Fresh tunes straight out of Burton-on-Trent by Rai Kah Mercury
We recently caught up with Burton on Trent’s own Rai Kah Mercury, a young band quickly making a name for themselves, to hear all about how the early days of being in a band have been for them and what the future holds. Your going to want to keep an eye on this lot!
Hey Rai Kah Mercury how are things?
Cool, thanks, but a couple of us are doing exams so bit stressful right now too!
Tell us a bit about yourselves then guys. How did you all meet and form the band?
We are a three piece, Tomas writes the songs, and is our singer/ guitarist, Reece is our bass player, and Josh is the drummer. Tomas and Reece met at primary school where they started playing music together and even performed with a bunch of other friends before going on to high school where they continued playing together leading up to the eventual formation of Rai Kah Mercury after meeting Josh at work. The pieces fell into place and RKM came to life, initially playing a few open-mics, and then our first booked gig in November 2017 in Coventry.
That’s quite an unusual name you’ve got. What’s the story behind it?
We see so many bands with names that pigeon hole them from the start to a specific genre of rock/indie. We didn’t want that, as our music whilst it has solid roots in our varied influences, can straddle different styles. So, we came up with a name that can be whatever people’s imagination conjours up! It also allows us to shift and shape our music without concerns for the name not sounding right, and now we’ve just kind of grown into it.
For a band without a member in their 20s yet you have a really mature and intense sound and lyrical style. What influences have shaped that?
Obviously parents play a part in what we have been exposed to, so bands like Free, Humble Pie, from the 70s, which has that stripped down electric vibe with great soulful singers. Then singer songwriters such as Neil Young, and Jason Molina, definitely inform a more poetic style of song writing, and we all love the vibe of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and even a bit of King Gizzard brings us right up to date. One of us might cite McFly too but you’ll have to work out who!
I’ve absolutely loved the first two singles you guys put out! How did you find that recording process? And when can we expect the next amazing tune?
Thank you for that. Well, first off, the next tune is out on 7 July, and it’s called Terror Incognita. We’re extremely pleased with it, and can’t wait for people to hear it. It shows progression, and is closer to the sound we would want from the recording process. With Birds Of Paradise it was our first band experience of recording, it’s still great but perhaps we didn’t assert ourselves in the process as much as we might today. Reece and Josh are both doing Music Production at college so this has also helped to up our game on the new single. Eyes In A Dream was a home recording so may be removed until we can do it better but the intent of both of those was to show potential in those early days, our song writing capabilities, and that we are not frightened to tone it down acoustically when the song demands, and now with the new song we tear it up more.
You’ve been cutting your live teeth around various venues around the midlands as well London. How have those early shows helped you develop as a band?
It’s been brilliant so far, and we’ve played a variety of venues, and with some amazing talent. The gig supporting Space at The Garage in London in December was massive for us so early on, and it proved to us that were right at home on that stage and in that environment. Promoters are showing an interest, and we have a solid following locally. It’s been mainly support slots so far as you would expect, and meeting and seeing how the other acts go about things has been invaluable to us in developing a professional approach. There’s nothing better that getting a great reaction to your live music especially from people that don’t know you, and that’s the way to build our reputation.
And finally when can we at Native and everyone else catch you live in action next?
We play at The Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham on 6 June as part of the bill supporting Himalayas. After that we are in the process of arranging a headline show or two somewhere local, so watch our social media for any new dates. Dates should start to pick up again in the autumn, and maybe next year we can start looking at getting on board some festivals.
Thanks so much for approaching us, we love Native and its ethos in promoting the arts and it’s a privilege to be involved. See you somewhere down the road.
Photography © Rai Kai Mercury.