Mike Rutherford started Mike and the Mechanics at the height of Genesis’ pop-chart dominance and — in a weird happenstance — this side project has outlived his main band.
“Unlike most bands, we kind of ran Genesis and the solo stuff side by side, for 20 years,” Rutherford says in this ExpressoSABC clip, “and it kind of worked. I actually never thought it would do that well. You had Genesis, Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins, so the odds of one more doing well was pretty slim. So, I was happily surprised.”
In the late 1980s, Mike and the Mechanics scored a No. 1 smash with “The Living Years” and a pair of Top 10 hits with “Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)” and “All I Need is a Miracle,” during a period in which it boasted a pair of lead singers in Paul Carrack and Paul Young. By 2000, however, Young had passed away, and by 2004 Carrack had left the group, too.
That left Rutherford to rebuild the band around a pair of new singers, Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar. Today, as in 1985, he says that this variety has kept things interesting.
“If you play with one drummer and one singer for, like 40 years, and that’s all you do, it sort of feels wrong,” Rutherford says. “So, I started doing projects separately, to have a bit of variety. It was not out of dissatisfaction. It was purely to have different people to play with.”