Photo by Sean Bailey

December 21, 2011

B-sides

Mercy me

You might recognize Tender Mercy’s Mark Kramer from his years behind the counter at ear X-tacy. The music Kramer himself makes could be described just as he can: tall, lean, quiet and powerful. The new Tender Mercy EP is The Road To Good Intention Is Paved With Hell.

LEO: How did the band come together?

Mark Kramer: Although in the past I’ve had help, it is just me that represents Tender Mercy. I thought about going under my own name, but I really liked the title, and coincidentally, it kept appearing in books I was reading. I took it as a sign. So to answer your question, the band came together at conception. Careful with that one — I know this is a family paper.

LEO: Your music is often quiet and slow yet, for this EP, you worked with some of Louisville’s most notable hardcore musicians. What did they offer the project?

MK: The operative word here is “musician.” They are wonderful, generous, multifaceted individuals whose use of their ears isn’t limited to hardcore or heavy music. What did they offer? Their respect and kindness, and a much different way of hearing what I do. Their impact was nothing but positive for this EP and a huge part of why I am so proud of it.

LEO: You worked for a long time at ear X-tacy. Is it extra bittersweet that you won’t be able to sell this EP there?

MK: Extra, extra bittersweet. One of my hopes was not only to have it sold at ear X-tacy, but, having seen so many inspiring performances there, to kick off its release with an in-store like so many amazing local bands have.

LEO: What is your favorite Robert Duvall movie?

MK: “Days of Thunder.”

Learn more at tendermercy.bandcamp.com.