In Studio: Merykid
Nick Mery, of Merykid, is a young veteran of the South Texas music scene. Although he’s been playing in bands for nearly 15 years, he’s still learning and obsessing over new and old music alike. When he sat down with us in the studio, he talked about a new influence on his songwriting voyage. “Just a few days ago I saw Love & Mercy and I loved it! Now I’m obsessed with the Beach Boys,” he said with a smile. “That's where I'm at right now in my life. I'm just trying to create my own version of Pet Sounds.”
Nick doesn’t currently play with a regular group. In the studio, he brought Mike Gomez as his drummer and longtime friend Jimmy Dasher on guitar. Both Mike and Jimmy are themselves very accomplished musicians and producers. “In San Antonio, we’re a family,” explained Jimmy, “for better or worse, and Nick has just trusted that. He allows people to bring in their own flavors to his music. He’s guided by his own north star, but he allows people to come along on that journey with him.”
Nick went through a slew of genres on his journey as a musician starting from his days as a student at Central Catholic High School. “Jimmy and I were in a three piece instrumental band [in high school] and we used to idolize these bands like Lettuce and Soul Live-- bands that would go up on stage and play fifteen minute songs at a time. They would jam for eight hours. [We played] the type of music that just doesn't exist anymore.” He reminisced with us about his days as a for-hire bass player that worked with nine-piece bands on 6th Street in Austin. “Most of them were just hitting these despondent notes that didn't really fit all the time.” Mery spent six years on the road traveling all over Texas before he decided to settle down and begin writing his own songs. He learned how to play guitar and the real story began.
“I put out a lot of folk music in the early years. From there I started to experiment a little bit. I wasn't happy with the reception that folk music was getting in San Antonio at the time, so I thought ‘what did San Antonio want?’ I tried rock music and that went over very well. And then I got into the electronic genre just to put my finger in it.” His curious nature allowed him to explore nearly every modern musical genre. “Just because it was there, I had to try it,” he explained. In all his years as a musician, Nick has never signed to any label—and for good reason. “If I'm not signed to a label, there’s no box that I'm in. The one tradeoff of not making money is that you can do whatever you want.”
Even though Nick recently relocated to Austin, he has a very optimistic view of the San Antonio scene. “The comparison that I like to make between San Antonio and Austin is that Austin is a big bright tree that gets a lot of sunlight, that grows very strong and very large, and everyone can see this tree. But San Antonio, in the shadow of Austin, is a much more interesting tree, because it grows in this tangled way that plants do in order to find that same sunlight. It twists and it turns and it’s much more interesting to look at. I think that goes for a lot of smaller scenes for art and music in smaller towns that have to do a lot more interesting stuff in order to get that same recognition.”
Nick says he’ll never give up on making albums, and you can follow his musical odyssey on his bandcamp page. Mike Gomez is working on his own album under the moniker ‘The DMG’ and Jimmy Dasher just released an album with Ashlee Rose under the name The New Vagabonds. Keep an eye out for these talented South Texas artists.