Band of the Day: Merrick’s Tusk

Saturday night, so most of you will be out on the bevvies… unless you’re like me and have opted for a night in on the Xbox instead! Hey, it’s cheaper. Also, I get to listen to some music while I’m playing. What better time to crank up a Band of the Day…

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

We’re all based in Nottingham, Tim (drummer) is originally from Oxford

How did you meet?

John, Ad and Sam used to play in bands with each other many years ago in the town of Mansfield. John and Ad continued to play together in various bands while Sam took a rest from playing music.

When John and Ad started Merrick’s Tusk, they’d somehow ended up rehearsing and auditioning new drummers in Tim’s basement while he was away working at music festivals. When we met Tim on his return, we discovered his drumming style was perfect for the band!

Sam came a couple of guitarists later after the release of our second EP ‘Regroup and Reform’ in 2016 having rekindling his love of being in bands.

How long have you been playing as a band?

John, Ad and Tim have been playing in Merrick’s Tusk for around 6 years now, while Sam has clocked up around 3 years.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

Hahaha. John was drunk with our first guitarist Adam and talking about how the elephant man would defend himself in a fight.

What are your influences?

Our influences can be quite wide ranging depending on which of us you ask, but as a snapshot: On the might of princes, Smashing Pumpkins, Oceansize, Early- Biffy Clyro, Reuben, Rival Schools, Alpha Male Tea Party & Hell Is For Heroes.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

Always a difficult question to answer when you are so close to the music, but I would describe it as Post-Hardcore, Emo and math-rock blended together. We have very short attention spans so like to add plenty of timing and tempo changes to keep it interesting for us. I think that gives us something unique. Or in the words of Jason Wilson (Stakeout Studios) while recording our album we’re “nonsense merchants”

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

As with most bands a lot of of our inspiration is from personal experience mainly from John’s perspective. Our upcoming album Between the Earth and the Trees has a pretty consistent theme around anxiety and mental health from both a positive and a negative standpoint, something we’ve all dealt with in different ways recently. The album tells a story of us finding our way and becoming closer as a weird little family.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

Our live show is full of energy, humour and serious talk. We lost count of the shows many years ago but it must about the 400 mark!

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

The weirdest thing we saw and did was at the same show in Wroclaw, Poland.

We played in an Anarchist commune that had built a festival style dome tent in the middle of the commune, they had fully grown pet pig running around the place!

We’d traveled 8 hours to get to Poland (after 3 x 8 hour previous journeys), Then our set time just kept getting later and later. John had to get Sam some food to sober him up before playing. With that sorted we got on stage around 2:30 am and somewhere along the way Tim had lost the coordination of his limbs, which is not good for a drummer. After a couple of failed attempts at the first song John gave up, threw his guitar off and stormed off stage. Sam and many of the friendly anarchists convinced him to carry on and finish the set.

We later came to the conclusion that Tim must have been spiked as there were lots of unmarked bottles of alcohol being passed our way. It made for a good story anyway.

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?


  • Amp : Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier
  • Guitars : Partscaster guitar mixed of Telecaster, Stratocaster and custom parts & A Gisbon SG
  • Pedals : Strymon Blue Sky, Boss DD-7, Biyang baby boom, Electro Harmonix 22500, MXR Phase 90, Digitech Oscura


  • Amp : Orange Rockerverb 100
  • Guitars : Gordon Smith GS-1, Gordon Smith Graduate.
  • Pedals : TC electronics hall of fame, Boss DD-3, Behringer US600, DOD milk box compressor, MXR distortion +


  • Amp : Ampeg SVT
  • Guitar : Fender squire P-Bass


  • Drums : DW with extra floor tom
  • Cymbals : A mixture of most brands including a zildjian high definition custom ride, which is the only one not to crack!!

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

We’re currently in the lead up to the release of debut album Between the Earth and the Trees through Undead Collective Records on the 3rd of May, We have plenty of live videos, music videos and other content on the lead up to that date too. We’re so excited to be sharing what we’ve been working on!

What are your plans for 2019?

Releasing all the videos, content and of course the album! – along with playing a whole bunch of show across the UK! We love getting out and meeting new bands and people.

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

One band who we are a little obsessed with recently is ‘All Get Out’, we’d love to have an opportunity to support them!

To open we’d choose Patrons, they are killing it at the minute and definitely going places!

Merrick’s Tusk: official | facebook | twitterinstagram | spotify | bandcamp

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