Editor’s Note: It was a delight sitting down with Rob Jarvis of Rob Jarvis & The Mercury Sons for Madness To Creation. In this interview, Rob discusses how he would react if United Kingdom PM Boris Johnson was in a mosh pit at their concert, mental health awareness and the music video for “Just To Make You Happy”. Fans can find Rob Jarvis & The Mercury Sons at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Take us into the song and music video for “Just To Make You Happy”.
Rob: “’Just to make You Happy,’ at least In part, was written in a fairly dank house in Newcastle Upon Tyne in The North of England, that I was renting it with some other North England music regulars. I say dank, but it was cheap and we liked it well enough. That was after my previous band, Great Man Theory, parted ways.
Without giving too much away, leaving some room for interpretation: the song was reflective of a time I needed to get some stuff off my chest and shake things up a little bit. In short, it’s about giving too much of yourself away to other people. A perhaps tongue in cheek way of saying It’s alright to be bit selfish from time to time and look after yourself a bit.
The writing process on this one was very much riffs first. I can often be caught roaming around at home in my underwear or some horrendous ten year old sport shorts or mismatched pajamas working out riffs and melodies. That’s often how songs start for me. Other times it can be poems; on the odd occasions, all at once. I say that, but really there are no rules at all; I’ll often create whole band demo arrangements, because I like the. Riff ideas, with no vocal direction at all and write lyrics much later on.
I can actually recall writing the lyrics and melodies for this one, driving around Durham blaring a rough demo arrangement out the window.
The song was recorded with Paul Frost of Zico Chain in the producer’s chair. He and I seem to see eye to eye when it comes to music, guitar sounds, that kind of stuff; I’d say we were from relatively similar schools of thinking and approach when it comes to what we do. And it made the experience all the more fun.
The music video, was edited by a friend of mine from school, Marcus Harland, and Infinite Film; they did an incredible job considering the budget we had to work with. The lighting effect was actually created by putting a plastic sheet up against a wall, ripping holes in it, and swinging torches around in the smoke. Of course you’ll have noticed the star of the show, dancer Nicole Alphonce. It was a freezing cold and long day, but one of the most fun band experiences I’ve had. A bunch of our friends came down to help too!
Would also love to take this opportunity, to once again thank, everyone who was involved, in the recording, video, show bookings. Last I checked the song had a whole bunch of Spotify streams, it really is team effort, and everyone knocked it out of the park.
Madness To Creation: Favorite thing about the London music scene.
Rob: Beers, haha, London beer companies are kicking some serious ass at the moment. Four Pure and Camden Town Breweries I’m looking at you ha, and where there’s music, there’s usually beers. Haha
I mean, of course I’m going to say all the people you meet and how supportive everyone is too; that almost goes without saying, I can hardly call it a scene otherwise. We have amazing friends in London.
There’s such huge variation in town now, so many amazing acts, collaborations, writing opportunities, with a huge pool of talent. I can think of tons of really cool acts that I love going to watch from across the spectrum, I recently went to see a friend of mine The Last Morrell play, really cool act, well worth a look! Clearly a different genre, but very cool.
Madness To Creation: How did it feel to make it on Kerrang! radio?
Rob: I’ve been watching Kerrang! Tv, listening to the radio station and reading the magazine since I was 11 or 12 years old.. was a huge moment for me. I’ve still got a giant stack of old ones under my bed. Magazines that is haha.
Being included by an outlet that’s provided me with so much felt pretty awesome.
Madness To Creation: Describe yourself and the band using a movie title.
ROCK AND ROLLA – “A real rock n roller, he wants it all.’ Hahah (true)
ALMOST FAMOUS, nahhh thats very wishful thinking hahahah!
Madness To Creation: If Boris Johnson is in a mosh pit, how would you react?
Rob: I recall a clip of at the time, Mayor Boris Johnson playing rugby in Japan with some kids on the news. After watching that, I could only imagine he’s a force to be reckoned with in the pit. I would have to get in there and kick it up a notch; plus let’s be honest… being in a pit with a prime minister is a pretty reasonable brag haha.
Madness To Creation: Biggest plans for the band for 2020.
Rob: Well most imminently, we’ve got another song or two to drop on you pretty with some pretty neat videos and content.. looking forward to some exciting shows, great writes, great hangs..
There’s a little, major piece of news I’ve been sat on little while, and I think I’m going have to wait just a little longer to reveal it haha. Soon as its real, I’ll be knocking your door down to tell you!
Madness To Creation: We at Madness To Creation are geared towards mental health awareness, what are some things that you do for your mental health and what advice do you have for our readers?
Rob: The biggest thing for me is getting out the house every day. Change my surroundings. Spend an hour or more, if I can find it, doing something physical or social. Exercise really helps me reset (it also serves as great lyric writing time, for some reason). It gives me some personal time to assess what I’ve got going on.
I’ve got a couple of quotes from family members which I often refer to. Importantly I’ll never forgot what mum said, “a problem shared is a problem divided.” Talk to people, get some perspective. It’s very easy to shrink your world and your perspective when you spend the whole time in your own head.
Also, rather logically, I can recall my younger brother saying when we were discussing an issue.. “oh well, it could turn out alright, so why waste time worrying; and frankly, if somethings not gonna go your way and you’re prepared for that, why waste time worrying.” Although not necessarily that easy to implement, I thought it was quite a nice way of looking at things. It’s nigh on impossible to see from another’s perspective, but when dealing with your own mental health and potential issues, being encouraged to evaluate your own perspective and realities, can be a powerful tool.
Madness To Creation: What else would you like to add?
Rob: Firstly, just a huge thanks for having me on to talk. As artists, creators we can’t overstate the role outlets like you guys play, providing a platform to showcase what we do and talk about it further. Thanks for taking the time and talking about the music..
Of course, most importantly, a massive thanks to those who take the time to listen to the band, stream, download, engage, like, comment, come say hi at shows, by tickets and pretty much anything. It all counts, it all matters and I certainly wouldn’t have had the opportunities I’ve had in recent months without it. \m/
And there you have it! Check out Rob Jarvis & The Mercury Sons and follow his socials for the latest news and happenings!