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Small Mercies is a rock band from Brisbanemarker, Australia. The band formed in 1997 (see 1997 in music), and its current lineup is Steve Blaik, Danny Procopis, Marty O'Brien, and Jeff Reeves.

Small Mercies have released two EP (Is This Life? and Off The Record), and one studio album, Beautiful Hum. "Innocent", a song from their 2008 album Beautiful Hum, was nominated for the 2007 ARIA Award for Breakthrough Artist - Single, the band's first and only award nomination.

History

Formation and early EPs

Small Mercies was first established when the band members were teenagers since Blaik, Procopis and O'Brien all attended high school together. The band also contained Simon O'Connor (guitar) and Shaun Spooner (bass guitar, vocals). In 2001, they made it to the finals of the Brisbane Rock Award (under the name "Seventh Avenue"), earning them the rights to play at Queen Street Mall Basement. This performance attracted the attention of Shawthing Entertainment, as well as industry veterans including John Woodruff. The band continued to write and record songs, working with Dave Nicholas (INXS, Sting), Trey Bruce (Faith Hill) and Randy Staub (Nickelback, Metallica)., amongst others.

Later, in 2003, the band was renamed to "Blaik", and developed an unofficial EP, Is This Life?. Their first official EP, Off The Record, was released on 10 September 2004 under the Sony BMG and Modern Music labels. By that time, the band's lineup was as it currently stands, consisting of Steve Blaik, Danny Procopis, Marty O'Brien, and Jeff Reeves. "Pellet Gun", a song originally from the EP, appeared on Power On - Rock Hits 2007, a compilation album released on 20 October 2007.

Off The Record was influenced by artists including U2, Counting Crows, Aerosmith, and Pearl Jam. Steve Blaik of Small Mercies described the EP as "five guys in a room playing rock music", and nothing more complex. He also said that the band was "hoping that the music strikes a chord with those who listen to it."

Beautiful Hum

Small Mercies first encountered their current producer, Matt Wallace (Faith No More, Maroon 5, Train), when he left a message on their MySpace saying "Hey guys, love this stuff. Are you still looking for a producer?". The band had been searching for a producer at the time, and Wallace had been at the top of their "wish list", so they jumped at the opportunity. Previously, the band had been managed by John Woodruff (Savage Garden, Evermore), who signed the band after impressive initial demo.

Small Mercies and Wallace recorded the band's first album, Beautiful Hum, in Los Angelesmarker and San Fernando Valleymarker, working at studios including The Pass and Sound City Studios. The finished product was mixed by Tim Palmer, who also worked with Pearl Jam and U2. In preparation for the album, the band produced about 50 songs, according to Wallace, "and not a clunker in the bunch". He described Beautiful Hum as somewhat of a "best of" album, as there was so much content to choose from.

The first single from Beautiful Hum, "Innocent", was released in 2007, and nominated for the ARIA award for Breakthrough Artist - Single in 2007. It also appeared on the television advertisement for Prison Break. Small Mercies also toured with bands including Nickelback, Hinder, and Daughtry to help promote the album. The album is set to be released on 24 May 2008.

According to Mr Blaik, they are currently recording new songs.

Musical styles and influences

Small Mercies' music has been influenced by numerous successful musicians, as has been described by band members and producers. Lead singer Steve Blaik has described August and Everything After by Counting Crows, Live's Throwing Copper, and The Joshua Tree by U2 as some of his favourite albums, in an interview with Sony Music. It was then stated that he "loves great storytellers".

When talking to Australian Music Online, Blaik described INXS, Powderfinger, Crowded House, and The Cruel Sea as his favourite Australian artists. Blaik said he was a fan of original INXS's lead singer Michael Hutchence's ability "to create so much power and emotion". In addition, he claimed to like Powderfinger's dedication and uniqueness, Neil Finn's songwriting capabilities, and The Cruel Sea's live performances.

Blaik described his favourite Australian albums, in the Australian Music Online interview, as being Powderfinger's Odyssey Number Five, Silverchair's Diorama, and End of Fashion's self titled release. He described Odyssey Number Five as "everything that I love about Powderfinger", called Diorama "a journey from beginning to end", and said that End of Fashion "represent to us a place that we would want to be in the near future" - a clear indication of the band's musical influences.

Blaik has also described AC/DC, especially their Back in Black album, as being highly influential, claiming "I don’t think I know a single musician who doesn’t have this record and this band in their record collection", and asking "How can you not be inspired by this band?"

In an interview with a Cairnsmarker community newspaper, drummer Marty O'Brien described the band's musical forte as being broad, saying "we do a lot of harder stuff but we also do softer variations". He also said the band know when to give each other "space".

Discography

Albums



EPs

  • Is This Life? (2003)
  • Off the Record (2004)


Singles



See also



References



External links




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