Last week, we sat down with Have Mercy drummer Todd Wallace in Eindhoven for the first edition of our brand new 6 Minutes With… feature. The aim of this segment is to find out as much as possible about an artist in the space of six whole minutes. All of this was conducted in an empty catering room under the watchful eye of Have Mercy’s tour manager, Mike. Read on to see how Todd (pictured below post-interview) fared.
All Things Loud: Hey man. How are you doing?
Todd Wallace: We’re good! We just arrived here in Eindhoven after being stuck in traffic for about three hours.
TW: I don’t know. There was no accident I think.
Mike: Yeah, there was. It was all cleared up by the time we got there, though.
Oh well. How’s the tour been so far? Any highlights?
TW: Umm, just being over here in general! It’s our first ever overseas tour, which is a big highlight for us to be honest.
Of course you recently stated that you’ll be commencing work on your third studio album. How are preparations going?
TW: Good! We come back from this tour in March and start on pre-production. [Brian] Swindle, our singer, already has a list of songs that he’s got going and we’ve worked on a bunch as a band together. After pre-production we’ll go in and start working with producers and then see how it goes, I guess.
Can you tell us anything about how it’s going to sound?
TW: We don’t really know yet. The three songs that we have worked on together as a band have all been very different from one another, but also somewhat different from previous stuff that we’ve done. We don’t know exactly how it will sound, because it could all change at the end. There’s still so much work to be done.
Is there anything you’ve been influenced by which has influenced you in a way?
TW: Me personally? No, because I’m the drummer and I don’t have a whole lot to say, y’know. I listen to a whole lot of sad stuff.
So what have you been enjoying in general?
TW: I listen to a lot of Damien Rice.
TW: Yeah, he is. I listen to all singer-songwriters to be honest, and I don’t listen to too many bands. It’s weird because I’m a drummer, but yeah I don’t really listen to that many of them.
Right. So when you guys start work on a song, what approach do you tend to take?
TW: Usually Swindle will come up with an idea of something that he’s been working on at home or something, and then we’ll all get together and he’ll throw the idea out. That’ll kind of be the basic structure, and we’ll all work around that and try to build on it. We’ll change things around as well, of course.
Nice. So how’s the local scene back in Baltimore?
TW: Great! Obviously we have a lot more fans over there than we do over here, but it’s cool. I like it. We’re doing a big festival in Texas in March, so that’ll be cool. Also, we’re doing that and doing a 10-date tour around it with this band called A Will Away. On the last day, in Philadelphia, we’re doing a show with The Early November which is gonna be real cool. That’s really all we have going on back at home, to be honest.
What are your favourite places to tour?
TW: Me personally? Florida. Everybody else in the band hates Florida, but I was born and raised there for a big part of my life. I love hot weather and exotic stuff. I wish we could tour in Hawaii, but not a lot of bands get to go there. Here [Eindhoven] is cool, y’know. Like I said, we haven’t really done any tours outside of the States apart from a couple of shows in Canada.
So this is your first proper European tour?
And as you’ve just done the whole UK run with Mayday Parade and The Maine, I’m intrigued as to what you think of the UK in general.
TW: It was really cool. I don’t like the weather at all. But the kids and all, the fans, they’re super nice.
TW (to Mike): Are you doing shit behind my back?
Mike: I was laughing about the weather, haha.
TW: It has literally rained every single day of this tour!
Well we had a storm here in Holland last night.
TW: And last night in Baltimore we had snow for the first time this year too!
Wow. We’ve not had that yet.
TW: Haha. But yeah, the kids are super nice and the UK and everyone is just really, really friendly. It was kind of mixed response in some places, but that was more as a crowd together. The crowds were either really good, or not so interactive. We had some really cool nights, though. Dublin was fantastic, and we have a good amount of fans there too.
Have you got plans to come across again for your own headline tour?
TW: We would love to, but there are no plans as of now.
So what can we expect from you for the rest of 2016?
TW: Well our main focus is now the new record, but I would assume that we’re going to be touring again in the fall. Probably not over here, though. It costs a lot of money for us to come over here, so it’s gotta make sense and it’s gotta be right.
Is it a really tough struggle for a tour like this?
TW: Sometimes, but it hasn’t been too bad. Luckily we’re on this great tour and it’s been absolutely awesome so far! The only struggle is dealing with that asshole [points back at Mike; everyone laughs].
Well, thanks a lot for your time and have a great show later.
Todd beat the clock by a total of 21 seconds, meaning that our brief discussion clocks in at 5 minutes and 39 seconds! Watch the video for Have Mercy‘s Two Years below.