12 October 2011

Scots Way-Hay #71 - The Moth And The Mirror

Part of me feels a wee bit like I am cheating when I post about bands on our label, then the other half of me thinks stop being such a fucking idiot. If I can't post about my bands what's the point in having a blog if I can't promote the music that I love. Which brings me to the newest addition to the Olive Grove stable, The Moth And The Mirror. Up until earlier this year I will put my hands up and admit that I hadn't really heard any of their music, I had seen their name on plenty of bills but being the lay sod that I am I hadn't checked out any of their music. More fool me eh?! So when Halina got in touch to say that they'd been in touch about releasing their album I was slightly taken aback. If like me, you don't the back story of the band before hearing hearing them, then you couldn't fail but to be impressed by their credentials. Having been dubbed as being a bit of a Scottish super group (not by us - we just tried to point folk in that direction), the band who are made up folk from various bands including Frightened Rabbit, Admiral Fallow, Arab Strap and the Reindeer Section to name just a few - I guess you can see why I might like them then! Anyway, their album 'Honestly, this world' came out on Monday there, and a stunning wee album it is too. It's quite a dark we number that draws you in demanding repeated listens. I caught up with Stacey from the band to ask her to tell us a wee bit more about The Moth And The Mirror...

Would you care to introduce yourself to the Peenko readers?

Hello Peenko peeps, I’m Stacey from The Moth & the Mirror.

It’s that question that all bands seem to hate answering, but how would you describe the music you make?

It’s pretty dark with little light bits, kind of like the sky at night.

How did the band come together then?

We met through a friend, ‘The boy who trapped the sun’. I knew him and Gordon since they were just wee lads from some touring I did with a band called Astrid in the highlands. Colin asked Gordon, Kev, Murdo (our old drummer) and me to be his backing band. We liked each other so much we stayed together after Colin moved back to the Isle of Lewis. We joined together with another project I had been doing with Iain and became The Moth & the Mirror. Murdo then left to move to London and at that point we asked Louis and Pete to join the band - thankfully they said yes! We’ve been a sixsome ever since. It was all fate, you see.

So where does the band name come from then?

It’s from a children’s bedtime story in a ladybird book. It’s a fabulistic story about King moth who falls in love with his own reflection. There is a lightning strike, the mirror smashes, and suddenly his love disappears. He goes back to his forest and demands that all of his moths search in every light forever after. That’s why moths like flames: narcissism and foolishness! I love these weird strands of origin myths that dream up mental histories to explain the character and nature of a thing.

Is there a certain process that goes into the way you write songs?

Every song is a little bit different but they usually start with a simple melody or riff brought in by one of us, then we all get together and the fun starts. We really enjoy knocking ideas around and trying out lots of different manifestations of our songs before we settle on the one we like best.

What artists would you say have had the biggest influence on the band?

It’s difficult to speak for the whole band on this. My top 5 would be something like: The Cure (because they write amazing pop songs); Debussy (he writes in modal scales which is my fave kind of melody) , PJ Harvey (because it’s timeless) , Bright Eyes (for the words, and the passion), Sigur Ros (for their ethereal quality). If you asked Kev there would be some krautrock in there and some Japanese experimental rock. Pete would have some Danish techno band I’ve never heard of and Iain would like something Latin American- he loves to mambo!

What would you like someone who’s listening to your music for the first time to take away from your music?

A little toe-tap; a little smile; a little ache in their heart; and maybe syphilis.

Do you feel that where you come from has had much of an impact on the music that you create?

Of course, where you come from has an impact on every thing you do. It’s hard to say what that impact is but if this band had been with the same people 20 years ago we might have sounded like Guns & Roses.

What has been your most memorable gig to date, (be it good or bad)?

The time we arrived to play a show in Dunfermline and the venue had forgotten was a bit special. There were 2 people there and they’d come to watch the football.

Aside from world domination, what are your plans for the rest of the year and beyond?

Well, we’ve just released our album ‘Honestly, this world.’ this week and have a couple of Scottish gigs to promote that. It would be great to get a tour happening, we love playing live. Because it’s sometimes tricky for us to get together, due to everyone in the band’s commitments elsewhere, we have to make the shows we can do extra special. We’ve already started writing new songs so they will pop up at our future shows and hopefully we’ll be able to make a new album next year.

The Moth & The Mirror's debut album 'Honestly, this world' is out now, you can catch the band playing live tonight (12th) at Stereo in Glasgow, then on Sunday they'll be appearing at Fopp on Union Street in Glasgow doing an acoustic set, then that evening they're through in Edinburgh at the Cabaret Voltaire.


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