Mogwai: Anyone for Toblerone?

When a band you’ve admired for years is announced to headline at a festival in your town, it’s a pretty good feeling. When that band agree to talk to you about their visit, that’s an amazing feeling. iMusicate,then, has had good reason to feel pretty amazing since Mogwai’s Barry Burns agreed to talk to us about their visit to Murcia for this year’s SOS4.8 Festival. Here’s what he had to say.

Sixteen years is a long time to put up with each other. How do you manage it? A diet of fatty food, top shelf booze and long sleeps. Honestly, it’s such a good laugh most of the time and we don’t argue like I imagine many bands do.

Your “Blur are shite” t-shirts are legendary. I love Blur and Mogwai, does that mean I’m schizophrenic? No, it just means that your brain is super developed and you can love both mediocre “post rock” and mediocre “indie pop”.

We feature a lot of up and coming artists. What’s the best and worst advice you’ve ever received during your development as a band? Worst: Ex-Manager: “Sack Your Drummer” and Best: Hire Barry, he’s awesome. And sexy to both sexes.

Do you prefer outdoor festivals or indoor gigs? Indoor gigs mostly.

What’s the best/worst thing about festivals? The worst thing is that a lot of people don’t really give a shit that we’re playing so there’s often a lot of chatting and shouting etc, but it’s always fun to hang around with all the people from other bands/crews.

Apart from SOS ;) which is your favourite festival? I have a soft spot for quite a few of the Spanish festivals actually. We always get good responses, so I won’t pick one favourite.

Can you speak any Spanish? No, but my little sister is fluent. She used to live in Zaragoza.

What about Spanish crowds? Yeah, they are fantastic and have been getting better over time.

Do you know anything about SOS4.8? I know Pulp are playing.

You were last in Murcia in 2009. DO you remember anything about it? I wish I could, I reckon I got pretty drunk. I bet it was fun though.

What can the crowd expect from you? An apology for not remembering the last time. It’ll be a Mogwai concert. With music and lights.

How important is the crowd in a live performance? Ha ha. REALLY important otherwise it’s just an expensive overseas rehearsal.

Do you ever worry that one day you’ll be sued for perforating a fan’s eardrum? I mean you are pretty loud on stage aren’t you? On stage is loud but it’s probably nowhere near as loud as the PA. A few of us use in-ear monitors and I would encourage anyone who sees us live to wear some sort of ear protection. But the actual feeling of the volume is great, you don’t have to hear it without ear protection. Be nice to hear what your grandkids are going to say to you….

How would you persuade the crowd to choose you ahead of the band appearing on the other stage while you’re on? We give away Toblerones and VHS Video Players for free. I think we will make us an easy choice.

Will you feature any new material in the set? Is there a new album in the pipeline? No new album, just working on some other things at the moment. There won’t be any new songs in the set I don’t think.

How do you decide on your set list? We make Stuart do it every night, he just loves that job.

What’s your favourite track in your live set? Why? It changes every night I think. Usually it’s newer songs because we haven’t played them too many times.

Are there any of the other artists playing at SOS you’d like to see? Yeah PULP, but I’m not very good at going to see bands at festivals because I’m too busy being lazy and socializing.

Can you start your set by saying “acho pijo, ¡vamos!”? I’ll ask Stuart to do this but he will forget!

While we still buzz over the fact we featured Mogwai on our site, we’ll let you get on with preparing things for their performance with a video and a link to Spotify. Remember, Mogwai will be on the Estrella Levante stage at 22.15 on Saturday and we predict it’s one not to miss under any circumstances. See you there! Oh yeah and a massive thanks to Barry for taking time out to answer our questions – we are not worthy!