interviews : mogwai

an interview with Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai

Listening to Mogwai is a little like standing outside and watching a violent storm develop – from the first few drops of a light rain and wind to a howling fury of thunder and lightning.  The music moves from cautious, quiet melodies that remind the listener of The Cure or Cocteau Twins to pounding metallic riffs with three guitarists lost in a downpour of distortion.  Their music embodies the aesthetic of the Kantian sublime, in all of its awe and uneasiness.

Paul Morin recently spoke to guitarist/founding member Stuart Braithwaite about the current tour in support of their 7th album, The Hawk is Howling, and about how and where their sublime aesthetic was formed.

How has your sound developed over the years?

Stuart Braithwaite : It’s just trial and error and just circumstance. I mean, after our first album, Barry [Burns] joined us to play piano and we ended up using a little more piano because we had a piano player. For our third or fourth album we started using computers, so we really use whatever’s at hand. I think it’s been pretty organic. We don’t really think too much about what’s going on. We just usually think about the music and what we use in the music tends to come from what we enjoy playing at the time.

Is the electronic influence coming through you or through Barry?

SB : I think we’re all interested in electronic music. It’s mostly Barry and John [Cummings] that use computers when we’re recording.

Are you guys listening to a lot of electronic bands right now?

SB : I think we have been, yeah. I mean, we’ve always been interested in stuff like Kraftwerk, and a lot of dance music, and a lot of Warp records stuff like Boards of Canada, Autechre and that kind of thing. Yeah, we’re definitely interested in electronic

read the rest of the interview in the June 09 Issue

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