The nominees in the Best USA category for the Toronto Independent Music Awards (which were handed out in early October 2012) were an elusive bunch. There was a mix of folks from techno to rock. And it was electronic music artist and DJ, Mercurius FM, from Phoenix, Ariz., who took the top prize. Months after the awards, we spoke to him about where he’s been and where he’s going.
Raz Mataz Magazine (RMM): You’ve been on the scene for quite some time now. What initially drew you to music?
Mercurius FM: I first became interested in music from playing video games on my Sega Genesis. The music was heavily synthesized and often awesome, so I ended up making mix tapes of my favourite music by holding the tape recorder next to the TV speaker. That was the seed, I guess. Then, I heard Daft Punk’s Discovery which made me fall in love with dance music. After that, I got Homework and my life changed forever.
RMM: Your For Those About To Techno EP recently won you a few awards. What made this release bigger and better than your last ones?
Mercurius FM: My first two releases were just singles, which I was really happy with. After that, I felt the desire to make a more complete experience. For Those About To Techno is a collection of five new original tracks, which I recorded over the course of about five months. My goal was to make each track harder than my previous work. I’m glad it was well-received.
RMM: Among those awards, that EP earned you a TIMA. What was that experience like for you?
Mercurius FM: It was a big learning experience for me. I flew out to Toronto, Canada, for the award and met some really interesting people. It’s a cool city. Diplo was DJing at a club the night before the award ceremony and the show was sold out; that impressed me. I’ll definitely be back in Toronto to do some gigs.
RMM: This is the first EP released on your Broken Synth label. Why did you start that label? Why did you release For Those About To Techno on Broken Synth, but not 1997?
Mercurius FM: 1997 was initially going to be on a friend’s label (interestingly, a Toronto native), but they changed their mind and there was a bunch of DJ drama in-between. So, I talked to some friends and got it signed on Acid Jack’s label, Idiot House Records. He’s a really awesome techno artist in Australia. After that, I decided I was tired of trying to get in touch with labels and waiting for email replies, so I decided to start Broken Synth as a way to host my music, as well as that of my friends in an open way, with egos taking a backseat.
RMM: What’s next for Mercurius FM? What’s next for Broken Synth?
Mercurius FM: Broken Synth is being relaunched as a full label, with distribution on iTunes, Beatport, and more. We’ll still do some free releases, but the focus will be artist-driven, listener-supported music. Mercurius FM will lead the way on the label with a couple of new releases. I’m also working on a couple of releases for some of my techno friends’ labels.
RMM: Other comments . . . ?
Mercurius FM: I’ve been laying low for a while, but expect some new juice this April. Thanks to everyone who’s given me support over the years.
For more Mercurius FM, check out www.MercuriusFM.com. You can also book Mercurius FM for DJ gigs by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.