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Mercury Radio Theater: New Album Coming Soon!

June 2, 2011

Text by Kevin Stairiker. Image by G.W. Miller III.

Since the advent of rock music, instrumental rock bands have thrived in a multitude of ways. Not being restricted to sacrificing parts to the whims of vocals melodies, bands as diverse as Dick Dale and His Del-Tones and Mogwai have been critically lauded for making incredible music without any vocals.

This is where Mercury Radio Theater come in, ready to blast away any pre-conceived notions music fans may have about instrumental music.

“I believe that instrumental bands are not viewed the same as bands with lead vocals or lyrics,” explains Joe Getz, Mercury Radio Theater’s drummer. “I really think it boils down to people who have an appreciation for music and can be open to new experiences.”

Bass player Jason Todd thinks some instrumental bands get ignored because, well, they’re boring.

“We strive for catchy and well-written,” he says. “I think we’re accessible, but what do I know?”

Mercury Radio Theater rarely sticks to a singular genre from song-to-song, seemingly preferring to go wherever the music takes them. Although one song may remind a listener of the ferocity of Superchunk, another might bring to mind the technical weirdness of Cap’n Jazz. Sometimes, like in the case of “The Very Merry Unbirthday Song,” three or four genres get mixed in the pot and what comes out is entirely different than what you were expecting.

When it comes to the live show, MRT is also different than most bands in that they perform with images and video splashed on large screen, with narration throughout some of the songs.

“We like the audience to be immersed in the experience of the performance,” says lead guitarist Buddy Mercury, “like the way a gentle lover will lay down rose pedals and massage nubile young flesh with scented oils while soft music lulls them into a sense of security before we hit them over the head with a croquet mallet. Only it’s musical.”

Like most bands, MRT is feeling the hit of an economy that doesn’t exactly welcome people looking to make bank off of the creative arts.

“We all have day jobs as we have experienced the difficulties of being in a band full time,” Getz says. “We enjoy very much the process of creating and performing these compositions and just having fun with it.”

Sticking your neck out to be in a band at all these days is just ballsy. Try being an instrumental, three-piece band whose bassist swears their upcoming album is about “the story of a geriatric werewolf veteran who terrorizes a small town.”

That new album, entitled Kilroy, drops this summer. The band will be playing all over town in support of the effort.

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