Mecano Interview (by Markos Kritzalis (GR))

Mecano Interview (by Markos Kritzalis (GR))

After 23 years of hibernation, Amsterdam based MECANO has risen from its ashes and will surprise its dedicated followers, and the alternative music-scene with an astonishing new album.

  • A short story….

    After 23 years of hibernation, Amsterdam based MECANO has risen from its ashes and will surprise its dedicated followers, and the alternative music-scene with an astonishing new album. Snake Tales For Dragon will be officially released in the beginning of October and signs already point to a very warm welcome from the music industry and its pop criticasters. Pascal Bussy, A&R executive at Warner Brothers, wrote the following after listening to a test pressing: “I listened twice to the project: Its really good. I would describe it as post-modern new wave with a very elegant musical landscapes and a magical and very authentic feeling, full of wisdom, nostalgia and energy. An exciting album, and you know what? I am under the Impression that it is already a classic.”

    The Story of Mecano starts with a painting, made in 1977 by founder Dirk Polak after finding an old booklet belonging to a Meccano construction box. The example, in this construction booklet, shows a figure that was called a sudden appearance. Dirk was struck by a vision of a world built out of Meccano, in drawing, painting, sculpture and even lyrics and music. Dirk began painting Meccano figures, surrounded by surrealistic landscapes and interiors. In those days punk was booming and Dirk thought it was time to start a band. Mecano was born and spread their punk wings over the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany and a lot of other countries, which resulted in the albums: Untitled, Subtitled, Retitled, Entitled and Autoportrait. Mecano starts touring in the Netherlands, Belgium and France. The complex way of touring gave a lot of trouble in the band. The band decided to stop touring and after a while they even decided to stop playing together. In 1982 three members (Dirk, Cor and Tejo) of the band recorded Autoportrait which came out out early in 1983. After the release the music stopped and every member went in his own direction. It became very silent for many years but Mecano never died, it only took a long suggestive sleep.

    1. It’s been almost 22 years since your absence, what inspired you to release a new album? (which I have to say was an unexpected gift for all Mecano fans)

    What inspired us to release a new album was for Tejo the feeling that we never finished our mission. For me it was the death of my friend Theo van Gogh.

    2. On “Snake Tales for Dragon”, the track ‘November 2’ is dedicated to Theo Van Gogh. What was your real connection with Theo?

    I promised his body (I had to identify him) to start Mecano again, as he wished so much, cause of its capacity. I lived for eight years with the mother of his child, who we raised together, so as a matter of speaking we were family.

    3. Are you worried about what is going on in the Middle East?

    We are worried of what is going on in the whole world, and as atheists we are worried by all monotheistic religions with their inhumane rules and regulations.

    4. What were each of you doing when Mecano ended?

    Before Tejo had a gift shop and concentrated on sound in his spare time, while I made exhibitions with Andre Mesman as Amos d’Epal and write a book in my spare time. Now we are completely focusing on Mecano. We are half-way finished recording our new album “Those Revolutionary Days”.

    5. What are your original influences (music, painting, literature), and are you still interested in the French and russian poetry?

    We are influenced by life itself and Russian and French poetry remains amongst the best ever written.

    6. I once read that Dirk never concidered himself as a real singer, but he was only trying to clarify his ideas through music.

    Nowadays, people convinced me that I’m a real singer, but it is still for the sake of clarifying my ideas.

    7. In many of your songs you were (and are) using french lyrics. Was that because you wanted to express some sort of gratitude to writers like Paul Celan, Paul Elyard and André Breton?

    We use the French language because of a European feel we always had, maybe we will use the German as well, and if they teach us we will use the Greek or Italian too, we’ll see.

    9. Tell us about your stay in Greece.

    The stay in Greece was for the both of us amongst the best experiences in our lives, mainly because of so much feedback and the fact that people take us seriously.

    10. Why Dirk choose to write the Greek word “harmolipi” on his shirt?

    I chose the magical word “harmolipi” because of my melancholic nature; in French, it would mean ‘spleen’ for sure. A special Greek female fan gave the word to me and as a gesture to her, who is really attached to my soul, I wrote it on my shirt.

    We are working to get a new album ready around november 2006.
    The title will be: Those Revolutionary Days

    One of the songs is an old song that we never recorded.
    Titled: Gossip’s a Gap.

    Gossip’s a Gap:

    Humanoid without matrix
    Gossip’s a gap in communication
    Obeys mono-logic tactics
    And leaves clean thought in isolation

    My thin film covered phobia
    Grasps arbitrariness
    Imputed to a multiple error
    I misjudged common character of consciousness

    Visions, vague and vulgar
    Habituation on scale, daily routine
    The statement occurs pretending stupor
    To prevent the blinded angle turns obscene

    It has a singular tenor
    To put machines are mundane
    But disposed by the utility factor
    Their hearts beat the brains.


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