Volume 96, Issue 65
Friday, January 24, 2003

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12 QUESTIONS: Golden Seals

By Kelly Marcella
Gazette Staff

Gazette file photo
CUT THIS OUT, IT'S GOING TO BE WORTH MONEY SOME DAY SOON. Dave Merritt of The Golden Seals takes a break from the high life to pose for a mug.

These Golden Seals will not be found at your local Sea World. They're not animals, they're human beings – human beings who make beautiful music.

Their latest album, No-Hitter, charted top five on the CHRW 94.7FM lists and is an interesting fusion of pop, folk and rock sounds. The Gazette managed to catch up with Golden Seals' frontman Dave Merritt and throw him 12 Questions.

1) How did you come together to form this band?

For the show at [The Gravity Club], the Golden Seals will be me, Mike Bonnell on piano and Italian organ, John Higney on bass and Jeremy Gara (from Kepler, Weights & Measures) on drums. This will be the first time Mike and Jeremy will meet, and I'm worried that they may fight, or, even worse – kiss.

2) How has response been so far to your latest album No-Hitter?

Well, critical response for No-Hitter has been good – it was picked in the top five for '02 on CBC's Bandwidth, top 10 in the Ottawa Xpress and it just got a nice review in Now magazine. It's charted as high as 24 nationally, and was recently nominated for a Nobel Prize in Rock. I couldn't be more pleased! Audience response has been overwhelming, of course. I think I've sold 10 copies. Literally – 10 copies.

3) What musical influences inspired you throughout your career, and especially in the making of your latest album?

The latest album is really a bunch of songs that I had recorded solo or with two or three different bands (Adam West, Red Giant, etc.) over a long stretch of time, so the influences are not consistent. OK, that's a lie – I always rip off The Beatles, and only The Beatles. That's actually very consistent.

4) How does the band influence each other?

Sometimes, I can convince John Higney to eat a raisin biscuit when I know he really wants a dutchie. Other than that, everyone is pretty tough. Oh, you mean musically... Mike is a great writing partner, and he always comes up with some magical chord that can make a mediocre song "mediocre plus." Higs is a genius. Jeremy makes me wish I were cooler, musically and otherwise. He has all these handshakes that I don't even know.

5) What is the best part about being a musician?

Being able to sleep with any celebrity (mostly female) I deem worthy. Also, I like recording and touring.

6) How do you feel you have evolved as a musician over the course of your career?

Remarkably, my guitar playing has not improved since I was 17-years-old. My singing and songwriting, on the other hand, has improved quite a bit in recent years. In fact, I think I can safely say that I am now the best singer and songwriter in the world.

7) How has your evolution as a musician impacted your sound?

I don't think I have a sound, any more than, say, the post-'65 Beatles, or the Kinks, or the Two-Minute Miracles have a sound. One song is a ballad, the next is sort of country, the next is a three-minute pop rock number.

8) What is one of the best experiences you've had as a musician?

Any time a song got played on the radio or that someone said "I love your song" or "I love that album" or "That was a great show."

9) What is the hardest part of being a musician?

Not being able to do it full-time. Additionally, I find playing the guitar very difficult, and I have always found my incredible fame a burden.

10) Where was the best show you feel you've ever played? Why?

The last time The Golden Seals played Call the Office [2001] was a nice show, mainly because we played well and folks seemed to like it. But also because we made about $7,000 or $8,000 to play.

11) In what direction do you see the band going from this point on?

Up, baby – straight up. And I mean baby in the Grade 3 sense.

12) What should we be looking ahead to from the Golden Seals?

I'd like to make another record with Mike Bonnell and Andy Magoffin this summer. And I'd also like everyone in the live band to start taking pilates or yoga classes, so we can increase our core strength and flexibility. If we could achieve perfect oneness, there's a strong chance we could be unstoppable.

The Golden Seals play tonight at The Gravity Club. Their albums No-Hitter and Storybook Endings are available at www.maplemusic.com.


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