The Mercury Theatre

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The Mercury Theatre


“Anyone would have high hopes,” says frontman Peter Garratt of their debut. But Garratt, not to be confused with our Federal Minister for School Education and former member of the Oils, is a realist. “We’re not expecting it to be make or break, but it’s been something we’ve been working towards for ages. It’s odd focusing on one thing for so long but we’re starting to think there’s life after the EP – life goes on.”

Since forming in 2009, The Mercury Theatre have developed a distinct sound which the band describe as a blend of progressive and atmospheric rock with rich melodic overtones. One might imagine it may be hard to find your feet as a prog rock band in today’s scene, and one wonders how Garratt and his bandmates found their sound. “It’s more or less just what happened. Our drummer and I have been playing together since high school, which is eight or nine years now. The bulk of the songs are written before they’re presented to the other guys. I really like it to sound complete, with just an acoustic guitar.”

The band’s name is a reference to the theatre company founded by Orson Welles and producer John Houseman in 1937. The company went on to produce many critically acclaimed stage productions before venturing into the growing world of radio, and eventually producing the infamous radio play The War Of The Worlds. 

“Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre in particular are something which I and Riley our other guitarist share. We love what they were able to do, and what it says about the power of the media,” says Garratt

All I Am is the lead single from Immurare, and the song which has garnered The Mercury Theatre the most attention as a band to date, especially through triple j’s Unearthed. “It’s always a tough thing to pick one song that you think should represent your entire body of work,” says Garratt. The band struggled somewhat with making the tough choice of which song would best represent them. In the end though, All I Am has proven to be a good choice. “It was a no-brainer really. We all love the song, we love playing it.  It’s got great emotion, great drive.” 

The EP’s engineer Matt Voigt has worked with Australian outfits such as Powderfinger and Cat Power to great effect in the past, and Garratt believes that snagging the chance to work with Voigt at Sing Sing studios has greatly contributed to the final product that is Immurare. “To be honest we expected to be going through a lot more hell than we did when we were recording,” says Garratt. “Matt came with great recommendations and the studio thought he’d be perfect for our sound.  We thought the process would be so much more stressful but Matt is just so professional and so slick.” 

Garratt is ready to show Melbourne what The Mercury Theatre is made of at the upcoming EP launch, but he’s main wish is just that people like what Immurare has to offer.  “So much energy has gone into it.  We hope that people like it and that it has some impact.”