Photo by Tim Barber.
Carey Mercer is the 27-year-old brain behind Frog Eyes, a band from Victoria, BC, that makes music composed of equal parts glam urgency and complete Tom Waits bat shit. Clothingwise, they don’t jazz it up too much—they’ve got a Home Depot/your-cool-uncle thing goin’ on. However, the sheer brilliance of their new record The Golden River will ensure that it doesn’t matter. These guys sound like someone ground up some peyote, told Peter O’Toole it was blow, he snorted it, and an hour later someone else said, “Hey, I’m working on some music for my play about pirates. Wanna help?”
VICE: Do you like anyone in music who’s really fashionable?
: No. We get compared to Captain Beefheart occasionally. I’m not a huge fan, but I picked up Safe as Milk, and they look pretty good on the back cover. They have a lot of nice suits and they look respectable. Sometimes when we play, I wear a white suit and have a drunken Faulkner theme.
Did you ever have to have the right sneakers?
In grade eight, I wasn’t the most popular child, and my parents never had any money. You know those fantasies of retribution and climbing the ladder? I daydreamed this whole new suit with MC Hammer pants and coming to school one day and just gleaming.
That is so depressing. When you get to the show, do you just wear what you had on all day?
Yeah. I sweat a lot. Sometimes after a show it looks like I’ve just walked out of a lake. It’s hard for me to wear anything too heavy. We just put the sweaty clothes in a bag in the van. It gets pretty gross. But gross is rock.