I know it happened a long time ago, but can you tell me how and when you got to know each other?
Rich: Ok,... a long time ago as you said... I put an advertisement in a national newspaper for a keyboard player and Neil answered ...and me, Neil and another chap started the band, then Neil came and left the band... and Mark came to one of the gigs and then I got back in touch with Neil... we have met through the local, through the music scene in Bristol and we just have decided to do some recording and that's how it started, really.
Why did you choose "Mesh" as the name for the band? Is there a special meaning behind it?
Neil: It has not a very special meaning, I think it was like any bands, you just reach the point, when you feel like to record a few tracks, you want to send the Mail and then have got your own name, so we have been, for a week or so, thinking of various names and then Mark came with "Mesh".
Mark: Yes, all right.
Neil: And it was like that... no big deep meaning to us, so.
I think your music style has changed with each album you have released: at first it was more cross-over and a little bit of guitar was also used,
then it slowly became more and more electronic with a lot of sampled sounds.
Rich: I think we are always trying to do something a little bit different, but it's funny that you say that there's more guitar 'cause realistically there's more guitar on the new stuff than there was on the older stuff and this is just because, we probably processed it differently and made the sounds look different, but I think we are always trying to push it forward, come up with something new. We have not any kind of plan.
I'm always very impressed by the deep lyrics of your albums, because I think they tell much about our daily life. I think that a lot of people can identify themselves by listening to your lyrics. This happens to me too. Are your lyrics inspired from your personal experiences or are they inspired from life in general?
Mark: I think there is an element of both of things... you have to write from your own point of view, you have to write from what you see... always... you have no other ideas, but... I think sometimes you see things that maybe don't involve you, but you've got some kind of opinion on it. I think... one first starts to write... there's a lot of...there are a lot of things you want to say and if you have no other chances to say... you do it maybe, for the first in a couple of albums and then... you need to find out more ideas from somewhere else and it goes automatically... it comes down to what you feel and what you think about things... so yes, you write from your own life. I'm just trying to write something that makes me feel something, if you can do that then you can pass it on to somebody else. I never sit down and say "it's a good song" or "I'm writing good songs" it doesn't work... you have to write something you feel, really.
I know you're working on your next album at the moment. Can you reveal me something about it? What will it sound like?
Mark: Pretty...FANTASTIC! (He laughs) We kind of developed it over.. for an halfway through it, programming and writing it so, it's going ok...
Rich: Yes.. again like I said before, I mean... y' know, we don't sit down and say "what are we going to do with this album?" which we have never done really, but with this album it is time for a bit of changes of what we do... we're just trying to come up with something a little bit different... maybe with this album.
Mark: We'll probably write more tracks this time... and maybe choose what we like, what we think it's different... usually we have just written down an album, we don't write anything more or anything less than we need to. But I think we'll try of experimenting a little bit more and see what happens really.
Rich: There's a lot of bands, y' know, in this scene who play the same stuff over and over again and don't feel they need to change and do something unusual or something so... we'll see...
Mark: We'll see...
Rich: ...country album... (He's referring to a "country note" that appeared in their official webpage regarding their new material...) THEY ALL LAUGH ABOUT IT!
Neil: Never say never...
After the release of your album "Who Watches Over Me?", you left your normal daily jobs. In which way has your life changed since that moment?
Neil: It was the case... before, we could do the stuff only in the evenings and on weekends, so this just gave us space to, y' know, go for a very more professional way, rehearsals that need to be done especially when you get involved with a bigger label, and things like making videos... you need the freedom, the spirit, that you can do that, so that's the big plus... you know, to be able to spend kind of a working day in the studio and it's really good.
Mark: It is impossible to do a good job really, when you're trying to work as well, you've got time in the evening, but evening is not always the best time after you've worked during the day as well. So this gave us a chance to realise it and we spent 4 weeks in Hamburg as well... mixing... which we would have not been able to do if we were working. So I think... it was worth... I recommend this as a job.
Many groups as they reach a bigger success than they used to don't have time to reply to letters from fans or requests for interviews from unknown Webzines when they reach a bigger success than they used to have, so I was very surprised to see that this is not the case in your band. I understood it as I took a look to your own Official Webpage: it is written in a very friendly way. I also find it also very nice from that you take care of your own official Webpage personally. How do you manage that?
Neil: It just gets hard... I say it again... we have so many things to do, you know, so we are not always able to respond as quickly as we would like to and or to keep things updated but, y' know, it imposes to ourselves... we kind of make a priority to do it... it just depends on us, I'm sure, I cannot understand with bands... I mean... we get so much... and because we look after ourselves, we can manage ourselves, we do everything by ourselves really, so we're pressed to move more than many bands they do... but not just doing the music and we feel like also in the show to look after behind the scenes stuff as well, we make it out for ourselves in a way... we would want to respond all the people, but, y' know, these great volumes of E-Mails many times in a day... it means that it might not be possible, but we hope we are always able to.
Mark: Yes, we try... we try to respond to all the E-Mails.
You often play gigs at Gothic Festivals. Were you surprised at the beginning of your career to see that your music fits very well in the Gothic Scene? What do you think about it?
Mark: Yes, we're still surprised about it, especially at Wave Gothic Treffen... it has been the biggest experience ever. We were at such an extreme Gothic Festival and we had such a good gig... so we just look to ignore it really...
Rich: ...Gothic audience accepted us for what we are and it's really good... we are quite proud of the fact that people like us... and we are really not a Goth band and we never ought to say: "Hey you, look at us we're dressed in black and all that..." ... It's just that... we do what we do and it has been pretty accepted, so it's really good to us.
Mark: It could depend on the music and not on the image.
To tell the truth, when I listened to a song of yours for the first time (the song was called "I Don't Think They Know") I thought you were Goths. I rushed immediately in your website and at first I was disappointed to see you were normal guys and no goths. I thought, I found the wrong webpage! Does it happen often to you to be associated with Goth people?
Neil: I think this happens on the magazines...
Rich: I think we have already answered to this question before... I think it's just a kind of honesty thing... I mean... we are what we are,
we don't turn into any different persons or play any tricks or have different characters when we're on the stage, then when we are off stage we're
back to the normal Mark, Rich and Neil... you know, it's just how we are, that's how we are dressed and what we do... and when people accept it...
then I think it's pretty.
Mark: It's not this kind of things that is disappointing him... You know there is always going to be somebody that looks at you instead of
listening to the music and not all the people there, are into the scene for the clothing and just for the artwork, for the image.
Is the independent music scene in England, as big as in Germany?
Rich: ...Next question... THEY LAUGH
Neil: I don't think so...
Rich: I don't think this scene. I mean... maybe a kind of guitar bands of the independent scene... but I don't think the whole electronic, EBM, gothic scene which is bigger here.
Mark: I don't think the live music scene is very big in England... really, it misses of very big bands... I think... the way the clubs are
organised in England... it's very difficult to make a gig... there is not many live venues anymore, there's big venues, but there's no small clubs,
in Germany there a lot of small clubs where you can play, you can do a tour in Germany. In England you've to play at universities or pubs, or big
clubs there's nothing kind of... for 400 or 500 people..it's difficult to be in a scene.
Do you like making videos?
Rich: No. We feel a little bit uncomfortable because you're trying to act and we're not very good actors.
Mark: We're terrible...
Rich: It's a good experience and it's funny.
Neil: Yes, it's funny and enjoyable in a way because it's just so unreal, y' know.
Mark: It's quite funny... especially when you know that on some of the videos there's a kind of people who are professional actors or people who are trying to do it as a living... and you feel they're looking at us and thinking "what are they doing here?". It's strange but... everyone, all the people who worked with us on the videos were pretty nice and they're good people to work with. They try to make it easier for us, I think. Trying not to be inept...
What are your favourite artists, or what do you listen to most?
Rich: The last album I bought was Tomcraft... it was quite good, Madonna's album... I think the new album is really good... I bought 3 albums: Tomcraft, Madonna and... I think Goldfrapp... Goldfrapp's album is very good too.
Neil: I really like the new Madonna album... which I've played most, and Shania Twain. THEY LAUGH
Rich: ...He's joking...
Mark: I love Madonna album but I haven't got it... The last things I bought was Chris Cornell's album and Quincy Danies as well.
Are you going to play in Italy in the future?
Rich: We have never been asked... Nobody asks for Italy... so if we get chance to play there... promote us... and we will probably play.
Mark: Somewhere where there are beaches...
Mark: ...We go everywhere when we get an offer from...
Is there something you would like to add to this interview?
Rich: We would like to thank our fans and everyone who reads the magazine and supports us... this has been a quiet time for us at the moment... we need the support in between...
Neil: Don't forget about us, we will be back!
That's all.Thanks a lot for the interview!
Mark: Thank you.
Neil: Thank you.
Rich: Thank you.
Simona Botti, e-lectric