Mogwai interview: Stuart Braithwaite is 'excited' for Scottish band's live return to Edinburgh's Usher Hall

Scottish rockstar Stuart Braithwaite from Mogwai shares his musical journey over almost three decades as the band returns to Edinburgh for a live concert this Christmas
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A Scottish rock band known for their “post-rock” sound, Mogwai has experienced almost three decades of musical history together, from grunge to the noughties, as well as challenging times, such as Covid-19. Now that national lockdowns have (hopefully) come to an end, Mogwai are keen to bring the “essence of music back” with live performances.

They appeared at Connect music festival over at the Royal Highland Centre in the summer. And now, in the run up to Christmas, the band will be taking centre stage in Edinburgh’s very own Usher Hall on the 21 December.

“I am excited for everything about it,” says musician Stuart Braithwaite, who plays guitar and performs vocals for the ‘post-rock’ band, “We are playing in the Usher Hall which is a really historic and beautiful place. We have played some wonderful concerts there before, everyone is really nice to you there, so I’m just looking forward to everything!”

Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai (Photo by Dimitris Legakis/Athena Pictures/Shutterstock)Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai (Photo by Dimitris Legakis/Athena Pictures/Shutterstock)
Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai (Photo by Dimitris Legakis/Athena Pictures/Shutterstock)

The musician continued to describe music as “defining throughout his life” whilst encouraging other young Scottish musicians to pursue the industry. He said: “I think it is important to have Scottish musicians as Scotland is a pretty musical country. A lot of my favourite bands and musicians are from Scotland, but I do think that Scotland definitely punches above its weight culturally and music is definitely a big part of that.”

‘Songwriting is a good way to process emotions’

Stuart’s passion for the work he does began when he was 13. Whilst he admitted the first song he wrote wasn’t a “memorable” one, he said: “Music is emotional so life in general inspires me to write, it’s not very often that it will be a specific event, but songwriting is a good way to process emotions.”

The Mogwai of 2020 is a very different group to the four kids who, in February 1996, released their debut single Tuner/Lower to a musical climate suffering the hangover of late Britpop. Theirs was a sound of happy accident, uniting over shared love of skateboarding, Star Wars, The Cure, and American indie rock to somehow end up with music that was, and remains, as affecting as it is powerfully loud, as sensitive as much as it has the propensity to rip your ears off.

Mogwai band membersMogwai band members
Mogwai band members

Braithwaite said: “It’s better to keep doing what you are doing right now. Looking at what's happened with other bands, it’s hard to get people interested in what you’re doing now once you’ve made a big deal about going back to something from 10 or 20 years ago.”

The band are now excited to get back into Scotland's Capital to play in front of an audience, as well as in the Usher Hall again.