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Merciless Rock N’ Roll: Emil Starbrant

Comprising of 4 members, Emil, Erik, Svante, and Emmanuel, Mother Mersy is a coming-of-age Swedish rock band that exudes an irresistible energy and feel into their music, making one often come back for more. Making music since 2015, from hard-hitting guitar riffs to psychedelic ballads, the band is just the perfect mix of classic rock tunes and modernity. Here’s what the lead singer, Emil Starbrant told us about the band.

How did the band come together?

Our drummer Erik and I met in high school. At first, we didn’t really get along, but he grew on me. He was the hardest-hitting drummer I had ever heard but also a real loudmouth. Eventually, we got to know each other and we found out that we liked similar bands such as Led Zeppelin, Rival Sons, and Wolfmother.

Who makes most of the decisions in the band?

I’d say we try to keep things as democratic as possible. Everyone has a say in every big decision concerning the band. It’s more fun that way.

What does your new single “Can’t Move,” talk about?

“Can’t Move” explores the disconnect between superficial attraction and genuine chemistry. Emmanuel (our guitarist) who wrote it thought it was a fun metaphor that you're with the prettiest person at the club but think they dance really badly.

Why the name Mother Mersy? What’s the story behind that?

We started the band back in 2015 with the release of a single called “Devil’s Water.” The cover art for that song, made by our friend Filippa Blomqvist, was heavily inspired by the work of Alfons Maria Mucha and his art nouveau paintings with motifs of women in nature. From there we began to ask questions, who is this woman? What does she want? And most importantly, why can’t she read, and we, spell Mercy correctly?

You’ve mentioned that you are inspired by the dark portraits in Stephen King’s novels. Could you tell us more about that?

I write most of the lyrics in the band and I’m always on the lookout for inspiration. I grew up reading a lot of King and I’ve always been fascinated by the way he builds up his stories and intrigues. Especially his characters and how he encapsulates the experience of life through different eyes, the push and pull relationship between good and evil.

What do you guys enjoy the most as a band: recording/making music or performing live?

It’s definitely a combination between writing/jamming and performing live. Our struggle has always been to capture the live energy from a show in a studio recording. But I think we’re getting closer for each release. Especially now when Emmanuel is producing the music (starting with our latest single ‘Can’t Move’). I also have to shout out to our friend Oscar Reignsdahl. He worked with us tirelessly in Tambourine Studios in Malmö as our sound technician during the fall of 2023 when we were recording our upcoming sophomore album, entitled ‘Sloppy Seconds’.

How does the band resolve conflicts or disagreements?

Band therapy. I wish!

We try to talk things out as soon as something comes to the surface or when someone is upset. When you’ve been a ‘band-person’ for almost ten years straight you develop different strategies to keep a group together, some better some worse. This setting has been intact since 2021 (our bass player Svante joined in 2020, amid covid, poor fellow). So I hope me and Erik (the two founding members from the start in 2015) are doing something right by now!

How does Rock music play out in the music industry right now?

I think it’s on the rise, I really do. We have a lot to thank Greta Van Fleet for, they’ve opened up a lot of doors making classic rock relevant for a younger crowd once more. They and Måneskin I would say, after their win in Eurovision and their massive success afterwards. I saw Måneskin at a festival in Stockholm that same year. I’ve never seen so many young people at a rock concert. There’s still hope!

Dirty Honey has also exploded in the last couple of years. I went to see them in Copenhagen (not too far from our hometown of Malmo in the South of Sweden) this spring, an amazing live act. I also love The Southern River Band from Australia. Now there’s a frontman who knows how to portray himself on social media. Sassy, funny, irresistible!

If you had to work/collaborate with an artist today, who would you choose?

It would be cool to work with Justin Hawkins from The Darkness. We’re all huge fans of The Darkness obviously, but lately, I’ve been listening to his podcast Justin Hawkins Rides Again. Such a talented and thoughtful guy. Great songwriter too. It would be interesting to see what we could come up with together in terms of songwriting.

If your music brand had just one word or a line to say, what would it be?

Merciless Rock N’ Roll. No more, no less. For the lack of the letter C.

Erik wanted to name our second album ‘F*ck Around & Find Out’ for a very long time and he almost got his will through. Perhaps that one clocks in on a really close second place? Or not. 

Our Florida-based manager Tiffany Mercer (editor in chief for Noise Disrup-bution Magazine) quoted us as follows in her recent interview with us: “a serious band, but very unserious people in general.” 

I’m not sure who said it, but I mean, they’re not wrong. 

A word of advice for upcoming artists reading your story?

Build a team: We’ve come to realize it’s much easier and more fun to work with friends. Sure, it can make things complicated at times, but as long as you're being direct in your communication with each other it should be fine in the end. At this point, we have a go-to person for almost every aspect of a release once it’s time for new music. For example, we have a photographer who also serves as our graphic designer. His name is Viktor Edsjö and he’s a musician as well. 

When it comes to music videos and live videos we’re always working with our friends at Hybris Film.

Be consistent: Once you have your music out there, be consistent! Create art around it, re-shape it, and share it. And don’t be afraid to re-share it. It’s all about building an audience. It’s ok to be a bit repetitive at times, as long as you're consistent and somehow interact with your audience.

Have fun: Otherwise, what’s the point? We’re in a really good creative mood in the group atm. You’re longing to go and see one another, just cause you know how much fun you’ll have, messing around and crafting weird little songs together. But at one point in the band’s existence a couple of years back it wasn’t like that at all. Sure, it was a different setting with other challenges. But we also had a different mindset back then. Everything had to be perfect. Which just led to perfectionism, criticism, prestige - which wasn’t fun at all.

What are your future plans?

The hippie answer: keep having fun and exploring the world together.

The boring business answer: keep growing our audience on SoMe.

We are looking at releasing our second album in the fall of 2024. With that release, it would be cool to join a bigger band as a support on tour. That’s one of the main things we’re trying to land atm.

You can stream Mother Mersy on Spotify as well!

Follow the band on Instagram now for the latest updates. 


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