Rave Embedded Article

A positive “Embedded” interview from “Rave Magazine”.

Author: Brett Collingwood.

Date: May 25-31 2004, Issue 641.

Original URL: [Not on Internet]


Article Text
Ways and Means

“It’s really focused on mood and emotion and intimacy” says Mark Seymour of his new album Embedded. “The songs are about being really close to the listener.” He talks to Brett Collingwood.

One suspects that talking to a journalist is not exactly Mark Seymour’s favourite activity. He eyes me a little suspiciously, shifting uncontrollably in his char. Things don’t get off to a good start when I tell him that I love the way he experimented with his voice on the new album Embedded. He replies a little tetchily that it must have been a while since I’ve heard him sing. He claims that there was no particular experimentation going on; he’s simply learned how to sing properly after twenty off years in the business.

Fortunately after this shaky start Mark loosens up considerably and is justifiably proud of what is certainly his best solo effort to date. Embedded is a richly textured album, full of subtle layers of electronic effects, yet at it’s core an album that puts Mark’s voice firmly in the spotlight.

“Yeah, the whole album is set up around my voice,” he agrees. “All the arrangements and instrumentation, everything – it’s all about bringing my voice to the fore.”

What was the recording process leke?

“Initially we went in to a legitimate recording studio and put down some drum tracks into [producer Cameron McKenzie’s] computer and did the rest at his place. But we did that session and we listening back to them, and they were all right, but nothing flash. So it was like, what have we paid for? I convinced him, ‘let’s do it here, why can’t we get a good drum sound in this lounge room?'”

Recording in McKenzie’s home meant some unexpected sounds would up on the finished recording.

“There’s a song A Shoulder To Cry On which has got rain in it, the whole first verse. We were recording the vocal and we were running out of time and we were like let’s just do it now, and it was raining.”

So how do you know, as a writer when you’ve come up with a good song?

“You know in the first ten seconds whether a song is good or not. You meet other writers who are very previous about their ideas and will try to polish a turd. I mean there’s a couple of songs on my last album… [pulls sour face] and I just end up not playing them. And in Hunters as well, there was a lot of material that you’d find, two months into a tour, you’re only playing four songs off the record, and your only playing four songs off the last one, it’s a pattern, because the others aren’t as good as those four. I suppose the aim is to increase the percentage, but sometimes it’s bloody hard to do!”

Mark Seymour plays Gilhooleys Elizabeth Street on Thursday and Gilhooleys Surfers Paradise on Sunday. Embedded is out now though Liberation.