Set in Italy, the romance-horror flick Spring was scored by Jimmy LaValle (the Album Leaf), and half a dozen tracks he chose were from San Diego’s melancholic indie-folkies Manuok.
Scott Mercado, the creative force behind Manuok, has worked with Spring co-director Justin Benson before. Benson shot a short video featuring Manuok’s track “Titleless.” In 2005, Mercado scored another one of Benson’s short movies, Almost Romeo.
Manuok’s six songs on Spring were all older tracks, making it a pretty straightforward project.
“I didn’t lift a finger,” Mercado tells the Reader.
And that’s a good thing, considering the North Park resident has been busy. Mercado says this year he’s recorded 30 new Manuok tracks.
That, on top of spending most of January in Italy, touring alongside French/Italian indie group Grimoon. (Mercado also played bass for Grimoon while on tour.) Their collaboration goes back a few years. Mercado met Grimoon’s members while touring with Black Heart Procession in 2005. Since then, Mercado has produced a Grimoon album and played on several others, including drums on their most recent, Vers La Lune.
“It was a fantastic tour,” adds Mercado. “There were great crowds, good press. Always, the best part is seeing friends that I’ve met over the years. I love the small world feeling. I’ve been lucky to tour [in Italy] so often with so many different projects.”
Currently, Mercado doesn’t have a timeline as to when he will release the 30 new Manuok tracks.
“The band also has to learn some of it. So it’ll be a while before Manuok returns.”
- Saturday, April 18, 2015, 8 p.m.
3615 El Cajon Boulevard,
In the meantime, on April 18, Mercado’s latest project, Lost Pets, will play their first show at the Soda Bar with Midnight Pine and Ilya.
Among the new bandmates are Matt Mournian from Goodbye Blue Monday, Tom Peart from John Meeks Band, and Marc Guzower from the Dropscience.
When trying to describe Lost Pets’ sound, Mercado made up his own genre: “shoegazi” — a mix between shoegaze and Fugazi.
“It’s really a mess of all our very pronounced influences. You can hear each of our old bands in there all smashed up.”