Rock Action. From
Glasgow, bionic, Cpt. Meat, DEMONIC and pLasmatroN rip shit in a loud
style. Basically if you like loud guitars, you'll like Mogwai. If
not you're a liar to yourself. Buy Ten Rapid and Mogwai Young Team
for thunder blows of records.
Since we first
encountered them, they seemed to have just gotten bigger and bigger.
The original nucleus of Stuart Braithwaite, Dominic Aitchison, John
Cummings and Martin Balloch have stuck together and survived a period
with multi instrumental madman Brendan O'Hare.
In addition to
the albums above a remix album called Kicking A Dead Pig and a proper
studio album called Come On Die Young have surfaced, displaying an
increased scope in Mogwai's music.
I managed to get
an interview with Stuart as Hirameka Hi Fi soundchecked in the background.
Stuart performed this interview whilst also riding his skateboard
J: How are
S: I've been better but I've been worse.
J: Why have you come back to Colchester?
S: When we tour its really a process of elimination. We go around
and play a lot of different places and if we don't like a certain
place we don't go back. I think we quite liked it last time we came
to Colchester. Its not the greatest town but the kids are into the
music and stuff. This will be the only place left in Essex that we'll
still play. Is this Essex? In this area anyway.
J: What about Chelmsford?
S: We're not gonna play there again.
S: No, it was shit.
J: How's the tour going?
S: It's going really well, most nights are either full or sold out
so I mean its like really good to be playing to like your audience.
And especially having Aerial M touring, getting people who haven't
heard Aerial M to hear them and stuff.
J: What's is like playing with Aerial M?
S: Its great, they're really nice people and I really enjoy watching
J: Did you enjoy the Brats gig?
S: It was quite nerve-wracking because it was the first gig of the
whole tour and it was live on radio and the TV cameras were there
but that all just seemed stupid. The radio thing was quite stressful
but we played a new song for the very first time that night as well
which was quite heavy going but oh no it was a good night.
J: Do you like being on telly?
S: We didn't really get the full impact of it because we only saw
a video of it that someone had taped. We were playing the night it
was on but in theory its amazing, its great being on TV.
J: So what was America like?
S: Its really big. Its a cliché but actual driving periods between
gigs was quite frightening, it could be really tiring. The kids really
like their music. We got quite good audiences, not huge or anything
but really attentive, good audiences.
J: Was that with Pavement?
S: Well with Pavement most of the shows were sold out before we were
even announced as the support band but we did some shows on our own
as well and some with America Analog Set. That was when we really
kinda worked out who likes us in America whereas with Pavement we
had like a few people saying "I've got your record, that's cool" but
most people were going "I've never heard of you but that was cool"
or whatever. It was a character building experience.
J: Did you see that building next door that looks like a swimming
pool next door? Did you know Jo Brand's there tonight?
S: Yeah, I think I actually saw it in some listings, she's doing a
comedy thing or something. That's nice (laughs). She's not that funny
though. She's not unfunny but she's certainly not.... I don't know
what to say to it.
J: What music are you listening to on the tour?
S: Its a lot of heavy metal. Black Sabbath, things like that. Also
like Aphex Twin, All Saints, Codeine, lots of music.
J: Who's currently on the slap list?
S: Malcolm from Arab Strap. We found out he claimed he wrote one of
J: Which one?
S: Tracy. He said he wrote Tracy or something like that. It was on
the radio and we heard it and we weren't very happy but erm yeah Malcolm.
J: Anyone else?
S: That's about it really. That band Rialto. We like, keep seeing
them on the telly. Don't like it, that's rubbish.
J: How come you're covering Black Sabbath?
S: We just like them, they're a really good band.
J: Which song was it again.
S: Sweet Leaf. I sing it and stuff, its pretty weird.
J: So who is your favourite metal band otherwise?
S: Black Sabbath or Motorhead but probably Black Sabbath.
J: Did you hear about Rob Halford at the weekend?
S: No, what about him?
J: He come out.
S: As being gay? He's as gay as a window, you could tell.
J: Er, all the leather and shit.
S: That squeaky voice.
J: He's a brummie. Will you be doing Sweet Leaf live?
S: We haven't. We could. The thing about us is that there's a lot
of songs live that we don't do but we all have to agree that we want
to play it. There's loads of songs that I'd really like to play but
no one really ever says or wants to.
J: Will you be doing a Scottish football song for the World Cup?
S: Yeah, we did it actually. We recorded it. Its going to be on a
Chemikal Underground EP. All the bands on the label are gonna do World
J: What's yours called?
S: Guardians Of Football. Its total heavy metal, pastiche of sports
themes or whatever.
J: Who would you like to see cover a Mogwai song and which song?
S: I don't know if I would like to see anyone really. Maybe like an
orchestra if something could get arranged like horns or brass or strings
or whatever. I can't think of a band that I think..., I dunno, I almost
said would do it better than us but that's big headed and not true.
I can't think of any band that would.
J: Would you fancy someone doing a cheesy cover?
S: No, we could do that ourselves for a laugh I think. Er, otherwise
the original lineup of Black Sabbath doing Like Herod would be pretty
good or Joy Division playing New Paths To Helicon. I can't really
imagine it, its just names in my head that I could put together.
J: What was it like snogging Rick from Ash?
S: Can't remember. It was quite an embarrassing experience.
J: Was that your reaction to the picture?
S: I was really embarrassed.
J: Have you got much flack for it?
S: My girlfriend wasn't very happy. No, not really, because I won
the drinking competition all my friends just thought that was cool.
J: You looked like you were doing the best, you looked like you
were carrying someone.
S: Yeah, I was ceremonially gobbed but I could still walk. I felt
pretty bad because I'd actually stopped drinking then, I hadn't drinked
for three weeks or something and it was like "oh go and do this Christmas
issue". It would have been a lot worse actually, John the guy who
does our press came with us and kind of looked after me. It could
have been a lot worse.
J: What do you feel about Placebo now?
S: Placebo? I don't really know. I just don't care. Did we used to
slag them off?
J: Brian used to be on the slap list.
S: Brian? Brian's my mate now.
J: Is he?
S: Not really but I do know him. I always see him kicking about.
J: What's he like then?
S: A cheesy rock star. He's not my kind of guy anyway, you know? I
feel sorry for him actually.
S: Yeah, I do.
J: Why is that then?
S: Because if you look at him, listen to the things he says, that's
not what a real person says. You can't carry on like that and go through
life. I really find it quite surreal. These people that sort of have
an interview mode or whatever. He's like one of these people.
J: What price do you think CDs should be in the shops?
S: I don't really care. I should, I respect bands that do. Do you
think they're too expensive?
S: They should be the same price as vinyl actually, you're right.
They should be about £8.99 or something. Charging £16 or whatever
is really bad especially for people that don't live next to a lot
of record shops and they're forced to buy them for a lot of money
at Tower or Our Price or wherever. There's just nothing you can do
about it. That's the thing, do you know what I mean, I couldn't get
wound up about that, even though its a pretty bad situation because
there's nothing that can be done about it, that I could do about it.
Maybe if like EMI Records decided that all their albums when they
came out were gonna cost £7.99, it might kind of sort it out but I
mean that would cause even more problems for the independent labels.
I mean imagine, look what they did with CD singles, a Domino band
would have trouble getting in the Top 40 on those terms, a single
being £1.99 or whatever.
J: Have you any plans for Rock Action?
S: Yeah, I have actually. I've got some money now, not a lot of money
but I'd like to put out a Trout album. I'd like to put out.... theres
loadsa bands I like, like a band from Glasgow called Wheat, a band
from Ireland called Wormhole, a band from Wales called Headfull. I'd
just like to put out records by those sorts of bands. There's bands
that no one gives a fuck about that are really good.
J: Have you drummed for Trout recently?
S: It just did it the once in Brighton. Were you there?
S: They're much better with their own drummer. That was good fun.
They're a crazy band.
J: Did you like the Pilotcan album?
S: Yeah, I thought it had some good songs on it. They probably shouldn't
of, probably should be thinking of doing their first album just now.
I think they weren't really prepared but its still a good start.
J: I saw you in NME this week talking about Iggy Pop.
S: Yeah, that was off the top of my head. That was like you asking
me a question. It was just when we were doing that Astoria gig and
I just said who should win the godlike genius award but I do think
Iggy Pop is just so cool. He's great.
J: Which is your favourite song?
S: Favourite rock song, probably TV Eye or Search And Destroy. Just
general song, probably something off The Idiot, any song off The Idiot.
Amazing. And Dark from Funhouse, its amazing. Iggy was a genius.
J: Do you like Real Cool Time?
S: I like it, I like all that first album actually. I really like
J: Everyone always seems to mention the production on Raw Power.
S: I don't really care. I wish I did. All these people go on how the
mix is really bad and apparently they brought out this other version
with a different mix. I actually bought a bootleg called Rough Power
with different mixes. All it had was some really bad backing vocals
as well as some bad sounding drums. Basically they got David Bowie
to produce it when David Bowie was an utter drug addict, so he obviously
couldn't tell his arse from his elbow. He couldn't make a record without
Tony Visconti, who did the Bowie albums. I don't know, he made a real
arse of it but its still a good record, crazy record.
J: Do you think you'll ever be doing one of theirs at some stage?
S: When Brendan was in the band, me and Brendan used to play TV Eye
at soundchecks. I don't really think we're a good enough rock band
to pull it off. That's one regret I've got about Mogwai, is that we're
not an utter rock band. We can't compete on the terms of bands like
the Stooges and early Jesus And Mary Chain and stuff. Our music is
really subtle and stuff. Now I'm talking rubbish but I don't think
we're as good as that.
J: Did you like the Macrocosmica album?
S: Same as the Pilotcan one, I think they rushed into it and they
can make a much better record if they spend more time on it, waited
J: Do you still see Brendan?
S: Not as often as I used to. Sometimes.
J: Would you still like him in your band?
S: Er, nah we're OK where we are.
J: Is it true he's moved in with Martin?
S: He's gonna move in with Martin, probably in the next couple of
days or something. I mean he's a nice guy and stuff but...
J: Do you reckon he'll make a good flatmate?
S: No, he's probably terrible.
J: Why? His misbehaving?
S: I don't know really, its just that... er, I don't really know why,
maybe that's a bit harsh. He wouldn't be on the top list of choices.
I wouldn't leave him alone with my wee sister for a start. I don't
really know, I've never lived with him. He seems like he breaks a
lot of things.
J: Is he hyperactive?
S: Yeah, utterly hyperactive unless he smokes a lot of hash. He runs
up and down, runs up and down and stuff. I don't know where he gets
the energy, he doesn't eat anyway. He hardly eats anything at all.
J: Did he appear on The King album by Teenage Fanclub?
S: What album?
J: The King.
S: Aye, he played on all those songs. That's his favourite Teenage
J: Yeah, its the one with the Madonna cover and a song called Mudhoney.
S: You can't go wrong with a song called Mudhoney can you?
J: Do you like Mudhoney then?
S: They're one of my favourite bands, I fucking love them. They're
doing a new album just now actually, so hopefully when they come over
we'll do some shows with them. I'd really love to support Mudhoney.
I think that'll almost definitely happen. I'm gonna make that happen.
J: I'd like to meet them, they seem like they're cool.
S: I've met one of them. I met Dan Peters. He seemed nice, I had a
short talk with him.
J: Do you think Dan Peters looks like Graham Kemp a bit?
S: No, that's cruel but yeah, he does a bit (laughs).
J: What's your favourite Mudhoney song?
S: I don't know what one it is, erm If I Think. Its unbelievable,
its totally energetic but its quite sad, its a love song as well.
Its really good. Da, ner ner ner, ner ner. Na, ner ner ner ner ner.
Ah, they were cool. They actually got me back into guitars, just like
when me and Dominic were starting a band. I didn't know what kind
of a band I wanted to start but I just went to see Mudhoney, just
sort of for like nostalgia but I just remembered how much I fucking
love loud guitars. That sort of love of old school, kinda Swervedriver
and Mudhoney, came in handy. That's one of the kind of things that
bonded us when we started the band.
J: What do you do to relieve boredom on this tour?
S: I skateboard, masturbate. That's it.
J: What number interview today for you is this?
S: Its number six I think.
J: What's the most commonly asked question?
S: It used to be something about the name but we don't really get
asked that anymore thank god. People ask what was it like playing
with Pavement. There isn't one overriding one that everyone asks.
People ask stuff about Brendan in their different ways or whatever.
Oh no, this tour its like "what's it like playing with Aerial M".
Everyone's asked us that. Its understandable. Do you live here in
J: No, just down the road on the coast, a place called Walton.
S: How far is it?
J: Its about 45 minutes.
S: Oh really?
J: Yeah but we've got the seaside, its nice.
S: Yeah, sounds nice.
J: Would you like to live here?
J: Why? Don't you like it?
S: I don't dislike it but England's a very claustrophobic place
compared to most other places in the world. Its overpopulated. You
can't drive very far without seeing masses of activity. I like peace
J: Do you think that's why Scotland seems to be producing better
bands, I don't know, you seem more into it for the right reasons it
S: I don't know. I doubt it. Most of the bands from Scotland are from
the city, they're from Glasgow. Most of the bands probably haven't
really seen the country I'd seen. Graham Kemp, his girlfriend lives
in London and he's said its no different to Glasgow or whatever. Its
a good theory but I don't think so. Arab Strap are from Falkirk which
is the most shitty place I've been in my life.
J: Is it?
S: Its fucking horrible. It makes Chelmsford look like Paris.
J: Are there Young Teams still going?
S: Oh, aye. Loads (laughs).
J: Were you ever in one?
S: No, I've always been a nice boy. Alun from the Delgados and Stuart
from the Delgados were both in the North Motherwell Young Team but
I've always been nice (laughs). Not particularly nice but not really
in the Casuals or whatever like that. Malcolm knows a lot of Casuals.
His cousins are all mad.
J: So are mine.
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