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A Quietus Interview

Mogwai On: Scottish Independence - A Quietus Q&A
Luke Turner , September 4th, 2014 04:50

With just two weeks to go until the Scottish independence referendum, a Quietus filmed Q&A with Mogwai on their views on the crucial vote. Camera & edit: Kenichi Iwasa

Earlier this year, we hosted a small Q&A with Mogwai before they played a blinding pints o wine chair raving set at London’s Southbank Centre. In the first instalment, we spoke to them about the history of Mogwai. In the second, we ask them pertinent questions on the future of Scotland. Stuart Braithwaite has long been a vocal, eloquent proponent of Scottish independence… but are the rest of the band with him? Apparently so.

“I don’t really know whether the views of a guitar player in an instrumental indie band are going to swing the vote,” says Braithwaite, though his vocal campaigning on Twitter has apparently attracted the Twitter ire of "the man that Malcolm Tucker is based on... But Malcolm Tucker has a modicum of wit… this guy is a fucking idiot”.

Braithwaite tells us that it was their experience travelling the world with Mogwai that made the band members realise that “the political status of Scotland is an anomaly, and it’s weird to have most of the laws made up in a different country.” What it all boils down to, says Braithwaite, is that “It’s nice having free prescriptions and university fees and stuff, but it would be good to have decisions over invading countries.”

Mogwai also address English concern about potential eternal Tory rule after a ‘yes’ vote, and point out the democratic deficit that already exists thanks to Scottish MPs being able to influence English laws - “If I was English or lived in England, I’d be happier that the Scottish MPs weren’t effecting laws that the people who voted for them aren’t affect by, which is incredibly unfair and people have stopped talking about because the focus is on Scotland. But the constitutional set-up is pretty unfair on people in England and Wales as well.

They also discuss whether they think Scotland is in a better place now than when they started, confidence in Scottish music (“the Scottish music scene has always had its own thing, certainly when we started the band it was quite rare people people to pay much attention - that’s one of the reasons why there were so many DIY labels”), Trident (“I’d quite like you to have them back… so long as you point them in the other direction”), what they think of Alex Salmond, and why they won’t play ‘Christmas Steps’ for Burns Night, before inviting us all North Of The Border in the event of a 'Yes' vote on September 18th.