QUICKIE OF THE WEEK: A short interview with Merel Bechtold (Dear Mother)

written by Marko Jakob

Pix666: Hello Merel. Thanks for your time. How are you doing these days, are you alive and well?

Merel: All good! How are you?

Pix666: Thank you, all is well with me too. Please introduce your band to the readers in a few short sentences. What kind of music does Dear Mother make?

Merel: Alternative Metal with hints of Rock? We try to write songs that we like, so there is quite a big variety to be honest! But I guess that we sound pretty modern 🙂

Pix666: Merel,you were also with the band Delain for many years. To what extent do these experiences help now with your new band?

Merel: Yes that’s correct! I think the overall skills and attitude of being a touring musician, knowing how to function as a professional musician. But also meeting so many wonderful people around the world and interacting with them led to a humongous amount of support to kickstart this band!

Pix666: What was your inspiration to become a musician and what are your current favourite bands?

Merel: For me personally I always loved melodic music since I can remember. When I discovered metal as a teenager I went to my first big metal concert featuring Slayer, Children of Bodom and In Flames. And when I witnessed that, I knew this is what I’m going to do. And this was before I played the guitar!

Current favourite bands.. I love the last two albums of Annisokay. But honestly I currently don’t listen to music at all.. only when I do a workout or something which is once every two weeks haha! But otherthan that I mostly listen to chill music like Lana Del Ray and Louise Lemon.

Pix666: Last month your third single ‚Satellite‘ was released – a really very touching song and also a great video. What has been the reaction so far to the song and the message it contains?

Merel: The reaction has been really good! People really connected with the song and reached out to us telling their story. Daring to start a conversation and having the courage to open up and be vulnerable. That’s the most powerful response you can get on music. So noticing how the music touched others, who touched us with their response, is like the most beautiful connection that music can make. We speak the same language.

Pix666: Your album will be released in the summer. What exactly can fans expect? When is the release date and from when, and above all where can you pre-order the album?

Merel: ‚Bulletproof‘ will be released July 16th and what they can expect… I guess an album with quite some variety. Melodic, heavy, beautiful, fun and hopefully inspiring like it inspired us! The album can be pre-ordered on the website: www.dearmotherofficial.com

Pix666: Your music was streamed more than 500.000 times. I’m a fan of statistics of all kinds. What about you? Do you look at the numbers of streams or the views on YouTube? In which countries are you listened most often? Is Germany also in the leading group in the statistics?

Merel: I’m not good with languages, but numbers are universal. So yeah I love numbers! And they are very, very good! And Ja! Unsere Deutsche Freunde seem to like it!

Pix666: Unfortunately, the pandemic still has us in its grip, and in Germany we are even still partly in lockdown. When you release an album and then you can’t play the songs live in front of an audience, it’s a pretty stupid situation. Nevertheless, is Dear Mother already planning some 2021 concerts or some festivals in summer?

Merel: So far we’re not planning any shows, because there is too much uncertainty. But I feel positive about 2022!

Pix666: I think that much of bands’ main income comes from live concerts. How do you keep your head above water at the moment? Are fans buying more shirts and other merch at the moment and what exactly can you buy with the income from 500,000 streams? – I don’t think all music fans know how badly this is paid!

Merel: Oh haha! I remember someone telling me a few years ago: you’re rich, you play in all those bands! Well.. I don’t have my own place to live and I have to borrow a car when I need to travel for gigs and yes I’m 29. I think that being able to make a sustainable business from a band is insanely challenging. Regarding income from live concerts, the shows are only relevant if you’re super big! Selling one t-shirt equals about 8000 streams on spotify.

So yes it’s incredibly important that fans buy merch and cds directly from the band (not via label)! Making an album is a massive investment in time and money. Thanks to the crowdfunding campaign we were able to cover the costs of the production, but not our time. And that’s okay, because we love what we do and it’s our drive and passion! And you know what it’s important to be happy and healthy. That’s wealth to me.

Pix666: As a musician, you certainly spend most of your time creating music – but what else do you do in your free time when you want to get your mind off things – are there any interesting hobbies that you pursue? 😊

Merel: Well… actually as a musician I spent most time behind my laptop doing all kinds of things on social media, reading analytics and sending out emails. I always say it’s more like an office job than making music haha! But pushing the band gives me as much energy as writing the music. Because the music doesn’t go anywhere if you don’t push it! Hobbies: creating music, traveling, hiking, being a foodie, woodworking, cruising on my motorcycle (yes I do have one instead of a car haha!), exploring.

Pix666: Do you have any other news about Dear Mother, that you would like to share with the fans?

Merel: That we love you!

Pix666: Thank you very much for the interesting answers – Good luck with the album and stay healthy!!!


photos © Dear Mother