Let’s get this straight, Kieran Mercer has never had a stalker girlfriend, and he’s never been shot at.
But a romantic breakup did spark songs on the EP, Help Me Help You, by Mercer, who opens for Marianas Trench on Wednesday, March 30, at Red Deer’s Centrium.
One of the songs, Bang Bang, even became the basis for a noir-ish music video with a murderous theme.
Kieran said he wrote the fictional lyrics using gangster lingo, such as “Put your hands in the air” and “Nobody move.”
“The song was written in the style of a bank robbery” — which made it a natural for dark treatment in the black and white video.
Mercer wanted to imitate the moody style of the movie Sin City for the story line about a girlfriend who, let’s say, doesn’t appreciate getting dumped.
“It was not a true experience. We wanted to do a fun, evil-woman-type song,” said Mercer, with a laugh.
The Vancouver performer has been a solo artist since his former band Jackie Valentine dissolved four years ago.
The 27-year-old is now signed to Chad Kroeger’s 604 Records. And so far, Bang Bang is the biggest single from his new EP — although Mercer hopes to familiarize fans with Hey Stay on his cross-country tour with Marianas Trench and Walk Off the Earth.
“It’s a dream come true for me to play arenas,” said Mercer, who believes the tour “will open doors for me…
“I get very nervous before going out on stage every night,” but the audience reaction makes it worth it, he added.
Mercer is already a musical veteran, having performed for audiences since Grade 5. “At elementary school, my principal would let us practise in a spare room at school. We only knew three chords, but we got to play at assembly.”
“There was always music playing at my house,” recalled the singer, who grew up listening to his parent’s albums from The Kinks, the Everly Brothers and The Beatles — then added Michael Jackson to his play list as a teenager.
While he enjoys creating original melodies “that are happy and bring people together,” he also has room in his repertoire for songs that bring out more complicated emotions.
“It’s like Johnny Cash said: Not all stories are happy stories, but they are worth telling too,” said Mercer.
Tickets to the 7 p.m. concert are $35-$80 from Ticketmaster.