When Scott Mercado ordered a Johnny Burger in Italy while on tour with Italo-French folk-rock group Grimoon, the last thing he expected was a ciabatta bun, mayo, a tomato, and a hot dog cut in half. But that’s what he got. In November, Mercado will have the chance to return the culinary favor when he takes Grimoon on their first U.S. tour up the West Coast.
“I have to take them to Little Caesars, Olive Garden, and the Venetian in Las Vegas,” says Mercado, who will be drumming for the group. “They just have to know.”
Mercado met Grimoon in 2005 while touring Europe with the Black Heart Procession. Five years later, the multi-instrumentalist behind Manuok and Via Satellite is producing Grimoon’s third album, Super 8, which will make its stateside debut in conjunction with the tour.
Grimoon members Solenn Le Marchand, Alberto Stevanato, and Claudio Favretto released Manuok’s last album, The Old Horse, on their Italian-based label Macaco in August. Both Mercado and Black Heart Procession founder Pall Jenkins (who created Grimoon’s album art) appeared on the band’s previous album, Les 7 Vies du Chat.
Scottish-born (but Mexican-Ukrainian by blood) Mercado, a local web designer, speaks fondly of Grimoon’s monthly dinner shows at their farmhouse outside of Venice in Mestre, Italy.
“There’s no real Hollywood for music [in Europe],” the thoroughly bearded Mercado says over a beer at Small Bar in University Heights. “There’s still a bit of magic to it out there. The same reverence people give to a fine-arts painter here, they give to a musician there.”
Last year, Mercado’s music took him to Europe four times, an experience that he calls “a dream come true.” He puts Berlin’s music and art scene on par with that of New York in the ’70s and still pines for the streetside Turkish döner kebabs.
Mercado also plays with Mr. Tube and the Flying Objects and has toured/recorded with Tristeza and the Album Leaf.
Nuke up a can of Chef Boyardee on November 13 for Grimoon, which will close its U.S. tour at the Tin Can Ale House.