|Frequently Asked Questions|
Frequently Asked Questions
We're very often asked the same questions, or at least variations of the same question...have a look round here and you should be able to find answers to the sort of stuff we're asked most often.
Q: How did the band form?
A: Stuart and Dominic met at a Ned's Atomic Dustbin gig in Glasgow in 199? when they were 15 and four years after that, the band formed and Martin joined as the drummer.
They played a gig or two before Mr. John Cummings was added to the ranks. A while after that, before the recording of Mogwai Young Team, a temporary member with the name of Brendan O'Hare (ex-Teenage Fanclub, Macrocosmica) joined for the duration of the album before parting ways.
It wasn't until the recording of Come On Die Young that Barry joined as a permanent member and that's been the same since 1998.
We're always looking for new members to join so that we can become famous for being the largest band in the world instead of the most talented. Yes, I'm kidding.
A: There are 5 musicians in Mogwai and here's what they do:
John Cummings plays Guitar/Piano and Computers
Stuart Braithwaite plays Guitar and sometimes sings.
Martin Bulloch plays the Drums
Barry Burns plays Piano/Guitar and Computers
Dominic Aitchison plays the Bass Guitar
A: The name comes from the film Gremlins and means ghost in Chinese. It has no significant meaning and we always intended on getting a better one, but like a lot of other things we never got round to it.
A: It can be confusing. Rock Action Records is owned by the 5 members of Mogwai. It put out Mogwai's first single then went into hibernation for a good few years until it became an imprint on SouthPaw Records (PIAS). We bought it back from them a few years back and it's now run by us and Craig Hargrave, our label manager.
Confusing matters further, Mogwai's 3rd album is also called Rock Action, named after both the label and the Stooges drummer Scott Ashton, who changed his name to Rock Action....presumably for a laugh.
Mogwai, through Rock Action have recently put out records by artists such as: Part Chimp; Errors; James Orr Complex; Kling Klang; Random Number and The Zephyrs plus we have licenced Envy from Japan, Cex AND Papa M from the USA and we're always looking for bands that sound nothing like us (Mogwai) or any of our other acts.
You can find the website for Rock Action Records here .
A: No. Never.
A: Yes we are huge fans and users of computers as musicians tools.
We use a lot of Virtual Instruments such as HALion, B4, Hypersonic, The Grand.
At home we use Cubase SX and in the studio our Engineer uses Pro-Tools and sometimes DP.
I think we will always include computers in our recording (and Live) set-up, especially because of the rising quality of the programs being made. Let us embrace the technology and thoust shall be happy.
A: There are a few Mogwai Tab sites up at the moment. Please check the Links page.
A: It changes sometimes but roughly:
BOSS: DD-5, DD-3, Bass Overdrive, Reverb, MetalZone, Tremelo, PitchShifter, Line Selectors, Overdrive, Distortion.
Electro Harmonix: Hot Tubes, Graphic Fuzz, Bass Synthesizer, Micro Synthesizer, Big Muff, Holier Grail, Memory Man.
Danelectro: EQ, Tremelo
Line 6: Delay Unit
Other band members, feel free to add stuff...
A: We make up the music first and add the titles later. Because we don't use a singer, it's much harder to come up with a name for a song so it'll be something that one of us has said or seen that sounds good or makes us laugh or whatever.
Arguably, the titles have nothing to do with the songs (see Golden Porsche or Secret Pint)
A: One person has the idea and we just play it, change it and do whatever's necessary to make it sound good. Sometimes this doesn't work.
We don't really stop changing things until the last minute and it can take up to 6 months to get a song finished. Which is ridiculous when you realise that Happy Songs for Happy People took only 1 month to record and Rock Action took about a year.
A: Having done a Levi's advert in the USA (which was very short lived) I'd say our stance is one which says, we'll do it if we want to.
Radio in both the UK and USA is an abominable place for a band like us. No One will play us, especially during the day so (unfortunately) we see TV as a much better forum for people to hear our music than radio ever will be. Akward licensing laws, nepotistical media synergy and poor taste make the UK's radio stations a very big hurdle for smallish/biggish bands like us, and the fact that we don't have a singer doesn't seem to help, which brings us onto the film question...
We would love to do one or two film scores in our time together as a band but for one reason or another, it hasn't worked out. I'm sure we'll get something suitable soon, it's perhaps just a matter of time.
A: That would be the vocoder we bought off ebay a few years ago which, when used in conjunction with a musical instrument, transforms your voice and it appears that you can sing. Magic
A: You can send it to:
Craig Hargrave Mogwai/Rock Action Records PO Box 15107 Glasgow G1 1US
A: Barry was asked to join the band just before the recording of CODY. He had played a few gigs with the band as a flautist and occasional piano tinkler.
After Barry joined the band, Stuart told him the reason he was in the band was because he was a good laugh.
A: We have released 4 albums (Mogwai Young Team, Come On Die Young, Rock Action and Happy Songs For Happy People) as well as 2 singles compilations (Ten Rapid and EP+6 (( which is +2 in America because of the different labels involved)) and a remix album (Kicking A Dead Pig). We have also released various other things which are detailed in this extensive discography on the fan site Brightlight!
A: No, unless they sell them to other people, which happens a lot.
Sometimes the venue will not allow you to tape stuff anyway.
We regularly check ebay for dodgy stuff also, and we get it taken down and sometimes the seller has their account suspended. So....don't sell illegal stuff!
A: Nope. All Rubbish. Never have and never will.