We couldn’t do what we do without the support of these wonderful people
Jim came up with the idea of doing Questions and Answers sessions on the site. This got a big thumbs up from the team and as a pat on the back to Jim for having such a good idea we let you give him the first grilling. This was swiftly followed by Jem's Q&A.
After a bit of a break the Q&A sessions have returned with a vengeance. This time
round Merv volunteered to be the next victim. Thanks to everyone who contributed
Alexander - Dear Merv, there are only 2 questions. What girl sings backing vocals on "I Belong to the Night"?
Merv - Hi Alexander, the backing vocalist is Karen Page.
Alexander - Are there any plans to release a new DVD with the old and new material? Your Russian fan, Alexander Yakunin.
Merv - We are looking through all the footage from the European tour for possible future release as a DVD.
Craig - What or who inspired you to pick up the bass and who do you admire most or who are your favourite bass players?
Merv - Hi Craig, the late great Philip Lynott is my inspiration. Another big influence is Andy Fraser (Free). Also worth checking out is Robert Kearns (Cry of Love / Lynyrd Skynyrd), brill!!!
Craig - Are you going to sign up for the FM Fantasy Football League this year?
Merv - All done!
Doddy - Are The Slaves still planning on releasing a CD of original material now that all members are reunited with their original outfits?
Merv - Hi Doddy, we still record stuff for TV e.g. Would I Lie To You, Ant & Dec's Saturday Night. Also ads for KFC, Wall's Ice Cream etc. But no album for The Slaves is on the cards at the moment. Craig and Andy are busy recording the new Romeo's Daughter album.
Doddy - Is it true you live next to the Queen in London Village?
Merv - No, I live next to the Iron Maiden in Isleworth.
Rich - Three questions for you Merv. As well as collecting all things FM, I like to collect material from other projects that the guys were members of. I have the Wildlife, SO, Ladder, Samson, Tobruk etc. but did Streetfighter ever capture any studio recordings?
Merv - Hi Rich, Streetfighter released the LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL 4-track EP in 1979. Also "She's No Angel" (with John Sykes on guitar) featured on the N.W.O.B.H.M. compilation album NEW ELECTRIC WARRIORS on EMI Records.
Rich - What is your favourite Samson track that you played on?
Merv - "The Fight Goes On" - great lyrics by Nicky Moore.
Rich - Do you use any effects on your bass rig on stage?
Merv - No.
Iain - Hi Merv, some questions for you - if you could form an all-star band for one night only, with yourself on bass and not including past or present FM members who would be in it?
Merv - Hi Iain, it would have to be Brian Downey, Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson.
Iain - Will you be playing Glasgow on your next tour? (With Romeo’s Daughter as support please!)
Merv - I'm pretty sure we'll be playing Glasgow on the next tour. Last time we were up there at the Cathouse we had a great time.
Iain - What are your 3 favourite FM songs on disc? What are your favourite songs to play live?
Merv - Wildside / Hard Day In Hell / That Girl.
Iain - Have the band considered doing a tour (including Scotland) playing the INDISCREET album in full?
Merv - We've considered it, it is still a possibility.
Iain - And finally... The Back In The Saddle DVD was super. Any chance of another DVD of concert footage with bonus footage of promotional single videos?
Merv - Footage is being edited from our recent European tour, possibly for future release.
Angela - Do you think Chris Overland will ever join the band onstage?
Merv - Hi Angela, would love it to happen but doubt it ever will.
David - Do you play any other instruments other than bass? Have you got a studio at home? If yes, what equipment do you use?
Merv - Hi David, I use a Tascam 2488. I play a bit of guitar and keys.
Christophe - I saw you at Graspop. How did you find the experience, it was very early?
Merv - Hi Christophe, too early!!! It was great fun... Biggest stage ever!!!
Ian - Hello Merv, I would like to know when did the suit jacket and hat become part of your stage persona?
Merv - Hi Ian, shortly after Jem and I paid a visit to a very odd suit shop in Las Vegas.
Rachel - Hi Merv, do you think FM will ever go acoustical again?
Merv - Hi Rachel, we certainly enjoyed recording the new acoustic version of "That Girl" on the CITY LIMITS EP so who knows... Maybe???
Michael - What do you like so much about Thunderbird basses? Do you collect them?
Merv - Hi Michael, I love the growl, they sound like no other bass. I have 3 Thunderbirds.
Chris - John Sykes has just started a new band with Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater. Are you still in touch with him?
Merv - Hi Chris, I haven't spoken to John since he left Thin Lizzy.
Lidia - Hiya Merv, I'm always highly amused by the mime actions you do when the band perform "Face To Face" at live shows. Do you play charades at parties?
Merv - Hi Lid, taken from the Peter Kay School of Mime.
Johan - Hello Merv. You have very interesting band history, very strong metal. What is your best style of playing? Do you speak to anyone from Diamond Head or Samson?
Merv - Hi Johan, I'm still in touch with Brian "Am I Evil" Tatler (Diamond Head) and Blues legend Nicky Moore (Samson).
Anon - Is the rumour true when the brothers returned from writing with Desmond Child, management insisted everyone call Mr. O "Stiv Bon Jovi"?
Merv - Never heard that rumour.
Mel - Do you ever get so hot on stage that you wish you weren't wearing the hat and jacket?
Merv - Yes!!!
Michelle - Hi Merv, or rather I should say Pete as he had more of a role to play in this many moons ago. My friend and I did a Q&A session with you guys once. We sent in a list of questions and Pete recorded all your answers but then the tape never saw the light of day... Does any of it ring a bell? It went on for quite a while. We sent in a ransom note and all sorts of things. Yes, your fans were crazy and still are. Just a bit older that's all - ha ha! Anyway that's all I wanted to ask really.
Merv - Hi Michelle, sorry no recollections of this Q&A, maybe Pete can shed some light on this...
Pete - I do vaguely remember the ransom notes etc. Can't for the life of me remember what happened to the tape though, sorry.
Jen - What's your favourite song on METROPOLIS and what's your favourite song to play live?
Merv - Hi Jen, Flamingo Road / Wildside.
Peter - How did your nickname "The Swerve" come about? Who gave it to you?
Merv - Hi Peter, Robert Gambino (Diamond Head Tour Manager) I think said it first.
Rob - Saw in Classic Rock that the new album is called Desolation Station, cool name. Will it be released this year, Classic Rock said maybe not? Any chance of some gigs in the UK this year? Hope you haven’t forgotten about us.
Merv - Hi Rob, Desolation Station is the working title, it will be released in 2012. No news on live dates at the moment.
Danny - Is true you came up with name of group? What were other names? Now with internet is difficult to have such name?
Merv - Hi Danny, FM... It's a really great Steely Dan song. I just listened to the song. Agreed, it's a rubbish name when it comes to the internet.
Luisa - We were very happy to see you in Madrid, will you come back?
Merv - Hi Luisa, our first ever show in Madrid, we had a great time, the crowd were amazing. We’ll be back!!!
Compiled August 2011
Photo - Merv live at Belfast Odyssey Arena 12 June 2011 - Used with kind permission
of Paul Verner