Silver Loves Mercury: PAO Productions Interview
Described variously as loud, destructive, and seductive," and as "a perfect mix of angel and devil," Silver Loves Mercury is as much defined by their sheer destructive power as by their charismatically hard hitting yet catchy melodies and unchallenged command of the live stage. In late June I sat down with guitarist Kitty and singer Roxi for a chat about the band's music, history, views on the local scene, and what to expect from them in the days ahead.
Silver Loves Mercury at Trees

PAO Productions: Thank you for agreeing to talk to me today.

Kitty: No problem.

Roxi: You're welcome.

PAO: What is the origin of the name Silver Loves Mercury?

Kitty: Oh god (laughs).

Roxi: You gonna handle this one?

Kitty: Uh, it sounds cool. That's about it. There's actually a story behind it, but, um, it's kinda super cheesy. It's funny how we talk about what shouldn't be printed, and . . . this is definitely one of 'em.

Roxi: When you're gonna print something about it, just uh . . . just print we can't discuss that.

Kitty: (laughs)

Roxi: It's like a secret society thing.

Kitty: We can't tell ya.

Roxi: Yeah.

Kitty: We'd have to kill you.

Kitty of Silver Loves Mercury
Roxi: Illuminati and shit.

Kitty: Right.

Roxi: (laughs)

Kitty: As Illuminati as fuck.

Roxi: (laughs)

Kitty: Of all the things that I don't wanna talk about this.

Roxi: That's my answer to any question that I don't wanna answer, I just say "Illuminati" (laughs).

Kitty: We plead the Fifth. Illuminati.

Roxi: Illuminati. Don't kill me (laughs).

Kitty: So yeah, that's the origin. Not exciting. No hidden deep meaning or anything.

Roxi: Yeah.

Kitty: We like the ambiguity.

PAO: Tell me about the formation of the band.

Kitty: This one's a fun one.

Roxi: I was in a previous band that I'd been in for quite a while. We were going in to record our first like real CD, and Kitty ended up as our engineer. And we really liked working with him. When we went into the studio the first time, to check out the studio, the owner was talking to us and he was like, "Okay, let me play you some of the stuff by the guy that you're gonna be working with. This guy'll be your engineer and he'll get your stuff." And he played us his previous band . . . can I mention the name?

Kitty: Well, you can only mention the initials. They're kittyviolet.

Roxi: (laughs) So he played us some of the kittyviolet stuff, and I was like, "Man this shit's fucking cool!" And he ended up recording the album, and his band ended up playing some shows with us, and I sat there the whole time going, Man, I wish I could sing for that band, that'd be fucking cool! I like that shit! And we started working on some stuff on the side, 'cause we weren't really doing anything with our other bands at the moment. So we started tracking some stuff, didn't really have a name for the project yet, and then his singer quit on him, what, two days before their last show, two or three days?

Kitty: Well she said she couldn't make a show, so Roxanne here filled in, and then she quit shortly thereafter. So we decided, screw it.

Roxi: We changed the name . . .

Kitty: Yeah, we changed the name.

Roxi: And keep the . . . well we ended up changing the bandmates instead (laughs).

Kitty: Well, we kept those guys . . .

Roxi of Silver Loves Mercury
Photo courtesy Amy Tate Photography
Roxi: They slowly . . . we kept them, and then they . . .

Kitty: They were the initial line up.

Roxi: Yeah.

PAO: I can tell this one's going to be interesting.

(Laughter)

PAO: When and where was Silver Loves Mercury's premiere?

Kitty: Skillman Street Bar?

Roxi: Yeah, Skillman Street Bar. It was . . . 2009?

Kitty: I don't remember the year, but you can actually find it on, find one . . .

Roxi: There's a video on YouTube still.

Kitty: Yeah, there's a multiple camera video of it with horrid audio of our first performance.

Roxi: Yeah.

Kitty: Of us doing "Armageddon."

Roxi: It was "Armageddon," yeah. And I was sittin' there goin', Don't forget the words! (laughs)

Kitty: And she was doin' the cha-cha.

Roxi: I was doin' the cha-cha. I like the cha-cha, damn it (laughs).

Kitty: I like the cha-cha. She should bring the cha-cha back.

Roxi: The cha-cha's what I do when there's not much room on the stage (laughs).

PAO: How was the band received?

Roxi: It was insane.

Kitty: Well, actually. I think . . .

Roxi: I don't think either of us had ever been in a project of our own that had been received that well before.

Kitty: I don't know what people expected. I mean, we each had our own bands and maybe they weren't expecting much from us, I don't know, but it went over really well.

Roxi: Yeah. Everybody loved it.

Kitty: Except for the people that hated it.

Roxi: Yeah. Fuck them!

(Laughter)

PAO: You've been described as "loud, destructive, and seductive," and as "a perfect mix of angel and devil." How would you characterize your sound and style?

Kitty: Noisy and obnoxious.

Roxi: I get out there and I let the demon out.

Kitty: Is that a euphemism? I don't know.

Roxi: No, it's just how I feel. I feel like a tornado. I feel like I'm just spinning, and if I spin fast enough, no one can see me.

Kitty: Man, it's interesting. I don't remember who wrote that. I think it was the cat from Lit. Mark Bena-, Bena-something.

Roxi: Oh the quote. Yeah, yeah.

Kitty: But when people ask me what kind of music we do, I just say "rock." Loud, obnoxious rock.

Roxi: Yeah.

Kitty: It's interesting to get, like . . . there's so many people that you ask them what kind of music does your band do and they're like, "We're like a cross between funk and a little bit of jazz and you sprinkle in a little metal." And you listen to it, it's just fucking rock.

Roxi: Yeah.

Roxi of Silver Loves Mercury
Kitty: (laughs) I try to avoid any of the subgenres.

Roxi: I don't really know how to describe us. I say come to a show and describe us yourself (laughs).

Kitty: People lump us in with metal bands, with punk bands. They think we're . . .

Roxi: It's all about the vibe, really, with us. Like, live.

Kitty: We're just a rock group.

Roxi: We go with pretty much anything.

Kitty: A loud, noisy rock band. We're not the Philharmonic, how's that? (laughs)

Roxi: Yeah. We're raunchy.

PAO: Describe the musical and lyrical themes that run through your music.

Kitty: Hmm.

Roxi: Man, there's a lot. It depends on what mindset we're in any given day that we end up writing.

Kitty: Some of the songs are interesting in that they're about how fucking awesome we are, but only when we're drunk.

Roxi: Yeah.

Kitty: 'Cause otherwise we got like no self-esteem. It's awful.

Roxi: And some of them are about how much we hate ourselves (laughs).

Silver Loves Mercury at Trees
Kitty: Yeah. When we're sober.

Roxi: Yeah.

Kitty: Or the day after. I don't know.

Roxi: Some of them are just about shit we've been through.

Kitty: Yeah. Broken hearts.

Roxi: Broken promises. Busted faces (laughs).

Kitty: Usually my own.

Roxi: (laughs)

PAO: How do you approach songwriting?

Kitty: She and I have different approaches, completely.

Roxi: We've done it a couple of different ways. For me, personally, a lot of times I'll start thinking about something and I'll just kinda zone out and then words will come, and I'll start writing them down. And usually some kind of rhythm will come with them, more than a melody, so it'll just be lyrics with kind of a loose rhythm to it in my mind. Sometimes he'll come up with guitar riffs and stuff - he'll have like a whole song all together and I'll just come in and we'll work on lyrics together.

Kitty: Or she'll work on lyrics. It varies from song to song. Like "Nothin'," for example. She had already written the lyrics before we worked on the music at all.

Roxi: And I already had an idea, kinda . . . that was one of the ones where I kinda had an idea of what I wanted for the melody and everything, but a lot of times I don't. A lot of times it's just a rhythm.

Kitty: Yeah. And "O Well," I had the music already . . . so it really does vary. There's no one way that we do it.

Roxi: Yeah. We do it every which way (laughs).

Kitty: Yeah. We're like the Kama Sutra of songwriting.

Roxi: Yeah (laughs).

PAO: How do you answer critics who might characterize female fronted punk style bands as mere eye candy and theatrics?

Kitty: Come to the show.

Roxi: Yeah. Well, and that's why on our first CD we didn't have any pictures of the band except for on the very inside, which was just faces. When we first put our stuff up online, and in our first promotions of the band, we wanted to see how the music stood on its own. We didn't want to attach anything visual to it at first. I've heard before, people that have seen us through a window at a bar or something, they come up afterwards and they say, "Aw man we just came in 'cause we thought you were hot, but you guys are actually really good!"

Kitty: (laughs)

Roxi: And I'm like, "What, you expected us not to be?! What the fuck?" But, I mean, from a marketing perspective, and from a visual perspective, you know you want your stage show to have a vibe that the music does, and there is definitely a sexual vibe to it. But you don't want that to overpower the music, either.

Kitty: What she said!

Roxi: Yeah! Chicks! [server comes to table] Oh fuck, here comes the Jäger.

Kitty: Not me. I'm keeping my memory intact.

Roxi of Silver Loves Mercury
Photo courtesy Kelly Whitehead /
Spacial Tension Photography
PAO: As someone who makes use of a strong sexual vibe onstage, how do you feel is the best way to deal with overzealous male fans?

Roxi: Oooh . . .

Kitty: Well, I have to keep them at bay 'cause I have to beat 'em off with a stick. It's kind of annoying.

Roxi: (laughs) Kitty has more problems with that than I do. I mean, he gets all the men. Me, not so much. I mean, every once in a while there'll be like a lady or two that comes on to me, but . . . (laughs)

Kitty: There's only so much Kitty to go around, you know. Shit.

Roxi: Um, I don't know. That's an interesting one. We have security at most places, for the creepers (laughs). So there's always someone that's got our back.

Kitty: Pull a gun out on 'em.

Roxi: Yeah, Kitty's had to pull his gun out before.

Kitty: No euphemism.

PAO: Like, seriously?

Roxi: Like seriously, for real, yeah. Had to pull his gun out. Someone tried to kidnap me (laughs). It was scary.

Roxi: I'm not mentioning any names, but . . .

PAO: Let's talk a little bit about your influences.

Roxi: Vocally, I've always been a huge Aerosmith fan. Steven Tyler's voice is something that I always tried to mimic as a kid. All the, like, 70s, 80s rock pretty much, you know? But then I started listening to a lot of punk, too, in high school, and I got familiar with the Plasmatics and Wendy O and all that. So I guess it's pretty eclectic, from rock to punk. When I actually started training my voice I was listening to a Fiona Apple CD. I would take a Fiona Apple CD and I would lay on the bedroom floor with a speaker on one ear and a speaker on the other, and just sing along with it and mimic it. So that's . . . yeah, it's pretty eclectic, my influences. They're all over the place.

Kitty: I'm pretty much influenced by anybody who has a song that hits hard. I know it's a little cliché to cite the Beatles, but here's a band that, like, anything they wrote was gold.

Roxi: Yeah.

Kitty: These guys could just shit songs and it was all just amazing. All four of them. All five of them if you include George Martin. Guys like Kurt Cobain . . . When I first started, I had the Eddie Van Halen and I had, you know, the Steve Vai, and all these guys that I looked up to as players, and as I got older you start to appreciate the song a little bit more. You initially just want to be flashy, and I guess, uh, guys like Kurt Cobain or Todd Lewis of the Toadies, just have this knack to make anything . . . anything they sing just sounds fuckin' amazing. It sounds like a song. They could just be reading the phone book, and it just comes across a certain way. So, anybody that has that kinda thing I really look up to. It's interesting, guys like that piss me off because I wish I could do that. You know, where I strive to do that, rather. To make it so effortlessly.

PAO: From a stylistic standpoint, whom do you regard as your spiritual forebears, musically? And I don't mean in a religious sense.

Kitty: I'd say Jack Off Jill.

Roxi: Yeah, Jack Off Jill. Um . . .

Kitty: Hole, to a certain extent. I mean, it doesn't necessarily . . .

Roxi: We like the whole feeling of being able to get up on stage and not give a fuck. Wear what you're comfortable wearing, something that reflects the mood you're in that day, that reflects the mood of the music that you're playing, and letting everything out. All the dirt and grime, all the ugliness and the raunchiness of life. So . . . I don't know. A lot of people could fit (laughs).

Kitty: Beethoven and shit.

Roxi: Beethoven and shit! (laughs) I think about, like . . . I don't know (laughs).

PAO: Tell me about your earlier bands and musical projects.

Roxi: (laughs) Yours are more interesting.

Kitty: I don't know about that. Earlier bands? It's not even worth mentioning anything I did when I was really young 'cause none of it was really any good. It wasn't until two bands ago that what we did in those projects was something that I could be proud of and I can still be proud of now. But they've all been pretty similar. This has been not necessarily the heaviest, but I guess the . . . dirtiest? Like, sonically. But my previous band was a borderline punk band. The one before that was just this kind of a pop punk band à la Tiger Trap or something to that effect. It's all just been consistently getting grittier, like grungier. And I don't mean grunge as a genre. I'm just talking like a dirtier sound.

Roxi: Yeah.

Kitty: Less emphasis on like a polished sort of delivery.

Roxi: We're focused on the raw feeling behind it.

Kitty: Yeah.

Roxi: But yet, sonically, beautiful enough to hear everything.

Kitty: As you hear the evolution of it all - at least my bands - you listen to the recordings, they become less and less layered. The original ones had a lot of layers on top of 'em, the next band had fewer, and you listen to something like our last, Bullet for Your Black Heart, it's just drums, bass, and guitar.

Roxi: Get down and get back to the soul.

Kitty: For the most part it's just seriously two tracks of guitar, one track of bass, and drums. No over layering, no reverb, no delay. So that's been the evolution of it all. But somehow it just sounds bigger and nastier than the previous projects.

Roxi: I've had dates like that (laughs).

PAO: I like how you kinda talk around naming any of them (smiles).

(Laughter)

Kitty: And no one wants to hear about my days with Metallica, you know.

Roxi: (laughs)

PAO: You mind talking about some of the things you did before going out on your own?

Kitty: Oh, not at all.

PAO: You've been around the business for a long time [as] a successful producer, engineer. You've worked with Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Solitude Aeturnus, Sony Records, Metal Blade, Activision, and on the last several RivetHead albums.

Kitty: (nods)

Kitty of Silver Loves Mercury
Photo courtesy Kitty Vslm

PAO: What are some of the brightest moments you've had in your career? What are some of the standout moments?

Kitty: I guess the initial meeting of any of those bands, really. Like, it's interesting walking into a room and, Hey this is Izzy Stradlin. Oh, okay. How you doin', man? I used to listen to you when I was learning how to play, shit. It's . . . I can't even separate them, I really don't even know where to begin. I really don't know. I guess seeing my name at Best Buy, you know, looking on the back of the CD and seeing my name on it, that's . . .

Roxi: And on the Platinum for Volbeat.

Kitty: Yeah, that's another standout one . . .

Roxi: That's cool.

Kitty: . . . getting a Platinum record.

Kitty: I got a platinum record for my work on Outlaw Ladies and Shady Gentlemen, or the other way around. Outlaw Gentlemen, Shady Ladies. I don't even know the name of the damn record. The Volbeat record.

Roxi: (laughs) That was fucking cool.

Kitty: So that was . . . yeah, I jumped around like a little girl. Good stuff. Like a goddamn girly girl.

Roxi: More girly than this bitch over here (laughs).

Kitty: Yeah, it's too many to separate at this point.

PAO: Do you think that being at the helm yourself, producing, recording, engineering, and mixing your own music, carries the danger of making you into too much of an aural perfectionist?

Kitty: Yes and no. No in the sense that . . . like I mentioned before, with this project we definitely go for something a lot grittier, a lot dirtier, a lot more raw, a lot less polished. But yes in the sense that, because of that, other people getting involved, I don't know, it's almost as though unless we're completely in sync as to what the vision of the final product's gonna be, then it almost seems like it's gonna be detrimental, unless it's somebody like . . .

Roxi: That really gets the vibe of what we're doing. Then it's really hard to work with them because they're just gonna try to turn it into something it's not, and we're just gonna get pissed off and butt heads.

Kitty: Why don't you guys try a five part harmony on this chorus?

Roxi: Yeah. And then me and Kitty chime in with, "Fuck you, motherfucker. Eat a bag o' dicks."

Kitty: And all of this is just speculation because we never work with anybody else, so . . .

Roxi: We're gonna have to find the perfect person.

Kitty: I don't know that it's a good or a bad thing, but it definitely feels right for now.

Roxi: Yeah. We're not opposed to ever working with anyone, but . . . it'd have to be the right person.

Kitty: Well, after reading that, nobody's gonna want to work with us (laughs).

Roxi: Yeah, they're gonna be like, screw those assholes (laughs).

PAO: You originally started Silver Loves Mercury as a studio project, so do you view it more as a studio project with live performances, or as a band that has released studio albums?

Kitty: That's another tough one, at least from my perspective anyway, because my goal is always to put out a record that people are gonna listen to regardless of any kind of stage show, because music always has to stand on its own. Something that people are driving, that, you know, they pop in our CD to listen to without having to see anything. But at the same time, when they go to the show, I want them to have more than just four people up there rockin' out, you know, staring at their shoes.

Roxi: My perspective of it, too, is like, it was really cool, writing all of it in the studio and listening back on it and releasing it and everything, but there's a magic to this that takes a whole life of its own when you take it to a stage. And there's something that's sooooo much more fun about performing it actually live, and feeling the energy and letting everything out and like, it's just . . . this stuff is so much fun to perform.

Kitty: Once again, I know it sounds cheesy, but, recordings and live show notwithstanding, the main thing is the songs themselves.

Roxi: Yeah.

Kitty: So that really is the focus, more than a CD recording and more than a live show, is that the song be able to stand on its own.

PAO: Building on what you mentioned a minute ago, what's your take on the live experience versus the studio experience?

Roxi: The studio experience, for the last two, it's been fun. It's just me and Kitty, drinking, and writing, and recording, and sometimes bickering (laughs). Punches have been thrown.

Kitty: It happens.

Roxi: Tears have fallen, apologies have been made, hugs have happened.

Kitty: Apologies have been retracted.

Roxi: True. Much like the claws (laughs). Um, we've been through a lot together. It's therapeutic. And being in the studio is therapeutic in a different way than being on the stage is. Being in the studio is therapeutic in the sense that you're thinking through things that you've been through and actually putting them into words, and putting your feelings into a recording, melodically and lyrically. But then taking it to the stage is different, because over time the songs kinda change their meaning to me, at least, personally, when I take 'em to the stage depending on the night, because I can look at it in a way that it was written originally but then I look at it in a different light when I've gone through something else, and I'm like, Oh you can look at this song this way, too, and that's how I feel about it tonight and I'm gonna use that to beat the stage up tonight, you know? So that's the difference I guess between studio and live performance for me, personally.

Kitty: Like I said before, the song is everything, but that being said, the recording definitely feeds the live show. I'm not a big fan of people playing original songs that they don't already have recorded. And a lot of bands do that, they'll do the test out a song or whatever. I think it's important to support what you're doing onstage with a product. But even though the recording is a foundation, performance is what I live for, that's almost the endgame, as far as what I enjoy doing. But I would never deny the importance of a studio record. Just . . . live is why I started doing this.

PAO: Do you believe in crafting work in the studio, or crafting it outside the studio and then honing it when you go to record it?

Kitty: That's another tough one. I've done them both. We did Treasures almost entirely in the studio.

Roxi: Mmm hmm.

Kitty: But it depends on your budget. It's really difficult. You're not gonna come across somebody that has that kind of budget to be able to write in the studio. In fact everyone that I work [with] I advise to be ready to one-take everything, even though it's not gonna be one-taked.

Roxi: Except for that one song (laughs).

Kitty: Be ready to do that, be as well rehearsed as if you were gonna play Letterman or something to that effect. Yeah, I'm showing my age. As though you're gonna play Johnny Carson (laughs).

Roxi: Johnny Carson (laughs).

PAO: So what was the one song?

Silver Loves Mercury
Photo courtesy Kelly Whitehead / Spacial Tension Photography
Roxi: "Heart" was a one-take, pretty much, except for the middle part.

Kitty: Yeah, "Heart" was one take, the main line in "Heart," and most of "Purity."

Roxi: "Purity" too, yeah. And we argued about that one so much!

Kitty: That's 'cause you were wrong.

Roxi: (laughs) Okay, obviously he won!

Kitty: (laughs)

Roxi: But yeah, we did argue.

Kitty: Actually, we did end up compromising.

Roxi: A little bit.

Kitty: But as far as which is better, it's hard to say. I'm almost of the school of thought of - even though we did do Treasures in the studio - of having your song finished. It the difference between just dabbing paint on a canvas without any direction as opposed to having a vision of what you're gonna end up with. And that sounds cheesy as hell but it kinda can translate that way. Shooting photos willy-nilly until one looks cool, I mean, that's . . .

Roxi: You kinda have to come up with something in the middle, like you have to have kinda like an outline, an idea of what you want, and then let it come organically too, you know. I like the middle ground of it. I like to have the feeling that it kinda created itself, but yet you came up with the original thought, you know?

Kitty: Do you like how we just answered absolutely nothing?

Roxi: We're really good at that (laughs).

PAO: I've noticed (laughs).

Kitty: We're like lawyers.

Roxi: Yeah we should've been (laughs).

PAO: What's the most gratifying thing about performing in front of a live audience?

Roxi: Oh, man.

Kitty: The reaction.

Roxi: Yeah.

Kitty: Good or bad, the reaction.

Roxi: Good or bad, the reaction. Just knowing that you manipulated those people into feeling whatever they felt. You're the cause of it. You started that chaos. It's like Loki.

Kitty: Yeah. That's all I really want is that reaction. Like I said, good or bad, I would rather someone tell us that we suck than just have a conversation in the back with their friends and not listen to what we're doing.

Roxi: Yeah.

Kitty: At least we affected that person enough for them to have to tell us that, or throw tomatoes, or whatever it is people do. Now I'm showing my age.

Roxi: (laughs) To-MAY-to, to-MAH-to.

PAO: What are some of the standout experiences you've had playing with Silver Loves Mercury?

Roxi: Man, I have to say . . . I guess the two that stand out are the first performance ever, because I didn't know what to expect from the crowd, because we had never done it live before, that was cool that they were into it, and that the crowd built instead of dwindling; and then, also, this last show we played at House of Blues. It was our first show there on the main stage as direct support for Graceland Ninjas, and I didn't really know what to expect. I didn't know if there was gonna be a crowd there for us or not. When we took the stage there was a crowd there and I was like, Oh god I hope they stick around, you know, and two or three songs into it . . . Like, the first song, they're just kinda confused, you know, and I'm sitting there going, Ah god, I hope they don't leave. Second song, some of 'em are starting to bob their heads a little. By the third song we had everyone. And the crowd started building, actually. And I was like, Fuck yeah, they're stickin' around for this! And then, we went backstage afterward and I . . . I teared up (laughs). I was so gay about it. I teared up, too. I was like, Holy crap, they actually loved us! And then our bass player for the night came back and was like, "Hey, they want you out there." I'm like, "Who wants me where? Where am I goin'?" He's like, "No, come back out on the stage. People are tryin' to shake hands and stuff." I'm like, "What, really?!" You walk back out there and people are trying to grab you, and you're like, Holy shit, they really liked what we did! It was so weird. It was so cool!

Kitty: It was scary 'cause we went on between a Journey tribute band and Graceland Ninjas, both of whom were on their game.

Roxi: Yeah.

Kitty: It wasn't just some piddly bands that we were going on between. It was like two bands that were . . . the first band, everybody knows their music, and they were good.

Silver Loves Mercury - House of Blues tickets
Photo courtesy Roxi Vslm
Roxi: Yeah.

Kitty: So having to follow that already is a little weird. And then being so different from like, noisy punk band getting up there . . .

Roxi: We were different from everyone else, yeah, and people actually dug it. It wasn't our typical crowd. It was a very different crowd than what we're used to playing to, and they still loved the shit out of it.

Kitty: One of the best standout moments with us was the first time I heard the crowd singin' along . . .

Roxi: Yeah!

Kitty: . . . to one of our songs.

Roxi: It was "Nothin'."

Kitty: It was "Nothin'."

Roxi: Yeah, that was cool.

Kitty: And I'd never experienced that before with any of the original bands that I'd been in.

Roxi: Me neither.

Kitty: And even my bands.

Roxi of Silver Loves Mercury

PAO: What's your opinion of the current state of the local music scene?

Roxi: It's changing right now. The local music scene is changing a lot. I've seen life come back to it. We've obviously lost a lot of people, but that's how life is. It's coming back. There are new venues opening soon. There are a lot of really talented people in the area in all aspects of the industry. It's finally getting some fresh blood. So I'm excited about it. Dallas has always been a really hard place for me, personally. The way I've viewed it, if you can make it in Dallas, you can make it anywhere. The couple of times we've been out, it's seemed like it's so much easier to win a crowd over, and nobody else in the nation knows the talent that's in Dallas right now. And the talent in Dallas doesn't realize that it's actual talent, because they haven't been anywhere outside of Dallas, and Dallas doesn't give a shit 'cause it's used to being spoiled with good talent, and doesn't recognize it a lot of times. But I think that that's changing now. You had Los Angeles, and then you had Austin, and then you had Nashville, and I think Dallas is a possibility now. It might be a new, up and coming area.

Kitty: It's just a question of trying to get people out to shows, that's the main thing. The scene itself is a give and take of both the bands and the crowd themselves, and that's what people, I think, really mean when they say that the scene is either growing again, or diminishing, or at a time when it died, or whatever. They're really talkin' about the size of the turnouts at these shows. There was a time that any given Thursday through Sunday there'd be a line wrapped around Trees. It didn't matter who was playing, you just knew that people were just there to support.

Roxi: They had the reputation.

Kitty: Yeah, and it's really just a matter of . . . that seems to be coming back.

Roxi: Yeah.

Kitty: 'Cause the talent's always been there. It's just a matter of getting everybody involved again, and it seems to be growing again, so . . .

PAO: Who in your opinion are some of the most talented people in the local scene right now?

Kitty: Us.

(Laughter)

Roxi: Man, you know, we play with a lot of the same people a lot of times, and maybe we need to branch out a little more about who we play with, but we just ... we play what we're booked. Every genre in this area has some talented musicians. There's a lot of talent beyond the actual musicians also - there's photographers, and there's sound engineers, and there are club owners that actually get how to book things, where you're not stickin' someone that's nothing like one other band next to another band, actually get the draw of putting certain bands together, and understand how to market and promote. I think we have to come together collectively, just like this creative family, to make everything work. Some of our favorite bands out here, you know, like . . . the guys from D.I.K, you know, they've been around as long as we've been around the scene, and we've known them for fuckin' ever as far as I'm concerned, and their stage show and their music and their talent . . . yeah, we like that.

Kitty: It's difficult to say, only because I can name like ten, twenty bands off the top of my head that I think are just fuckin' ridiculously great, but the trouble with that is afterwards I'll remember like thirty more . . .

Roxi: Exactly.

Kitty: . . . and then I'll hate myself for not mentioning them. Then they might feel slighted because I didn't mention them, then thinkin' that we think they suck, where that's not the case at all. So many great bands.

PAO: [To Roxi] Would you like to add a disclaimer to what you just said?

Roxi: Yeah. Just what he said.

Kitty: What he said!

Roxi: That just popped into my head because we were talking about them earlier, 'cause you'd done an interview with them. And the last show we played with someone from Dallas was them (laughs). We were in Houston with them a couple weekends ago. Actually, my first time seeing them they blew me away. Seeing them as D.I.K and none of their previous bands.

PAO: [To Kitty] Touching on what you mentioned a minute ago, you've played a lot of shows with RivetHead, the Razorblade Dolls, and now Designed in Kaos. You produced the last group of RivetHead albums, contributed a remix of "Scream Queen Phenomenon" to an EP of remixes the Razorblade Dolls put out, and Roxi here made a guest appearance on one of RivetHead's albums. So do you feel a kind of kindredness among the bands in the local scene?

Kitty of Silver Loves Mercury
Kitty: I definitely think there's a kinship to it.

Roxi: We're definitely a little family. We always have each other's backs.

Kitty: Yeah, we're not just in the same room doing the same thing. You know, enjoying each other's company, of course, but it's definitely more than that.

Roxi: The collective creativity of it all, and being surrounded by people that are enjoying what they're doing as much as you are, and get what you're doing, and get where you're trying to go with it, and you get them, and . . . yeah, that's cool. To play a good show with cool people, and hang out with your friends, and rock the fuck out of wherever you're playing, hell yeah! That's greatness.

Kitty: See, we kept that one short.

Roxi: (laughs) Almost as short as your penis. And my temper. (laughs)

PAO: What are some of your personal favorites in the Silver Loves Mercury catalog?

Roxi: Ooooh. "O Well," "Suckerpunch," "Nothin'" . . .

Kitty: She's about to name our entire set list.

Roxi: (laughs) I think those are my top three. "O Well," "Suckerpunch," and "Nothin'." Those are my top three. And "Calluna." I love "Calluna." God, we never do that live and I fucking love that song.

PAO: You never play that song live.

Kitty: "Calluna"'s a decent cut. There's just so much that goes into playing that. I mean, it's got the orchestral section, it's got champagne glasses clinkin', shakers, all sorts of weird shit goin' on. I guess we could strip it down for live, but then it'd be a snoozefest.

Roxi: Yeah.

Kitty: It kind of needs all of that other crap. And you generally won't hear me say that, but . . .

Roxi: When you listen to "Calluna," like when you play it when you're in your car or whatever, it's like there's some kind of magic about it. Everything starts to move with the song. Like, the trees sway to it, and the birds fly. It's so weird to me because every time I put it in, every single time, everything moves with it (laughs).

Kitty: "Bones" is near and dear to me. I really like "Purity," because it just came together like nothin'. It was just such a raw song from the beginning.

Roxi: Yeah.

Kitty: "Purity" is raw and gnarly, and it just kind of came together. I also like the fact that no one can play it. Heh heh heh.

Roxi: (laughs)

Kitty: Those are my favorites. "Burn" is particularly dear to me because it's your typical heartbreak subject matter, but it's also a fuck you. And not that that's original, but I think, you know . . .

Roxi: The way we do it.

Kitty: It's fun. It's like a fun fuck you.

Roxi: There's a lot of energy to it.

Kitty: It's not an angry song, but it's one of those where you can groove out and just have a good time to it. But it does have an angry undertone. Yeah, those. Everything else we can scrap.

Roxi: (laughs)

PAO: What else have you been involved in besides music?

Kitty and Roxi of Silver Loves Mercury
Photo courtesy Roxi Vslm
Roxi: I worked as a choreographer for a while. Ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, military, modern, all of it. Dance, that was my life. That was the only life as a performer that you could have, growing up where I grew up. There was no music. It was only dance (laughs). And so I did it.

Kitty: I used to be a fireman. Not a firefighter, but literally a man made of fire. I'm totally making this up.

Roxi: (laughs) This is true. I actually blew him out once, and I felt really bad.

Kitty: That sounded bad, yeah.

Roxi: (laughs) So I relit him, poured some gasoline on him . . .

Kitty: Like that episode of Always Sunny where they were dealing with the mobsters. It's like, you gonna whack us off? Don't whack us off. I think we're gonna have to whack you off! Good stuff.

Roxi: (laughs) It's like something one of my friends said one time. He's like, "Oh man, I took my sister out to this beach club one time and I had to beat all the boys off because they were all hittin' on her." It was like, "You beat all the boys off?"

(Laughter)

Kitty: Well, that's the thing to do.

Roxi: He got so red in the face (laughs).

Kitty: Come here, buddy!

Roxi: (laughs) Stop lookin' at my sister!

Kitty: Other than music I dabble in photography and film, but I'm really bad at both. Just look at Silver Loves Mercury's video. That's my handiwork.

Roxi: I can't draw stick figures. Seriously, I can't. They're all squiggly and shit.

Kitty: Everything she does looks like it was done with her left hand, and she's not left handed.

Roxi: (laughs) It looks like something a two year old did with their left hand.

Kitty: Remember that time I accidentally offended you? I didn't realize that I offended her. I left my fountain pen at her house, and I come back and I see this awful handwriting, and I go, "What were you doing, writing with your left hand?" And I seriously thought she was. And she was like, no. I'm like, I'm sorry!

Roxi: I'm seriously bad. You can't read my signature, it's bad (laughs). I have to work on that one for the autographs and stuff.

PAO: You did pretty well signing my CD. I can read R-O-X-I.

Roxi: Good. I'm getting better. I'm getting better. I'm learning.

PAO: Treasures was released in, and correct me if I get the dates wrong, in 2010, and Bullet for Your Black Heart followed in 2011.

Kitty: I think so.

Roxi: Something like that.

Kitty: Close enough.

PAO: Do you have a new album in the works?

Roxi: Yes.

Kitty: Yes, and um . . .

Roxi: And we're broke.

Kitty: We need money.

Roxi: Yeah, we've got stuff ready to record, and more stuff ready to get ready to record, which is what we're gonna do soon. We don't have the money to record it, so we're just gonna get the rest of the material together and see what makes it, and see what doesn't.

Kitty: And like I mentioned before, I don't really like to play stuff unless we have product of it.

Roxi: Except for that one time.

Kitty: What did we do?

Roxi: "Four Leaf."

Kitty: Ah "Four Leaf." Yeah, you're right.

Roxi: That's the only one. There's always one time.

PAO: Any thoughts about doing a proper music video sometime?

Roxi: Yes! We want it badly.

Kitty: Yeah.

Roxi: That's another funding issue right there. We have ideas. Honestly, at this point, we'll probably do it for something off the new record.

Kitty: Works for me.

Roxi: Because by the time we have the money for the new record, hopefully we'll have the money for the video, and there's no point in doing something for an old song when you could do it for a new one.

Kitty: What she said.

Roxi: Yeah.

PAO: So what can we expect from Silver Loves Mercury in the days ahead?

Roxi: A lot of trashy, raunchy, in your face, dirty, rock n roll.

Kitty: Pissing people off. And foot massages.

Roxi: Foot massages included if you buy like every CD, and like every size of every t-shirt.

Kitty: We'll make the drummer do it.

Roxi: Yeah. When we find him (laughs).

PAO: Where are some places where people can experience your music online?

Kitty: ReverbNation.

Roxi: We're on iTunes, we're on ReverbNation, we're on SoundCloud. We only have like one or two songs on SoundCloud though because I don't like their terms and conditions in their contract.

Kitty: Spotify.

Roxi: Spotify. Mainly iTunes. I would say iTunes, ReverbNation, Facebook . . . there's links to everything. Just Google "Silver Loves Mercury." We have like fifty million fuckin' sites that I update sporadically when I'm drunk. We're gonna hire someone to do that soon 'cause I'm sick of it (laughs). When we have money (laughs).

PAO: What's the one aspect of your personality that you think would be the most surprising to your fans and followers?

Roxi: Man, that's cuttin' to some cores right there. Um . . . I feel guilty when you compliment me (laughs). That's the weird part of my personality. I feel guilty when I get a compliment. I don't know why.

Roxi of Silver Loves Mercury
Photo courtesy Amy Tate Photography
Kitty: I don't know. I almost wanna say that I'm a huge nerd, but I think people know that anyway.

Roxi: I love getting compliments. I'm trying to get past that. I get awkward. I guess maybe not guilty, but awkward. I don't know how to take it. I'm not used to it.

Kitty: Yeah, I'm sick of people complimenting me. God damn it.

Roxi: (laughs) I'm better when I'm drinking.

Kitty: I know I look good. Shit. I don't need you to remind me of it, you know? You know? Am I right?

Roxi: I'm quiet. I'm quiet when I'm sober. And it's scary (laughs).

PAO: Is there anything else you'd like to say?

Roxi: I would like to say . . . I don't know what I'd like to say anymore (laughs).

Kitty: Yeah, I think we're done.

Roxi: Yeah, I think that's good.

PAO: All right, well thanks for agreeing to this interview.

Roxi: Thank you for interviewing us (laughs). That's greatness.

Green Room, 6/28/2014