Focus: The Rude Mechanicals
by Stephan McLeod
When The Rude Mechanicals left Charlottetown to play bigger stages in Toronto, they also left behind their reputation as the wacky local party band and started building a new band from scratch. The Rudes returned to Charlottetown at the end of this summer playing songs that many of their fans has never heard before. But the band is not concerned with whether or not people miss the old songs and on-stage antics.
During an interview with the band, bassist, Matthew McQuaid says, "There are a lot of people who saw us in The Barn back in the day when we used to play lots of eighties covers and pull lots of stunts and shit and that's still in their head what The Rude Mechanicals are. And they come hammered with their buddies, and they don't necessarily not like what they hear..." But some of them don't get it,"says vocalist Dennis Ellsworth. "Some of them don't believe in the replacement that we've worked so hard at...there are definitely a lot of people out there who still wish we played `Walk Like an Egyptian' or `Pour Some Sugar on Me' because they get requested a lot." "Or the people expect us to come out dressed up like a great big orange flower on stage," adds guitarist, Todd MacLean.
The band jokes around about their past as a cover band; however, The Rudes real passion is to earn respect by creating their own sound. Ellsworth says, "I would much rather be in Toronto making no money playing live gigs than being here playing cover songs at Myron's all night long."
At this year's North By Northeast Festival, McQuaid managed to get a demo in the hands of legendary Canadian producer, Moe Berg of The Pursuit of Happiness. Berg liked the band and agreed to produce their next album.
Much of the material on the new album has been influenced by the band's departure from Prince Edward Island. "There are a lot of things on the album that kind of imply the whole moving away from this place and commenting on this place," says Ellsworth.
"It's kind of funny how you have to actually step outside a place and live somewhere else before you can understand what it is all about," says MacLean. When asked how he sees Prince Edward Island now, MacLean replied, "This place has so much personality pouring off the shores of it."