Bliss & Rachel Morrison & Meeker

Interview Page

(c) NME 2000 - Interview


Husband and wife team Tom and Rachel Morrison have been working together ever since they met in the early-'90s guitar group Bliss, but Meeker first found form in the wake of Tom's engineering work on the Underworld album 'Beaucoup Fish'. Combining Tom's newly acquired electronic nous with Rachel's songwriting skills has resulted in some incredible club sets, and last year's Futureshock-spiked 'Save Me' cover.

Now, after having everything put on hold while label boss Darren Emerson sorted out his split from Underworld, the pair are back with the speaker-tearing melodicism of 'Mountains'. To celebrate, we've got the full, unexpurgated promo video, as well as a Q&A with the band themselves. Enjoy!

Why was your first single release a cover version?
Tom: "We've been doing stuff together for years. We went through a phase of acoustic gigs, where I played the bass as well. This song was the first one that I took and reworked with an electronic beat. It just seemed to have a natural groove to it. It was also the first track I played to Darren, and he just wanted to get it into the shops as soon as possible."
Rachel: "I come from a blues, soul influence, so it seemed natural."

Do you still do any work with Underworld?
Tom: "Well, after doing loads of programming, recording and mixing on the album, the relationship had evolved in such a way that, for me, it was time to move on. I wanted to do my own thing. We both went our own way after Meeker had started, though I still have occasional contact with them."

What's the background to 'Mountains', then?
Tom: "It's been knocking around for about two and a half years. It was first recorded then. We've just been playing live, reworking it again and again after the gigs, until we'd finally nailed the finished version at the beginning of the year."
Rachel: "I suppose [lyrically] the track's about man's power and intelligence, and how we mustn't forget our humility and humanity. If we keep getting further and further into technology - like cloning - without thinking about the consequences, we could end up in serious trouble. That is quite deep, though! It doesn't have to be about that, but that was my original idea."

How important is playing live in a club setting for you?
Tom: "It's very important. That's how the songs evolve, through performance. You're communicating the music directly to people, so the tracks develop from that."
Rachel: "It can really be quite spectacular. The adrenalin rush is completely different. Obviously there are things that you can't do - you can't chill out and do some acoustic stuff, but that's the sort of thing that'll be appearing on the album."

So what now?
Tom: "We're just working on the album. All the tracks are there, it's just that they have to be cleaned up. We're going on a 20-date tour really soon, we've got some new songs to try out, to see how they develop. The album should then come out just after the summer."

To watch the video for Meeker's 'Mountains', click here...

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