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mesh2021 byRomanKasperskiInterview with

Richard Silverthorn (keyboards) from Mesh

Alternative electronic master have prepared a nice treat for their fans - ‘Touring Skyward - A Tour Movie’ will officially be released by the German-based Dependent Records on January 28th, 2022. I took it as a great opportunity to ask a few questions to Richard Silverthorn - not only about the said release, but also about the ups and down of live show experience, the effect pandemic had on the band and also about the future plans.

Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: ‘Touring Skyward - A Tour Movie’ sounds like a totally exceptional undertaking. What brought you to the idea of making it?
Richard: It had been such a long time since the last DVD which was the ‘We Collide Tour’. We knew that we had put together quite a complex and technically challenging tour with all the lighting and video walls so we thought it would be a missed opportunity if we didn’t somehow document this. Making a DVD seemed like a logical thing to do.

RoD: When you first started filming - what was the idea behind the production? What was the effect you wanted to achieve?
Richard: The loose plan was to film at least three shows from the tour just to get a variation visually and to give us options when we came to edit it. We really liked the idea of just giving the film crew “access all areas” just to film whatever they liked and to try and record life on the road. It’s a difficult thing to come up with something new with these kind of documentaries as it’s all been done before but we liked the idea of an honest approach. We just gave them the brief to capture what they could and all aspects of the daily workload everyone puts in on a tour like this. Intersperse that with some open and candid interviews and try and make some sense of it when it comes to the editing.

Mesh

RoD: The Blu-ray comes with a booklet - what can we find on it? Who was responsible for the artwork?
Richard: Again, we let the photographer (Guido Braun) just do what he liked, almost become part of the crew and document what he liked throughout the day. We always liked those non-posed photos the kind of pictures captured when you are not aware of him taking them. The booklet is full of photos like that. I think he managed to capture the feel really well. We have known Guido many years so he blends in quite well without the feeling of “oh there is a photographer I’d better do something or pose with this bit of equipment” kind of thing.

RoD: The Blu-ray consists of various scraps and pieces of tour life, including concerts snips, backstage scenes, interviews… can you tell me more about what else we can find on it?
Richard: Yes it’s pretty much like you said all different bits and pieces from different band members doing interviews in a very relaxed way and an insight to putting together something like this. There is also a section where each band member shows what they actually do on stage as I think the more technically minded fan likes to know how we produce the show. We also included a section where fans were interviewed before a show, which was good to hear people’s thoughts. I personally think the way the Blu-ray has been edited together gives a good balance of music / background scene / interview etc to hold your attention.

RoD: If you were to summarise your live shows and tour life experience - what are the ups and downs?
Richard: It’s a rollercoaster ride of emotions every day. It is a very surreal world being on the road for several weeks. You become a big family that looks out for each other. You get to know when people need their space and you all fall into a routine that makes it all work. The day time is full on for the crew and the band have a reasonably relaxed day but that all switches round on the evening. After the whole day is done it’s time for everyone to just relax and have time laughing and drinking on the bus. You have moments where you miss home and loved ones but you are there to do a job so you have to stay focused. It is actually really hard work and not quite as glamorous as people imagine.

Mesh

RoD: Has the pandemic time been especially difficult for you? Is the Blu-ray release a sort of a “consolation” for the fans who cannot see you playing live?
Richard: Yes I think it’s all been very difficult for everyone. It should have been a perfect time to get on with writing or something productive but has almost had the opposite effect. It’s the whole uncertainty of everything that has been the biggest problem for us as a band. You can’t actually organise anything for the fear of it not happening and being cancelled. To put on a show or tour has so much advanced preparation and financial costs that no one wants to risk. It’s been a very awkward and uncertain time and unfortunately it hasn’t changed much since this all began. Maybe the Blu-ray is a good reminder of the good times when we all shared that feeling of “together-ness” at gigs.

RoD: With the present situation, it’s somewhat unreasonable to ask about the future plans - especially live concert wise, but are you working on something at the moment?
Richard: Well, there are plans and dates pencilled in but we are still at the mercy of the governments and the travel restrictions. We just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope normality is on the horizon. We have both kept busy in the studio so let’s see what the future holds.

Promo picture by Roman Kasperski, live pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)

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