Gentlemen Hall Shares Links With Shaker in Lead Singer Gavin Merlot

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Gavin Merlot, the lead vocalist of  Gentlemen Hall, hails from Cleveland. He graduated Shaker in ’02, so I asked him to share some memories of his time in Shaker and Cleveland.

Do you have any Shaker stories you can share? 

I’m sure a lot has changed since I was at Shaker, but I have fond memories of getting yelled at by “Pops” the security guy [the late Terry Lynch], hanging out after class at Steak and G’s . . .gettin’ rowdy at Shaker hockey games was a highlight.

Did the Shaker music program affect your decision to start a band?

Shaker definitely supported music as an option, unlike a lot schools today that don’t have good art programs. I was in jazz band, concert band, marching band, all of that good stuff.  But I’ve wanted to be in a band ever since [Nirvana lead singer] Kurt Cobain. 

As a historically musical city, did Cleveland affect your decision to go into music?

I’d say definitely! Cleveland was a great place to grow up and fall in love with music. The Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame, tons of great clubs scattered around town to play at, and just great people. You’ll probably realize that last one more if/ when you leave Cleveland.

You all performed at the House of Blues in Cleveland last year; have you ever been to a show there to see others play? If so, which ones? Was it a special experience for you?

The House of Blues was just opening as I was leaving Cleveland, I think. I haven’t been to any shows there other than the few we’ve played. It was absolutely a great experience coming back and playing. I love Cleveland and I can’t wait for it to embrace my band the way the Northeast has. 

Were you all musicians in high school? 

Rory [bass guitar] is also from Cleveland. In high school we used to play a lot of punk rock in the basement. All  the other guys were playing in bands in high school also. 

What did teachers, guidance counselors and parents want you to do with your life after high school?

I treated Mr. [Tom] Deep, the music teacher, as my counselor. He knew I was going to dive into music and he  fully supported it. He wrote my recommendation to Berklee, which was the music college I attended. He taught   me to “never be late to a gig!”

 

 

 

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