American Merit is a Roots Rock’N’Roll band from Texas. The lineup consists of Alex Smith, Daniel Lightfoot, Russell McClendon, and Evan Shepperd. A project 2 years in the making, American Merit is set to release several singles in December of 2020. Expect loud drums and over driven guitars with a groove. If you were looking for it, you’ve found it.
XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Daniel- We have a few shows booked this Spring and headed back to the studio mid February as well.
XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together?
Since December of 2019
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?
Alex- Really just wanted to play music with cool people and have fun.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Evan- I took lessons briefly when I was 10 and have been self taught since then.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?
Russell- We just want this band to be our full time job
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Alex- I love both, but writing is my favorite
XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Alex-There is no real singular theme. Some songs are my perspective and others are basically stories.
XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
Due to COVID we don’t really have any road stories just yet in this band, but check back with us later this year.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Russell- signing masks these days is pretty strange
XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?
Daniel- Luckily they’re very supportive
XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?
Alex- Pay your dues early and from then on be sure to get what you want out of music, take yourself seriously, and never settle.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Russell- The medley of our Intro, City, and Hell for Leather
Evan-Hell for Leather
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Evan-Watching Godsmack live do their dual drum solo
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Russell- American Merit opening for Kings of Leon and Jack White
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Daniel- Honestly, musically it has been putting this band together. I truly believe in everything we are doing and can’t wait to see where it goes.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Alex-maybe architecture. Something creative for sure.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Daniel- Chapman ML-3 Pro Traditional, Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe, D’Angelico Premier SS, a 1996 Mesa Boogie 4×10 Maverick, and PhD pedals out of Waco, TX.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Evan-There’s a lot of good, and a lot of bad. I do think it is heading in the right direction now.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Russell- I’m a huge hip hop fan
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Alex- be sure to check out americanmeritband.com and keep up with all of our socials and our releases on Spotify.
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!