Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: The Merves

As the 26th of the month is today, we have this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile now up! As always, this monthly feature series looks at a hard rock or metal band that's not based locally, but has featured a Sault Ste. Marie resident (past or present) in their official lineup at any given point, so readers can know more about them and their sound! This month's band was selected in part because they just played at The Rockstar Bar a few weeks ago, and they have a familiar name up front, so here's what you should know! (Updated on November 27th)
The Merves (Toronto, Ontario)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED; ex-members in italics)

"Amy Merve" Amy Zuchetto (vocals)
"Mikey Merve" Mikey Hawdon (vocals/guitar)
"Philly Merve" Phil Page (bass/vocals)
"Andy Merve" Andrew McMullen (drums)
Keith Carman (guitar)
Mark Rand (drums)

Official Facebook page:
Official MySpace page:

Local Info: Local music fans will surely recognize Merves singer/guitarist Mikey Hawdon (a.k.a. Mikey Merve) and ex-drummer Mark Rand for their contributions to the local music scene in the past decade and beyond, perhaps most notably Mikey's drum work with The Inner City Surfers and his & Mark's roles in the defunct local metal quintet Lion Ride, both of which became very popular and successful sights in the area, releasing well recieved CDs with both in the process! You also might recognize both from Bin Hawdon &nd the Taliband and Detroit, among numerous other projects both locally and in Southern Ontario. Today, you can catch Mark on bass in the Peterborough hardcore punk band Cross Dog, while Mikey juggles The Merves, original Toronto punk band The Fairmounts, and locals Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide among his active bands, so follow their current work above!

Band Bio: Launched circa early 2010, The Merves were one of two punk tribute bands fronted by Mikey Hawdon in the early 2010s (joining the inactive Green Day tribute The Dookies.) Initially featuring Mikey and Fairmounts bandmate Phil Page alongside Mark Rand and Maximum RNR's Keith Carman, The Merves have became a steady sight at Southern Ontario concert venues since, largely at solo headlining dates. After Andrew McMullen (also of The Fairmounts) replaced Mark in 2011, and the departure of Keith that year, The Merves made their local debut at The Canadian Nightclub in January 2012, and they've followed that with annual January dates in Sault Ontario, plus a return weekend earlier this month. In an added twist for hard rock fans, The Merves enlisted Amy Zuchetto in late 2013 as a singer for Joan Jett & Runaways songs, making The Merves a dual cover band for future gigs, which have been well recieved, so keep an eye out for their next shows!

Whether you're a fan of The Ramones or Joan Jett, The Merves should entertain with their proficient tribute to both acts! Admittedly, Mikey is not a close vocal match to Joey Ramone, but he has a lot of spirit and knowledge of that half of their set, and fans of Mikey's other fronted bands shouldn't have much to worry about! It helps when he has so much chemistry with Andrew and Phil from their other bands, they're solid in their roles too! In terms of their original lineup, I think they sounded a bit more cluttered with two guitarists, especially when The Ramones didn't have two at once, but Keith and Mark fit in talent-wise. Amy's vocals bear more of a similarity to Joan Jett, and she adds an extra element to their live set that shakes things up well, though in videos that I've seen, she could be more animated on stage. The Merves are definitely on the rise, and well worth checking out, so stay tuned for word on their next Sault Ste. Marie dates!

The Merves don't have recorded material beyond live concert audio & video, but Mikey, Andrew, and Phil have recorded and released original material with The Fairmounts, so follow that band to hear what they write together! The Merves have assorted concert audio on their MySpace page linked above and through numerous YouTube uploads, but the best sources from both their pre-Joan Jett and current eras are Mikey and Andrew's individual YouTube channels, so check out both for much of their live show videos, and here's their cover of Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself For Loving You" in Sudbury!

I hope you guys liked this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Next month in this series, we'll be taking a long overdue look at Alpha Trion, the current Vancouver metal project from Sault Ontario native Jon Morrison, who some may remember from a brief stint as a session drummer with Gates of Winter! Watch out for that on or around May 26th, and stay tuned for a new news post tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

No comments: