Questions for the band

From summer 2006 to December 2009, we had this section active for you. You had the opportunity to ask Mark and Rich your questions, and the guys have gladly answered.

In the days of Facebook, this section has become unnecessary. You can now ask your questions to the band through the social network. As we haven't received any more questions since 2010, we have decided to close this section.

All "Questions and Answers" being asked via the fan club can be read here!

Walter (Argentina)

Hey guys, first of all: I love your music! Here in Argentina you have many fans and we hope you come soon. Now the questions:
1. How many instruments play in total?

Rich: We both play and program keyboards/synthesisers. We also play guitars although Mark is better than me.

2. What are the chances that come to Argentina in a couple of years?

Rich: The chances are very good. We recently discussed a short tour of Mexico, Argentina and parts of South America its just making a reality this space...

3. What do you think is your best album?
Thank you and sorry if my English is bad. :)

Rich: For me "A Perfect Solution" is. It represents where we are today and I personally think the song writing is better than before. I am still very proud of our previous albums but APS marks a new beginning for us.

Michael (Germany)

Hallo to the mesh fan club.
I have written something for the band. It would be nice if you could forward that to them.
Many thanks.
I'm 44 years old and live in Hamminkeln (a small town with 25,000 residents close to the Dutch border). My interest in electronic music started in 1982 with Yazoo. In 1983, I listened to the song Get the Balance Right by Depeche Mode and in 1984, I visited my first DM concert, since then I was over the moon with this music. Added to that Alphaville, Erasure and Camouflage and later De/Vision. One day I read that Marian Gold (singer of Alphaville) referred your album Who Watches Over Me as the best album of the past years and I went off, bought the album and was hooked. Since then I became a mesh fan as well. The first concert I went to was in 2002 in Krefeld and have been a regular concert goer ever since. I'm especially proud that I was present when the DVD in Krefeld was filmed and that my name is even mentioned on the cover.
We Collide was an absolutely fantastic album and I was totally thrilled right from the beginning. Then there was the shock as I learned that the new album should be considerably harder and less electronic. To be honest, this time I really had problems getting familiar with the album (these are usually the best albums) and not until I listened to it several times, I can say now that it's one of the best albums of the past years for me and I listen to it much more than Sounds Of The Universe by Depeche Mode and consider A Perfect Solution as the much better album. Two days ago I was at the FZW in Dortmund and I have to say once more I was totally hooked. The signs were not good because I arrived totally alone and that is, of course, not so nice, if you have nobody to talk about this event. But after buying a A Perfect Solution hooded pullover and entering the venue I felt a lot better. I was standing in the fifth row, absorbing every single moment of the concert, singing along and enjoyed it. It's a shame that you didn't play my personal favourite song "It's gone", but one can't have everything. Lately, I've come to the conclusion that I'm still a Depeche Mode Fan and that won't change but during the past seven years, you've become number one in my heart more and more. These little details won't surely interest you very much. But just wanted to THANK you for the cool albums and concerts. With this you often help to make the sometimes quite difficult life a little bit more liveable (at least for me). Please keep it up!
I wish you continued good luck and a long and happy career.
Regards Michael

Rich: Hey Michael, Receiving a mail like that really makes it all worth while. When we first started making music we never envisaged touching or affecting people to this extent. We feel totally honoured when we know we have achieved this... Thank you.

Livia (Slovakia)

I have been involved with MESH music since 1999 when I moved from Slovakia to UK. My UK friends introduced me to this fantastic band and I have been listening to their music as of then. Although I have moved back to my home country last year, I am still hooked on and I am looking forward to the concert in Vienna which I am attending tonight. I am grateful that they have decided to tour near by my home town.
I would like to ask the guys where do they get their inspiration from, regarding lyrics and the music. Every single song has a meaning and the music is outstanding, I am intrigued what sources they use or how they come about to complete these masterpieces.
I also wish to ask if there is a chance of meeting them direct, is there any competitions that I can enter or any kind of way to spend a bit of time with them and speak to them face to face?
Thank you
Livia from Bratislava

Rich: Hi Livia, Inspiration comes from many different sources. The way Mark and I write is one of two ways. The first way is I would write a piece of music in song form (verse chorus etc) and give it to Mark to add lyrics. This way I am the one that sets the mood/atmosphere of the song. The second method is that Mark will write a complete song in demo form leaving me to try and capture the mood of the lyrics.
From a lyrical point of view Mark writes about things that move him emotionally. That could be something on television, news or maybe something he has experienced first hand. He tends to write in such a way that leaves the interpretation up to the listener which keeps the mystery of the original idea.

Christa (Denmark)

Hi Mark.
My name's Christa. Went to see you play for the first time live in Copenhagen (Albertslund) last night with my friends..It was EVERYTHING we could have hoped for!!..THANK YOU! Haven't really "landed" yet!! We were looking forward to it so much!.. and to think we almost got lost trying to find the place..NIGHTMARE!!
We/I were/was standing right in front of you where you stood. Tall, pierced, very short dark hair and smiling all over my pretty face ALL the time lol!! Talk about being on cloud 99..and couldn't resist grabbing your hand every now and then..Felt like a girl in her playful teens and the happiest one too and forgot I was already in my 30's lol!! :-D.. It was SO wonderful, Mark.. The sound was great..the songs were fantastic...and!!! Again, it was everything I could have hoped for.
Really love the new album..But I haven't yet learned the lyrics :-( So it was a bit easier for me to sing along to the older tracks..:-)..Your set was really great!.."Crash" being one of my many favorites.
But Mark, I have been a fan for many years and you are only getting better!! I love every album. I really do. Love the differences from one album to another. I used to listen to Depeche Mode all the time as a teenager and seen them many times on stage/back stage, but when a friend of mine intruduced me to your music one cold winter night, I was sold from the very second the sounds caressed my ears..And the lyrics you write are so spell-binding and very emotional. There is nothing like you and your band..You are one of a kind really. I wish I was able to take the time off and see you in UK, since I go there as often as I can. Got great friends in London who I am sure would love to see you as well, but will maybe have to be next time..
So how was it, Mark? Playing in Copenhagen? Were we ok?..It wasen't a very big place, I know..But I loved the atmosphere there..I truely hope and pray you will come back and play for us again. That we were worth it :-)
Now I will put on the new album, enjoy a cup of tea...and think back on yesterday with the greatest feeling ever!! Thank you SO much for a fantastic concert, Mark. Good luck with the rest of the tour.
Take care and hope to hear from you.
The warmest thoughts and gratitude
Christa xxx

Rich: Hey Christa, Wow...I'm so glad you enjoyed the show. It's been a while since we were in Copenhagen. The weather that day was awful but the show was great...Thank you so much for coming, hope to see you again soon.

Krister (Sweden)

Hello. I wonder when Mesh comes to Sweden next time?

Rich: To be completely honest it is down to your local promoters taking on such a show. We would love to come back to Sweden, it is one of our favourite countries. Our career pretty much started by touring Scandinavia. We have many good friends there and our old record company Memento Materia are based there. We will do what we can to come back... Thanks.

Yan (Israel)

Hello Mesh! Hello, Mark, Rich (say hello to Neil also, if you see him :))!
My name is Yan Nagler, I live in Israel, and I am a huge fan of your creativity. Have all your works (original CDs! :)). Your amazing sound and so unusual world-vision are the etalons for me and a lot of people who breath music. Heard "Only Better" for just a ten thousands times, and this is brilliant! Glad you keep your high standards.
First of all, after Apoptygma, And One, De/Vision and (even) Depeche Mode and NIN, this is your time to visit our beautiful country! Hope the new album will bring you here, and, be sure, many people are waiting patiently for this moment.
I have a small home studio and I have one technical question (if it's not a secret): how do you achieve the warmth of your sound? What is the signal flow, you prefer: mic, preamp, comression, EQ, AD/DA? And another one to Mark: which microphone is your favourite today?
Keep exciting us, Mesh!
Yan Nagler

Rich: Hi Yan, We would love to come to Israel. We were asked a few years ago but the timing didn't quite work out for us but if the chance arises again I'm sure we will come.
How do we achieve the warmth? Well in the studio we mix on an old analogue Mackie desk and then through a TC Finalizer. All the synth and guitar parts are recorded into Cubase and are processed and compressed the rerouted back onto the desk for EQing.
We still use a lot of old analogue keyboards rather than the more brittle sounding soft synths but things are moving on very quickly and soft synths are getting better and better.
The mic we use the most is an Audio Technica AT4033 for vocals.


Ello Dearest Mesh Men!
First of all congrats on another stunning and outstanding job on the 'Only Better' single. You have truly advanced so much over the years and have captured and stimulated adoring fans yet again. Honestly though, do you think you could produce a song that would not touch your public's hearts? If so you might want to reconsider everything you have done. You both have a rare talent with music the lifts them above the clouds and move them in ways lover's and so on envy. Do you think there will come a day when the crowd would say 'this is getting old' and that would be the end? If this is truly were your desire lies then you have accomplished it. I may not be able to read your future but Id bet my left hand (my writing hand) that, unless you pursue something else, this is it. Not necessarily a bad thing but as you both have explained, you can't tour and hold a sturdy family life, (well not in those exact words, but still) Well I'm done jabbering for a moment to get to the questions:
1. Mark had mentioned that you shouldnt put your name on (Im guessing, certain things) in the biography of the band Mark, Rich, & Neil where in bands prior to Mesh. Why not credit your history?
Have you ever considered doing more covers of songs that you like (much like Mark did with 'Document')?

Rich: We did think about doing a different cover every night of the tour but we ran out of time to put them together. So maybe in the future we will do some more covers...

How long have you both been working in the music field?

Rich: We started writing together in 1991 but both had been in bands prior to mesh. I think we only started taking it seriously when things started happening with mesh.

Do you hold other hidden talents besides such touching songs?

Rich: When I was younger I was pretty good at Motocross. Mark is a computer nerd, sorry wizard.

What are your birth dates and signs? (Im an astrology addict)

Rich: Mark and I are both Gemini's, mine is the 13th June and Mark's is the 15th June.

Do either of you like to dance?

Rich: Have you not seen the Trust You live screens? No.

What are your thoughts on Obama?

Rich: To be completely honest I don't know much about US politics.

How many licks do you think it would take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

Rich: Erm ...750? I hope you know the exact answer.

Rich - as you have read in my random captions and messages to the photos in the myspace Mesh page, are you a little nervous to meet me and my 'craziness'? Lol just kidding.

Rich: Nah, not at all, I've met plenty of nutty people, in fact I tour with 15.

How many of my questions do you think you both will answer? Hehe

Rich: Too many.

Would you like the original drawing of the Mesh Heads?

Rich: Please.

Continuation with the jabbering... so as I've been telling Pete Steer I'm hoping to be in England around Dec-Jan. So I look forward to meeting you both. I won't ask either of you to give a kiss and hug for me as I plan on doing it myself. Oh and here is a dare... I dare Mark to write a completely optimistic song :D
Cheers & Beers!
Emily aka Lupa Amelia

Rich: A Perfect Solution is pretty optimistic if you fully understand the lyrics :)

Jose (Spain)

Hi guys, I don't know if you still got this email running, but if so here it goes my questions and comments.
First of all , I'd like to start out by saying that I'm a huge Madrid fan (safe with me) of you since the early days (State of Mind to blame) but the good news is that after all these years I like you even more, if possible. There aren't many bands of which I can say the same. "The point..." and "who watches over me?" are among the best album I've ever heard, really up there, on the top. They really represent the state of the art in electronic music, this pretty unique combination of top notched, modern sounds and melodies, beautiful and sometimes dark moving tunes. Thats what I really like about electronic music and that's why I'm so enthused with what I've listened from Perfect Solution so far. "Only Better", great single very Mesh like, really addictive. Impressed by "Shattered Glass", you turn the screw a notch here and wowwww,... a different edge, a bit rougher, very dark, gorgeous chorus and last but not least Who says, superb track although it's got this electro rock thing that I'm not really into but in this case the outcome is amazing, this growing uptempo reaching the climax at the end puufffffff, got no words.
This being said, are there gonna be in the album mid tempo, epic tracks I can't imagine..., needle in a bruise, safe with me, no place like home sort of?. You're the best band in the planet at this type of tracks, it's your trademark and I'd like to relish in advance knowing which one I have to wait for.
Shattered Glass is really impressive, How good does the album have to be to leave out such an outstanding track? Is there any musical reason?... I'm salivating.
With all respect, I hope it is not out to include one of these Crash like tracks.
Well guys, just please, keep making music, making our lives better.
I'll see you in Madrid (February) and hope to have the chance to get to meet you and tell you in person what you mean to me.

Rich: Thank you very much, we are so honoured to be such a part of your life.

Christian (Germany)

Hello to the cool fan club team!
Actually, I've been a mesh fan since the beginning and bought all the CDs incl. Maxi CDs etc.
Again and again, I read that mesh also present remixes of their songs on sampler albums as can be read in the latest news.
I had the suggestion to release a CD with all the stuff that can only be found on various compilations. Or is there another possibility to get these tracks? I don't really want to buy these samplers just because of one song. Maybe you could forward my suggestion. These songs could also be offered as downloads.
Best wishes,

Rich: Hi Christian, I like the idea of putting all these songs together but unfortunately it becomes problematic with all the record companies and rights to tracks. Sometimes its too much trouble.

Jose (Argentina)

Dear friends
My question is this... When Mesh will play in South America?? I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina and I hope that will be posible.
I hope you are fine.
Best wishes
Jose Mansilla

Rich: Hi Jose, there is talk of a small South American tour late in 2010, so fingers crossed.

Ivan (Sweden)

just wonder, why do you never ever come to Stockholm, Sweden to play live???
So you know, it would be much appreciated :-)
All the best
Ivan Hirvonen

Rich: Wed love to come back to Stockholm, it is one of my favourite cities. Again it is all down to local promoters. If someone is prepared to put on a show via Pluswelt (our tour management) we will be there.

Gil (Israel)

Dear Mesh,
Lets get the first thing first - I really appreciate and love your music. You are among my favorite bands, if not my favorite.
And I really enjoy your songs. I love a lot of bands but only few artist managed to really touch me like you guys do.
I was wondering if there is any chance of you guys arriving to gig in ISRAEL? it is obvious you are doing it for the love of music, and not for the money, unlike other "artists" in the music world - so that there shouldn't be any issue from your side.
DE/VISION were here last year [march '08] and performed really well. I was there and simply enjoyed every second.
DEPECHE MODE were here in May '09 - performed in front of 50,000 people, so that there is a loving crowd for your kind of music.
I am absolutely sure you will have many fans that will love to see you perform in Israel.
So guys, what do you think? Will you at least consider it?

Rich: We had the chance to play Israel a few years back but it clashed with another commitment so couldnt go. If a promoter is prepared to put on a show we would love to come over. Most of the bands we know that have played there said that it is a great experience.

Jeff (USA)

I'm a huge fan and have all your albums! I want to know if you'll include a United States leg on your upcoming tour. Please come to Washington DC!!!!!

Rich: OK :)


Hi you,
how did the cool cover version of Document by Assemblage arise?
I have never listened to such a successful cover!
Take care

Rich: Hi Sandy, thanks. Mark really liked the lyrics and the feeling of the songs so he just re-programmed it in a version that suited his interpretation of it. We are good friend with Tom from Assemblage23 so it was an interesting project.

Claudia (Germany)

hallo "mesh",
thank you for your wonderful music, thank you that you are there, thank you thank you thank you...
because: almost three years ago, that is to say on 21 April 2006, I found the love of my life at a concert of yours in Leipzig, the love of your music brought us together and connects us since that day. In the meantime we live together and are planning a small family and don't want to be without the other any more. So please never stop making music, it's our lifeblood. (PS We are excitedly looking forward to the new album.)
Lots of love of Claudia

Rich: Hi Claudia, wow that is so nice to hear. Im glad we brought you together :). Hopefully the new album with be the theme tune to many other memories...x

Line Michelle (Norway)

I just wondered if you might know anything about Mesh playing in Norway any time soon?

Rich: Hi Michelle, At the moment we havent got shows at all as we are recording our new album, but I am sure we will try and include Norway in our tour for the album.

Marie (Sweden)

Hi! Im a huge fan of yours, thank you so much for all your fantastic songs!! I can't find any information on your website about any new releases. So my question is, when will you release a new album? I hope it will be soon cause I can hardly wait for it!
With Love,

Rich: Hi Marie, We are currently working hard in our studio writing and recording our new album. The plan is to have it ready by the summer and release it in the autumn of 2009. So far we are really pleased with the tracks that we have finished. The songs are more up tempo and have a slightly more grittier experimental feel to them. We have been digging out all our old anologue synths to create a good electronic base for overlaying the guitars and lyrics.

Romana (Croatia)

Hi guys!
First of all I want to say hello to the band and wish them good luck for the next projects. I only recently started to listen to your music seriously because it wasn't available here where I live unfortunately, but your music touched me so deep that I caught myself crying while listening to some songs, that's how your music have an impact on me.
I heard your song "Leave You Nothing" on the radio one day and from then on I was desperately trying to find out who that is. Now I know.
My question is: Do you plan on doing some gigs, concerts somewhere else then in U.K. or Germany, have you ever considered some smaller countries like mine Croatia perhaps?
And question number two: Were you influenced by some other artists like maybe Depeche Mode, because I sense a light touch in songs you make, their sensitivity, melancoly a need to put your deeper feelings into song, and say everything that needs to be said.
O.k., if you can understand my English, for that I apologize it's not my language, please answer my questions, and I wish all the best to you, keep making music you make, kiss guys especioally Mark from me (just a girl)!

Rich: Wow Thank you, when people write saying that our music has touched them in such a way makes us feel like we have done our job right. We always try and put across an emotion or feeling in the way we write and select the sounds.
Yes we will try and include as many countries as possible on the next tour, it is usually down having promoters who can put on a show in that country. If they can organise such an event and can cover the costs involved we will do it. Sometimes I think its a misconception that bands choose where they want to go but the reality is down to the promoters and finances.
Yes DM along with loads of other bands were an influence on us. Early electronic bands such as Yazoo, DAF, Portion Control, NIN, Nitzer Ebb had a huge influence on what we do today. Combine that with good melodic songs and that is what we are trying to achieve.
Thanks for the kiss, unfortunately I won't pass it on to Mark for you as he may think Im a bit weird :)

Marco (Germany)

Hello Mark and Rich,
On your MySpace page, I've listened to two tracks of the background songs from your live DVDs (e.g. profilerpodcast music) in full length.
Not only on the bonus DVD from your latest album but also on your latest live DVD I noticed once more the really cool background and DVD menu tracks.
It would be really cool if you could release these tracks on one of your next CDs in full length.
Maybe you could also re-record some of your older pieces, like e.g. the opening track on your live-vhs-video when your band name is shown?
It would be nice if you could tell me if you have already considered a release or if we cant expect it any more?
In that case, I dont need to raise hopes for more years.
Best wishes

Rich: Hi Marco, The bits of music from the myspace site and DVD were demos I had written and gave to Mark for writing lyric to, but for some reason or another they never quite made it into complete songs, so rather than waste them we used them as background and incidental music.
Perhaps as a fan thing one day, we could put them all on a collectors CD??

Andrew (Russia)

Hello :)
My name is Andrew, I'm from Russia & I've been listening to the band for quite a number of years. I really like the music & there are some questions that I'd like to ask:
1) Pardon me if it sounds harsh but why is your geanre not particularly popular in Britain? It's just a thing I can't understand! (DM, Mesh, who else? - i.e.: if to look at German synthy scene...)
2) What are your own musical tastes?
3) How do you write your music technically? There's a line about Mesh computers on your site - is it a brand or does it mean you've got your own programmes & you don't use fruity loops & similar software? I'm particularly interested in that because I personally use Roland midi-keyboard & fruityloops with lots of plugins (synths, guitars, sound packs, drum machines, etc) & that's how it's happening these days in Russia.
Thank you :)

Rich: Hi Andrew, The dark electronic scene has never been really big in the UK, it has a good following but not as it does in the European countries. DM were big in the 80s/early 90s but you wouldnt hear them on the radio over here now.
At the moment I am listening to - Winona, Pendulum, Kloq but always return to things like Craig Armstrong, NIN, and even albums by Britney Spears, Pink and mainstream artists.
Writing happens in one of two ways. I either write a piece of music in a song arrangement and Mark writes the lyrics over it or Mark writes a song in a basic form for me to put the music to it.
We use Cubase and Reason for the writing plus a large amount of outboard synthesizers and effects processors. We do use a small amount of soft synths but are not to keen on using them entirely.

Henrik (Sweden)

Hope all is well
I wonder when you will tour in Sweden? Hopefully Gothenburg soon.

Rich: Hi Henrik, As soon as the album is ready we will be looking into a tour and we hope we can include a few Swedish dates. Sweden has always been close to us as that is where it all stared happening to us and we have fond memories of driving up and down the country playing our first dates outside of the UK.

Wartime (Hungary)

Dear Mark and Rich!
Do you have any plans to tour in Hungary? We'd love to have you come and visit our country and we can buy your CDs!
Thank You!
Best wishes

Rich: Hi Wartime, We would love to come to Hungary. Hopefully when we start looking at a tour later in 2009 we will consider it.

Stella & Lauri (Argentina)

1 - Are you both Catholic or what religion?
2 - Are you both fans of a football team in England? Which one?
3 - Do you both have brothers or sisters?

Rich: Hi Stella & Lauri, Speaking for myself, I guess you could call me Christian although I am not a great believer in religion or any greater being.
I have supported Arsenal most of my life, although I am not what you call a proper supporter as I dont go to watch them every week because of the distance from Bristol to London and the cost of seeing such a club.
Mark doesnt really like football.
I have an older sister called Wendy, who often travels to our gigs in Europe and sells our merchandise for us in the UK. Mark also has a sister called Victoria.

Thorsten (Germany)

Hi guys,
Ive just zapped through the past questions. In doing so, the question about "From This Height" got stuck in my head.
I'd never dared before but now I will summon all of my courage to ask. Its true theres a live version on the "We Collide" Limited Edition DVD, but it has nothing to do with what the fan from the UK meant or the version I listened to in Hamburg. That version just sounded endlessly ... in addition, endlessly good. With the knowledge that its just a b-side, it started a new musical era with "Friends Like These" that even offers the 80s lovers a musical progression. Im no lover of 'development', but what happened to you, however, makes me really happy. I already had all your albums at that time and like them all.
I also would be very happy to have the tour version of "From This Height" just like the fan from the UK had. Otherwise, Im looking forward to everything that you might release.

Rich: Hi Thorsten, Hmmm... No I dont think there any versions on the "We Collide" ltd edition.
When we released "Friends Like These" we wanted a b-side, as we always like to offer another track on singles. So we wrote this track that turned out to be "Can You Mend Hearts" the record company liked it so much they said can you keep that back for the next album. So we set about writing another which was "From This Height". When the single was released the DJs picked up on the B-Side and started playing it in the clubs. Because of this we thought it would be a good track to finish the show on the tour. I totally reprogrammed the track for live and gave it the "Trancey extended end". Since the tour ended everybody has asked me "where they can get it"? and "is it available anywhere"? The answer is No it is not available on cd but it Will be on the "We Collide" tour DVD out...whenever our record companies sort themselves out (soon).

Gabriella (Germany)

Hello Mark and Rich,
Im very glad because last year I had the pleasure of being at two of your concerts Cologne and Erfurt, what a delight!!! Those were my first mesh concerts and I was quite impressed. The use of the drums made the music much livelier and more dynamic. That was great. But I have to admit that the Erfurt gig was the better one! Did you mix some of the songs differently? Your friend, the keyboards player, was very good. He really seemed to have a lot of fun just like you. That makes everything much better.
How does he like touring with you? Does he like the crazy mesh guys?
Sorry for the long text but Im just so hooked ... Ive only got one request. When producing your DVD soon, could you please consider if its possible to turn down the background music during interviews? It was quite difficult for me when watching the We collide DVD. Thats it. ;-)
Thanks for using your talent to make so many people happy. For us, it seems to me that you are more than just a band with good music you really touch them. Im really looking forward to the DVD! You are great in every respect. ;-)

Rich: Hi Gabriella, Thanks for your comments.
Each show can vary but it is usually down to the PA, it can be difficult to get the right balance of the vocals, guitars, drums and keyboards, so although we try our best it can vary dramatically from night to night.
Yes, Geoff is a great guy, he has been very good on the last tour. Not only is he a good musician but he is a great vocalist as well.
We all had a brilliant time on tour. It can be quite intense living on a tour bus for such a long time and it is not easy to find the right people but Geoff a brilliant laugh. There was one experience on an overnight train from St Petersburg to Moscow where Geoff and Mark were talking about farting and the noise it makes in the next carriage (very childish I know) but they were laughing so much they spent several hours almost crying with laughter. A very memorable night.
OK well turn the music down on the DVD :)

Chris (Germany)

Hi Rich, hi Mark,
1. What is your favorite joke?
2. What was your funniest experience before/on/after stage?

Rich: Hi Chris. Favourite joke.... The Music Industry :)
We have had loads of funny experiences whilst gigging, it is very difficult to come up with specific times.
A lot of the fun is usually aimed at our crew. we have a brilliant group of people that work with us. On the last night of a tour they often set things up to go wrong. Being Island Monkeys (as they call us) they strapped bananas to our keyboards and instruments. They also changed all of our setlist to songs by other bands. Mark and I have also had several experiences of falling over on stage, which is hilarious for the other band members to watch. It is so easy to trip over equipment whilst the stage is in darkness and covered with smoke. Totally forgetting how to play things or going blank and forgetting lyrics. On the forthcoming DVD we talked about our funniest times/experiences.

Stephanie (USA)

Do you have ANY plans to tour the US? We'd love to have you come and visit our country with a tour.
Thank You!

Rich: Hi Stephanie. We have looked at doing an American tour many times, unfortunately its not as easy as jumping on a plane and flying over. It is very difficult to judge our popularity over there, we do get an awful lot of requests from the states but its a big place. And then there is the big question of financing a tour, at the moment we havent any label support so would have to run the risk ourselves. The other option would to do a support slot with a known band, which we are not opposed to but its finding the right band and time slot.
We would love to come to the US again, the few shows we have done there were fantastic, New York being one of the best memoires of our careers.

Dario Gallardo (Argentina)

Please come to ARGENTINAAAA!!!

Rich: Hi Dario. If we get an offer from a promoter we will consider it, but thanks for the support.

Zach (USA)

Do you start out writing all of your songs acoustically (i.e. on guitar or piano)? How do you come up with the vocal lines?

Mark: There is a split between Rich writing music and me writing acoustically or on a computer. On the last two albums we have written many of the songs with an acoustic guitar and weve then taken them to the studio to program them up. The rest were written by Rich giving me some music and me writing lyrics to them. We then take that demo and strip it back down using the demo vocal as a guide and build it back up again. Near the end the vocal is usually re-recorded and the final touches are put on it.
Writing the lyrics is a lengthy process sometimes. I find it helps to use a nonsense guide track just a vocal line that establishes the timing, the rhyming pattern and the melody it doesnt even have be real words just sounds. Sometimes by playing this track and listening carefully you can start to hear ideas and 'real' lyrics coming back at you. The problems usually come after the second verse that last verse is always the one that takes the longest because youve usually run out of ideas by then. I think this is why the old 2 minute songs from the 50s got it right there only needs to be 2 verses.

Antonio (Spain)

Hi guys, have you ever decided the sound orientation for the next record? Im a bit worried cause Im beginning to listen to a lot of guitars on some tracks. I just heard 'Document' (the whole of it), impressive but the bass line seems a guitar, doesnt it? As you already noticed Im not fond of them.
I think you are the best band in the world at making "dark - melodic - epic finals mid tempo electronic songs" ('In The Light Of Day', 'Safe With Me', 'State Of Mind', 'I Cant Imagine...', 'The Trouble Were In', 'Room With A View', 'Can You Mend Hearts' - guitars again -, 'Needle In A Bruise', 'Document' - despite the guitars, 'Shatters', 'Confined', etc) and Id like you to pursue on that path. Is there any chance for the new record to mainly have this kind of orientation? Thanks.

Mark: We continue to use guitars as we have always done I guess. I think the mixing on the last couple of albums has pushed those elements to the front a little more than they were, but possibly only because we are getting better at playing them and are more confident in what we do with them.
We dont really plan anything in that much detail beforehand its as much of a mystery to us what an album is going to sound like as it is for the fans even once the album is recorded, the mixing plays a big part in how the final record will sound.
We do use each instrument in context it always adds something to the sound or it wouldnt be there. Every sound and texture is thought about at every stage of the song writing so you can be sure that if there is a guitar in a chorus, the song sounds better for it being there. Our attitude to music it not one which limits what we are able to do because weve a limited palette of instruments. There should be no rules.
All that said, I dont think the world is likely to get a mesh thrash metal album any time soon.

Rich: I think the guitar has become quite an important part of Meshs sound. Right from our first recordings the guitar has been incorporated into the songs. It is a very expressive instrument and can transform a programmed piece of music into a very energetic and frantic track. A lot of the time we underpin the chorus with power chords to lift it. Most of the time we process them heavily, so they are unrecognizable as guitars. On 'We Collide' there was less processing resulting in a more raw and edgy sounding guitar.

Steve (UK)

Hello guys
Having been to my first Mesh concert in Bristol in June, I was wondering whether any of the gigs on this tour have been filmed and if so whether a DVD release is a possibility?
The Bristol gig, with Client, was superb but the highlight for me was the final song, 'From This Height', and the awesome instrumental which followed it. I would just love to relive that moment again or at least be able to get hold of that as a live audio recording.
Steve (UK)

Mark: Thanks for the kind words! It was good playing in Bristol again in fact the whole UK thing was something special for us its reassuring that there are so many people here that still love what we do.
So far as a DVD goes, we are starting to gather together some broadcast quality footage from the tour in general although nothing was recorded in Bristol specifically. Its quite a task to set up multiple broadcast cameras and multitrack audio recording at smaller shows unfortunately. We are hoping to get some more on the second half of the tour in December.

Saga Johansson

1. Do you have girlfriends/wives/families?
2. Do you have any pets?
3. What are your passions besides music?
Sincerely yours
Saga Johansson

Mark: I have a 'partner' Im not married something we should get around to really, but the idea of all the fuss around it scares me a little. I have two children a boy and a girl and a rabbit a massive French floppy eared rabbit that roams free around the garden eating everything like a big locust with fur.
I love my family and doing stuff with the kids, my car (a bright yellow 380bhp Audi S4), my racing Kart (although I havent used it so far this year) and my Downhill mountain bike (Santa Cruz Bullit).

Rich: I also have a partner, we have been engaged to be married for years but never actually done it (terrible really) I have 3 kids Boy, Girl and another boy in that order. Pets? Well my kids have pets, 1 rabbit and 1 guinea pig.
My other interests apart from music is cars, I own a Focus RS. After a few modifications it now produces 260 bhp. Mark and I have this "My cars faster than your car" thing going on.
When I was younger (and more stupid) I used to race Moto-cross, so I still have an interest in that. Downhill mountain biking is as close as I come to that now.

Zach (USA)

I play a lot of guitar and I am always trying to figure out Mesh songs. I have a few in my acoustic arsenal that I am positive are correct, but would you ever consider posting chords or tabs for any of your songs? Also, any plans on a release of an acoustic album. I love the acoustic version of 'So Important' and the Buskers mix of 'Trust you'! I'm hoping to hear more like it. It's really inspiring to hear how these songs develop. Thanks for everything and I'll keep my ears to the ground for more.

Mark: If I was honest, wed love to publish chord tabs but we are a little lacking in the knowledge to do it! Most of the songs we can play acoustically but myself and Rich play by ear and by working out how each can be played after we have programmed it up. I guess the exceptions to this have been with the last two albums where most of the stuff was written acoustically and THEN programmed. Even for these tracks there is nothing written down it goes into the computer and we work on it by ear.
Its shameful really. Perhaps if you have the tabs of the ones you have worked out, you could send them to us? ;-) Im not really joking...
A collection of acoustic songs might be a possibility in the future we have been thinking about some new ways to present some older tracks, but then again it may just be new material. Its a nice thought either way.

Zach (USA)

I have been waiting for a USA tour ever since I first heard your music! I have seen you once in Toronto, Canada back in 2002, but my needs are not fulfilled. Please tell me you will be touring the states sometime in the near future.

Mark: We have been trying to get a US tour organised properly for years, but it has never really worked out. The task is a big one and our record distribution has always been a bit on the poor side so were not sure whether it would be viable. I guess it has never seemed like the right time.
I know we have a lot of fans all over the US and we are starting to put some thought into it again. We have had a couple of good offers of support slots which may make things easier and perhaps turn the idea into reality. Wed really love to come over and Im certain it will happen in the next 12 months.

Nicole (Germany)

Hi Mark!
I read once in an interview that you think a song has to be sung by the writer himself, as he knows best how to express the emotions while writing the lyrics. And so it is with the mesh stuff (except 'Waves'). Now you've done the wonderful version of Assemblages 'Document'. How was it for you, to do this cover version, especially to sing it. Is it more difficult to interpret someone elses lyrics than to put emotions to your own verses?
All the best

Mark: The cover of 'Document' was a nice project for me. I had been talking with Tom Shear over a festival weekend and had somehow got this tune in my head. I was singing it on the bus and all the way home. A couple of days later (still with this tune in my head) I put the music down and found the lyrics from the cover of the CD. I did all of this without playing the song at all I couldnt actually find the CD at the time so I was just going with the feeling of how I thought it should sound and how the timing of the words should be. When it was finished I sent it to Tom and he really liked it. We kind of sat on it for over a year until the 'My Hands Are Tied/Petrified' single came up and we needed a B-side. We then took it into the studio and tidied it up we used the vocals from my original demo which had the right feel. It was only after it was pressed and Id listened to our version a 100 times that I managed to find the original Assemblage 23 version that was cool because it sounded so different even the vocal timing was different from what Id done, yet it had the same feel the spirit of the song was there in our version.
Document was an easy song for me because I can identify with the lyrics. They are about leaving a mark on the World, about leaving some trace that you were ever alive. I guess anyone who writes music or books or even a diary is trying to do this at some level. Tom writes some very moving lyrics they are sometimes hidden in the energy of the music, but it is worth spending the time listening to them.

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