Drummers are mad. Fact. Johnimal is a drummer. Therefore Johnimal is mad. Fact. Without doubt Johnimal had the capacity to make the late Keith Moon look like the UN ambassador for Sanity.
Here’s Johnimal living it large at rehearsal, in full pirate clobber, me-hearties
John, or Johnimal, or Jack, or Jack Mercer, or John O Paddy the Pirate or whatever name he chose to call himself at the time was our drummer between 2011 and early 2013. He was the second drummer in the band, replacing jazzy Dave. That Johnimal was as ‘mad as a March hare’ wasn’t a problem (most of the time), in fact his wacky madness was often a humorous pleasure at rehearsals and at gigs. He wasn’t mad in a sinister way, on the contrary, his madness was most beautiful, dare we say it: sporadically genius.
His drumming, like his madness was also genius at times. He liked to hit the drums hard – which we liked – and he would often come up with great drum fills and rhythms, influenced by the likes of Led Zeppelin as well as Ska and Reggae drumming styles. In his ripe and blooming age of 36 he was the proud owner of a nice set of false teeth. This did not impact on his drumming. Often he would take them out to scare the girls. This we liked.
Working with Tim, Johnimal was responsible for most of the fills on the songs for our debut album, which is currently in production. Though it must be said that his musical relationship with Tim was, er, somewhat tempestuous. Not tempestuous in a homoerotic way, more like in a kind of boxing match way, as Tim would usually end out screaming at Johnimal to hit particular beats of the rhythm, and Johnimal would pretend to get it, agree and then decide to ignore what Tim was saying and drum his own beat. But always the brief shouting match (which was often looked upon from the far side of the room by a giggling Lenny and Ash) ended with Tim and Johnimal hugging and having a laugh.
Johnimal seemed to live a nomadic life, travelling between his home in Hastings, his mates in Brighton, the studio in Portslade, his family in London and various halfway houses along the way. Eventually the glamour of the Big Smoke caught his eye and he moved up to the capital to be closer to the Italian girl he was seeing. And in doing so John decided to quit the band, leaving a hand-painted Dog Like Status drum skin (and a brand new drum kit) as a parting gifts.
It’s fair to say that due to his nomadic life he often turned up late to practice which tended to piss everyone else off. Nevertheless his charisma always brightened up rehearsals, often arriving wearing fancy dress (pirate outfits), or with knapsacks of plants (bag of holly that he’s sawed from various holly bushes) and general tat that he would collect en-route to rehearsal.
Towards the end of his time with Dog Like Status, Johnimal became more engrossed in painting abstract art (usually involving aliens); he began adopting a strong feminist outlook and also dabbled in various conspiracy theories. Nevertheless his heart was always in the right place, even when his hands were tea-leafing anything within reach. Rumour has it he now knocks out beats with some of our friends in a local band called Runaway Trainset.
Dog Like Status would like to say a big thanks for being part of the band.
Keep Rocking Johnimal.
Keep Howling! Keep Loving!
Mbongwai! x x x x