INTERVIEW: Christie DuPree of Merriment

Pick up a copy of Merriment's Sway on iTunes

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Christie Gee recently sat down with front-woman, Christie DuPree of Merriment to chat about the band’s history, family, and more.

 

CG: First off, congratulations on the new record! It’s super cute and oh so good. 

CD: Aww, Thanks!

 

CG:  So, let’s get down to business! Can you tell me about Merriment? How it came together? I know you had a couple of solo EPs. How did the entire band come together in the end?

CD: I started out just writing songs for fun, not really planning to do music for a living. Then one day someone in my hometown was putting on a show and asked me to play. I said, “I don’t know if I can play all my songs all the way through without messing up, but I’ll try!” So I played that one show and from then on I kept getting show opportunities. Then I went on tour with Eisley a few times. At some point Collin, my brother, started to play guitar. He began to play songs with me for fun, but then he became just as much a part as I was. I had been playing shows under MY name, but once he started playing with me I realized that I wanted it to be more of a collaborative thing and we wanted to incorporate more players into the band. We came up with the band name on the fly, and from there it evolved into what it is now.

 

CG: I am sure you are inspired by your brothers and sisters. Are there any other bands that have an impact on the music that you guys make? 

CD: I don’t know what inspires me specifically because I listened to a lot of different stuff. I don’t what comes out in my music and what doesn’t. Good Old War is one of my favorite bands and so is Blind Pilot. There are a lot of bands that I listen to, but I don’t know if anyone could hear any influences in our music or not.

 

CG: So, you could say Merriment is 100% its own. That’s great!

CD: Yeah! I listened to a lot of different music, but when I am writing songs I honestly just sit down and write whatever comes out. Lyrically, it’s from a personal experience or I make it up. I never sit and think, “Im going to write a song like this band or that band.”

 

CG: It’s a great thing, but it may be a little frustrating for people out there to compare you guys to Eisley. What would you say makes Merriment different that Eisley?

CD: I feel like there will always be people who will compare us because they are our family and our voices are very similar. There are some elements in our music that are similar because of the way we grew up, living in the same house playing music together. We all grew up listening to the same stuff. Our sound is different. We have more of an Americana or Folk sound. I am not sure what genre we would be put in. It’s a blend of a few different things. Eisley is more rock than we are. There are definitely similarities, but it’s not on purpose. It’s just because we all have the same parents. Haha.

 

CG: It’s almost as if it’s in your blood as a family. Haha. As a songwriter, what would you say your favorite Merriment lyric or favorite song is?

CD: Oh Gosh! My favorite song to PLAY is ‘Tremendous Love.” That is one of our new ones and it’s a lot of fun to play. Collin wrote that one on guitar. I actually had a simpler version of it because I am not as skilled of a guitar player as he is, because I don’t practice enough! (She says with a giggle) Lyrically, I would have to think about and read through all the lyrics to know because I can’t say at the moment what that would be.

 

CG: Perfect. Let’s say you could put together a dream tour go to on, which bands would you like to tour with? 

CD: Are we talking realistically? Or in a perfect world where it doesn’t exist? Haha.

 

CG: Hmm…Let’s go with realistically.

CD: OK! So realistically I feel like I use this answer in every interview but I would probably tour with Good Old War and Villagers, a band from Ireland. He is super good! In a perfect world that doesn’t exist I would say Paul McCartney and Justin Timberlake! That would be a hilarious tour!

 

CG: So amazing! I would totally love to see that tour happen! How much are you enjoying being signed to Equal Vision? 

CD: It’s super fun! That whole situation came out of nowhere for us. Max [Bemis] is our brother. We weren’t looking to get signed but he really loved our band and wanted to help us out. Everyone already knew of us because of Eisley. We didn’t even think about the opportunity to be signed until it fell into our lap. We would be stupid NOT to, and it’s been great! They are so nice and you can tell that they actually like our music and want to see us succeed. It’s not like they are JUST trying to make money off of us. I feel like they really believe in us. And that is rare this day and age in the music industry.

 

CG: It seems that smaller record labels are turning into “the way to go” these days. 

CD:  It really depends. If you’re a band that can guarantee to be making the big bucks then a bigger label may be better for you, cause you have the right kind of people behind you. But for us, a smaller label is awesome because we are all family. They are cool with that and understand. They don’t try to put us in a certain category or mold us into something we aren’t.

 

CG: That’s perfect! What is next for Merriment?

CD: Directly on the horizon we are going to be shooting a video in June. Possibly a fall tour. We are not sure yet. We are just looking for the right options. I am really excited! We have done a video before but we didn’t have a budget, we just did it for fun with some friends of ours. It took about one day and we just kinda made it up as we went. It’s fun to be able to actually think about a video and plan it out. I hope that it turns out good!

 

CG: That’s so rad. I must tell you that you are living out my alter ego. I wish I had the guts to do what you’re doing. It’s amazing. 

CD: Playing shows is definitely scary. I am not a person who was “born to be on stage.” It still really scares me. But I love singing and playing music so much that it’s worth it. It’s a lot of fun!

 

CG: Thank you so much for taking time to talk to me! Best of luck with the video and upcoming tours! Keep up the amazing work! 

Interview by Christie Gee

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