Andrea Merlino - Guitars - Vocals - Producer
The rock band Merlino was founded in 1989 by Andrea Merlino, born Andrea DelGrosso in Lake Como, Italy, where he was raised. Both his father and mother were musicians, so Andrea and his brothers grew up since an early age listening to music, mostly classic, light pop and jazz. At the age of 12 Andrea following his father footsteps began playing trumpet and joined a local marching band. There he learned music theory and started developing his love for music. A few years later, when in high school he came in contact with the '70 rock music, he became particularly attracted by British hard rock bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple and others. Since a young age he was very facinated by his mother's old guitar, which was stowed in a corner of the bedroom closet. Although he was prohibited to touch it, he covertly started messing around with this old classic guitar, learning how to tune it up, and playing the classic radio masters just by moving one finger up and down the fretboard. He remembers once listening to Hotel California and being completely enraptured by the captivating sound of the 12 strings guitar and the entwining guitar solos. At that time he did not know what an electric guitar was, so later when he found out about it, it became his only interest.
It's during the high school years when Andrea met his friend and then lead singer of the band, Alessando. Ale introduced Andrea to the American hard rock, from Aerosmith and Bon Jovi to Van Halen and Guns'n'Roses. At that time Ale was already playing in a local cover band, and they were looking for a guitarist to add to the line-up. Andrea joined in, and the fellows band members immediately understood his talent as guitar player. Over the following years the band evolved into a more professional project and started playing live in the Northern Italy and Southern Switzerland area. In a few years they became very popular in their area, having a steady group of followers at each live performance. The band latest line-up also included Andrea's brother, Gabriele, on bass. The band went through a number of different drummers, none of which ever permanently filling the position . In the early '90s the band started writing original songs, driven by the creative streak of Andrea and Ale. After the first studio demo tape was completed, one day Ale dropped it off into the mailbox of a well-known British producer that lived in the area. After listening to the demo, the producer called back saying that he "could not help being involved in this project". In the next months a high-end professional production was initiated, including photo shoots and visits to recording studios. The producer was so excited that ordered a sample of the CD packaging before even starting the recordings! Unfortunately after only a few months the producer suddenly dropped the ball, without an explanation. The project abruptly halted and the album was never released. After this episode, the longtime friendship between Andrea and Ale heavily resented it and the band inevitably fell apart.
Years went by fast and Andrea was very unsatisfied with his life. He felt that the small town mentality he was surrounded did not fit with his character, neither with his dreams. After trying with no results to rebuild the band, in 2002 Andrea decided to leave Italy and move to the USA, achieving a dream he had since he was 16. He moved to Santa Rosa, California, just one hour north of San Francisco. He was guest at the ranch of one of his father's old acquaintance, a local entrepreneur of Italian origin, which took him under his wings and introduced Andrea to the American construction world. Construction was Andrea's professional background, so he decided to open his own company contracting in the concrete flooring business.
Initially after moving, the cultural and language shock was huge, but Andrea felt at home since the very first day in the USA. He studied English avidly, reading a book a day. He was also forced to interact in English with his clients, and that helped him to improve quickly his knowledge of the language. In 2010 finally he felt that he was ready to start writing lyrics for the many melodies and tunes he had accumulated in the previous years. Without even realizing it, he found himself full immersed into the writing of his first solo album. Limited by time and financial constraints, the production proceded very slowly, but Andrea's notorious stubborness prevailed and in August 2012 the mini-album "Side B" was published. This project started as a 3 songs demo to be sent out to record companies, but soon became more than that. It actually ended up containing the last five songs he recorded, from that the title "Side B". The mini album was released only for online sale, but was obvious that it was not Andrea's final goal. After only a few week from completing Side B, he started recording and mixing the material to complete the full album "Immensity", released on January 21st, 2014.
In 2013 Andrea founded his own music publishing company, Andrea Merlino Music Publishing (dba Merlino Music), which is affiliated with ASCAP. Although Merlino Music is at this moment exclusively promoting and managing Andrea's music and band, they hope in a future to be able to help other musicians to find their own place on today's difficult music market.
Charvel Merlino Signature Guitars
Carvin V3 and Vintage amps
Carvin Quad X tube preamp
Seagull acoustic six string guitar
Schecter Stiletto 5 string bass guitar
Digitech preamp and effects
GHS strings, Pickboy Polycarbonate picks
Mark Tarlton- Drums and sound engineering
Mark Tarlton is a very talented and experienced drummer and studio engineer. His career started several years ago after graduating as sound engineer and working at Google, honing his skills in advertising and marketing. During that period he worked extensively on video productions, specifically developing the audio part of the projects.
Over the years Mark started working as a session drummer and joined several different projects, while also working in recording studios of extremely high class, such as The Plant in Sausalito. During his period of studio internship he had the oppertunity of working side to side with engineers of enourmous caliper, like John Cuniberti, and internationally recognized recording artists, among with Joe Satriani.
In the last decade he has been founding and developing his very own recording studio (Redwood Drive Studios), recording artists such as Echodrone, Marcus Owens, Katie Phillips, Bootleg Honeys, Marshall House Project, and many more.
Between 2012 and 2017 he as been involved as drummer and recording engineer with the L.A. based band Girls and Boys, now called B & The Hives, which is currently touring the US. Marks contribution was definitely essential to their success, setting them on the right path to recognition.
He is currently recording with Merlino, filling the position of drummer and also as recording and tracking engineer. His contribution to the new Merlino project goes beyond the mere execution, which is flawless, and extends into the even more creative role of co-producer.
Katt John - Lead vocals
Catt John is one of the most talented singers in the San Francisco Bay area.
Born in Rohnert Park, California, since her early school years she was involved in countless community theater productions, especially with the Santa Rosa Players, and enjoyed singing at several venues in the Bay Area, and even taking her solo Broadway show on tour in Arizona, Nevada and Minnesota.
Once heading into high school, she tranfered out of distric to pursue more in depth her musical and acting skills. At that time she became even more involved in theatrical productions, and in several musical acts, among with Women's Acapella and Concert Choirs. With this latter act she had the chance to travel to Italy and perform Verdi's Requiem in St. Paul's Basilica.
After high school she was accepted at the Ray Bolger Musical Theater at UCLA, where she graduated in 2007.
With the knowledge accumulated over the years and the experience matured as singer and actress, she then decided to pursue her stage career in New York City, where she relocated. She started auditioning and working on Broadway productions such as The Iridium Jazz Club, Ellen Stardust Diner, Don't Tell Mama, The Duplex, Cleopatras Needle, The Iguana VIP Lounge, and Broadway Commedy Club. She also filled main roles in theatrical productions for The City Islan Theater Group, and Porch Light Productions.
After this valuable and extensive experience in New York and conquering Broadway, she decided to head back home, and she joined several musical acts, including cruises touring bands and other gigging groups ranging from country rock to classic pop and dance music, but also cooperating with local jazz musicians.
After meeting Andrea in 2017, she joined the Merlino project as lead singer, also helping with the editing and revision of Merlino's lyrics. She enjoyes playing acustic guitar and keyboards, and in her spare time she writes her own songs and lyrics.