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Mogwai is a Scottish band from Glasgow, United Kingdom. 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.
They compose lengthy instrumental guitar-based pieces in the post-rock tradition, usually focused around the elaboration of a single theme, and are known traditionally for dynamic contrast, melodic bass riffs, and their use of guitar distortion and effects. Stuart Braithwaite has commented on the lack of lyrics within Mogwai's music, saying:
" 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 band were 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 Records 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.
Their style has been influenced by bands including The Dirty Three, Joy Division, 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 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."
-Graeme Ronald (current touring member).