click here for more
click here for more
Interview: Mogwai - Auckland and Wellington Headline Shows

Interview: Mogwai - Auckland and Wellington Headline Shows

Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Antony Crook / Tuesday 13th February, 2024 2:14PM

Masters of their own emotionally transportive take on instrumental post-rock, Mogwai are back in Aotearoa later this month, playing headline dates at Pōneke's The Opera House and Tāmaki Makaurau's The Powerstation. Winners of the Scottish Album of The Year Award and nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize for their 2021 long player As The Love Continues, Mogwai will return at the height of their powers, nearly three decades since emerging from Glasgow's vibrant, interconnected music community to critical acclaim. Co-founder Stuart Braithwaite got on the line with Chris Cudby for a snappy conversation, roaming from Mogwai's mid-'90s origins to future plans. Read on below and don't miss the group's first local shows since 2015 at the following dates, joined by Maria Sappho subbing in for multi-instrumentalist Barry Burns...


Thursday 29th February - The Opera House, Wellington w/ Hail, Meteor!
Friday 1st March - The Powerstation, Auckland w/ Celine

Tickets available now via Ticketmaster

Chris Cudby: When a band of your experience and stature sets out to record a new album do you think, "oh this one is going to win the Scottish Album Of The Year Award" and be nominated for the Mercury Prize?

Stuart Braithwaite: No not all all, just hope to get some good music recorded and make something we're all happy with. I think if you set goals like that, nine hundred and ninety nine times out of a thousand you'll be disappointed [laughs]. We definitely weren't thinking like that at all.

What thoughts do you have going into making new albums at this point in your career?

Try and have fun, write some music that we've never done before, try and do something different. Just enjoy it really.

Mogwai created the soundtrack music for Blackbird Season 1. Is there a difference in approach as to how you would compose music for that series, as opposed to making your own albums? Or is it more like a continuum?

There's similarities, but really at the end of the day it's all about what the director wants. So you've got more instruction and direction, these kind of things. Whereas with our own record, we're just purely doing our own thing. We obviously bring a lot of our own things into soundtracks we've done, with our own music, but it's pretty different as well.

Do you find that's a way of learning new ways of making music, or new ways of thinking about music as well?

Yeah, especially with the speed you have to record. Sometimes you'll do something really really fast, then you'll end up doing something very different that you've never done before. We've definitely learnt new ways to do things while recording soundtracks.

We recently published an interview with Raymond (McGinley) from Teenage Fanclub, who are also from Glasgow. He chatted about the late '80s music and arts community there. I was wondering, as a kind of follow up, what was the music and arts culture like in Glasgow when Mogwai emerged there in the mid '90s?

It was great actually. There was a really good scene, especially around the 13th Note venue, there was a lot of interesting bands. Pretty underground bands like The Yummy Fur and Lung Leg, some bands that went on to do really well like Belle and Sebastian, Bis and Arab Strap. There was a lot of good stuff happening.

Was there a lot of interaction with bands coming in from out of town as well?

Yeah, we would play shows with bands like The Make-Up, Unwound and a lot of underground American bands. Girls Against Boys, Brainiac, these kind of bands. Glasgow feels quite international musically, there's always been a lot of connections between... (Raymond's) generation of bands would have a lot to do with the Olympia bands and the Seattle bands. Obviously The Vaselines / Nirvana connection's really well known. There was always a lot of things happening.

How would you describe Mogwai's evolution as a band, over the past nearly three decades now?

I thing we've become more musical? Our very early music's very simple and I think our music's got a bit more complicated. We're essentially still doing the same thing — a lot of dynamics and a lot of emotional musicality. In a lot of ways it's not changed, but I think it's developed as well over the years.

Is it about two to four years per album? Can we look forward to a new Mogwai record in the near future?

We're going to do one in the summer, so that should probably be out next year sometime. That's the plan. We've written quite a lot. I don't think we'll be playing it on the tour though, it's not quite that ready.

Have any younger or new bands caught your ear recently? Or any recent discoveries that you're enjoying, listening-wise?

There's a band in Glasgow called Free Love that I like a lot. My wife makes music, her music name is Elisabeth Elektra. I was in the studio when she was doing some stuff today, it sounded absolutely great.

Do you have any significant memories of your previous visits to New Zealand?

Just always enjoyed it. People have been receptive, we've just always had a great time playing there. We're really excited about coming back.


Share this
Subscribe/Follow Us
Don’t miss a thing! Follow us on your favourite platform  

Help Support Independent Music News
You can show your support to keep UnderTheRadar running by making a contribution. From $5, any amount can make a huge difference and keep us bringing you the best, comprehensive local content. ♥
Support UTR!

Thu 29th Feb 8:00pm
The Opera House, Wellington
Fri 1st Mar 8:00pm
The Powerstation, Auckland