Mogwai (band)

Mogwai (band)

Infobox musical artist
Name = Mogwai

Img_capt = Mogwai, Somerset House, London, 7 July 2007
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Glasgow, Scotland
Instruments =
Genre = Post-rock
Formed = 1986
Years_active = 1995–present
Label = Chemikal Underground
Matador Records
Play It Again Sam
Rock Action Records
URL = []
Current_members = Stuart Braithwaite
Dominic Aitchison
Martin Bulloch
John Cummings
Barry Burns
Past_members = Brendan O'Hare

Mogwai are a Scottish rock group from Glasgow, Scotland. Formed by Stuart Braithwaite and Dominic Aitchison in 1995, Mogwai has since become one of the most influential and best known names in post-rock. [ [ Ink 19 :: Mogwai ] ]

They typically compose lengthy, instrumental guitar-based pieces in the post-rock tradition. They are usually focused around the elaboration of a single theme and are known for dynamic contrast, melodic bass guitar riffs, their use of guitar distortion and effects. Braithwaite has commented on the absence of lyrics in most of Mogwai's music, saying:cquote|I think most people are not used to having no lyrics to focus on. Lyrics are a real comfort to some people. I guess they like to sing along and when they can't do that with us they can get a bit upset. [ [ "The Express" Interview with Mogwai] ]

The band was originally signed to renowned Glasgow indie label Chemikal Underground, but are now distributed by different labels, such as Matador in the US and Play It Again Sam in the UK. They have also developed their own label, Rock Action Records, named after Stooges drummer Scott Asheton, who had his name changed to Rock Action.cite web| title = FAQ | url = | year = 2006 | publisher = ]

Their style has been influenced by bands including The Dirty Three, Joy Division, Pink Floyd, The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and post-rock pioneers Slint. During 2004 the band supported tours by two major influences, Pixies and The Cure. Mogwai's style has easily identifiable connections to genres like shoegaze, math rock, art rock and occasionally instrumental metal. While their sound bears little resemblance to traditional punk rock, the band seems to identify closely with the punk ethic.

Mogwai (meaning "ghost" in Cantonese) is named after the creatures from the film "Gremlins" , although guitarist Stuart Braithwaite comments that "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."


Stuart Braithwaite and Dominic Aitchison originally met at a gig for Ned's Atomic Dustbin in April 1991, and four years later added old schoolfriend Martin Bulloch to their ranks, forming the band Mogwai in the process. Stuart had been playing lead guitar in a band called "Deadcat Motorbike" up until that point. After playing a few shows the band expanded with the introduction of John Cummings on guitar, and Teenage Fanclub drummer Brendan O'Hare joined whilst they recorded their debut album "Mogwai Young Team".

O'Hare left after the release of the album, before Barry Burns was brought in prior to the recording of "Come On Die Young", the band's second album. He had already played a few shows with the band, as a flautist and as an occasional pianist. According to Stuart, the reason Barry was invited into the band was because he was a good laugh. Since 1998, and for the recording of every album since "Mogwai Young Team", the band line up has remained unchanged. However, fellow Scot musician Luke Sutherland has contributed violin to Mogwai's records and live performances. In 2000 the band curated the first edition of the British All Tomorrow's Parties festival. In 2004 they returned to curate one day of the "Director's Cut" of ATP.


In the media

Mogwai's tracks have been used extensively in the media and a number of tracks appear in film, television and video game soundtracks.


** “Tracy” (Kid Loco’s Playing With the Young Team remix): "Vanilla Sky" “Prelude to a Dream” featurette

** “Tracy” (Kid Loco’s Playing With the Young Team remix): "This Is Skateboarding" by Emerica credits
** “Mogwai Fear Satan remix”: "All the Real Girls" soundtrack

** “I Know You Are But What Am I?”: "Wicker Park" soundtrack
** “Christmas Song”: "The Girl Next Door" soundtrack
**“Hunted by a Freak”: "The Football Factory" soundtrack

** “Take me Somewhere Nice”: "Wassup Rockers"
** “Moses? I Amn’t”, “Tracy” (Kid Loco’s Playing with the Young Team remix): "Consequences of Love"
** “Yes! I Am A Long Way From Home”: "Off The Map"

** “Burn Girl Prom Queen”, "Christmas Steps”, “Ex-Cowboy” and “Travel is Dangerous”: ""
** “Auto Rock” and “We’re No Here”: "Miami Vice (film)" soundtrack
** Film score (all songs written by Mogwai): "": An Original Soundtrack by Mogwai
** Contributed to the original score: "The Fountain"

** “Auto Rock”: "The Brave One" trailer music
** “Auto Rock”: "The 11th Hour"
** “Secret Pint”: "Sicko"
** "Friend Of The Night" is on Etnies Grounded Bmx Video, Sergio Layos part


** “Close Encounters”: "Sex and the City" (season 4, episode 64) [ [ Sex and the City episode 64 music guide] ]

** “Take Me Somewhere Nice”: "The Shield" (season 1, episode 7) [ [] ]
** “New Paths to Helicon , Part 1”: "Dragonchasers" (season 1)
** “Take Me Somewhere Nice”: "Queer as Folk" (season 2, episode 210)

**“Tracy”: "" “Hurricane Anthony (season 2)
** “I Know You Are But What Am I?”: "CSI: Miami" “Homebodies” (season 4) [ [] ]
** “Summer”: Levi’s super bowl commercial [cite web | url= | title="Under the Influence" | author=Roberts, Michael | publisher=SF Weekly | date=2006-05-24 |accessdate=2008-04-21]

** “Take Me Somewhere Nice”, "Kids Will Be Skeletons”: "Sex and the City" (season 6, epidose 77), [ [ Sex and the City episode 77 music guide] ]
** “Christmas Song”: "Queer as Folk" (season four, episode 406)

** “We’re No Here”: "Torchwood" “Cyberwoman” (season 1)
** “Auto Rock”, “We’re No Here”: "CSI: Miami" “Rio” (season 5) [ [] ]
** “Like Herod”: "CSI: Miami" “Spark of Life” (season 5)
** “We’re No Here”: "Stolberg"
** “New Paths to Helicon, Part 1”: "Friday Night Lights" (season 1)
** “Hunted By a Freak”: "The X Factor"

** “Auto Rock”, “We’re No Here”: "Top Gear" (series 9, episode 1 and 3)
** “Hunted by a Freak”, “Mogwai Fear Satan”: "Ultimate Rock Climb"
** “Hunted By a Freak”: "Life"
** “Cody”: "Skins" (season 1, episode 2)
** “Cody”: "Coming Down the Mountain"

**“We’re No Here”: "CSI: Miami" “Ambush” (season 6) [ [] ]
**"I Know You Are But What Am I?": Nike commercial "A Dream Deferred"

Video games

At least three video games have included Mogwai tracks on their soundtracks. "Hunted by a Freak" was on the soundtrack to "Major League Baseball 2K6", Glasgow Mega-Snake features on the video game "Tony Hawk's Project 8", and the track "Mogwai Fear Satan" can be heard in "WRC4", the official video game of the FIA World Rally Championship.


Writer Ian Rankin makes reference to Mogwai in his "Inspector Rebus" novels and, in 2006, included the song "Rage:Man" from "EP" in his choice for BBC Radio 4's "Desert Island Discs". [ [ Desert Island Discs: Ian Rankin] ]

Writer Don Miller mentions Mogwai on page 38 of his book, "Through Painted Deserts".


External links

* [ Mogwai's official website]
* [ Interview with Mogwai on Cult Cargo]
* [ Mogwai's US record label]
* [ Mogwai's UK record label]
* [ Mogwai in]
* [ Mogwai collection] at the Internet Archive's live music archive
* [ Billboard Complete Discography of Mogwai]
* [ Album Reviews at exclaim!]

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