Independent must & the Internet
The Mercy League

Escape Grace




The Mercy League is a rock band from Boca Raton, Fla., and despite only being together for little over a year, they have already toured the eastern United States and made a number of fans along the way.

They knew the value of the Internet from the beginning, making sure to have a Web site and remain and active part of the online music community.

"The Internet is a huge part nowadays for any band's success," drummer Bob Palilunas said. "The Internet has exposed our music to people all around the world that would have never heard it before."

The band has been featured twice on the front page of Purevolume, a Web site where bands can host their songs and track the number of listeners.

Bob sees this as an opportunity for people to hear a band's work and decide whether or not they're worth checking out.

"Otherwise you'd have to have all those thousands of people actually buy your album blindly to hear it," he said, and for a band that they probably haven't heard before, it is unlikely that many people would bother.

When it comes to unauthorized file sharing, Bob is not too concerned, he said.

"When your CD does leak, all it does is expose it to many more people," he added. "As long as those people come to your shows and buy some merch it all works out in the long run."

Bob may be guilty of illegally downloading songs himself, but like many others, he uses it more for previewing albums and deciding whether or not they are worth spending money on.

"When I really like a band I always try and support them and pick up their actual CD once it comes out," he said. "Nowadays most bands are putting some type of enhancement on the actual CD to give people a reason to purchase it if they've already ripped it."

This may be one of the ways that record labels are attempting to deal with file sharing, but Bob doesn't see it going away any time soon.

"I don't think there's much you can really do about it now," he decided.

The Mercy League just finished recording a five-song CD with Matt Squire, who has worked with bands like Thrice, Northstar and The Receiving End of Sirens. It should be coming out early this summer and will probably be available on, an online music store.

And after that?

"Then just a whole lot of touring."

» Read a transcript of the interview.