Q & A with Wayne Hussey - August 2004
By Petra Sümnicht
Pic: Wayne London 05.08.2004 by Petra
Q: The Absolution tour 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 with how it went?
A: It was great. Good shows and the band were playing really well again, I think. It's great to have a settled and stable line-up and for everyone to get on so well. Very little internal strife, if at all.
It's a good family I have around me. It's good to work with people who enjoy their work and enjoy the band. It was just about long enough at that time of year. It was very hot and the shows were sweltering. I think we all lost a little weight but, then again, some of us needed to.
Q: Do you prefer the shorter tours meanwhile?
A: Yeah, I do, these days. When it's a long tour the band & crew get very insular and it becomes a very `cocooned' existence and not particularly healthy. And after a while I start to feel numb towards the shows.
Q: You told me that the band rehearsed 30 songs for this tour, definitely you played 23 different songs. So what were the other songs and why you didn`t play all of them?
A: I'm not sure what we didn't play. Definitely `Trophy' and `Even You May Shine'. I can't remember. We didn't play enough shows to play all the songs. I do like to change it around every night but there are obviously some songs we need, and want, to play every night. Most people only come to one show so we have to temper what we want to do with what we think people want to hear.
Q: Please give us a touring memory from the following cities:
A: Hot as hell
A: Hot as hell. Hangover.
A: Hot as hell. Hangover. David Coverdale came to see us.
Zaandam / Amsterdam:
A: Hot as hell. Mild hangover.
Hildesheim (Mera Luna):
A: Hot as hell. Too early in the day for a hangover. Rob's side of the stage was in shadow. Rich and I were in the sun. I spent a lot of time on Rob's side of the stage. A lovely party on the bus on the way back to the UK. A hangover the next day.
Q: Any special highlights you would like to share with the people?
A: I can't think of any. It was just generally all good.
Q: Please describe the tour in one word:
A: You know it's coming, don't you?.......HOT
Q: At M`era Luna festival you played Tower Of Strength directly at the beginning - for the first time ever as far as I know. Was it to play safe in front of thousands of people?
A: No, not really. Two considerations. The first consideration was that we had a 45 minute set time and obviously we wanted to utilize that time to our best advantage. Tower Of Strength remains one of our most popular songs and we wanted to play it. However, the version that we have been playing recently has a 2-3 minute intro and we felt it would feel a bit weird to have that break towards the end of the set, so we decided to start with it.
The other consideration was purely practical. Because we don't get soundchecks at these things it proved a good choice for Mikey, our sound tech, and Mark, our monitor tech, to get the sound set up as the backing track played. Rather than all of us starting the first song all together at once, with TOS we all come in one at a time, thereby allowing our techs the opportunity to set levels correctly - in theory.
Q: Speaking of M`era Luna, unfortunately you had some sound problems and
you didn´t seem to be very happy after the gig, so what went wrong?
A: We didn't have any sound problems that I am aware of. I don't know how it sounded out front but on stage it was fine. But I didn't enjoy it too much. I don't know why really. Just a bit anticlimactic after playing 4 blinding shows of our own.
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 got to see a little of N.F.D. in London at the soundcheck. They make a good noise and they play really well as a band. And our audience, predictably, seemed to like them a lot X-Lover were fun to watch. Reminded me a little of Transvision Vamp. She's very naughty.
The young pretty boys who supported us in Nottingham were The Operation and are managed by George, our tour manager. I didn't get to see them on that night but I have heard them before and I think they are really promising. They just need to find their own voice-sound, which they will, and I think they'll do well.
Q: Is there a difference for you to play with or without a support band?
A: For me, no, not really. From a practical point of view our crew like it when we don't have a support as it means less work for them but I do think support bands help create an atmosphere. And if it wasn't for support slots none of us would've ever been able to play gigs in the first place.
Q: Since the last tours we`ve noticed that the length of the gigs has changed from minimum two hours with more than 22 songs down to 90 minutes with 15 songs - maximal! Why? Any special reason?
A: No, not really. It wasn't a conscious decision. I think the heat had a large part to do with it. Plus we had more supports on these shows, well, apart from Zaandam...
Q: The Zaandam venue website advertised your gig as "The Mission - grote goten" which means "great Goths" in English. At Mera Luna you 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 wouldn't attempt to describe the musical style of The Mission. I'll leave that up to others more qualified than me to pass judgment. Just take a look at the MWIS message board to see how many experts there are out there.
As for my comment at Mera Luna I was sat on our bus backstage and I could hear all the bands that were playing, on both the main stage and in the hanger, and they all sounded very dour and I didn't hear one good song all day. I thought we would come along and brighten up the proceedings a little by playing something a little lighter and with tunes.
Q: Why did you decide to do two tours in such a short period without a new album?
A: The `Breathen' shows in April were really based around the two UK festivals we were asked to play in Edinburgh and Whitby. We just decided to fill the time in between with other shows. And then the Rockpalast DVD opportunity came up so we decided it was worth doing. The shows in August were based around us being asked to play Mera Luna. As I live in Brazil, it doesn't make any financial sense to come to Europe to just play one show, so again, we put in London and the other shows to help offset the expense of coming to Europe.
Q: What do you prefer nowadays, to work in studio or to go on tour to play live?
A: I like both. Playing live has become a lot of fun again with this line-up and the new crew and we're only touring for short periods so it doesn't become too hard. And I love the studio. It's taken me a while to get my new studio together in Brazil but now it's almost there and I am itching to get started on the new album.
Q: What are your plans for the future after recovering from the tour? Any news about the album or the DVD?
A: I've already recovered from the tour. It wasn't a long a tour so the recovery period was relative. We only stayed in Europe for a day or two before flying home to Brazil. We live in the country and it is very quiet and peaceful so once home it is very relaxing. I have been, and continue to be, working on the DVD release. We're gradually getting all the component parts together. We've mixed the bonus live CD that will be included with the DVD package and I think that sounds really good, as good a testament to how good The Mission are as a live band that you're likely to ever hear. We start work on the 5.1 mix next week whilst the editing of all the visual stuff is being done concurrently. It's really quite an involved process but I am enjoying getting my hands dirty doing it. Once the DVD is finished I will continue work on the new Mission & Vessel albums.
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