Vanya Merc


About Me

Ah, the obligatory "bio" page! Well, if you're already here reading this then I might as well explain myself: I'm a Stockholm based guitarist/musician/acoustician that, like many a teenager before me, picked up the guitar at the impressionable age of 14 after hearing one too many Iron Maiden songs.

For reasons unknown I formed an overnight obsession and started practicing guitar fanatically, cutting my teeth on old school Heavy Metal on a quarter size nylon string guitar with a cracked neck and too few functional frets.

A half year later my father, no doubt noticing his son had found a hobby that he wasn't about to quit, casually dumped a pile of CD's onto my desk that he'd had kicking about in the collection for some time - records, he insisted, I should probably listen to given my new found interest in the instrument.

On top of the pile was Joe Satriani's "Flying in a Blue Dream".

From the opening feedback of the title track I knew that now it was for real. It was time to get serious about the instrument, move beyond power chords and occasional noodling and dig deeper to see what else it was capable of.

Naturally during the ensuing period I consumed guitar-driven music voraciously, working my way through the notorious Shrapnel Records back-catalog, and any other obscure stuff I could get my mitts on.

This Lousy T-Shirt
After a number of years, it felt like the time was ripe for a solo record. In 2008 I started writing in earnest for what would later become my debut solo effort "This Lousy T-Shirt".

In the period from 2008-2013 I wrote, rewrote, parsed, edited, and eliminated a myriad tracks to arrive at something that was condensed, focused, and representative of what I was all about as a musician at that specific point in my musical development.

The result, "This Lousy T-Shirt", comprised 9 unique tracks celebrating all aspects of the guitar and various music styles, over-the-top at times, but accessible throughout, and hopefully striking that elusive balance that makes it interesting to both musicians and non-musicians alike.

Traction Control
The release of This Lousy T-shirt coincided with the start of my career as an acoustics consultant. As such, it was more or less left to gather dust and went out into the world with little in the way of support or fanfare. In the ensuing years I spent a lot of time just enjoying the guitar and learning tracks which pushed my limits as a player, making few attempts at writing original music.

At some point however I obtained an Ibanez RG721RW to add to my collection. Something clicked. From 2017-2019 a follow-up album to This Lousy T-Shirt was written and recorded, pushing the limits of what could be considered sensible songwriting. The first album was all about following established convention and writing tight concise tunes. Traction Control however is, conversely, all about throwing caution to the wind, and cramming as much music and creativity as possible into each track - to hell with accessibility.