click on images below for more info on each band member

Martyn Jones

Jim Thomas

Allen Whitman

Here we are, perched on the moist lip of the millennium...

Welcome to the official Mermen website! Who are these guys and what do they think they're doing, anyway? Nine years together, five "official" albums, hundreds of thousands of miles of touring, arguments, insomnia, laughter, synchronicity and gratitude.

It's kind of a loose-knit family. Fans become friends, agents get real or get out (we got some pretty good ones now). Mesa-Bluemoon decision-makers (the subsidiary of Atlantic contractually obligated to develop and promote the band), unsure of how to pitch the music, wallow in a soup of indecision and offer the band (like an alcoholic parent) benign neglect.

And the music goes on. Jim, the sociopathic savant, surfs and plays in the damp border territories of the Sunset District of San Francisco, CA. He threw out almost all of his furniture to make room for a full blown analog reording studio that sprung up in his second story apartment (with a view of the beach). Most studios are clean rooms with multiple sealing doors and sound-dampened central air conditioning. This studio has windows open to the inexorable, gently corrosive, salt-sea air. Shells and beach detritus litter the sills, shelves and floor. Audio cables wander haphazardly from one rectangular black box to another, criss-crossing a hundred times over puke-green seventies shag carpet. Posters and momentos cover every inch of wall space, a hi story of The Mermen's evolution. If you see a rusted-out red pickup with a filthy white shell parked along the Pacific Coast Highway, chances are better than good that Jim is out in the water, with or without a wetsuit, far outside of the break and waiting patiently for the right wave.

Allen, the high-strung over-acheiver, lives, writes, and networks from the shyly proud shores of Lake Merritt, a tidal estuary smack in the middle of Oakland, CA. He co-writes (with Jon Luini) a monthly column about audio on the Internet. It's called "The FezGuys" and is found in EQ Magazine and also on the website: <>. He even played album producer. When asked by an independent label in SF to create a surf compilation, he offered, instead, to create "Brine - The Antisurf Soundtrack" including global artists such as DJ Spooky, Loop Guru, Scenic and many others. Naturally there's a Mermen song on it. As a bass player, he likes to play with as many people as possible and keeps pretty busy. His motto is: "Never a Dull Moment." Maybe it's time to change that motto. During the last huge tour his childhood dream got realized: he was playing in a full-time, touring band, performing music he liked, with people he liked (usually). When he mentioned this epiphany to a friend, and wondered aloud what he might do next (in the vacuum created by fulfillment of a strongly held desire), his friend offered: "realize an adult dream." It seems so simple now.

Martyn. Years of wearing a smart dark jacket and company tie have done nothing to mold him into a meek drone of pods. How he put up with the inane idiocy of multi-national corporate employment (as a gate agent at SFO, no less) is beyond anyone. But the writing is on the wall. His bandmates are overjoyed to hear him say he's done with it. Martyn is a film-maker. His scary room in his scary house close to the beaches of Pacifica, CA, tell the tale. The walls are covered with kitschy velvet paintings of curvaceous sirens or movie posters from the seventies. A coffin sits on the back porch. There are a lot of phonograph records. Vinyl. Martyn geeks out with film and video crews about cameras, lenses, lighting and technique. His parents, who brought him to the Bay Area from Liverpool, England, when he was five, are very proud of him. Who wouldn't be? He's Martyn Jones, the stubborn and individual iconoclast. Charming and polite, with a speaking voice that can focus with laser-like intensity, he takes his time. You can't rush Mr. Jones.

Send us email, we always reply. And come to a show, everything's different live.

Thanks for liking our music!


home page the band audio & video samples booty the road poster gallery related topics comment department