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This article is about the Scottish post-rock band. Mogwai_sentence_0

For other uses, see Mogwai (disambiguation). Mogwai_sentence_1


Background informationMogwai_header_cell_0_1_0
OriginMogwai_header_cell_0_2_0 Glasgow, ScotlandMogwai_cell_0_2_1
GenresMogwai_header_cell_0_3_0 Mogwai_cell_0_3_1
Years activeMogwai_header_cell_0_4_0 1995–presentMogwai_cell_0_4_1
LabelsMogwai_header_cell_0_5_0 Mogwai_cell_0_5_1
Associated actsMogwai_header_cell_0_6_0 Mogwai_cell_0_6_1
WebsiteMogwai_header_cell_0_7_0 Mogwai_cell_0_7_1
MembersMogwai_header_cell_0_9_0 Stuart Braithwaite

Dominic Aitchison Martin Bulloch Barry BurnsMogwai_cell_0_9_1

Past membersMogwai_header_cell_0_11_0 Brendan O'Hare

John CummingsMogwai_cell_0_11_1

Mogwai (/ˈmɒɡwaɪ/) are a Scottish post-rock band, formed in 1995 in Glasgow. Mogwai_sentence_2

The band consists of Stuart Braithwaite (guitar, vocals), Barry Burns (guitar, piano, synthesizer, vocals), Dominic Aitchison (bass guitar), and Martin Bulloch (drums). Mogwai_sentence_3

Mogwai typically compose lengthy guitar-based instrumental pieces that feature dynamic contrast, melodic bass guitar lines, and heavy use of distortion and effects. Mogwai_sentence_4

The band were for several years signed to Glasgow label Chemikal Underground, and have been distributed by different labels such as Matador in the US and Play It Again Sam in the UK, but now use their own label Rock Action Records in the UK, and Temporary Residence Ltd. in North America. Mogwai_sentence_5

Mogwai were championed by John Peel from their early days, and recorded seven Peel Sessions between 1996 and 2004. Mogwai_sentence_6

Peel also recorded a brief introduction for the compilation Government Commissions: BBC Sessions 1996–2003. Mogwai_sentence_7

History Mogwai_section_0

Formation (1991–1995) Mogwai_section_1

Stuart Braithwaite and Dominic Aitchison met in April 1991, and four years later formed Mogwai with old schoolfriend Martin Bulloch. Mogwai_sentence_8

The band's name comes from the name of the creatures in the feature 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." Mogwai_sentence_9

The word mogwai means "evil spirit" or "devil" in Cantonese (Chinese: 魔鬼; Jyutping: mo¹gwai²; IPA: mɔː⁵⁵ kʷɐi̯³⁵). Mogwai_sentence_10

The band debuted in February 1996 with the "Tuner"/"Lower" single and by the end of the year they received 'single of the week' from NME for "Summer", a feat repeated early in 1997 with "New Paths to Helicon". Mogwai_sentence_11

After playing a few shows the band expanded with the introduction of John Cummings on guitar, and then Teenage Fanclub drummer Brendan O'Hare joined while they recorded their debut album Mogwai Young Team. Mogwai_sentence_12

Mogwai Young Team (1995–1997) Mogwai_section_2

The album, released in October 1997, reached number 75 on the UK Albums Chart, and featured a guest appearance from Aidan Moffat of Arab Strap. Mogwai_sentence_13

In 1998 the band had their first singles chart success with a split single with Magoo of Black Sabbath cover versions reaching number 60 in the UK and an EP of "Fear Satan" remixes reaching number 57. Mogwai_sentence_14

In the same year, an album of remixes of the band's tracks by the likes of Kevin Shields, Alec Empire, and μ-ziq was issued (Kicking a Dead Pig: Mogwai Songs Remixed). Mogwai_sentence_15

The band also remixed tracks for David Holmes and Manic Street Preachers. Mogwai_sentence_16

O'Hare was sacked after the release of the album (reportedly after upsetting the rest of the band by talking all through a performance by Arab Strap). Mogwai_sentence_17

Come On Die Young (1998–1999) Mogwai_section_3

Barry Burns was brought in prior to the recording of Come On Die Young, the band's second album. Mogwai_sentence_18

He had already played a few shows with the band, as a flautist and as an occasional pianist. Mogwai_sentence_19

According to Stuart, Barry was invited into the band because he was a "good laugh". Mogwai_sentence_20

The album reached number 29 in the UK. Mogwai_sentence_21

The band line up remained unchanged from 1998 until November 2015, when John Cummings left to pursue other projects. Mogwai_sentence_22

Fellow Scottish musician Luke Sutherland has contributed violin (and more recently vocals and guitar) to Mogwai's records and live performances. Mogwai_sentence_23

Rock Action (2000–2001) Mogwai_section_4

The band's 2001 album Rock Action gave them their highest UK album chart placing, reaching number 23. Mogwai_sentence_24

The album was less guitar-led than previously, featuring more electronics; a larger than usual number of tracks also featured vocals, guest vocalists included David Pajo of Slint, Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals and Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol. Mogwai_sentence_25

Shortly afterwards the band released "My Father My King", a cacophonous 20-minute song which closed their Rock Action-period shows, and was billed as a companion piece to the album. Mogwai_sentence_26

Happy Songs For Happy People (2002–2003) Mogwai_section_5

Mogwai's 2003 album Happy Songs for Happy People continued the band's movement into the use of electronica and more spacious arrangements. Mogwai_sentence_27

It was the band's first album to sell in any numbers in the US, reaching No.13 on the Billboard Independent Albums Chart and even spending one week in the Billboard 200. Mogwai_sentence_28

Reviews were generally favourable, although as Pitchfork Media said in 2008 "...(the album's) reception ranged from middling to favorable. Mogwai_sentence_29

Some praised the band's scope, grandeur, and willingness to explore beyond the bounds of the quiet-loud-louder dynamic it had mastered; others lamented a lack of the same, alternately calling Happy Songs too soft, too small, or too stiff." Mogwai_sentence_30

Mr Beast (2004–2006) Mogwai_section_6

In March 2006, the album Mr Beast was released in a regular format and in a limited deluxe edition package that came with both the album on CD and a DVD documenting the recording process entitled The Recording of Mr Beast. Mogwai_sentence_31

The album was described by Creation Records head Alan McGee as "probably the best art rock album I've been involved with since Loveless. Mogwai_sentence_32

In fact, it's possibly better than Loveless" – referring to the influential 1991 album by My Bloody Valentine. Mogwai_sentence_33

AllMusic called the album "Possibly the most accessible yet sophisticated album Mogwai (have) released". Mogwai_sentence_34

The Hawk Is Howling (2007–2008) Mogwai_section_7

The band's sixth studio album was recorded from late 2007 until early 2008, and was released in September 2008. Mogwai_sentence_35

It was the first Mogwai album not to feature vocals, and was also the first to be self-produced by the band; the album was recorded by Andy Miller at Chem19 Studios in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, and mixed by Gareth Jones at Castle of Doom Studios in Glasgow. Mogwai_sentence_36

The album spawned an EP, Batcat, featuring the title track from the album and also a collaboration with Roky Erickson, with Erickson providing vocals on "Devil Rides". Mogwai_sentence_37

Burning / Special Moves (2009–2010) Mogwai_section_8

In 2010 the band released their first live film (Burning, filmed by Vincent Moon and Nathanaël Le Scouarnec, which premiered at the Glasgow Film Festival in February) and live album (called Special Moves). Mogwai_sentence_38

Burning contains eight tracks from the band's Brooklyn shows during their 2008/2009 American tour, whilst Special Moves adds nine more tracks from the same source. Mogwai_sentence_39

Special Moves was the first release on Mogwai's own Rock Action records, named after Stooges drummer Scott Asheton, who had his name changed to Rock Action. Mogwai_sentence_40

Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will (2011–2013) Mogwai_section_9

In September 2010, Mogwai left longtime North American distributor Matador Records, and signed with Sub Pop. Mogwai_sentence_41

Braithwaite also stated that the band were working on material for a new album for release in early 2011. Mogwai_sentence_42

On 27 October 2010, Mogwai announced their seventh studio album, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will. Mogwai_sentence_43

The album was released on 14 February 2011 in the UK and entered the UK Albums Chart at number 25. Mogwai_sentence_44

A bonus edition featured an additional CD featuring a 23-minute piece called "Music for a Forgotten Future (The Singing Mountain)", which was recorded for an art installation by Douglas Gordon and Olaf Nicolai. Mogwai_sentence_45

Three singles were released from the album; "Rano Pano", "Mexican Grand Prix" and "San Pedro". Mogwai_sentence_46

In 2012 a remix album, A Wrenched Virile Lore was released which included tracks from Hardcore... remixed by numerous artists including Xander Harris, The Soft Moon, Robert Hampson and Justin Broadrick. Mogwai_sentence_47

The album, whose title is almost an anagram of "Hardcore Will Never Die" was again released by Sub Pop in the US, and Rock Action Records elsewhere. Mogwai_sentence_48

Rave Tapes (2013–2015) Mogwai_section_10

In July 2013, Mogwai performed their soundtrack to Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait for the first time at dates across the UK. Mogwai_sentence_49

An announcement of new live dates followed, including two nights at the Royal Festival Hall, and an appearance closing the final holiday camp edition of the "All Tomorrow's Parties" festival in Camber Sands, England. Mogwai_sentence_50

They announced their eighth studio album Rave Tapes on 28 October 2013. Mogwai_sentence_51

The album was released on 20 January 2014 on Rock Action in the UK, Spunk in Australia and Hostess in Japan and South-east Asia, while Sub Pop released the album in the US on 21 January. Mogwai_sentence_52

Rave Tapes was produced by Mogwai and Paul Savage, and the song "Remurdered" was uploaded to the Rock Action and Sub Pop SoundCloud pages at the time of the announcement. Mogwai_sentence_53

The album entered the UK album charts at No.10 and as of April 2014 was the best selling UK album released in 2014 in terms of vinyl sales. Mogwai_sentence_54

An EP titled Music Industry 3. Mogwai_sentence_55 Fitness Industry 1. Mogwai_sentence_56

on Rock Action was released on 1 December 2014 featuring three new tracks from the Rave Tapes sessions, along with three remixes of tracks from that album by Blanck Mass, Pye Corner Audio and Nils Frahm. Mogwai_sentence_57

The EP was recorded in Glasgow with Paul Savage. Mogwai_sentence_58

In June 2015 Mogwai played a series of high-profile shows in the UK and Ireland, climaxing with two nights at the Camden Roundhouse, to celebrate the band's 20th anniversary. Mogwai_sentence_59

At the same time, in association with ATP, they curated a series of shows at the London venue featuring acts that have "challenged, intrigued and inspired" them, including The Jesus and Mary Chain, Public Enemy, and Godspeed! Mogwai_sentence_60 You Black Emperor. Mogwai_sentence_61

A career retrospective album comprising three CDs or six LPs, Central Belters, was released on 23 October. Mogwai_sentence_62

On 15 November 2015, the band announced that guitarist John Cummings had left to pursue his own projects. Mogwai_sentence_63

Every Country's Sun (2016–2019) Mogwai_section_11

In April 2016, Braithwaite told the Guardian that the band were writing new songs and would be travelling to the US later in the year to record a new album with Dave Fridmann, who produced Rock Action some 15 years previously. Mogwai_sentence_64

On 25 November, Fridmann announced that the band had started recording the album with him. Mogwai_sentence_65

On 3 March 2017, the band announced that they had completed recording and were mastering the album at Abbey Road Studios. Mogwai_sentence_66

The band have announced a worldwide tour to coincide with the release of the new album, starting with dates in Europe in October before visiting North America in November, and finally playing in their home city of Glasgow in December. Mogwai_sentence_67

On 14 May 2017, the band announced the new album would be named Every Country's Sun and would be released on 1 September 2017. Mogwai_sentence_68

They also shared the first song "Coolverine". Mogwai_sentence_69

On June 2, Mogwai played a show at Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona, only announced on the day, which consisted of Every Country's Sun played in full. Mogwai_sentence_70

As the Love Continues (2020–present) Mogwai_section_12

On 29 October 2020, Mogwai announced a new album, As the Love Continues, to be released on 19 February 2021. Mogwai_sentence_71

The lead single, "Dry Fantasy", was premiered on BBC Radio 6 and made available for download. Mogwai_sentence_72

Soundtracks and other work Mogwai_section_13

In 2006, the band provided the soundtrack to the film Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, with the soundtrack album released the following year. Mogwai_sentence_73

The band's song "Auto Rock" was used in Michael Mann's 2006 film Miami Vice. Mogwai_sentence_74

The band also collaborated with Clint Mansell and Kronos Quartet on the soundtrack to The Fountain in 2006. Mogwai_sentence_75

Mogwai are also featured in the 2009 post-rock documentary Introspective. Mogwai_sentence_76

The band donated an exclusive track to the PEACE project in April 2010 in support of Amnesty International. Mogwai_sentence_77

In 2012, the band provided the soundtrack for the Canal+ French TV series Les Revenants (broadcast as The Returned in the UK). Mogwai_sentence_78

The album, Les Revenants, was released on 25 February 2013. Mogwai_sentence_79

The track "Kids Will Be Skeletons" was featured as part of the soundtrack of the story based video game Life Is Strange. Mogwai_sentence_80

In 2015 the band supplied the music for Mark Cousins' documentary Atomic, Living in Dread and Promise. Mogwai_sentence_81

The soundtrack was reworked and released as Atomic on 1 April 2016, through Rock Action Records. Mogwai_sentence_82

The band carried out an extensive live tour of Europe and Japan performing the soundtrack against a backdrop of the screening of the film, beginning in Austria on 1 May 2016. Mogwai_sentence_83

They then announced a North American tour of the album for January 2017. Mogwai_sentence_84

The band also co-wrote the score to Fisher Stevens' 2016 documentary film about climate change Before the Flood. Mogwai_sentence_85

The score was performed and written by Mogwai, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Gustavo Santaolalla. Mogwai_sentence_86

In 2016 Stuart Braithwaite took part in a documentary about Glasgow music, and Chemikal Underground Records, called . Mogwai_sentence_87

The film was directed by Niall McCann and brought Braithwaite (along with members of The Delgados, Franz Ferdinand and others) to Mauron, Brittany, to recreate a gig they played just after Mogwai had formed. Mogwai_sentence_88

The film features Mogwai live, as well as footage of Braithwaite playing Mogwai tracks solo and interviews with Braithwaite and his old label-mates such as Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand), Emma Pollock (The Delgados) and Stewart Henderson (The Delgados). Mogwai_sentence_89

It premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival to positive reviews and was called "Funny, vital and sobering” by Scotland's arts magazine The Skinny. Mogwai_sentence_90

In August 2018 Mogwai released the soundtrack for the movie Kin, and in May 2020 the soundtrack for the 2020 Amazon Prime series ZeroZeroZero. Mogwai_sentence_91

As an extra Mogwai released in 2014 their own whisky brand, a year later they even tried out a (limited edition) spirits brand of rum. Mogwai_sentence_92

Musical style Mogwai_section_14

The band's influences include Fugazi, MC5, My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Pixies, The Cure and post-rock pioneers Slint. Mogwai_sentence_93

Mogwai's style has easily identifiable connections to genres such as shoegaze, math rock, and art rock. Mogwai_sentence_94

Debut album Mogwai Young Team was described as "stunningly dynamic...[shifting] seamlessly from tranquil, bleakly beautiful soundscapes to brain scrambling white noise and sledgehammer riffing". Mogwai_sentence_95

Douglas Wolk, writing for SPIN in 1999 said of the band: "Their compositions have gotten increasingly drawn-out and austere over time, sometimes barely more than a single arpeggiated chord or two evolving for ten minutes or more, whisperingly brutal in a way that recalls Slint more than any other band". Mogwai_sentence_96

Barry Burns once stated in an interview that he and the rest of the band do not like the categorisation of post-rock because he believes it over-analyses everything. Mogwai_sentence_97

Their strong international fanbase is based, in part, on the band's music being largely lyric-free. Mogwai_sentence_98

Braithwaite has commented on the absence of lyrics in most of Mogwai's music, saying: Mogwai_sentence_99

Band members Mogwai_section_15



  • Stuart Braithwaite – guitar, bass, vocals (1995–present)Mogwai_item_1_0
  • Dominic Aitchison – bass, guitar (1995–present)Mogwai_item_1_1
  • Martin Bulloch – drums (1995–present)Mogwai_item_1_2
  • Barry Burns – guitar, bass, keyboards, synthesizer, flute, vocals (1998–present)Mogwai_item_1_3



  • Brendan O'Hare – keyboards, guitar (1997)Mogwai_item_3_4
  • John Cummings – guitar, programming, drums, keyboards (1995–2015)Mogwai_item_3_5



  • Alex Mackay – guitar, keyboards, percussion (touring member: 2016–present)Mogwai_item_5_6
  • Luke Sutherland – violin, guitar, vocals, percussion (1998–2016)Mogwai_item_5_7
  • James Hamilton – drums (touring replacement for Martin Bulloch: 2011–2013)Mogwai_item_5_8
  • Scott Patterson – guitar (touring replacement for John Cummings: 2015)Mogwai_item_5_9
  • Cat Myers – drums (touring replacement for Martin Bulloch: 2017–2018)Mogwai_item_5_10

Timeline Mogwai_section_16

Discography Mogwai_section_17

Main article: Mogwai discography Mogwai_sentence_100


See also Mogwai_section_18


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: