On August 18 we see the release of Mersiv’s next track ‘I Like It When You Move’, and with that also his first single from the upcoming album Out of Bounds coming later this year. It promises to be a fun and flowing record. True to Mersiv’s style, but with some surprises and experiments to be discovered. “For my previous album ‘Pretty Dark Loud’, I had really discovered the sound that I wanted to push and I had spent years working up to that. Now that I have that sound that describes Mersiv and what the project is, I wanted to take that and push it further.”
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This Denver-based producer is finding himself in the bass centre of the world, so nothing is off limits to make an even bigger break with this upcoming album. For his recently announced tour, he’s pulling all the stops, collaborating with PK Sound and creating a massive visual show to go with the record. It’s about time we had a talk with the man himself, asking him about how he’s looking forward to all of this, and what we can expect from him in the near future.
Hi Mersiv, congratulations on all that you are doing. You’ve got some year coming up! You just announced your next album, and are going on tour soon… Can you tell us more about how this all came together?
It’s come to life in the last year or two. These last six months have had the album take shape. One thing that stands out to me is that the songs will be shorter compared to my last album and will have a lot more vocal features to help tell the story.
Why did you go for more vocals?
I’ve always wanted to work with vocalists. In my live shows, I always mash up songs with a lot of vocals from other tracks, to give them a new flavour and a new life. With this record, I wanted to do more vocals to capture that and take a part of this piece of my liveshow.
You were also saying something about the vocalists helping to tell a story. What story do you want to tell?
The theme of this record is about having fun and being in the moment, just completely letting loose, and a lot of the vocalists on this record specifically are talking about having fun, dancing, and having a party atmosphere. Some of them are flexing their sound, and it captures the theme and helps present this record as a more fun and free-flowing album.
This will be your second album. How have you as an artist changed from your previous one ‘Pretty Dark Loud’ compared to this one?
After ‘Pretty Dark Loud’ there was a big break in production for me, I was touring for almost a year and a half straight. I didn’t have that much time to create on the road, I just made little snippets of ideas, of drums or midi samples, just quick short ideas. Whenever I got back to the studio and to work on the record I think I had a little bit more confidence compared to last time cause I was able to get more songs done faster. I was more intentional in what I wanted to make.
Can you tell me more about ‘I Like It When You Move’, the first single of the album?
That’s one of the projects that I started on a previous tour. I was on the bus during the ‘Liquid Strangers’ tour, and I was really inspired by him and all the other artists that were on the tour. Everyone was playing weighty music. I wanted to make a song that resembled that. I wanted to see if I could make my heaviest song to date, and I think that is a great way to introduce this album. It’s a free-flowing, heavy, fun atmosphere that I’m trying to convey with this album. This is a little sneak-peak of everything that’s to come.
You also recently announced a tour, what can we expect?
We’ve been working on this tour for close to a year now, we’re gonna have a brand new production that we have never used before, as far as visual, production, and lighting. I don’t wanna give away too much for that. We’re also going to be touring with PK Sound, the robotic line array company. The visual artist that has worked with us for the last six years, Joseph Allen, has been working diligently with other visual artists to create a visual path to go with this record entirely. He’s been working very hard, and he’s one of the best VJs in the game, so I’m very excited to do this tour together.
How do you feel working towards all this?
I’ve been very excited and anxious about it, it’s been a little stressful to make the due dates. But now that everything is starting to get finished and everything is starting to come together, I’m getting really confident about everything. All of the artists that we have supporting this tour, I think that their freeform music and all of the experimental subgenres that they connect with will bring this tour to life as well.
Why did you feel it was stressful meeting those due dates?
I don’t like to rush the process whenever I’m creating music. I want to be completely happy before turning a project in. So far I’ve met all those deadlines thankfully, but it is a little stressful because I don’t want to release music I’m not happy with. But so far, I’m happy with everything.
Do you feel the same preparing your sets and this tour?
Those are easier to navigate because once I have all the new music, they just fit in. I’ve been DJ’ing since around 2013, so that’s more in a flow state already compared to production. Whenever I’m touring, I make a couple of sets before the tour starts, but then once I get out there I tend to experiment and play around with things. It feels a little bit more free once I’m on the road and once I’m able to experiment. I’m really excited to get out there again.
So it’s been 10 years since you started DJ’ing, and you recently met one of your milestones: selling out Red Rocks. How was that?
That was my number one goal when I started music. Now that that’s been completed I feel like there’s a weight that’s been lifted off my shoulders. It also really inspired me to keep writing music. That day was literally one of the best days of my life. I felt super present, my family and friends were all there supporting me. And all of the other artists and their families were very supportive too. It felt like a very present moment day. I wasn’t thinking about anything else, and that has translated into writing this album.
Leading up to Red Rocks it took me and my visual artist about two months of preparation because we wanted to make a special show for the audience. Now that that’s been completed, that energy has transformed into the album. The feeling of being free, being accomplished, and more confident in my work. I think it’s inspired a lot of this new music.
What other dreams do you have for now?
I’m back on the drawing board for this one at the moment. What I hope after this album is to play more special events, and push the innovation of the sound design that I’m creating for this record.
Can you tell me more about that sound design that you’re trying to push now?
Yes! For my previous album ‘Pretty Dark Loud’, I had really discovered the sound that I wanted to push and I had spent years working up to that. Now that I have that sound that describes Mersiv and what the project is, I wanted to take that and push it further, as far as taking what’s familiar to my fans but experimenting more, doing things that aren’t as common as far as shaping the sounds and combining their patterns together. Through that, I’ve added more vocalists to tell those main stories about having fun.
How would you describe your sound?
We call it freefrom bass, it’s a combination of different subgenres of electronic music. Right now, in this current day and age, people are more accepting of a bunch of different subgenres of the same main genre. There are all these different subgenres, and what I like to do is to combine a bunch of these and put them all into one. There are also a lot of hip-hop drums in this record specifically, it’s what I grew up on, and it’s one of the roots of my musical background. I try to incorporate these drums into my sound design, while still making it sound like dubstep and all the other subgenres of bass music.
How far do you think freeform bass can, and will, go?
I’m hoping it’ll last forever, that it keeps evolving and maybe turns into a completely different name, who knows? I think it will always be there, whether it’s under that name or not. It seems that nowadays people are combining different elements already, all from a different genre. It’s also the whole reason we started MorFlo Records, my label. We want to push the genre, with that label we want to find that flowing state, combining different parts from different genres to combine it into freeform. Trying to help the audience maintain an open mind to all these different pieces of music, combined together.
One final question: where do you hope your album will go, and what do you hope to achieve with the tour?
I hope this album connects with more people, with a broader audience. Right now I have a very specific audience and I hope these new songs will connect outside of my regular listeners. I hope it will allow me to play Red Rocks again, and do other bigger shows in the near future. With this tour, we’re taking a risk with doing our production and bringing in PK sound. I hope that if this tour and this album are successful, we can keep bringing in specific productions and sounds to different venues. Those are the goals that I hope come out for this album and this tour, that it allows us to do bigger production and bigger sounds in the future.
For myself as an artist, I hope I can do this for as long as possible. I hope to do this for another 10-15 years. I know that’s a lot, but I hope that I’ll be able to do that. If not, I’m grateful that I got to be a part of it, and in my time. That my 20s were spent sharing music and art with people.