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Brian Swindle of Have Mercy Makes The Best Of It


If you’re anything like me, you love music that makes you feel something. Have Mercy is a band whose music will make you feel all the feels–from the melodies to the lyrics. We sat down with lead singer and mastermind behind some of the vulnerable and raw songs, Brian Swindle, to get a more personal take on his music and the band’s new album, Make The Best Of It.


Cliché: Can you give us a little backstory on Have Mercy and how you got to where you’re at now?
Brian Swindle: Have Mercy started back in 2011. We played a lot of local shows and eventually got our first record deal with Topshelf Records. After that, we got with Hopeless Records and well, here we are.

For those who haven’t heard Make The Best Of It yet, how would you describe the feel of this album? 
Powerful and emotional. It’s a pretty heavy record.

Lyrically, you produce some of the most real and personal lyrics I have heard. Where does your inspiration come from and is it difficult to be vulnerable when it comes to creating music that so many ears will hear?
All of my lyrics come from life experiences and my perception of the world. I don’t find it difficult to be vulnerable at all. Music is an outlet for me.

What was something you had to remind yourself of when writing and recording this record?
I really wanted to write about life stories and experiences. I had to remind myself to not let things that were going on during recording to affect my writing.

What did you learn during the full process of creating Make The Best Of It?
I really learned more about song writing and structure. The science of a song is so interesting.

I don’t find it difficult to be vulnerable at all. Music is an outlet for me.

Are you playing any new songs from the record? If so, how have fans responded to them? 
We’ve been playing a lot. Fans have really attached to the new songs already so it’s pretty cool to see.

For you personally, what’s it like to look out at the crowd every night and see people connecting with your music?
It’s an amazing feeling. Even if I’m having a bad day or not enjoying certain elements of a venue, the fans make it all worth it.

Do you find with every tour, your stage presence and unity as a band grows? If so, what do you feel is different this go around? 
I definitely feel like my stage presence grows. With every show, we get tighter and tighter as a band. This tour an all new lineup and has been interesting to adapt to.


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Brian Swindle of Have Mercy Makes The Best Of It: Photographed by Imani Givertz

Have Mercy at The Social in Orlando, FL: Photo Gallery


The room at the popular Orlando music venue, The Social, filled up quickly as the doors opened and the house lights dimmed. After the opening band finished their last song and exited stage left, Baltimore’s Have Mercy entered. They did one last 30-second soundcheck as the crowd crammed into the small space in front of the stage to witness Have Mercy deliver a raw, intimate, and passion-driven set.

Though the area was small, the heart for music was massive. Frontman Brian Swindle sang with everything he had and so did the people in the audience, and the rest of the band put all of their energy into creating a melodic space where fans could have the experience they had been waiting for since the announcement of the tour.
Watching everyone connect in the room and sing lyrics that meant something to each person individually, but meant so much more collectively, was an incredible sight and sound. There was no doubt that strangers that entered The Social left with a sense of community.
Moments like these are what make concerts what they are.

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Have Mercy at The Social in Orlando, FL: Photo Gallery by Imani Givertz