RUDE MECHANICALS – A HISTORY / DISCOGRAPHY and QUESTIONS
(in no discernable order for no reason)
We formed in 2000. Before that we were single entities drifting about creating strange musical and theatrical happenings. We were all witness to one another’s strange behaviours and the noises we created. So much so that we did often perform together. It was messy though and it occurred to me that we needed ‘Miss Roberts’ to help keep us in line (in so much as that was possible). I made some phone calls and got us a rehearsal room. Cos (the guitarist extraodinaire, synth psycho, producer and fast consumer of beer) was concerned about not having a drummer; so was I. He and Miss Roberts went off to find ‘Ugly Boy’ who played the drums. He was up for it and so were we.
12 years later, I decided to step back from the band but the core of the band still drifting about creating strange musical and theatrical happenings. In those 12 years we achieved a lot; here are some of them:
In 2007 Sexton Ming of RIM records saw us play and said I would like you to do an album on my record label.RIM records logo We said that would be nice, when can we start. He said now. It was released in May 2008.
GLASS EYE – RUDE MECHANICALS (2008) – RIM RECORDS
Out of all the recordings we have done – I am extremely proud of this one and feel it is an extremely important one in the history of the band.
It has songs on there that are as old as the band! In some ways, it was a way of laying these songs down once and for all with a line up we were really happy with and in that sense enabled us to move on. Miss Roberts, Cos and myself had been playing songs like ‘Derek’ and ‘Nude Descending Staircase’ (also generally known as ‘She Walks down The Staircase’.
Finally we could get them recorded properly and released properly too. What Tommy brought to the songs was fantastic and they were not going to get any better than they were so I like to think that you have the definitive versions of these songs on this album. What Kate brought to them as well was inspired and adds such lovely colour and character to the songs.
On the album I play the bass and keyboards. On Derek, Miss Roberts and Cos allowed me access to a microphone for some backing vocals but I’m not saying any more about that.
Strange Times was an old song that I wrote. Its entirely mine, with respect to the lyrics and the music. Obviously the others helped arrange it and I can’t remember now who’s idea it was to record the musical riff as an accapella but it was inspired! I decided to mix that section in on its own – we have never played it live like it sounds here so you have a unique little treat! I’m incredibly proud that a lot of people have said its there favourite track on the album (honestly ….I’m not just saying that!) including Sean O from Organ. He has been kind enough to play the track several times on the radio (Resonance FM).
Also very proud to be told a year later that we were RIM’s biggest selling act on their label. I also love the look of the album. Of course no-one else can do ‘art’ the way Miss Roberts can and I think the cover is fantastic and the design of the inner sleeve is awesome. If you haven’t heard it yet then go and bloody get it – you are missing out. Don’t take my word for it as here are a few other people who feel the same way.
“Glass Eye is the first album to grab when there’s a free moment of pleasure around here…they’ve probably been the most played on our radio show in 2008” Organ
“Have you any idea how unusual it is for me to enjoy an unsolicited CD these days? And want to hear it again? And then…one appears…’RUDE MECHANICALS’ album Glass Eye” Everett True, Village Voice
Our 1st single on 7″vinyl
Irritating Fly / The Devil Wants To Be… – Rude Mechanicals (2008) – Ex Gratia
Well this was a fun one to do! One of my own songs – lyrics and music all mine, arrangement by the band. All about a fly – which is used metaphorically to also perhaps mean people. I love this song – its so simple. Two riffs, one for the verse and one for the chorus. The verse riff is two notes a semi-tone apart and the chorus has one note (bandied about by the bass and the guitar – a sort of question and answer type effect where there’s either only one question or only one answer, either way the bass and guitar throw them backwards and forwards at each other!). The lyrics are the most complicated thing in the song really – yet the chorus is quite simple.
We recorded this in August 2007 – I remember it well because right at the end of the song (the last 4 bars or so) my headphones were dragged off my head by my exuberant prancing about.
I edited and mixed both songs on the 7 inch. I passed it onto a colleague to do the final mix though as I was unable to get one I was happy with.
What I really enjoy on this record is the ‘Fly’ which was stunningly recreated by Kate using her oboe reed. Simple but so so so effective, so so so inspired! I also love Cos’s guitar work which is so him – a joy to behold. This also features a harpsichord (courtesy of Kate) which is no longer a feature of our live sets so again you have something really rather unique. Tommy (drums) and of course Miss Roberts are just inspired on this record and I am extremely proud to have one of my songs released as a 7inch vinyl. I feel even more proud that I have a fantastic group of weirdo muso’s who are actually willing to play something I have written.
‘The Devil Wants To Be…” was one of the first songs we wrote with Kate and features a lovely oboe solo that is just perfect for the song. It also showcases her fantastic voice and I think that this track is truly unique in its sound – I know its pretty unique for the Rude Mechanicals! I play the harpsichord on this track and Cos takes over bass duties (as well as overdubbing some guitar too). Its a song by Miss Roberts and one of those songs that deserves more than just a B-side (not that they really exist anymore but this is a piece of vinyl), in fact many of our fans were disappointed that we weren’t releasing it on CD (the fools had got rid of their record players!). What works so well for this song to be on vinyl though are the fantastic noise effects created by Tommy G at the beginning and end of the track. These scrapes, screeches and distant tinkles combine so well with the gorgeous crackles and static that makes vinyl so unique.We haven’t played this live since Kate left the band later that year (she had lots of other commitments she wanted to pursue) so you really need to have a copy of this. Truly a one off.
Double uniqueness then. You had better get one.
I know I edited this track and know that I produced a substantial number of mixes but I think that Cos ended up producing the final mix that you hear on the record.