM; 8/25 – The Saint *Album Release* 7PM; 9/09 – The Saint 7PM; 9/30 – The Asbury Hotel 8PM; and 10/8 – The Saint 7PM
You can “Like” and follow The Mercury Brothers on Facebook, and our new album will be available this August on http://themercurybrothers.bandcamp.com/releases and on iTunes, Spotify, and Youtube. For booking please contact: DanApy13@Gmail.com.
At the end of the interview, Dan expressed how very grateful he, Ryan and Luke are for all of the support they’ve received from so many different venues and bands. “We’re honored to be considered part of such a gracious and incredible community of artists. Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the inspiration that our friends, family, and fellow musicians give us on a daily basis. Thank you all so much.”
Photo Credit: Bart Lentini Photography