Music & Me: Stuart Braithwaite and Barry Burns of Mogwai

Stuart Braithwaite (vocals, guitar) and Barry Burns (guitar, keyboards) are members of the Scottish post-rock five-piece Mogwai. The group, who formed in Glasgow in 1995, released their seventh studio album, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, in February. Their “Earth Division” EP is released on 12 September

The first record I bought was...

Stuart Braithwaite: "Let's Go All The Way" by Sly Fox. I had actually forgotten this and I think had been claiming to have bought something much more credible, such as by The Cure or Depeche Mode, but this was in fact the first record I bought. It was a seven-inch single though, which has an element of cool to it. This probably goes down a storm at hipster discos anyway as bad music seems to be making a big comeback.

Barry Burns: "Scoundrel Days" by A-Ha. I never claimed to be cool and I don't suit sunglasses, hats or accessories, so this purchase totally makes sense and was actually a pretty good indicator of how it would be.

The first gig I went to was...

SB: I went to see The Cure on the Disintegration tour at the Exhibition Centre in Glasgow in 1989. It was a remarkable show and I feel really lucky to have gone. They played for a very long time and are one of the greatest live bands of all time.

BB: As a young 'un in 1989-ish my Aunt Linda took me to a Deacon Blue concert. But like most people's first concert and regardless of how - in retrospect - their music isn't good at all, we had a lot of fun with the experience. When we walked past the merchandise stall I remember thinking, that's expensive for a T-Shirt. I hope ours aren't too much. Linda bought me a programme booklet for the concert. Remember them? Shameless capitalism.

My favourite album is...

SB: I have an awful lot of favourite albums but today’s one (they often change) is probably Raw Power by The Stooges. Everything from the lyrics to the ferocity of the music is absolutely perfect. I saw them perform at a Don't Look Back concert in London last summer and it was a truly elevating experience.

BB: I don't have one. I have certain records I love to listen to when I am doing certain things or in a certain mood, but I can't prioritise in most parts of my life. Oh life is such a rich and magical tapestry. One man's curry is another man's prune.

But my parents always liked...

SB: Steeleye Span. My folks were never big rock fans at all and this was a folk band that I remember them liking. It’s probably the only thing my mum and dad have in common with Alan Partridge.

BB: Dad: Bob Dylan. Mum: Tom Jones. The whole spectrum right there. The best and the worst on one childhood mixtape.

I couldn’t marry someone who liked...

SB: I don't know if any music is so bad that it would put me off marrying someone if they were otherwise perfect, truth be told. My obsession with hating music has definitely diminished over the years. I'm much more excited by good music than angry about rubbish music.

BB: Maroon 5. Or someone who was deeply religious. The conversations just wouldn't be fun.

On stage I like to wear...

SB: I wear whatever I put on first thing in the morning, when we play. Our music has never been at all about what we're wearing or even who we are really.

BB: The same as I was wearing earlier that day. Black T-Shirt, jeans and footwear that is suitable for turning effects pedals on and off frequently. I get why a lot of bands do the fashion nonsense, but it's not for me.

I’d love to perform with...

SB: I would love to perform with David Bowie. I think that he is definitely my favourite singer.

BB: Frank Black with Patton Oswalt [the comedian] on vocals. That would be quite liberating I'm sure.

One thing that must change in the music industry is...

SB: I think that the imbalance between how much money that record labels and artists receive from record sales is scandalous. Record companies act like loan sharks that you can never pay back.

BB: I don't enjoy that certain big companies seem to own everything related to a concert (venues, ticketing etc). It gives me the creeps a little bit. I should keep my mouth shut.

A great album cover is...

SB: Viva Last Blues by Palace Brothers (Will Oldham's pre-Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy moniker). It’s a line drawing of a leopard and is just beautiful.

BB: Wowee Zowee by Pavement. Funny.

On my iPod I listen most to...

SB: The Shangri Las. Girl group music has an innocence and melodiousness to it that makes it perfect music to listen to while travelling.

BB: Boards of Canada. They're what I read to and I travel/read/wait around quite a lot. They block out the distractions without being an undemanding listen somehow.

If I could have written any song it would have been...

SB: "Pale Blue Eyes" by The Velvet Underground. It really is close to perfection. Heart-breakingly beautiful.

BB: "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees. I heard it the other month in the car while driving into town to rehearse new songs to go on tour, and even though I don't like the song, it's quite a dangerous piece of music.

The worst song I’ve heard is...

SB: "What’s Up?" by 4 Non Blondes. This song makes me feel bloody nauseous!

BB: "This Love" by Maroon 5. In my opinion it is the worst song ever written (that I can think of right now). If it was a film it would be Terminator Salvation. Both are insulting in the extreme. Beneath contempt.

Mogwai are currently on a world tour and will stop off to play the iTunes Festival at The Roundhouse in London on 23 July.

Arts and Entertainment
Legendary blues and rock singer Joe Cocker has died of lung cancer, his management team as confirmed. He was 70
music The singer has died aged 70
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams looks concerned as Arya Stark
tv
Arts and Entertainment
photography Incredible images show London's skyline from its highest points
Arts and Entertainment
'Silent Night' last topped Classic FM's favourite Christmas carol poll in 2002
classical
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tv 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there