Mersiv opens up about inspiration, intentions, & manifesting his vision ahead of Gem & Jam [Interview]
Anderson Benoit Gallegos, the face behind the ever-growing Mersiv sound project, has just come off the biggest year of his career. Though 2020 is already shaping up to be the year that Gallegos tops himself. He’s already released new music with Conrank, announced a massive co-headlining tour alongside Manic Focus, has multiple festival appearances on the books, and it’s still January.
Fresh off of his first headlining tour, Beautiful & Filthy, Mersiv took time out of his busy life to chat with Conscious Electronic ahead of his Gem and Jam Music Festival. Speaking on everything from his Digital Eden project, to manifesting his Mersiv sound movement, to his influence from early 2012 dubstep and future collaborations, Mersiv is situating himself to become a 2020 trailblazer.
Mersiv is performing at Gem & Jam this weekend in Tuscon, Arizona, January 31 through February 2. Mersiv is scheduled to perform on Friday night, right after Tipper’s set, where Gallegos says he’s excited to test out some new tunes on the crystal-loving crowd. Tickets are available here.
CE: Tell us about the moment you first decided to embark on this musical journey as Mersiv. What was the initial spark or “aha” moment when you knew you could do this?
M: Mersiv was created in the fall of 2017, but I knew I wanted to create music long before that. As a kid, I played piano for about two to three years. In middle and high school I played the guitar but never was able to form a band. I discovered electronic music around 2011 and played my first show a year later. I had no idea what “edm” was and what shows actually were on a larger scale. Me and my Louisiana homies just threw parties in barns, farms, and tiny rooms we would rent out around the city. I started to produce music around 2013 and made the decision to pursue music fully in 2016 when I moved to Colorado.
CE: Who were some of your favorite music producers when you first started making music? What about now? Who do you feel heavily influenced by?
M: Deadmau5 was actually the first producer I discovered and fell in love. When I dug a bit deeper I found Skrillex, Nero, Bassnectar, Excision, Foreign Beggars, Downlink, Chasing Status, Liquid Stranger, Adventure Club, Zeds Dead, Flux Pavilion, Doctor P, and so many others that I can’t remember. Currently I’m influenced by the 2012 era of dubstep, from when I first stepped into the scene. I draw a fair amount of inspiration from the artists listed above, as well as G Jones, Chevelle, and Tool. Even though the last two aren’t producers, they were a big part of my life in my teenage years.
CE: How has working under Mind Warp Management out in Denver helped you put more conscious intention into your work and how you market yourself?
Mersiv: Mind Warp has helped with my intentions for my project because they truly believe in my vision. They challenge me musically and hear out my goals, bringing me closer to them. They’re very open minded and their marketing strategies have helped me be heard as an artistic individual.
CE: You and Conrank just released “NO!” on Circus Records. Tell us about the creative process: What was it like working together in the studio? Or did you work from a distance? Do you think there might be some more collaborations in store for you guys in the future?
Mersiv: I initially started the idea by messing around in Serum for the first time. Once I got an idea laid out and the sound design dialed in, I sent the track to Conrank. He wrapped the project very quickly and DESTROYED the second drop. After that we did a few details to really dial it in for a release. This has been the largest release of my career and I’m so thankful Conrank was open minded and gave me the opportunity to collaborate with him. We made a fucking banger together.
CE: Are there any other collaborations that you’re working on right now? Who are some artists that you’d like to say “let’s collaborate” one day?
M: I have a few that I’m working on. I’m currently working on a collaborative EP with my boys Kyral x Banko and another EP with Manic Focus. I’d love to make music with G Jones, Zeds Dead, Skrillex, and hopefully Kendrick Lamar one day.
CE: You’ve been telling fans you’re sitting on a bunch of unreleased music. Is there anything you can tell about what may be in the works? An EP or full album? Maybe a mixtape even?
M: I have a few surprises I’m working on for 2020. I’m manifesting that I tap into my creative flow daily while I have time off before tour starts this spring.
CE: You shared that your intention for each of the tracks on your most recent project, Digital Eden, is to bring people into the present moment through sound and help them heal. We’re here for it. This is the beauty of music in general and how it fosters universal connection. How do you think low frequency, heavy bass music helps drive this motive of yours? What inspired you to want to create this sort of universal healing?
M: Hearing music that resonates with me has always brought me into the present moment and my goal is to do that with every listener through my own frequency. Bass music has that superpower of bringing you into the present with positive intentions behind it.
CE: How long were you working on the LP? Technically, did it all sort of come together fluidly or were there some roadblocks along the way? I know from writing that the artistic process can be messy, but there is so much pride in putting all the pieces back together.
M: The tracks were in the making…between six months to two years. Once I got the songs collected and knew what I wanted in order, it took around four months to finish Digital Eden. I didn’t really have any setbacks when writing the final pieces to the LP, it flowed effortlessly because I had a direction and intention with each project.
CE: It’s also really cool that you just dropped it one day with no promotion, no marketing, not a single word about it. It really speaks to your marketing power and your freedom as an independent artist free from big labels. What was your reasoning behind releasing in this format? Is there anything you want to tell readers about your label, Mersiv Music, in general?
M: Red Rocks was such a special moment that I had to treat my fans to an important piece of music that day. I didn’t feel the need to do heavy promo on it because it’s up to the people if they want to tune in or not and I’m thankful they did.
CE: Now, with the first track being titled “Be Here Now,” I always think immediately to Ram Dass. Were there any philosophers, healers, or sort of philosophical teachings that you feel the album leans into?
M: Digital Eden was made with the intention to heal others. I didn’t have any philosophers that inspired the album but I definitely feel like I align with the teachings of Don Miguel Ruiz and Eckhart Tolle.
CE: Do you practice yoga or meditation at all? What are you most looking forward to during your time off to relax? Do you have any other hobbies or things that you’re excited to indulge in?
M: I’m very ready to get some snowboarding in and see my friends that I’ve been missing while I was touring. And I’m extremely pumped to hop in the studio during this off time. Those will be my forms of relaxing and meditation 🙂
CE: You accomplished so much last year. You made your first appearance at Red Rocks, you released two EPs along with a few other tracks, performed at quite a few music festivals, and toured twice, one of which was your first headlining tour. Do you have any big plans or goals for the new decade/year?
M: We’re hitting a big tour with Manic Focus and Russ Liquid! I also have a few exciting things we’re working on and announcing for 2020. Until then, I’ll keep manifesting the vision with my team.
CE: You’ve got Gem and Jam coming up very soon. Are you looking forward to that? Anything exciting you might have in store for it that you’d like to share?
M: Super excited for Gem and Jam! I’ve heard many great things about the festival so I think it’s a must that I give some new music a test run there 🙂
Lover of all things living and bass that makes ya vibrate.