Mogwai Q&A

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Glasgow's epically proportioned and ornately constructed noise purveyors Mogwai are playing the Showbox SODO this Thursday, September 4. Their new album, The Hawk Is Howling

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Mogwai Q&A

  • Mogwai Q&A

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    Glasgow's epically proportioned and ornately constructed noise purveyors Mogwai are playing the Showbox SODO this Thursday, September 4. Their new album, The Hawk Is Howling, doesn't drop till September 22, so it's sort of a shame Seattle audiences won't have a chance to get familiar with the new material before the show (and I strongly suggest ignoring Pitchfork's wildly outta wack 4.9 rating, purportedly forthcoming). Here's a little sneak peak and a brief Q&A I recently did via email with guitarist Barry Burns.

    Footage of the band performing "Batcat":

    Q&A after the jump...

    Journalists have spent way too much timing trying to classify your sound (myself included), but the general consensus is post-fucking-something, be it post-art-rock, post-angular-punk or some other ineffectively vague. How would you describe your music to a well-meaning, grandmother (or perhaps an earnestly curious alien who just landed in Berlin) who had never heard you?

    I would tell them it’s far too miserable to enjoy if they were a grandmother; there’s better things to do with your time when your time is nearly up. For a curious alien in Germany I’d describe it as quite nice perhaps a bit melancholy at times. Not as bad as The Ting Tings.

    As a member of a band that’s past the decade mark as working artists, what are you the most proud of?

    I think we’re proud of staying together for so long while still keeping ourselves amused and I’m proud that we’ve pretty much never listened to a word anyone outside the band has said, be it helpful or critical. That’s when things tend

    to go wrong.

    What do you want to learn more about from a technical side as a musician?

    There’s some new programs for computers that deal in pure data as opposed to the traditional way of writing down and/or composing music that I’m interested in. I am a lazy cretin though and I probably won’t get round to it.

    How involved have you been in your music showing up in American movie soundtracks? Do you have much interest in scoring in general?

    We are always the people who approve the music for films or TV so we’re very involved. Most of it is existing Mogwai music to be honest, we haven’t scored much music at all. Last year we tried to do it for a Columbian film called Paraiso Travel but they said the music wasn’t good enough to be on a Mogwai release so it wasn’t good enough for their film. 3 of the songs are on the new album and they sound really good. This is what happens when you deal with incompetent clowns in the movie world and it’s pretty much the norm as far as we’ve experienced. A lot of our music suits films too and I think it’s a good way for people to hear our music because no radio stations are bothered enough to play us.

    Who has been responsible for you favorite guitar riff ever? Why?

    Probably Eddie Hazel’s from Funkadelic in the song called “Maggot Brain”. Why? Because it’s fucking tremendous! I nearly shat myself when I first heard it.

     
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