• James Mercer / Photo by John Clark

    The SPIN Interview: James Mercer

    "For the longest time, I didn't even want to admit I was serious about music," says James Mercer, sitting cross-legged on the floor of his home studio in Portland, Oregon, fiddling with one of the pedal and effects cords snarled around him. "Before the Shins, I would tell myself, 'Oh, I'm going to figure something out someday. I had this romantic vision of being this old dude maybe making guitars or something." Instead, over the course of the past decade, he formed a touring band to help interpret his jangly, cryptic pop-rock ruminations.

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