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Copyright © 2018 Shut Up and Listen. All rights reserved.

Published in Bloomington, Indiana

LIV MERSHON

published 11.16

woodcut by izzy jarvis

Liv Mershon has been creating music and art in Bloomington, Indiana for the past ten years. Her current projects include playing bass in the band Ray Creature, a solo music project called Bad Psychic, and working with teens as the director of Rhino’s Youth Center

liv (left) playing with ray creature at magnetic south in bloomington, indiana

SHUT UP AND LISTEN:

When did you start playing music?

LIV:

I played flute in band when I was a kid but I just dated boys who played music and I thought that was my only way to interact with it. When I dropped out of band in middle school, I never really considered beingin a band as an option. I got a bass for my sixteenth birthday but I never practiced like I thought it was cool that I had one but I never played it because I never had anyone to play with. All of the boys played music and all of the girls went to the shows. It wasn’t until I was 22, when I was processing my whole life and going through a breakup, that I was feeling so horrible and alone that I started writing songs. I had just learned about radical feminism around that time and I thought, "I can do this."

SHUT UP AND LISTEN:

How did Bad Psychic start?

 

LIV:

Bad Psychic started four years ago when I found my synthesizer at a Pawn Shop in Logansport, Indiana. It had a price tag for 190 bucks and I said I’ll give you 40 dollars for it and the guy working said okay. It’s the Roland JX3P and I looked it up later online and they sell for around 300 dollars. I just started playing around with it using the equipment I had. I’ve been influenced more than anything by the equipment I’ve had available to me. I don’t save up to buy fancy gear because I’m not a very technical person. I just look at what’s in front of me and try to make something happen. I started writing songs with my loop pedal and synth and built it up from there.

 

 

SHUT UP AND LISTEN:

Can you tell us about your experiences playing with other people?

LIV:

The first band I was in was with my friend Abby and we called ourselves Babe Rainbow. I taught her some of my songs and we wrote some together. After that, I was in the original lineup of The Vallures that’s how I learned to play bass with other people. It just felt more safe to play with other women at first. I was in this band called Silent Hippie and I was the singer and the only woman. They were all good guys but I don’t think I’d do that again. I was in Chattanooga and this guy asked me to be in a band and I thought it was so cool but then he said, ‘It’s kind of boring with a bunch of guys on stage, people need something pretty to look at.” That was probably the worst. I’ve been lucky that the men I’ve played music with have seen me as a person and not just a token.

SHUT UP AND LISTEN:

What’s it like playing in Ray Creature?


LIV:

Ray Creature is nice because I don’t really write anything. John Booth writes all of the songs and pretty much all of the parts. He writes the bass lines and they are just the slightest bit out of my ability range, but once I learn them they’re really fun to play and it feels like I’m taking lessons. It also improves my form because I’m playing faster and more syncopated beats. We, as a band, talk about the songs and form them but mostly the specific parts are already written before we learn them all together.

bad psychic - visions