Mike Rutherford and Paul Carrack interviewed on GLR Radio 4th March 1991. Interview transcribed by Alan Hewitt.
INT:We’re going to have a bit of a word of mouth with Mike Rutherford and Paul Carrack of the Mechanics now. Welcome to the programme, gentlemen. So, the single Mike, is the precursor of a whole new album?
MR: Yeah which I think comes out at the end of the month.
INT: So where does all this lie alongside Genesis and other projects?
MR: Well, it took a big chunk of last year to do it… that’s where it lies! We just slotted in the middle. Normally we will do one Mike & The Mechanics and then a Genesis …but this is the second Mike & The Mechanics one.
INT: The interesting thing Mike, is that something that begins as a hobby sort of recording deal, grows and becomes more important?
MR: That’s right. It is now full-time/part time I think. The better these projects get the more pressures there are. There were no plans as to what we were going to do with it when we started off so we just sort of put albums out and see how they go.
INT: What happens in terms of moving the album on to a live thing as well, is there going to be a Mike & The Mechanics tour soon?
MR: We’re going to wait and see at the moment, the Mechanics album over ran a little bit in the recording and we’d hoped for some gigs at the end of last year but the album wasn’t finished. I start with Genesis next week, the new album so that sort of comes… The idea is you do them... The Mechanics there there’s a gap with Genesis and these two projects have overlapped nicely this time, but that’s the way it goes.
INT: You have said Mike that you spent a long time putting the new album together. Why does it take so long? Do you like to let a song grow in the studio, so to speak?
MR: No. I like to get it out as fast as I can (laughs) while I still like it. It took a little bit longer this time because we started off last March with Russ Titelman producing and we spent about three months there but it didn’t seem to work out quite right. So we sort of stopped and then came back after the summer and Chris Neil, the original and famous Chris Neil came back and we did some new tracks and finished off some of the other tracks. I think Chris is part of the Mechanics to be honest.
INT: You were obviously trying for something different as you say because this album moves on a long way from The Living Years sort of feel.
MR: I think it’s a much tougher album. There’s a lot different on this album apart form being more aggressive. Paul and I have written together for the first time on this album… we’ve done four songs?
INT: Do you find, Paul, I know you like to work with different writers that it does change the way you write?
PC: Oh absolutely. All the songs that Mike and myself wrote this time round have all come about in different ways. Some of them either one of us had a definite idea and just started to work on it together to develop it or a couple of other things we just started from scratch and they all start off differently and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
INT: So, if you’ve got to go back in the studio with Genesis there won’t be any kind of public face for Mike & The Mechanics during this period of the album coming out?
MR: I’ll just have to work very hard. You can juggle it and I am working at the Genesis studio which is in Surrey so I am not that far away and maybe if things go really well, then maybe in the summer we can fit some gigs in and we’ll see what happens.
INT: The song that is involved as the single, is that off the album as well… Let’s Pretend It Didn’t Happen?
MR: That’s with Paul Young singing on that one.
INT: And B A Robertson the co-writer on this one?
MR: Yeah, he wrote about four songs on this one with me.
INT: Paul Carrack does get on the album at some point, does he? (laughs).
MR: No he just writes (laughs). I’m not sure of the balance, I think Paul sang six tracks.
PC: Yeah, six and it usually works out about fifty/fifty you know. I think a lot of people ask about the two singers aspect and I think it works well for us because it gives us a bigger range that we can tackle.
INT: I get the impression of the two of you fighting over songs (laughs).
PC: Not at all, no it doesn’t work out like that and having sung The Living Years on the last album I did get quite a lot of credit and back slapping from that and I’ll be only too happy if it works out the other way round this time because Paul (Young) has done a really good job on the sound. He sounds better on this one than he did on the previous two. I don’t know why, the songs suit him better, he sounds more like himself and I hope he does get the credit he deserves.
INT: I’m sure he will. Thanks for coming in today guys, it’s been
good talking to you.