You're about to celebrate your 10th stage anniversary. Is there any special release planned - e.g. a CD or something?
Rich: We didnít realise it was ten years... oops. No we havenít got anything planned, sorry.
Mark: Iím sure itís longer than 10 years. Maybe itís 10 years in Germany? Iím sure we were playing in the UK and Sweden before then. We never seem to celebrate anything Ė we still have a bottle of champagne that we were going to drink when we finished the last album. I think we are always looking forward and celebration always seems premature...
What is your favourite Mesh-song?
Rich: For me, "The Trouble Weíre In", "This Is What You Wanted" and live "From This Height". There are lots of songs that I like for different reasons. Many of them bring back good memories of that period in Mesh.
Mark: "Can You Mend Hearts?", "Four Walls" and "Leave You Nothing" are amongst my favorites because I am proud of the way the songs are written and structured, and the emotions that they have for me Ė I think they represent the best of what I have done. Iím also very proud of "It Scares Me" and "I Canít Imagine How It Hurts" Ė I always thought those songs could have been big hitís.
What are your zodiac signs?
Rich: We are both Geminiís (June). Our birthdays are only 2 days apart.
Do you miss Neil in a personally way and referring to his job? How is he doing?
Rich: Yeah Iím going to miss him as a friend, we have been together for 15 or so years and been through some really exciting and life changing experiences. I think we have all been through times when we have had enough, but I never thought it would happen. I am still disappointed in his decision to quit at this point, but heíd made his mind up. Mark and I still have a great passion for writing music and are very proud of what we have achieved so far and still have the energy to carry on writing. It has never been about the money or the fame, it is about the feeling of touching peoples lives in some way with the music we write.
Mark: I miss him as a friend and as someone who is creative and talented. Iíll miss his humour and wit and his company. Personally I was disappointed that he couldnít find some middle ground and that he could have still been involved, but I understand that decisions like these are never taken lightly. I saw him a few weeks ago and he is doing well. He has a new job and looking forward to getting back into the rat race.
What is your favourite movie? Do you like going to the cinema?
Rich: I am possibly the worst person to ask this question because I hardly ever watch films, but here goes... The Crow, Ferris Bullerís day off, The green mile.
Mark: I love all DeNiro films, anything with Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood (Fistful of Dollars, For a few Dollars More, G,B&U), Alien (best film of all time along with 'Goodfellas'), Napoleon Dynamite. I love the Ealing Studios 'Carry On' films too. A Nightmare on Elm Street and Hell Raiser are great films too.
Do you suffer from stage fright before your shows?
Rich: No not really, I just get very anxious and quite stressed about 1 minute before we go on. I just want to know that everything is going to work alright and my monitor mix on stage is good etc. Usually after the first couple of songs I settle down and start enjoying it.
Mark: Yes. Iím always worried about forgetting the words. It goes away a little once I am happy with that side of things but itís always there.
If you look back, which one was your favourite show? (Self made AND best show you've ever seen.)
Rich: Mesh show-New York, Moscow and most of the last tour. Shows Iíve seen - Nine Inch Nails in a small club in Bristol.
Mark: I always like the hanger shows at Mera Luna Ė itís a good balance between a club and an outdoor gig. I have to say that the dates on the "We Collide" tour in Germany were some of my favourites. Weíve had really memorable shows, but they are usually memorable for the bad or ridiculous things. I remember seeing 'Pop Will Eat Itself' at Reading University Ė the energy was incredible. Their records were often a disappointment though.
Where do you have the best audience?
Rich: Germany and also the last time we played in Russia was brilliant.
Mark: Iím not sure if there is a best audience. Sometimes itís more of an achievement if you have to work a little harder. Personally I like anyone who can be bothered to turn up.
What was your most embarassing slip at a gig? What was the funniest thing that ever went wrong?
Rich: We very often forget the words to our own songs, which is quite embarrassing. I also on the WWOM tour had to play the piano part in "Little Missile" and the keyboard I was using kept randomly going out of tune and made it sound like I was really shit at playing (thatís my excuse anyway). I have fallen over a few times in the dark.
Mark: In Bristol I left the radio microphone in the dressing room but didnít realise until I got to the front and went to pick it up. I had to sing the start of "Petrified" with Richís mic until they managed to find it. Iím always forgetting words, announcing the wrong song, falling over in thick smoke Ė embarrassment is just an everyday occurrence for me.
What kind of music are you privately listening to? Do you have a favourite act?
Rich: NIN, Soulwax, Madonna, The Beloved, Trance music, Kristian Leontou, Craig Armstrong.
Mark: At the moment Iím into Thom Yorke, Portion Control, Blink 182 (rediscovering them), various jazz stuff, Placebo, Keane. An eclectic mix.
Which band are you keen on working together with or maybe remix their music?
Rich: We have worked with a few bands we like already. We have always liked bands that write proper well constructed songs with melodies. Apoptygma Berzerk, Iris, De/vision. I would also really like to work with someone like Craig Armstrong who is a composer who has done a lot of orchestral film scores and classical sounding albums. I would love to do Mesh songs in this way.
Mark: Iíd like us to work with a singer Ė try writing lyrics and music for a different voice and see how it comes out.
Mark, we're all very curious about your caps. How many of them do you have and what is your favourite one?
Mark: Iíve got loads I guess. Iíve always worn them in the band Ė itís a kind of trade mark now. My favorite is my new Portion Control one Ė itís just got a symbol on the front like a laser 'warning'. I shall buy some more before the tour unless Portion Controlís new album 'Filthy White Guy', which I ordered last night is particularly good in which case I will continue wearing it...
Rich, we were fascinated by you freaking out on the guitar at M'Era Luna festival in Germany. How long are you playing the guitar now?
Rich: I have owned a guitar for years but only ever used it in a studio environment (sampling it etc ). With this tour I challenged myself to have a go at playing live, which scared me to death to start with, but I quite enjoy it now, but Iím no guitarist.
I really love "These Empty Rooms" on "The Point At Which It Falls Apart"... couldn't you maybe extend that song a little?
Rich: "These empty roooooms" - is that better? No it was just a link of music between tracks. It was never really a song. We used to liked doing these short bits of music, you werenít restricted into making them into proper songs it was just kind of like "freestyling" with noises and chords.
Is there any hidden message in the child's play theme on the cover of your last album? What does that mean and why have you chosen that motive for "We Collide"?
Rich: It was Neilís interpretation of the albumís theme, the whole confrontational thing is in us even as children. It kind of represented that.