Ahead of their UK tour and the release of their second single Colour of the Bear, we caught up with Northern Irish band Mojo Fury to see how 2011 is shaping up for them.
MTTM: Your debut album, ‘Visiting Hours of a Travelling Circus’, is currently set for release 11th April 2011, after seven years together you must be feeling pretty excited about the record, how big an achievement is it to finally be recording your debut?
MF: Well to actually have a date set in stone that our album will be released and be made available forever is very exciting. It’s a strange concept that a lot of people take for granted but to be someone actually doing it is pretty special. It’s a milestone in the life of Mojo and it’s like a new beginning of something too, so we are all buzzed to get it out there.
MTTM: In your seven years together you’ve produced three EP’s. How do you feel your sound has grown over the years? And what will make your debut different from previous recordings?
MF: Mojo started off more punky, containing one dynamic which was right lets go mental riff riff riff, but that happens, when you factor in experience and tastes changing over a period of time you grow together. Now we are the same band but just with more knowledge to play with, melodically, dynamically and also how we produce ourselves live now with bringing in more keys, samples and guitar fx. Visiting Hours for me has captured a time and a place; it is Mojo’s audio journal for the past several years. Previously we’d never treated any recording like this one. It’s the difference between blue-prints and actually laying down the first brick of your dream house.
MTTM: What is the main inspiration behind both your sound and the lyrics? Do you ever find it difficult to keep your music fresh and to come up with new ideas and influences?
MF: Perhaps like other bands, we never sat down and said ‘right this is what we are’. Instead our personalities combined have just met in the middle and created also combined have selected what stays or goes. We share some favorite bands like Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, Soulwax and QOTSA but we also have quite unique tastes in music too, imagine what happens when you put George Gershwin in a room with Corey Taylor and Aphex Twin. The range of music to listen to and experiment with has always kept us creating and striving to do something new or different from before. Mojo lyrically is a funny one, it can range from a word of wisdom vibe to a word salad vibe, so either a life experience has provoked something that I feel like sharing or something I just need to shout about, or else I like to paint with words and create phrases and metaphors that might get your imagination going.
MTTM: You have a string of UK tour dates lined up. How are you feeling about the upcoming dates? And can fans expect any live previews from your debut?
MF: I’m looking forward to playing these shows especially so close to release time, but maybe a bit apprehensive incase the crazy snow comes back when we are living on the road. I’m sure we’ll be fine, we always are. Oh and definitely, our set is predominately tracks from Visiting Hours.
MTTM: You’ve already toured pretty heavily in the past, supporting the likes of Biffy Clyro, The Cooper Temple Clause and InMe. Was there anything in particular you learned from these shows? And how did it feel opening for other bands and such large audiences?
MF: We were quite young as a band when we played with Biffy, that was cool and it gave us a good step up, just locally but it helped to establish Mojo as an active band. Now we’ve played shows with a lot of cool bands. It’s gratifying to now be learning the professional aspect of live shows, and there is always something you don’t know or have to deal with so it’s invaluable experience.
MTTM: You recently performed at No Alibis Bookstore in an hour long acoustic set. That’s pretty intimidating for most bands and even more so in such an intimate venue. What was it made up your minds to perform an acoustic set? And was it daunting at the time?
MF: We had previously rehearsed an acoustic set because someone just asked, and if you don’t ask you don’t get y’know. Plus a lot of our songs would come from an acoustic and a vocal so it’s real nice to strip it back and do versions like that. No Alibis had a great vibe that night, just a handful of people sitting quietly listening, something about being surrounded by all the literature too made it like a lyric recital with Mojo Fury as backing music.
MTTM: It can be hard for local talent, like yourselves, to convince people to take what you’re doing seriously. Is this something you’ve found you had to contend with over the years?
MF: Yeah, there can be a stigma attached to the term ‘local band’. We’ve always tried to make and take Mojo Fury seriously, knowing that we wanted to do it long term and make a career out of it. It is now especially that our album is coming out and we have become a touring band that other people are starting to realize how dedicated we are.
MTTM: Finally, what are the future plans for Mojo Fury following the release of your debut?
MF: Well we are going to be touring and promoting this for the best part of the year but, because we have been sitting on it for a while we have lots of new material to demo out so when we are not away we have lots of homework to do. I’m looking forward to the festival season and traveling further afield this coming year.