“Mechanical Mike” - An interview with Mike Rutherford from TV’s “Oracle” Teletext service. Transcribed by John Gardner.
When you’ve conquered the world in a band as big as Genesis just what is there left to do? A stupid question really, but Mike Rutherford, founder member of Genesis, now leading his own highly successful team of Mechanics answered patiently…
MR: The question of incentive doesn’t come into it. Music is what I do and enjoy. Genesis wouldn’t have lasted as long if I’d not had other projects to pursue.
After several stabs at solo success it wasn’t until 1985’s Mike + The Mechanics album that Rutherford found his artistic feet outside Genesis. The album reaped huge successes in America and the follow up; The Living Years (out this month) should follow suit. Rutherford said his career took a turn when he realised he could never be a solo artist:
MR: I need and work better with others, so the idea of leading a band suited me better. As a writer too, I work better with others and that led to teaming up with B A Roberston.
Another important realisation was that he couldn’t sing!
MR: It is important to know your strengths and weaknesses, and in honesty I have not got a “voice”. Within Mike + The Mechanics it’s good to know that if I come up with a good song there’s a strong vocalist to give it to.
On the new LP, The Living Years, the vocals are shared by Paul Carrack (who did the honours on the Silent Running hit) and Paul Young (not THAT one, this Paul was formerly of Sad Café). The new LP follows a traumatic year for Rutherford and his family. Both he and his wife Angie lost their fathers and the couple’s third child; Harry was a difficult birth. Happily the family are now fighting fit.
For one track on the new album; The Living Years, Rutherford sketches his feelings on the death of his father and the birth of his son…
MR: It was the first time I had tackled something so personal and it proved terribly difficult. But it was a satisfying feeling to put it down.
Rutherford says that the new LP was far easier to make than the first…
MR: This time I knew who was going to sing it and I knew what area in terms of sound, I was starting from.
And Genesis? Rutherford says that the band will continue as long as it…
MR: Feels like the right thing to do. If you had asked me ten years
ago whether I thought we would still be going now, I would have said ’no’.
I couldn’t perceive it lasting this long. At the moment there is nothing
definite in the pipeline. We’ll just wait until the time feels right to
make another record.