Emmanuel Diles and Johnny Dims, founding members of Canadian band Mercury Messiah chatted about the group’s self-titled single and their upcoming music.
Mercury Messiah was founded by Emmanuel (‘Mano’) and Johnny in 2017. Having been friends since their teen years, they were inspired by their shared love of bands such as The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. The original line-up (which included other high-school friends) released a 4-song EP which did well for an underground release. Subsequently, the pair recruited drummer Alex Brunel and bass player Corrado Johnson to complete the current iteration of Mercury Messiah.
Read on below for Mano and Johnny’s full interview with Courageous Nerd.
Aside from being the guitarist and lead vocalist respectively of Mercury Messiah, you two also have a long history with each other. Could you discuss how you first met and developed a bond prior to starting the band? What sparked the initial friendship?
Johnny Dims (JD): Basically, what happened was [that] we went to Elementary School together. Then, he left… he abandoned me halfway through Elementary School.
Mano Diles (MD): We also got bullied in Elementary School together.
JD: Then, we reconnected in High School and realised we had both developed a mutual adoration of music. So, we bonded over that and also played hockey together as well – Canada, right. It’s the culture down there.
The original line-up was formed back in 2017, with other high school friends. How has the band’s musical sound evolved from the early days?
MD: At first, the band started as a hobby. Nothing to take seriously, we got our buddies in. It was great, we were all developing as musicians together. We actually wanted to get more serious, like, “This is awesome, let’s do this for a living.” Once things started getting more serious, we decided it was time to get other guys who were serious.
The sound essentially evolved and has changed quite significantly. We became better musicians, the songs are also way harder than the originals.
JD: We’re tending to lean more into a classic/hard rock sound, with a bunch of elements across the board. We have songs that are full soft acoustic and some that are borderline metal. Our music knows no limitations.
Obviously, a band is made up of individual components coming together. What do Alex and Corrado bring to Mercury Messiah that had been missing previously?
MD: Honestly, I’d say the dedication and technicality of things as well. It’s crazy, when you start playing with other musicians, each musician brings different elements to it. We found two musicians who are very fluid in their playing. They can actually adjust to different genres or different styles of music. When those sounds come together, what you get is the sound of Mercury Messiah.
It’s way easier experimenting with different sounds with these guys. Our drummer Alex, for example. This guy just listens to jazz, he’s a jazz-trained drummer.
JD: He incorporates jazz into the rock.
MD: He’s brilliant. Corrado loves pop rock. There’s like this marriage between rhythmic sections and vocal melodies. It comes together and it’s very, very unique.
JD: Not to mention, both Alex and Corrado are experienced in the technical side of recording and audio engineering. Corrado went to Vanier College in Montreal and got his audio engineering degree. The knowledge of how to record… they contribute a lot.
Your self-titled single was released a few weeks ago, on October 31st. What were you most excited about when releasing this music? How would you describe the single to anyone unfamiliar with the band?
JD: I would say that the self-titled single represents the real essence of the band. Both lyrically and thematically. We tend to write in our comfort zone. Not really adhere to the limitations of time when writing a song. This song is pushing 7 minutes or 6-and-a-half minutes, I believe. We like to take the listener on a journey and bring them someplace. Make them question their place in society, their life. I think ultimately, that’s the goal of Mercury Messiah. To make people question and not remain complacent in where they are. That’s our ultimate goal, yeah.
In addition to this, you also have another single scheduled for release early in 2022 – January 7th, to be precise. What can you tell us about this new music?
JD: That song is a bit of a departure from our latest single, Mercury Messiah. It’s kind of a longer, epic song. More formulaic and has a pop-rock feel to it. It’s one of our favourites, we enjoy playing the song a lot. We’re just really excited for people to hear it, you know? It’s fun, catchy, light-hearted. There is meaning to it as well, you know?
MD: It’s probably the more commercial song out of our songs. It just so happens to be like that, you know? We didn’t intend for it to happen.
JD: When we write a song, whatever comes out free, that’s what it is.
Are there any other upcoming musical endeavours you are able to discuss at this time?
JD: At this moment, we have snipers on the roof. We can’t divulge much but we will say that beyond singles, we have a show coming up. It’s on January 7th, to promote our single.
MD: Along with our music video coming out for that single as well. We’re gonna get that going.
Although a lot of young people especially may dream of having a music career, very few actually get to do it. What advice would you give to anyone who is serious about following a similar path to yours?
JD: Just stick through it. Believe and stay consistent, that’s what I would say.
MD: If you really want it, tunnel-vision. You want that? Do nothing but that. Focus on it and eventually, if you work hard enough, it may just happen.
To wrap this up – aside from what we’ve already covered, is there anything else you hope to accomplish in the coming months, as we head into 2022?
MD: Honestly, just have the world listen to Mercury Messiah. Hear our songs, get our songs out there. We believe in ourselves that we really want this to manifest.
JD: Yeah, exactly. As he said, we want more exposure and to let our voices touch people. That’s the ultimate goal. We’re in this for the people. Yes, we are in it for ourselves but obviously, you need money to survive in the world. We’re not in it for the money. As cliché as that sounds, it’s just true.
MD: We want to affect people like how the artists we love affected us. Rush and The Beatles literally changed my life. I want to do that for others because music is healing. If you can do that, it’s magical.
Thanks again for taking the time, Mano and Johnny. Take care and stay safe!
MD: Thanks for having us.
JD: Thank you, man. Thank you for having us.