THE MODERN RECORD: INTERVIEWS 'EMBRACE - MIKE HEATON'
We go the chance to have a chat with Mike Heaton, drummer with Embrace ahead of the Glasgow leg of their tour to promote the bands new album Love Is A Basic Need.
After Lorne and Mike Heaton did there hello and meet and greet, Lorne started the interview. Although here ouldn’t get some technology to work we got down to the questions. I began by asking Mike:
1. The last album was a little more electronic than you have previously produced, where has that influence/sound come from and what changed to take you in that direction?
Mike: the song writing /recording process just took us in that direction naturally with the eclectic mix of influences in the band and the options available from a production point of view in the studio that was just what felt right for the songs. It did mean that the last tour was a bit more of a workout on the drums front, but that keeps things interesting being more involved in the live performance of the songs. On the flip-side I’m looking forward to less of a work out and the different kind of tour experience that will bring live.
2. Do you enjoy touring new material? What is the most enjoyable part of the music industry merry-go-round? Writing/Touring/recording/pr and why? And what’s the worst?
Mike: I love touring as there is a real high in performing the new track and the crowd reaction really makes it enjoyable although recording the music is the best bit from the creative point of view being in the studio and crafting the parts you are bring to the songs, being able to give the song what it needs.
3. Do you write all the time or is that a distinct discipline for the studio or are you creative on tour?
Mike: The close nature of being on tour make that a great melting pot for new ideas so I’d have to say the road is a good place for embrace to write.
4. When it comes to influences what are embraces influences?
Mike: This is a strange one because over the last 27 years those influences change, before coming together as Embrace we were all doing different things. I was in a band which is best described as The Red Hot Chilli Peppers with Elvis on Vocals, across me and the rest of the band there is a very wide range of influences some of which are nothing like the Embrace output……Sex Pistols, Motorhead, REM, Ride, U2 and Frank Zappa (there is even Slayer).
5. What changed to bring you back from your recent hiatus to do the new albums and get touring again?
Mike: It sounds cheesy but love of the music and the process of writing along with the live buzz. outside of Embrace I teach drums and have a studio and that takes up a lot of my time but it’s great to be back with the band and doing what we enjoy and getting that feedback from the fans.
6. Do you have a favourite venue or place to play?
Mike: The Barras is a great venue and we have played at T in Park too those would be highlights as the crowds are different from the reaction to the atmosphere. We have great fans in Germany and Spain s well as Japan but the british crowds have a different connection to the music and the Scottish audience are great to perform to.