Roi Robertson of Mechanical Cabaret Interviewed At The Midlands Goth Festival


This is Lee Walker from Planetmosh meeting up with Roi Robertson of Mechanical Cabaret.

LW – Thanks for taking time out to discuss things Mechanical Cabaret related for the Planetmosh listeners.

LW – For the people out there just discovering Mechanical Cabaret as a result of this interview how did the band form ?

RR – I bought my first synthesizer when I was 16, and began writing music. I was very much influenced by bands like Fad Gadget, Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, New Order, The Cure and the hi-nrg/disco/electro/acid house of the time. After playing and writing/programming electronic music for a few bands in my early twenties, including most notably perhaps, Nekromantik in the mid nineties, I started doing music using the name Mechanical Cabaret in 1999. I got various people to play synths on stage which subsequently freed me up to sing and perform and be the frontman, which despite my love of synths, I always wanted to do really. I’m a natural show-off I suppose and enjoy very physical performers like Frank Tovey, Iggy Pop, Dave Gahan and Jim Morrison.

LW – What made you chose the name Mechanical Cabaret for the band ?

RR – It sounded good, it’s a comment on how a lot of people just sort of go through life on automatic, and precisely descriptive of the band – mechanical music, but presented in a very human, performance orientated, tongue in cheek and hopefully entertaining fashion! And it’s sort of slightly pinched from the title of Man Machine by Kraftwerk too.

LW – How would you describe the Mechanical Cabaret sounds ?

RR – Throbbingly energetic sleazy electronics

LW – You do a lot of work doing remixes for a lot of different types of bands ranging from Nitzer Ebb, Komputer, Client, Mesh, through to Kunt and the Gang (as well as several record labels). What is it like working with such a diverse range of sounds and bands ?

RR – Brilliant thanks, I can’t get enough of it to be honest. The more the merrier, I love playing with other people’s tracks, putting new slants on them.

LW – Is there any type of specific formulae that you follow ?

RR – Ooh no, definitely not deliberately, but there must be certain aspects of what I do which might be regarded as characteristic of my ‘sound’ or whatever you want to call it… My ‘style’ of doing things I guess.

LW – What is your most memorable experience to date as part of Mechanical Cabaret?

RR – There are quite a lot of those. Things which come to mind right now are: supporting some of my favourite ever bands/musicians like Fad Gadget, Karl Bartos from Kraftwerk, Daf, Suicide, Nitzer Ebb, The Damned. Spending two days gigging and travelling with Angie Bowie… Touring Europe with Mesh… Touring the UK with Sigue Sigue Sputnik. Loads of things. Not always good things mind you, like travelling all the way to Birmingham a couple of years ago to support Emilie Autumn only for her to refuse to let us play and on the same day getting threatened by an ex-convict in a pub who had initially thought I was a girl and was quite upset that I wasn’t.

LW – Besides the Midlands Goth Festival what do you have planned for 2012 ?

RR – We’re headlining at the Dark Waters festival in Nottingham on Sunday 13th May, and Steve and I are busy writing and recording new songs, which we’re trying out at our live shows before releasing them – great fun! You get an instant honest reaction.

LW – Are there any bands out there you would recommend keeping an eye on right now ?

RR- Current 93 are always interesting and prolific with their releases, as is Momus, Laibach have some new stuff and gigs coming up.  No ‘new’ bands are doing it for me right now though unfortunately – I thought Factory Floor’s records were quite nice, and they might be good live, but I went to see them and it was just a bit bland really! Oh well.

LW – Are there any messages that you would like to pass on to your fans ?

RR – Disbehave as much as possible as often as you can.

For more information on Mechanical Cabaret please check out their Facebook page HERE

For more information on the Midlands Goth Festival please check out their Facebook page HERE


About lee

Freelance Journalist/Photographer. Covers Liverpool/North West of England.