Q & A with Rich Vernon - September 2004
By Petra Sümnicht
Q: The Absolution tour just ended at Mera Luna Festival few weeks ago. It was one of the shortest Mission tours ever, so how was it for you and are you satisfied how it went?
A: tour was great fun and i thought we played really well, it was nice to get out and play again. sometimes i get a bit wound up by people around the band, sometimes people we work with sometimes a few so called fans being negative and a bit bitchy. i think the music business attracts people like that who thrive on a bit of negativity and a moan and when we play live as we did on the last tour and the places are packed with a great atmosphere like london then its a nice feeling, to just go out and let the gig do all our talking for us. iv said it before but those nights where the crowd are like the 5th member of the band are special and stay with me.
Q: Do you prefer the shorter tours and why?
A: god no, its nice getting home but its totally frustrating only doing a few shows. i prefer hearing the songs change as you mess around with them after a couple of weeks. i also think its good when you get into a run of shows as you get less distracted by things outside the band and concentrate more on the music, i think that atmosphere is conducive to new ideas too. i suppose a short tour is easy but that doesnt make it better necessarily. wouldnt want to go off for 6 months but a 5 or 6 week run is perfect i reckon, i mean a 1 week tour? come on... Cin didnt even shout at the bus driver, thats not what i call a tour! more of a long night out!
Q: Please give us a touring memory from the following cities:
A: strangely high percentage of young peole at the show and the first night of Robs new only females in the dressing room policy. driver turned air con off on bus at 4 am for no apparent reason.
A: met friends in afternoon, found some great comic shops, thought about brian clough. driver turned air con off at 4 am for no apparent reason.
A: great gig, had a fantastic on stage sound and had rob really loud in my monitors, he played a blinder and i just enjoyed listening, family and mates there, bass sound huge and subby. bought a great hot dog and had ace party on bus till ferry then went to bed zzzzzzzzzz. unconscious till holland.
Zaandam / Amsterdam
A: woke up in heatwave, driver had turned air con off for no apparent reason so i bought a huge fan. it didnt work, cheap though...driver waited till 4 am then turned air con off on way to germany
Hildesheim (Mera Luna)
A: nice big festival, great sound and stage but hard to tell if we really suited being on with such hardcore bands.
Q: Speaking of M`era Luna, unfortunately you had some sound problems and you didnt seem to be very happy after the gig, so what went wrong?
A: no sound problems but until we came off and people came and talked to me i didnt know how we had gone down. after people said that they had lost their voices singing along but it didnt feel like it at the time.
Q: What happened to your trousers and your hairstyle at the London gig? Was it your "mum is in the audience style"?
A: mum and sons teacher so didnt want to look like i was ponsing around...
Q: Any special highlights you would like to share with the people?
A: Steve saying something so outrageous that i choked with laughter and sometimes start laughing out loud now when i think about it. suffice to say that i would bet money that the son of god has never in the history of mankind been described like that before!!!!. sorry, i would be arrested if i shared it...
Q: Please describe the tour in one word:
Q: Did you see or hear any of your support bands? In Nottingham you were supported by this young guys called Operation and they did a fast version of "hands across the ocean". In London you were supported by X-Lover and N.F.D. Any remembrance of their gigs?
A: I saw Operation and liked them, didnt see x-Lover as i got to gig too late. saw some of NFD and liked them. i was also pleased they went down so well with the crowd cos they were such a nice bunch of people. the singer was watching our set from the side of the stage and really into it, thats unusual with musicians, half the time bands spend all the time sucking their cheek bones in and being too cool to watch anyone else.good luck to them, i bet they do well.
Q: Is there a difference for you to play with or without a support band?
A: i do like having support bands as i get less nervous if i can watch someone else on stage before, sort of takes my mind off the gig and if they are good its a nice way to start the evening. its also nice to meet different people and if they support you through a tour it can be good getting to know them. i did like doing the acoustic thing where we opened for ourselves though and would like to do that again.
Q: The Zaandam venue website advertised your gig as "The Mission grote Goten" which means "great Goths" in English. At Mera Luna Wayne entered the stage and asked the people if they would like to hear some pop songs. So are the Mission a goth band with a big repertoire of pop songs or how would you describe the musical style of the band?
A: i cant really, its just a rock band.so many of the songs are totally different, from hymn to america to dragonfly is a pretty wide spectrum.
Q: What do you prefer, to work in studio or to go on tour to play live?
A: i tend to enjoy what im doing at the time. i always say i like being on tour best until i get in the studio then i enjoy that. being in the studio is a lot more intense and really draining i find, partly because you get so involved and focused without realising it. touring is more fun but the studio is more satisfying in the end.
Q: What are your plans for the future after recovering from the tour and what are you doing when you`re not on tour with The Mission? Do you play with other bands as well?
A: tour was too short to need a recovery time!! i do play with other people if they ask although it has to fit round the mish. ive been playing with the drummer from Peter Perretts band, helping out in the studio and stuff and i enjoy that a lot. i tend to be a bit lazy though and if im not looking after my son i spend a fair bit of time restoring my m.g. its just about done now so im enjoying it while the weathers good.
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