Mogwai are a Scottish post-rock band, formed in 1995 in Glasgow. The band consists of Stuart Braithwaite (guitar, vocals), John Cummings (guitar, vocals), Barry Burns (guitar, piano, synthesizer, vocals), Dominic Aitchison (bass guitar), and Martin Bulloch (drum kit). The band typically compose lengthy guitar-based instrumental pieces that feature dynamic contrast, melodic bass guitar lines, and heavy use of distortion and effects.
Stuart Braithwaite and Dominic Aitchison originally met in April 1991, and four years later added old schoolfriend Martin Bulloch to their ranks, forming the band Mogwai in the process. The band 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." 'Mogwai' means "evil spirit" or "devil" in Cantonese (Chinese: 魔鬼; Mandarin Pinyin: móguǐ; Jyutping: mo¹gwai²). 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". After playing a few shows the band expanded with the introduction of John Cummings on guitar, and Teenage Fanclub drummer Brendan O'Hare joined whilst they recorded their debut album Mogwai Young Team. The band were for several years signed to renowned Glasgow indie 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 Sub Pop in North America. Rock Action records is named after Stooges drummer Scott Asheton, who had his name changed to Rock Action.
The band were frequently championed by John Peel from their early days, and recorded no fewer than seven Peel Sessions between 1996 and 2004. Peel also recorded a brief introduction for the compilation Government Commissions: BBC Sessions 1996–2003.
The poetry of sound. Concept beyond words. If Mogwai is evil--subjectively evil at that-- its only because they are the enemy of my enemies. Those who are versus those who are not, the ghosts of Wall Street, the greedy empty soulless suits out to eat the world, without love even for their own children. No substance. What do you do with such creatures?