(Photo Credit Jimm Morrissey)
Nuclear Bootz are a Portland, Maine punk band. Bruce Merson is the timekeeper or the drummer. Over their 24 year career span they have played countless shows and have released 3 albums.
What possessed you into becoming a drummer?
After seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. I loved the British Invasion and Motown drummers. Keith Moon, Ringo Starr, and Charlie Watts really got to me. My father bought me my first drum set at the famous “Manny’s Music” in Manhattan. I grew up in The Bronx, New York City and began playing drums in a band called Mox & Walker in 1974. We played out a lot including CBGB’s.
How did you end up in Portland, Maine?
In 1998 a real estate broker took my money and drove off. I lost my apartment and became homeless. A friend of mine in Kittery, Maine said that I should come up to Maine. I have been here ever since.
Do you play any other instruments?
I like playing keyboards. I think we (Nuclear Bootz) want to get a keyboard player in the future.
How did Nuclear Boots form?
I saw an ad for a guitarist in Bullmoose Music on Middle Street in 1998 and I responded. It was from Zuke, we have been playing music together ever since. Our first band was called Flying Duck Theory then in 2002 it was all Nuclear Bootz.
What is your songwriting process?
Sometimes Zeke brings guitar riffs and great originals come out of that. Other times we have jammed for up to 5 hours with a tape recorder and took out the best parts and formed songs out of them. The guitar riffs come from emotions.
What’s a live show like for you?
We play 12-15 songs and people go wild when we play “Cheeseburger Girl” or “You Animal You” from our latest album, “Green Velvet.”
How many albums do you have?
We have 3. The first two, “Idiots in the City” and “Commutathon” were produced by Ron Harrity. Our 3rd “Green Velvet” was recorded by Will Holland at Chillhouse Studios in Boston. He also recorded some of The Pixies’ work. It was produced by Will Bradford of SeepeopleS and The Worst.
What are your upcoming goals?
We want to play more shows in Boston. We are playing Geno’s Portland in November and The Apohadian on New Years Eve.