Album launch show this Saturday.
[Buy Tickets Online Here]
Name: Nigel Black
Band: Mere Theory
Job In Band: Guitarist/Songwriter
Website Address: www.meretheory.com.au
Hometown is best known for: Churches
Best venue in your hometown: Favourite Venue would be Thebarton Theatre, it’s old, big and sounds great when they have an awesome system in. Last time when the Pixies came through, the sound was immaculate.
How long has the band been going? End of 2000.
Many lineup changes along the way? Same line up for the past 3 years, but we have had a few singers and Ross is the second bass player.
How would you describe your sound to the average person on the street? Guitar driven rock, not pop music but melodic, thoughtful.
What's your most recent release? Tell us a little about it... We are releasing our new album 'Walking in Storms', a recording we are proud of. It was a positive experience, a slight departure from our previous album 'Catalan Atlas' that came out on Boomtown, it has all the regular rock anthems you may expect from MT, but there is also progression in new sounds and approaches. This album has our new bassy Ross Simpson, who trained at the Adelaide Conservatorium of Music, so his influence is recognisable. The songs were recorded mostly to tape, no autotune, just lots of takes, trying to keep things natural and real was a major part of our approach. The instruction from the lads was ‘ write from the heart Nige’ so that is what I did, I spent about a year compiling ideas and movements and then constructing pieces for presenting to the band. They chose what they liked and we went about formalising the songs. It really was a refreshing experience, staying at home, no label or time pressure, a positive experience all round.
Got a favourite track that you have released so far? I always liked 'Defeating This Feeling' off of 'Catalan Atlas', and 'Remedy' is an awesome and unique track off of 'Walking In Storms'. There’s Cello and French Horn, thinking of Midnight Oil and similar compositions, although a very different sound. A stand out for the band on 'Walking in Storms' is 'All Walls Will Fall', it seems we all agree it makes us feel good, strong etc. It’s also a lot of fun to play.
OFF THE STAGE
What was your first introduction to music that made you think seriously about playing it? Such a hard question to answer. I’m not sure what brought me to the realisation that I wanted to write and create music. I just wanted to express and create, not really wanting anything more. Just now thinking about it, I was playing instruments and banging things since I can remember, with my Dad on the keyboard. Lucky I guess. As a small person, the Beach Boys and the Beatles were always on at home, and I sought out Hendrix and other greats, but then I found punk rock and a whole world opened up. So many new sounds and ideas, that brought more than music to the table.
What was your first band name, and what style did you play? First serious band? Thick Lips, a punk rock band, I played bass, and ended up taking to the guitar and writing the songs, the drummer grabbed me and said, I want to make a band with you and your music. Our big influences were bands like Mid Youth Crisis and Bad Religion, but we also liked Jeff Buckley and Led Zeppelin. They were fun times, and this was where Mere Theory was born.
Most prized music related item you own? Fugazi ‘Steady Diet of Nothing’ on vinyl
The thing you most look forward to just before a tour is... seeing Adelaide in the rear vision mirror, and looking forward to unforeseen adventures, meeting people, learning new things, not working on day job material, just exploring and meeting the moment face to face.
The thing you least look forward to before a tour is... people who snore, eating shitty road food, being tired.
When your not doing band related stuff, what are you usually found doing? I am a graphic designer. I create the band’s artwork, so I’m often working on things, and I also lecture at University of SA in Visual Communications. I also love getting out into nature, bushwalking, surfing, and love hitting the bowls with the lads. Skating is a big passion, although I am not so great at it.
ON THE STAGE / ROAD
Best rider item you've ever received without requesting it? Good healthy food. I do not drink, so I go for the simple things.
Favourite place you’ve toured… and why? So many good places and people, but Perth seems to be fun every time we go. Melbourne is always our next city to call on so Melbs is nice too.
Most memorable show you've played? and why? Karnivool’s Aeons tour, Sydney. 5000 people, being filmed by Moshcam, and being very nervous, realising half the crowd were wearing t-shirts I had designed for the Vool. It was awesome, all my passions coming together in a celebrative moment.
Worst 'guilty pleasure' artist / song you've come across on a bandmates iPod? Chris our vocalist, he’s a die hard Peter Gabriel fan, all the way. I only know Sledge Hammer, but Chris has opened up a whole new world for me. Scary, but I have learnt Gabs is a bit of a legend.
Who in your group has the worst “bad habit” on tour, and what is it? Wow, driving without your glasses on, that is one scary move! Chris has almost killed us, although he is a very responsible fellow. You’ve got to keep your gogs on brother. Mostly people are very relaxed and cool in the van, but some of us have big shoulders, so the small guys get a bit squashed.
Where are you? At work in a design studio.
What's the last song you listened to? The last song was from our set last night, an oldie from our first EP ‘Towering Sun’ – have listened to no music today sadly.
Which band or album is currently rockin' your world? I listened to Elbow recently, enjoyed some of the arrangements and melodies, also been cranking heaps of Louis Armstrong, keeps me high on life.
Tell us a band we should all go and listen to right now? If you have not heard Greg MacPherson, go do it. He’s a Canadian rock/folk artist, and his work is earnest and eloquent. I love what he does, hope you enjoy it if you find some, pretty sure there are free downloads on the G7 Welcoming committee site.
If you could pick any one album to cover from start to finish, what would it be and why? Steady Diet of Nothing by Fugazi or Mid Youth Crisis ‘ Happiness in Authority’ oh wait up, Blueline Medic’s Working Title in Green.
If you could pick any one band / artist to cover one of your albums from start to finish, what would it be, and why? Cave In. it would be great to see what they could do with it all, just to watch them at work would be an honour.
If you could pick one band to re-unite so you could play a one-off show with, who would it be, and why? A resurrection maybe, now that would be great. Hendrix would be nice, or how about Refused getting back together for us, that would be nice. Fugazi? what a treat, so many you could throw out there.
One big tour, you can take two currently active bands to support you, who would you choose, and why? For personal interest, M.Ward or Greg MacPherson, not our genre, just be great to see what they do each night. They are both modern living legends in my view, Mars Volta to headline? Hard question not to warp and just dream about.