11, 2011, Mike and the Mechanics will release
The Road, their
first studio album since 2004's
In the past decade, Mike and the Mechanics has truly evolved in virtually
every sense of the word, but perhaps never more so than in the past year.
After the passing of co-lead singer Paul Young in July 2000 and the
departure of fellow front man Paul Carrack in 2005, the future of The
Mechanics seemed uncertain at best. Thankfully for Mechanics fans, founding
member Mike Rutherford carried on with long-time Producer Chris Neil and
began recruiting a new team of players to shape the next generation of the
2011 finds Mike Rutherford's newly rebuilt Mechanics with a new album and
aptly titled 'Hit the Road' European tour.
The Road features the additions of popular British R&B/Pop singer/songwriter Andrew Roachford and Canadian
singer Tim Howar who have taken up the mantle from Carrack and Young. The Mechanics is rounded out with Gary Wallis on drums,
Anthony Drennan on guitars and bass and, of course, Mike Rutherford on
guitars and bass.
World of Genesis.com had an opportunity on February 2, 2011 to do a little
question and answer session with Andrew Roachford about his involvement in
the new Mike and the Mechanics album, his solo career, and what lies ahead
for the band in 2011.
Can we expect to hear any of
your new solo songs on the 'Hit The Road' European tour? How about any of
your older signature solo tracks? Will you or Tim do any Genesis songs on
the tour? If so, which ones?
We will be doing some of my songs on the 'Hit
The Road' tour, and of course some of the Genesis hits... but you will have
to come to the show to find out which ones!
Will The Road be released outside of
Europe? If so, do you have an idea when it might be released in North
I think there are
plans to release The Road in North America, but I don't have any
exact details at the moment.
Are there plans in the works to tour beyond the dates announced for the UK
and Germany this spring? Perhaps world tour?
are no definite plans at the moment, but it would be cool to do a world tour
with the Mechanics!
of Genesis: How did
you first get introduced to Mike Rutherford? Did you have a "formal"
audition for your new gig with The Mechanics?
Mike through a mutual friend, Martin Sutton. I got invited to Mike's studio
for a chat. It was a very informal first meeting between myself, Mike and
producer Chris Neil... and actually we started songwriting that same day.
point was Tim Howar introduced into the band? Were former Rutherford
colleagues Chris Neil or BA Robertson involved with this project as well?
involved in the album project quite early on. Chris Neil was co-writing and
producing a lot of the material, but BA Robertson was not involved with this
The Mechanics Truly Rewired (L-R): Roachford,
Rutherford and Howar
Having not heard the new album yet, can you tell us what the new Mechanics
album sounds like? Would you describe it as being similar to your recent
solo albums like
Heart of the Matter or
Word of Mouth? Does it
sound like the 'old' Mechanics or is this a totally new sound for the band?
The Road does have
elements of what you would expect from a Mechanics album, but obviously when
you have different people involved it will put a whole new spin on it. I am
a big fan of Paul Carrack; however, I think we have very different styles of
singing and writing.
Are there plans to continue with this
configuration of Mike & The Mechanics following this new album and tour? If
so, having had some significant success as a solo artist, will working with
the Mechanics still give you the artistic freedom to pursue your solo
I am planning to
release my album later this year and do a Roachford tour to support it.
Touring with the Mechanics will expose me to an audience who might not be
familiar with my material, so that can only be a good thing. I really
enjoyed working with Mike in the studio, he is a very 'intuitive' artist.
I'm sure we will work together in the studio again.
Mike and the Mechanics
(left to right):
Andrew Roachford, Mike Rutherford and Tim Howar
I understand that
you were approached as a songwriter by artists like Michael Jackson and
Chaka Khan. Was it different collaborating or writing for someone like 'The
King of Pop' versus Mike Rutherford?
asked to write for Michael Jackson and Chaka Khan, but I didn't write
with them. It was just a matter of submitting songs for their projects.
With Mike Rutherford, we worked very much together.
On your solo projects, I've noticed that
you've done some fairly diverse songs mixing pop/rock, R&B, funk, and even
some jazzier things. If someone has never heard an Andrew Roachford album
before, how you describe your sound?
Obviously, Paul Carrack had a strong soulful
voice on the older Mechanics albums, but your vocals will certainly bring a
great soul/R&B quality to these new tracks... Are there particular songs
from the Mechanics' back catalog that you prefer to sing in concert over
I have been really enjoying singing some of the songs that Paul Carrack sang
originally. At the moment, my favorite songs are "The Living Years" and
"Over My Shoulder." They are so much fun to sing, and I feel I can relate to
I had heard you were working on a new solo
project this year called Addictive. Did you compete that project
prior to joining Mike & The Mechanics? If so, when might that be released?
Did any songs you initially wrote for that project end up on the new
Mechanics album, The Road? Were you and Tim both involved in the
writing of the material on this new album?
Yes, I have been working on my own album,
Addictive. It is due to come out in late 2011. I was still working on my
album whilst I was co-writing the new Mechanics album, but none of the songs
on my album are on The Road. Tim also co-wrote some stuff on the new
When you were writing songs with the Mechanics, did you write anything and
later decided it would be better sung by Tim or vice versa? In the past,
Mike shared with me that he used to let Paul Young and Paul Carrack both
take a shot at the songs he wrote and later decided who was the right
'voice' for the song. Does it still work that way today?
there is a song on the new album called "Do You Wanna Dance" where Tim sings
some lines on the track with me, and that worked very well.
Is there a particular song you wrote or
co-wrote for this project that you are particularly proud of?
I really love songs that evoke a lot of emotion, and the song "Try to Save"
really moves me!!
On my first album, it was more of a live rock/pop band feel to the stuff,
but now I would say my style is more a personal singer/songwriter feel... in
the tradition of Stevie Wonder, Prince, James Blunt, James Morrison. I like
to touch people with my songs.
Will the new Mike and the Mechanics official website be on-line soon?
Yes, it can be found at:
Can you share the name of the first single
from the album? Do you sing that track? When might the single be released?
All of that info will be on
the website soon!
What's the meaning behind the
title of the new album, The Road?
It is the title
of one of the tracks on the album, and also I think that the Mechanics sound
is obviously on a journey and is changing and evolving.
I know they filmed the Prince's Trust gig you
did with the Mechanics in Digital 3D. Since its the first ever show with the
new line-up, do you think it will surface on home video? Are there any plans
to film an actual full Mike and the Mechanics gig on this tour for future
I'm not sure
about the Prince's Trust footage, but I'm sure there will be some footage of
the 'Hit The Road' tour released at some point.
Since Phil Collins also appeared at The
Prince's Trust, did he share any words of wisdom about working with Mike?
Cover art for Mike and the Mechanics 2011
album, The Road
All he said to me was, "Are you having fun?" and I said, "Yep" and he said,
"Great!" I think those are very wise words indeed!
What was it like meeting Prince Charles? Is he
a Mike and the Mechanics or Roachford fan?
I met Prince
Charles years ago, and I gave him a cuddly toy and a copy of my album... I
forgot to sign it though! So, I hope he remembers me (laughs)! He is definitely a
Mike and the Mechanics fan!
Following the Mike and the Mechanics tour,
what's next for Andrew Roachford?
Mechanics tour, I will be releasing my new album and doing some solo shows.
The Mechanics will be playing the Isle of Wight Festival, and afterward I
will doing an acoustic set in the acoustic tent... It should be a fun day!
Mike and The Mechanics
Spanning the first four albums, this collection features songs like "Living
Years", "Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)", "All I Need Is A Miracle
('96 version)", "Taken In", "Word of Mouth", "Over My Shoulder", "Beggar on
a Beach of Gold" and more!
Live at Shepherd's Bush
(NTSC/Region 1 DVD) (2005)
Recorded on the Rewired Tour in the U.K., this was Mike and the
Mechanics' final tour with Paul Carrack! Includes hits and favorites from
the Mechanics' catalog plus bonus interviews with Carrack and Rutherford,
behind-the-scenes footage, and music videos!
Very Best of Roachford (2005)
European Compilation featuring favorites like the hit "Cuddly Toy", "Only To
Be With You", "Get Ready!", "How Could I?", "Family Man" and much more!
Heart of the Matter (2004)
One of Andrew's more recent projects featuring the title track, "Walk On",
"The Pressure", "Ordinary Life", Take U High", "Love Games", and more!
For more CD titles by Mike and
the Mechanics and Andrew Roachford, please
World of Genesis on-line
thanks to Andrew and Stephen Roachford for
this interview. For more on Mike and the Mechanics' 2011
album, please check out their
official website. For more on Andrew Roachford's
solo career, check out
website. This interview
© 2011 Dave Negrin and may not be reprinted in whole
or in part without permission.
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