Mike Dougherty of Merit Opens Up About "Living With The Low": "You’re Not Alone and Life Gets Better"
Last month, Lansdale pop punk act Merit dropped their introspective new EP, Living With The Low, a self-dubbed “analysis of dealing with betrayal within romantic and other personal relationships”. Although it is only five songs in length, Living With The Low is not only an incredibly relatable release for fans, but also some of the band’s most vulnerable and personal work to date. With a strong underlying message of hope for those who might be dealing with depression or anxiety and a reminder that you’re not alone, Merit’s new EP is not only a hard-hitter, but a must-listen.
We recently caught up with vocalist Mike Dougherty to chat about the cathartic recording process, the messages behind the EP and the band’s plans for the rest of the summer. Read the full interview and listen to Living With The Low now below.
Can you tell us a little bit about Merit for anyone who might be hearing you for the first time?
We’re a heavier pop punk band from Lansdale. For fans of Set Your Goals, A Day To Remember, and Four Year Strong.
You just released your new EP, Living With The Low. What are you most excited for listeners to hear on the EP?
I think we are just genuinely excited for people to hear the record in general. Personally I like the track “Anxiety is the new black”, the chorus is super catchy!
You’ve mentioned that Living With The Low deals with betrayal in relationships. As this is something that will likely resonate with a lot of listeners, what would you like them to take away from the EP?
Yes I hope so, I really dug deep to try and write something that people could connect with. I think the main thing I’d like people to take away from the record is that mental heath is something that should be taken very seriously and that if you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, self image, inadequacy... you’re not alone and life gets better.
The content of the EP makes it a very personal release, too. Was it a bit cathartic to work on at times?
The writing sessions of the record were pretty much my therapy. It was the only way I could express myself and I think it was the best way to close a bunch of chapters in my life.
What was the most exciting or rewarding part of working on the EP?
Just seeing everything come to fruition, and having people be genuinely excited for the release.
How do you feel you’ve grown with the writing and recording of Living With The Low?
Like I said earlier getting a lot of things that were weighing me down mentally got put on paper and helped me close those chapters of my life.
You also worked with Matt Brasch of The Wonder Years on the EP! What do you feel he was able to bring to the table during the recording process?
Honestly working with Matt Brasch (of The Wonder Years) was such a pleasure. I’ve never been more comfortable and confident during a recording session. Also during pre-production and recording, he really helped fine tune our songs.
With the EP out now, do you have any other big plans for the summer? Any shows or tour dates planned?
We just released a beer called “pop punch!” that we teamed up with local brewery “Imprint Beer Co.”, it was Ana amazing release and it tastes amazing! We have some plans to tour in early fall!
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us! Is there anything else you would like to add?
Stream our new record “Living with the Low” on all streaming services and check is out on our social media pages!