Why Scott Merritt Rules by Skweeezy C (2015)
Scott Merritt rules mostly because he’s a really big boss. Like a Rick Ross type of big boss – but for the local indie music scene instead of Miami. He’s a true OG from the Royal City. His importance in the music community here is quite massive and nobody can say anything different. If they do, they’re a whack ass fool. I totally give him the full Sensi Boyz seal of approval and I’m about to tell you why. Let me tell you a tale of when the $ensi Bo¥ was not Skweeezy C at all but just another clueless nerdy kid fresh in town for some boring uni classes.
Early on in my time in Guelph I had the good fortune of stumbling across one of the most unique and exciting bands I had yet to encounter in my brief time on this strange planet. A band that instantly made me feel like maybe I had actually found a place to live that was weird enough for all my eccentric ways of feeling about life. I feel really bad for all the kids that come to school here and never experience the strange and special side of town that gave birth to The Barmitzvah Brothers.
The Barmitzvah Brothers really caught me by surprise and I quickly got wrapped up in trying to figure out how these high school kids had come up with such a mysterious formula for making music. I diligently searched for clues to uncover their magic recipe and one of the clues in the perplexing riddle pointed to the drummers’ dad, Scott Merritt, who had been involved with the recording process for their second album, Mr. Bones’ Walk In Closet. I was obviously pretty naive and in the dark about his work as an accomplished studio engineer and producer, let alone the great albums and songs he’d already created as a talented songwriter. For all I knew, Scott’s involvement with Mr. Bones merely consisted of setting up some microphones and pressing record for some quick recording sessions. Nevertheless, I had deemed him a magician and searched around to find out more about this mystery man.
It was a pretty slow go unravelling his story until, one day at the Family Thrift Store (now Dis-a-Ray), Ray drew my attention to one of his early albums, Serious Interference from 1983. I grabbed it off Ray immediately but I wasn’t totally sure what to make of it at the time. I had a lot of strange expectations built up in my mind that would’ve been hard to live up to in hindsight but his early work has grown on me as I learned more about the musical landscape it came out of.
Scott recently wrote a new album using an old ukulele that he found under a bed doing some cleaning at his mother-In-laws. That’s the word on the street, anyways. This new batch of songs entirely lives up to the out of control and unrealistic expectations I had for Serious Interference all those years ago. They’re deceptively intricate and simple at the same time. Nothing too flashy – just a great batch of new songs from one of Canada’s songwriting veterans.
I still get excited to coincidentally see him around somewhere. I’m about 99% sure I saw him walking around on the grass at Molson Amphitheatre when The Constantines played with Arcade Fire a little while back and, to my surprise, the random Merritt sighting turned my mood around. That might sound ridiculous but sometimes all it takes is one small thing to make you get over some frustrating thought patterns. I missed almost the whole Cons set cause of CNE traffic and was feeling super miserable about it. Then, bam, random Scott Merritt sighting. You’d do well to schedule a Scott Merritt sighting at Silence during Kazoo! Fest this year. $ensi Bo¥ says you won’t regret it my dudes and dudettes.
Skweezy C is a Guelph-based Hip Hop artist and the founder of the Sensi Boyz, a collective of artists based in Guelph and surrounding area. He is also performing at Kazoo! Fest 2015.