Seven years of heartache may not sound like your idea of a good time, but that might just mean you're doing it wrong.

For Tyler Duckworth, that heartache meant what it means to any artist worth his salt: I can use this to create something powerful, life-affirming, and eternal... and also to get laid!

That was the birth of Grand Karmic Circus and, by extension, the Mercury Saints themselves. Because somewhere in the middle of those aforementioned years, Tyler realized no one writes a magnum opus of heartbreak in the hopes that it'll help no one, just as no one spends his life learning guitar to not attract women of questionable morals on Saturday night. So he figured he'd kill two birds with one stone and ask longtime friend and bassist Doug Banks if he wanted to start a band. Doug said sure, and the two recruited longtime friend and newly minted guitar savant John Pinkston if he'd care to join. John signed on, and the trio quickly realized they were out of longtime friends—at least of the childless, unmarried, yeah-I-can-totally-commit-time-to-a-band-without-begging-permission-first variety.

Thus began the four-year, soul-crushing wasteland that is trying to find a person who is both A) reliable and B) a musician. It did not go well. The Mercury Threesome tried out fourth member after endless fourth member, drummers at first until Doug proposed that perhaps there was something particularly, er, special about people drawn only to the kind of music where they get to beat things with sticks and, instead decided to, himself, you know... beat things with sticks. And so Doug became the drummer, and bassists were approached, auditioned, welcomed into the band, and trained up as equals (only to bail a short few months later, rendering the existence of the Saints not unlike a Groundhog Day-esque time loop of torture). The situation became so dire that only one thing could save them: forward momentum. So the three Saints set to work on the EP One-Night Stands, figuring they'd eventually find another fourth member and need some kind of recording in order to book shows, where they'd meet other bassists, from which they would pull when the next one inevitably took a powder.

But frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! Craigslist turned up a bassist who could actually play! (And who wasn't a giant creeper just there to go on tour, where he could wait for everybody to fall asleep and then lick their faces and decide which one of his new bandmates he'd most like to make into an Italian wedding soup. Go Craigslist! And humanity!) Jason Fincher (who—again—isn't a cannibal) joined the Saints in early 2013, and the band hit the ground running, playing live as well as returning to the studio for the last quarter of 2014 to, at long last, record Grand Karmic Circus, released Valentine's Day 2015.

Of course, no true story is ever complete without life taking a steaming dump on everyone's head in the end, so circumstances beyond his control forced Jason to move to Virginia, and now he's gone too. Oh, well. Miss ya, buddy, but life goes on. The three founding Saints have returned to the studio to work on their new EP, Dead Man's Hand, due out... kinda whenever it's done being recorded. Check back often, and we'll keep you posted on both show and release dates.



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