THE ROCKIN’ SENTIMENT OF A FRUSTRATED NATION
Brad Mercer, veteran Coachella Valley on-air radio personality at KIX Hot Country 96.3-92.1 FM and Host of the popular long-running two-hour syndicated show, “Brad Mercer’s Bands & Fans,” has joined forces with Coachella Valley-based rock band Braun Fraulein, resulting in “Drain The Swamp” (Brad Mercer Featuring Braun Fraulein), a politically-charged, optimistic, up-tempo rock and roll shout-out to all who want to make America great again!
Mercer explains the premise behind “Drain The Swamp,” which also has an accompanying video. “We really didn’t care (in terms of each presidential candidate) who does it, we just like the words, Make America Great Again. We were jamming one night in the compound – Braun Fraulein Recording Studios in Sky Valley, California – and came up with this song that says exactly how we felt at the moment. All of us respect the office of the President of the United States, no matter who is in office. The song rocked, so we rolled tape!” “Drain The Swamp” is America’s new anthem, the rocking sentiment of a frustrated nation, with the promise to clean up government corruption and waste.
Brad Mercer is a veteran of the entertainment industry whose resume would be easier to read if it only listed what he hasn’t done. An accomplished singer, songwriter and recording artist himself, he’s also an award-winning screenwriter, producer and director.
Braun Fraulein, who lay down the catchy rock backdrop on “Drain The Swamp,” consist of Jimi Heil, a singer/songwriter and guitarist who has worked with songwriter and friends Billy Steinberg and Neal Giraldo (Pat Benatar), and is also an accomplished engineer and producer; Mark Fry, a bassist and composer who’s a veteran of the Southern California music scene, playing in bands from Orange County to Palm Springs and who once performed in a band with Bill Ward from Black Sabbath before hooking up with drummer Bill Lordan of Sly and the Family Stone and Robin Trower, to form the rockin’ blues band The Bill Lordan Project. Last but hardly least, drummer Erik Mouness, who began his musical journey early, and by age fifteen was already playing national venues like the Roxy Theater in Hollywood. Erik has performed with members of Kings X, Stryper and The Door’s Robbie Kreiger, to name a few
IndiePulse Music had an opportunity to get some Q&A Time with Brad Mercer to get some of the info and insight for this project.
IPM: When did the idea for “Drain The Swamp” first come to you?
Brad Mercer: Jamming with the band. We had this groove going and I just started singing, “Drain the Swamp…Drain the Swamp…” I’m sure it was stuck in my head as every time you turned on the news someone was saying or shouting, “Drain the Swamp” during the presidential campaigns. The actual idea for the song formed the following week when the band got together for another night of jamming.
IPM: Were you leaning one way or the other, in terms of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, when you decided to write Drain The Swamp?
Brad Mercer: Not really. None of us even thought about it that way. We were all sold on the idea of “Draining the Swamp” in Washington D.C. and the idea of “Making America Great Again”. We didn’t care who did it as long as it got done. Seemed like a good idea at the time. To us it was all about the music.
IPM: How did you meet Braun Fraulein, and who exactly are they?
Brad Mercer: Braun Fraulein, translation – “Brown Girl”, is a Coachella Valley based rock and roll band consisting of singer/songwriter, Jimi Heil on Guitar, bassist and arranger, Mark Fry and drummer, Erik Mouness. All three are veterans in the music business and totally kick ass live. I would go and watch them play every chance I got. They would ask me to sit in and do some of my original songs. When I did, the songs took on a whole different persona. They totally rocked!
IPM: Speaking of Draining the Swamp, in your opinion, is America on the Road to Prosperity, or the Highway To Hell?
Brad Mercer: Well, all I can say is pray for the road to prosperity.
IPM: What has been the overall response thus-far to Drain The Swamp?
Brad Mercer: So far it’s been very positive. We shot a lyric music video for YouTube and gained over 30,000 views in less than a month. Some people take it too personal and can’t see the music aspect of it. It’s just a good song and rocks. That’s really why we did it. To answer your question, most everyone I’ve talked to really like it no matter what their political views.
IPM: You have an interesting musical background. Let’s discuss it a bit.
Brad Mercer: Well, I grew up in the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood, California. My parents were in show biz forever. My Mom sand with big bands in the 40’s and starred in Universal’s “Moonlight In Vermont” with Gloria Jean and Sidney Miller. My biological father, Carlyle Mitchell was an actor. You would see him in all the old westerns playing a doctor or lawyer – “Bonanza” – “Cheyenne” – “Tombstone Territory” etc. He also did, “Perry Mason” – “Peter Gunn” – “A Man Called Peter” just to name a few. My step Dad, Jim Mercer and his brother Bud, “The Mercer Brothers” did many motion pictures together. Mostly musicals as a comedy dance team. Jim was in “Yankee Doodle Dandy” with James Cagney and became his stand-in dancer throughout the film as well. I was always around producers and directors both in movies and television and absorbed everything around me especially in the comedy genre. I just grew up around all of this and learned from them until The Beatles came along and then everything changed for me musically. I started writing songs with my guitar and learned everything I could. I eventually went on the road with a band and paid my dues. You can read my full bio on www.bradmercerlive.tv.
IPM: From a strictly music industry professional point of view, are CD/record sales dead in the water, with the advent of the Internet, downloads. etc.?
Brad Mercer: Absolutely. It will never go back the way it used to be. It’s really hard for indie artists to sell their music now. At least back when I was on the road, we sold a lot from the stage and it was easier to get your records into music stores.
IPM: Who do you personally name as some of your favorite bands/artists?
Brad Mercer: Okay, here we go…”The Beatles” – “Led Zeppelin” – “Hendrix” – “Cream” – “Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young” – “Queen” – “Metallica” – “AC/DC” – “U-2” – “Robert Plant” – “Eagles” and oh yes…”Terry Reid”! Should I go on?
IPM: Any plans to do a follow-up recording?
Brad Mercer: Good question. We weren’t really thinking about that until recently when we started getting all this attention with “Drain the Swamp”. We are in the studio now recording tracks for a new song called, “See The Other Side”. We plan on releasing it sometime the end of March or early April.
IPM: Best social media sites, etc. to keep up with all things Brad Mercer?
Brad Mercer: The main hub that links to all of my websites is http://www.bradmercerlive.tv. However, I have a syndicated weekly new country radio show that promotes the unsigned and newly signed new country indie artists and bands from all over the world seeking airplay on the radio called, “Brad Mercer’s Bands ‘N Fans”. It airs every Saturday on Kix Hot Country 96.3 and 92.1 FM in the Coachella Valley and streams worldwide live on http://www.bradmercersbnf.com and http://www.kxcmradio.com. You can also hit me up on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
For additional information on Brad Mercer Featuring Braun Fraulein, or Mercer’s other projects:
IndiePulse Interviews and Podcasts
IndiePulse Music » Interviews
The Best Music You Have Yet To Hear
Interviews and Commentaries with the Musicians and Celebrities in the Indie Scene.
IndiePulse Music 2015