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17 January 2016

[Interview] Mother Mooch (Ireland)


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Mother Mooch are from Ireland. Last November they released their debut album entitled "Nocturnes"We had the chance to talk with their guitarist "Sid Daly" and we present you this interview.

-Hello and welcome to Downtuned. Tell us a few words about "Mother Mooch" and its members. When and where did "Mother Mooch" start?
Hi Sotos. Thanks very much for inviting me to take part in this interview.
I’m a lifelong Sabbath disciple, and when I was a teenager I misheard the lyrics from Symptom of The Universe and thought Mother Mooch would be a cool name for a band. Eventually I stopped daydreaming about it, set about putting a band together and jammed for the first time with my buddy Farl in summer 2010. We got a rhythm section together and were joined by Chloe in early 2011, but it was about two years later when we were gifted with our drummer Danni and really started to take things seriously.

-Did the members of the band participate in other projects or bands in the past and what kind of music did they play?
We’ve all been involved in music in some capacity before, whether in bands or recording projects, but for me and Chloe at least, this is our first serious attempt.

-Is there a big underground music scene in Ireland? How easy or difficult was for you to make your first steps as a band? Was it easy to find an audience for you music in your country?
In the rock and metal community, there’s an abundance of really talented bands, but there are so many different venues, bookers and promoters, certainly in Dublin anyway, that a lot of people are competing for the same audience. Ireland is a small country, with quite a small population; it’s a matter of mathematics as to how many people are into heavy music, before you even begin to consider who’s into which subgenre! There’s also been a huge increase in tours by international bands of all levels in the last ten years, which is great from a fan point of view, but it’s sometimes difficult to get people out to see a local band. Saying that, there are some great people around the country supporting the scene, putting on gigs, pressing vinyl, some mother mooch band photogreat artists making great album covers, and there are a lot of bands from Ireland who are making names for themselves outside the country at the moment, not only in the Doom and Stoner scene but across the full rock/metal spectrum. Electric Taurus, Weed Priest, Venus Sleeps, Wild Rocket and Wizards of Firetop Mountain are some of the bigger names in the current doom/stoner underground, along with more established bands like Mourning Beloveth and Dread Sovereign. In other metal genres bands like Dead Label, Killface, Zom, Malthusian, Vircolac and Red Enemy are doing well in their respective scenes, and rock bands like New Secret Weapon, Bitch Falcon, New Valley Wolves and Exploding Eyes are some I can think of who are making waves. God is an Astronaut, Overhead The Albatross and TwinKranes are great bands too. Check ‘em out!

-What were the biggest difficulties that you encountered in producing and releasing your first full-album? Are those difficulties going to affect the way you'll handle things in a future release?
Well, we all have jobs or go to college, so the only problems we had were really around everyone’s schedules and making sure the studio was available at times that suited us. We had recorded an EP earlier in the year and learned a lot from that, so we were fully prepared going in. The engineer Gary Duncan, who runs Red Lake Studios, was fantastic to work with. He got us pretty much straight away and it was pretty smooth sailing after that. Danni nailed the drums for the whole album on the first day! Once she hit the third song she pretty much nailed all the rest of them in one take. She really is amazing! Over all we spent four days recording, two days mixing and one day mastering over the course of the summer. Everything was recorded live. Most of the guitars are double tracked, but apart from that and a little bit of studio effects on some vocal parts there’s nothing on the album that isn’t exactly how we sound playing live. Gary was able to make it all work perfectly. Hopefully, we’ll continue to work with Gary on future recordings too. In terms of producing it, we paid for everything ourselves. No crowdfunding, no investors, no record label. We commissioned the artwork, and we have a great graphic designer who does all our design work. We did all the legal shit and all the paperwork, and yes, that is how we intend to keep doing everything!

-I liked the fact that you chose the term "fuzz rock" to describe your music style. What were the main reasons and influences that made you adopt this music style?
Haha! Man, it took us a long time to settle on Fuzz Rock! I’ve been calling the sort of music I dig Stoner Rock since Monster Magnet released Spine of God, so I guess initially that’s what I had in my head when I started the band. Sabbath, The Stooges, Kyuss/QOTSA would be our starting point, but there’s a whole lot of influences in there. Alice In Chains, Monster Magnet, Mark Lanegan, Sonic Youth, The Cure, Dead Meadow, Nirvana, Faith No More. Farl’s a big Krautrock fan. Danni’s a Dave Grohl/John Bonham freak. Corrosion of Conformity are probably my biggest influence, both in terms of playing and in how they do things on their own terms. The Stones, The Doors, The Pistols. Soundscapey stuff  like Pelican. Mogwai, Mazzy Star. You name it, one of us is probably into it. Stoner-Grunge-Space-Punk doesn’t really roll off the tongue, and there’s no desert in Dublin… so we eventually settled on Fuzz Rock. I only heard the term Heavy Psych for the first time last year, so I guess we could fit in there too!

-What are your lyrics about? Are there any themes that you mostly prefer?
Chloe writes all the lyrics. She generally sits down with her notebook as we jam through the riffs and mess around with structures, and she writes lyrics to suit whatever mood the music suggests. We’re not a really serious, miserable band, we just have a laugh together and don’t take ourselves too seriously. Chloe’s more interested in wordplay than themes. She writes poetry too, and takes inspiration from literature, art and popular culture. Obviously, being from Ireland, the spectre of the Catholic church looms large on the national psyche, and Chloe also happens to have studied theology, so there are theological references in her lyrics sometimes, but in general she writes whatever pops into her head. An example would be Sinners. She was watching a documentary about serial killers when writing the lyrics and the song ended up being about serial killers. L.H.O.O.Q. is a reference to a piece of art by Marcel Duschamp, and the song is about people taking themselves too seriously. She’s also really clever, and figured that the Mona Lisa in the song would be thinking in Italian…

-During a gig, is the communication with the crowd important for you? Does the positive feedback from the crowd motivate you to perform with more passion?
Absolutely man! It’s always great to have a responsive crowd and of course it fuels you to perform better. Saying that, we’ve played to practically empty rooms at times too haha! At this stage we’re together so long and we’ve really got our live show down, so we just have as much fun on stage as we can regardless. Thankfully now any shows we put on ourselves are usually pretty rammed, and any time we play to a new audience there are always people telling us later that they dig us. We’ve been lucky enough to get on some festivals in Ireland, and we’ve been getting some mainstream attention here too, so every day is a step forward.

-How do you imagine "Mother Mooch" in 2026?
To be honest, I haven’t thought that far ahead haha! We just focus on what our next step is all the time, and we have a loose idea of a plan but as the saying goes, life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans! We’ve gotten this far by sheer determination and a lot of very, very hard work, and we fully intend to keep going for as long as possible. The optimistic answer would be to be headlining festivals and doing world tours and all of that, but as long as we can keep making the music we want to make and doing things our own way, we will. Onwards and upwards!

-Is it a priority for you to try and make gigs outside your country? What are your plans for the near future?
Definitely! There’s some really great underground scenes going on all around Europe; Greece of course, Germany, Netherlands, France and Italy all have a great stoner/doom thing going on, and through social media we’ve been lucky enough to establish some great relationships and people are sharing our music, so we’re definitely planning on playing some shows in the U.K and Europe in the latter half of this year. Right now we’re making a really cool video, and we intend to self release Nocturnes on vinyl, hopefully by the summer. We’re also constantly writing so I’d envision another album within a year, but yes, gigs outside Ireland is our next priority.

-We wish you good luck to whatever you do in the future, the epilogue is yours...
Thanks again for the interview request Sotos. Thanks to your Heavy Dalga show and this website, and also to Phantasmagoria and youtubers like George Kiato K and Γιαννης Αναγνωστοπουλος a lot of people in Greece have been turned on to our music, and we really appreciate all the support. Hopefully in the not too distant future we’ll make it to Greece for some shows, and a beer or two with you!
mother mooch members
Mother Mooch
are (from left to right):
Chloë Ní Dhúada - Vocals
Sid Daly - Guitar and vocals
Farl - Guitar
Barry Hayden - Bass
Danni Nolan - Drums

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