We recently had a chance to chat with Mickey Dale from popular band Embrace, who will be touring next year in celebration of it being 21 years since their debut album was released. Find out how we got on below…
By Claire Schauberger & Jane Howkins
You’re celebrating the 21st Anniversary of your debut album next year; how does that feel, and did you ever think you would get to this point?
I never imagined when we released The Good Will Out that we’d be doing a 21st anniversary tour! I always thought the band was going to make several albums, but my crystal ball was not of sufficient quality to see this far into the future. It’s exciting that we’ll get to revisit the whole album and share that experience with our fans. I’m honoured and humbled.
If you hadn’t been a musician, what did you want to be?
I was always into photography and journalism. I worked at the local paper in Bradford after leaving school and I loved it there. But music was the only thing at which I shone brightly.
Has there ever been a song you wanted to release as a single but were unable to?
Of course. I’m a sucker for a long, slow building ballad. I’d have released That’s All Changed Forever as a single, or Retread. Or from our second album, I Had A Time or Drawn From Memory. Market forces back then dictated that doing such a thing would probably have been commercial suicide. Fortunately, now that radio has lost its stronghold and people consume their music via other platforms, anyone can release whatever they want!
Who designs your artwork and merchandise and how do you decide on what to release?
Sleeve wise, we work closely with a very talented artist called Nathan McGrory. We discuss our ideas via mood boards, and then Nathan burns the midnight old and works away in his nocturnal art-cave. He’s not scared to get the oils and canvas out and throw paint around. Merchandise wise, we often take inspiration from Nathan’s artwork and apply variations of it to art prints and T-shirts. The whole band get involved in deciding what the merchandise range will be for each tour. It’s a lovely collaborative process.
Is there a venue you’ve always wanted to play but haven’t been able to?
There are parts of the world which we have yet to visit as a band. We’ve played the Royal Albert Hall in London and Manchester Arena but Madison Square Garden or Sydney Opera House would be the cherry on the top!
Is there one particular show on the March tour next year that you’re most looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to the Roundhouse in London. We’ve not played there before but we’ve heard great things about it.
Which member of Embrace has the weirdest rider requests?
Richard goes through phases of certain dietary fads: blueberries; Nando’s periperi sauce; six ready cooked chickens. None of which are weird at all, they’re just very specific. There are recurring annoying omissions in dressing rooms, for instance six lovely bottles of wine which require a non-existent corkscrew. Danny once Googled how to solve this dreadful dilemma and carried it out with great finesse. If you take off your shoe, and then place the bottle of wine in the shoe, and then whilst holding the bottle you patiently bang the shoe against a solid wall, the pressure will eventually force the cork out of the bottle. Danny is very tenacious; it’s one of his finest qualities. The guy sets his goals and then just doesn’t quit, ever!
What can people expect from the 21st Anniversary tour and from an Embrace show in general?
Lots of laughter, tears, singing and hugging. Together, we’ll take the roof off the venue every night. It’s going to be the most joyous tour we have ever done.
Finally, any last words for your fans?
Thank you for everything. You are the best. You are why we are still here and we don’t for one second take that for granted.