I caught up with Mercury, one of the members of this exciting new group, SVNGALI to find out a little bit more about them and their music…
They are a three piece experimental English band with members: Mercury as the guitarist, keyboardist, as well as working on the production and recording. Singer, rapper, and bassist Matty. Also, art director and drummer Maz.
SVNGALI started out as a two piece band in 2015, under the name ‘Svengali’ before disbanding in 2016 leaving Mercury as a solo artist. In 2017, Mercury recruited Maz as an art manager, and later asked Matty to record and guest vocals, but both ended up becoming full time members.
How did you come up with your band name?
“SVNGALI is a stylised version of ‘Svengali’ which is a character from the novel ‘Trilby’, who controls musicians to give them talent in return for essentially their souls.”
What made you want to start making music?
“I’ve been wanting to make music since I was about 13. I’ve been in and out of bands my entire life, but I’ve never really clicked with any of the members the way I do with these guys.
“The exact moment I knew what I wanted to do was in 2010 when I saw the music video for Slipknot’s ‘Psychosocial’ and I discovered metal music for the first time. The other members had a more casual interest in becoming musicians.
“We started talking about forming a and when I heard Matty talking about how he wanted to start buying equipment and I offered him usage of my home studio. After that we just kept working together.”
Are there any musicians that are your icons or influenced your music?
“The current album is heavily inspired by ‘Hollywood Undead’, ‘Blackbear’, but we also have a single coming out that draws heavy inspiration from ‘Gojira’ and ‘Slipknot’. We have a very wide range of influences from indie, to hip hop, to heavy metal and we want to put all of that across in our music.”
How would you describe your music?
“Well :mainframeghost: which is our first EP is a concept album about a God who is trying to invent life, but when they actually succeed humanity stops believing in them. The God had to decide whether to destroy them or let it happen.
“The genre is very experimental. We have one song that is on the very very heavy end of the spectrum and one song that is very laid back with piano and lead synth. We tend to sit in the experimental area of things because we like to change things up a lot.”
Is there anything you do to help rejuvenate your creativity?
“I’m in film school and have produced an award winning documentary. Matty acts and makes films too, and Maz is a photographer who prints and sells her work. We also all really enjoy video games and me and Matty both skate. We tend to spend our time together going on ‘adventures’, watching Netflix, listening to music and going to gigs.”
Is there anywhere you would have performed or would like to perform?
“We haven’t started plying gigs yet, but my absolute dream would be to play at Download Festival with a set made of some of our heavier songs. We’d also love to play alongside some of the acts that have inspired us – opening for them or being on the same stage at a festival is the dream.”
Which of your songs are your favourite or you would recommend people listen to first?
“Pry ft Hungry Lights is going to be a fan favourite, we can already tell. And idontwant2bhere is our current favourite off the album.”
What are your greatest challenges?
“Challenges have really been getting around the fact that I’ve moved away from Middlesbrough. I’m the one with the studio, so I’ve been producing all the songs, but it’s been a problem when it comes to writing and recording vocals. We’ve had a few technical difficulties…such as my computer screen blowing up while I was trying to record – it was terrifying!”
What are your plans for the future?
“We have plans to release an EP in February 2018, a music video in March, a second EP later in the same year and a cover at some point.
“In the long run we intend to release many full length albums, play gigs, and release merchandise. We really just want to grow our fanbase to the point that we are able to do this full time.”
Where can people gain access to your music?
“When the EP comes out, it will initially be on Bandcamp and after a few weeks it’ll be available on YouTube, iTunes and Spotify – all the usual places to go for music.”
Is there anything else you would like people to know about your band?
“Well Matty will definitely want me to plug his Twitter page, it’s ‘@MattyTehKid.
“Also, would like to credit the main people that have helped me a lot, Hungry Lights (Justin Bonitz) and Miracle of Sound (Gavin Dunne), who are both established musicians who have been gicing me little bits of advice and generally supported me.
“Also, I’m doing a few remixes for other bands, which all revenue from will go to a currently undecided charity.”
You can listen to the instrumentals of ‘Parable’ and ‘idontwant2bhere’ from SVNGALI’s upcoming debut EP :mainframeghost: HERE.