The Rising Band MERIT Discusses Their Brand New EP, ‘Living With The Low,’ Their Newly Created Signature IPA Milkshake and More!
Posted On 01 Aug 2019
Hailing from Lansdale, PA, Merit already has a seal of approval from members of The Wonder Years and Thursday. The band’s newest EP, Living With The Low, released last week on July 26th, was recorded/produced by Matt Brasch, mixed by Nick Steinborn and mastered by Bill Henderson.
Living With The Low is a record about dealing with the betrayal that too often comes with personal relationships (romantic and otherwise). Though the record’s driving melodies are bursting with energy and enthusiasm, lyrically Living With The Low is a dark and brooding look at one of the lowest periods in lead singer Mike Dougherty’s life.
“The record is basically a psycho-self analysis of dealing with betrayal within romantic and other personal relationships,” shares vocalist Mike Dougherty.“The lack of honesty and loyalty, especially how constant it was in my life then, really played a part in the downfall of my psyche and has made an everlasting impact on how I handle things in my day to day life.” He continues: “Each song on this record has a specific emotion attached to them, that’s why we named them the way we did. Despite its light sounding instrumentation, this is a very dark record to reflect a low period of my life. Hence ‘Living with the Low.”
Check out the lead single, “Woe, She’s A Gravedigger” here: https://youtu.be/5tKwYNys9YI
To coincide with the release of Living with the Low, they are teaming up with local brewery, Imprint Brewing, to brew, can, and release a blood orange/pineapple/cherry/milkshake IPA dubbed “Pop-Punch,” which is available now.
Connect With Merit Here:
Learn more about Merit in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What is on tap for the rest of your day?
We are currently driving home from tour after our last show in Harrisburg. Once we get home we’ll probably sleep forever.
Now that we are into the 8th month of the year, how would you say that 2019 is treating the band so far? What have been some goals this group has had this year? How close are you to reaching them?
2019 has been our biggest step forward thus far. The process of making the new record has pushed us as a whole to be a better band. We also have a beer coming out so 2019 has been pretty tight.
We had our sights set on releasing the new record we’ve even working so hard on entitled Living with the Low out July 26th.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? Was it hard to think of a name that you could agree on? Has anything surprised you about this musical journey so far?
A friend of mine told me that Nate, our guitarist, was looking for a lead singer, we met up, and things took off from there.
It was one of the single hardest things we’ve had to do. A lot of different names were floated but finally we happily settled on Merit.
We’re all were surprised by how much our local music community rallied behind us. The ability to work with some of our heroes that came up in the same Lansdale scene like Matt Brasch and Nick Steinborn of The Wonder Years. Also, recently our collaboration with local brewery Imprint Brewing Company on a new beer, Pop Punch, that will be released the same day our album drop July 26th.
How do you think your hometowns have influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group? If not, what do you think does influence this group?
We grew up in a major hub of punk and hardcore music for the last 30 or so years. We’ve always had a great scene and so many mentors to look up to. We’ve always had something great here and we are all grateful and proud of where we grew up. Lansdale forever.
I always like to ask bands if you all hang out socially apart from the music? In other words, when you aren’t working on music, do you guys enjoy hanging out for fun?
We all love spending time together but life and other circumstances often get in the way.
Let’s talk about your brand new EP, “Living With The Low.” What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you about the overall process?
It was a long process and has been totally worth the wait. We can’t wait to enjoy the fruits of the our labor.
This was the most prepared we’ve been going into producing an album. From pre-production with Matt Brasch to the collaborations we have for the release.
How does this 3rd collection show the growth that this band has gone through over the years?
By listening to it you can hear it clear as day. The format of our songs is more in depth. We’ve all matured as musicians from one album to the next.
What has it been like joining with your local brewery in PA, Imprint Brewing to brew, can and release a blood orange/pineapple/cherry milkshake IPA called Pop-Punch to coincide with your EP release? How did this collaboration come to be? What are your favorite flavors of this IPA?
We’re dropping a music video showing the full process of us making the beer with Imprint complete with a new song from the album. The video will be dropping later this month. It was a blast.
We were asked to play the event, Haze it Forward, at Imprint Brewing to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Through that we got to know the Imprint team and together we came up with Pop Punch.
We love all of them! Blood orange is especially a favorite though.
How does your lead single, “Wow, She’s A Gravedigger” prepare people for the rest of the EP? While it’s hard to pick favorites, can you pick out a few other tracks on this new EP and talk about how they were formed and got to be on this collection?
We think it displays a lot of what we have to offer as a band. Diverse
I think our fourth track is one that really stands out. It’s about me dealing with my depression and how I felt like I wasn’t good enough for people. How I’d rather stay inside rather than disappoint people. All of the songs found their rightful place on this record because of similar themes.
Generally, how do you guys go about writing your music? Do you write together or separately?
Our guitarist Nate is the brainchild behind this project. He demos out the instrumentals, sends them over to our singer Mike for lyrics, and then we all jam out to them and add our own personal tweaks during practice.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
I think we all have a great time in studio recording, but there’s nothing like performing our songs in front of a crowd of people.
What do you think makes for an ideal show for this group? What has been a favorite show of yours in the past?
Any show. We bring the hype to every show we play and always have a great time. If resonates with the crowd then all the better!
Definitely any Lansdale show. Our hometown always pops off.
How has social media impacted this band? How often are you all on your different sites interacting with fans? How have you been able to utilize it through the years?
Social media is great and we try to interact with all of our fans who reach out to us! However there’s nothing quite like meeting and talking to people at shows. I love the face to face interactions with other people who share the same interests.
We’ve been mainly using Facebook and Instagram to keep our followers in the loop with what we’re up to. It’s been great in that sense. We have been more active on all of our social media platforms so I’m gonna go out on a limb and say we’ll be utilizing that with sponsored posts and whatnot a little more often.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how you all think being musicians and in this band still gives you the most joy in life today? Do you find that your music is an escape to all the current events?
It’s an escape from everything. We can all get together, have a good time, and just forget about all of our problems for a few hours once or twice a week.
What musicians have really been inspiring you since you first started making music?
The local scene and he bands it has produced have always been a big influence for us. In particular, bands like Bangarang & Leavenworth are still on my daily playlist.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
You’re not alone. It gets better.
Please reach out to someone if you feel like life is too much. As for the people on the other end, check up on your friends. Sometimes that’s all it takes for someone to feel like a person again.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about this group?
Check us out on our social media platforms, Spotify, Apple Music, itunes, and hopefully we’ll see y’all on tour someday soon!