James Mercer: “The Shins is a vehicle for my songs”

The Shins main man James Mercer has opened up about parting ways with his band mates in an interview with FasterLouder.

Talking to FL in the lead up his headlining set at Splendour in The Grass and sideshows in Melbourne and Sydney this July, Mercer spoke candidly about why he started afresh with new bandmates for album number four: “I think partly I realised the band had become very much identified as the four-piece, five-piece thing and I felt trapped by that. Some of the relationships were not heading in the right direction, and I had made, many, many attempts to try and correct that, with my old technique of ‘Make them happy, and then I’ll be happy.’ It just wasn’t working, so I knew that I was going to have to change things.”

He also made it clear that while The Shins is not the ‘Janes Mercer show’ it has always been first and foremost his musical project, “People are going to say whatever, but the truth of the matter is that I was always the only original member, even when the other guys were there. The Shins had started in my bedroom, it was a recording project for me and then people started being added on slowly, we had changes early on. With Wincing The Night Away we had more visibility and it became locked in people’s heads what we were at that point, but it’s always been sort of influx in my mind. The Shins is a vehicle for my songs.”

Mercer will reach our shores with a whole new team on July 23rd, no doubt ready to reclaim his indie crown and show off all The Shins classics that made us swoon through the noughties.

Stay tuned to FL for our full interview with The Shins next week.