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Edward Ruff...

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Friday, September 3, 2010


Interview with 'Mechanical Cabaret', 03 Sep 2010.
Deadicated to my long time 'Industrial', buddy Chris Comber...

You first formed I believe in 1999, just before the birth of the new millennium. What can you remember from your very first days, and did you have a strong and tact first agenda?

Well, really it was more a case of continuing what I started. I began writing songs in my teenage years. I was in various bands, most notably ‘Nekromantik’, before I decided to basically go it alone in the studio and write and record everything myself, and started to use the name Mechanical Cabaret. If I had an 'Agenda' then it would be that I absolutely believe in the right to self-expression and wish to remain an individual, avoiding the pitfalls of crowd mentality or band-wagoneering, whilst doing my own thing at all times. And, that I only want to speak of the real truth of this life and this world - not just as I see it, but then I can only have my own perspective of course - at the same time coming up with a hopefully interesting, unusual, effective and very electronic based soundtrack to it!

OK, as a newcomer too you. Please introduce yourselves, who's who, and what band crimes are you responsible for ?

It’s basically me who writes the songs, and me on my own in the studio committing all manner of crimes! But Steve Bellamy, from 'Greenhaus', who joined the band last year on live synth, is now going to be joining me in the studio for the next recording session, so it will be interesting to see what comes out of that.

'We Have An Agenda', to me a great killer debut, light punk edge, with a great ambient and vibrant beats. Plus some stonking great tunes. What can you remember from it's creation, and what was the vibe like at the time. As debut was it an easy release, or was it more a learning curve, and prototype for the future material ?

Cheers! I like it for what it is, which is essentially what you say, an early prototype! It has it’s own character and atmosphere, due to songs, the equipment I was using and my state of mind at the time. I felt I had something to prove probably, to myself more than anything. I wasn’t really happy with what I’d been involved in before, and no one was doing the sort of music I wanted to hear, so I tried to do it all myself! For all my Punk angst, and lyrical disdain for certain things, I also like more ‘musical’ things too. Interesting melodies, weird sounds, pop music, dance music in general, especially electronic stuff, and disco, techno, etc. so that all comes out in what I do. Everything is a learning curve really - it’s the journey not the destination.

With your debut released, can you remember the first reactions, and reviews of the time. Were you happy with the feedback, and if you could change time, would you change anything about it ?

I wouldn’t change a thing. People kept saying I was like a darker version of Soft Cell, like a new Fad Gadget, things like that... very flattering, but don’t believe your own press, as they say! We all like to compare things to what’s gone before, naturally. That said - there could certainly have been worse comparisons!

Can you remember your very first live show, and what was the crowds reaction like, at the time, and was it ever recorded or documented ?

I can, yes - it was at the club night Electric Dreams at Gossips on Meard Street in Soho! It was a pretty good reaction as far as I remember, but it wasn’t recorded no, not that I’m aware of.

2006, a second full length follows 'Product For Your Insecurity' - as a second outing did you find things a lot easier and more relaxed, and what changes were made in your approach if any, and do you think it topped your debut ?

I think it was a better overall sound recording, as I had better facilities, and Steve Bellamy helped in the studio with two of the songs. As well as my usual equipment, I started using software synthesizers for the first time on this album. This was definitely a departure from the first album, which was done with just an Emax 2 sampler, some analogue synths, a few drum machines and effects, and an Atari ST!

It says in your 'BIO', you are currently banged up in a 'knocking shop' - erm would you care to elaborate on this, and iron out the kinks ?

Well I’m not ‘banged up’ at all actually - I love it there! Where I live and record used to be part of an old Brothel. And I prefer my kinks just the way they are thank you very much!

Who would you say you draw inspirations from, is there any particular one band or person you'd say really made you want to create and write music ?

Not one person, but many. Daniel Miller/Mute Records, Depeche Mode - especially Martin Gore, Fad Gadget/Frank Tovey, Johnny Rotten, Soft Cell, Kraftwerk, Adam Ant, Blancmange, I Start Counting, Nitzer Ebb, Killing Joke, Throbbing Gristle, Abba, New Order/Joy Division... too many to mention really.

Who would you consider the founding father(s), of the modern 'Industrial', scene. Plus who would you consider to have the largest scene, be it the 'US', or maybe 'Ger' ?

Throbbing Gristle invented the term ‘Industrial’ regarding music, in the 1970s with the phrase ‘Industrial Music for Industrial People’ and their own label Industrial Records. Everyone else since them has just joined the production line. I have no idea who has the biggest ‘Industrial scene’ but there is an awful lot of similarity and dross being produced from that production line these days. You can only paint a wall black in so many ways before you run out of paint.

Over the past years the scene has changed rapidly, and has become ever more underground. Have you found you've had to at any point change your style or way of thinking to adapt, to more modern ideals ?

Do you think I’m thought of as part of that scene then? I didn’t think I was really, even though I like lots of the early Industrial bands. ‘Sideline.com’ refer to me as ‘an alien in synth-pop land’ which I thought was very funny. I don’t belong anywhere, to any scene, and I only really inhabit ‘the underground’ area of music anyway. I would never adopt some trend or modern ideal to try to become more popular, that’s not why I do music. It wouldn’t be a true expression of myself then would it, if I did that?

Do you find as times have changed, you're becoming ever more engrossed in the new electrical technologies behind creating 'Industrial', music. Plus do you think old school technology still outstrips the modern chuck away society ?

All modern music is Industrial really isn’t it? It’s all being produced, re-produced and marketed with basically the same technology! That’s the real irony. Old technology will always have it’s place, and only a fool would think otherwise, but modern technology has a lot to offer as well, so the wisest option would be to use both old and new together, surely?

Your third full length 'Damaged Goods' throws a more lighter dancier edge, again with a little punk edge, is this a hint of things to come, IE: a more vibrant accessible sound, to gather a wider, and more and less picky audience. Would you consider this your milestone piece. It's always been considered in music the third should be the best, or at least the most progressed, or the directional changer ?

To be honest mate, the music just ends up sounding how it ends up sounding, completely by chance/luck/instinct/whatever. It doesn’t matter to me if someone doesn’t like what I do, it’s just not something that I think about, and I’m not going to consciously change a single thing just to attempt to ‘persuade’ anyone that I could be their cup of tea. I think that ‘Damaged Goods’ is my best record so far in lots of ways, but then I would say that wouldn’t I?! I like my stuff so far, but it’s bound to change a bit again for the next record I imagine - different times, different energies. Who knows what’s next - not me. And that’s part of the fun!

'Careful Careless', followed earlier this year, great damned track. Really love it, how's the feedback been, can't wait to here this one live, and what's the story behind it meaning ?

Thanks! Me too! There are several experiences of mine which might have inspired this song, but I don’t really think it’s a good idea to talk about what lyrics originally meant to the author - it could spoil someones idea of what the song is about, and what it means to them.

Your currently due to play alongside 'Inertia', have you ever played with these guys before, and what can we expect from your live approach, and are you familiar with there music. As its a 'VS' show, can we expect any stage invasions, covers or dual vocals ?

We’ve not played on the same bill before actually, I don’t think, but we’re friends anyway, and have known each other for years! There will be something happening as a surprise, but I can’t tell you about this either - that would spoil it!! Come to the gig and find out!

Thanks for your time, what can we expect in '2010',any last words ?

It’s nearly over now, it’s bloody September already. Well, after this show with Inertia on the 10th of September, we’re playing as the sole special guests of Alien Sex Fiend at the Electric Ballroom in London on Halloween! Gigs aside, the next single ‘Ne Plus Ultra’ is out on September 24th, I’m working on remixes for the single coming up after that at the moment, and have been working on some new material too.

Check out this Stunning band at :


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