I can’t wait to hear the next record. Glasshouse is impressive. Can you give us any other hints how this one will be different from the first?
“I’m glad you like Glasshouse! Thanks!
This album is darker sadder and perhaps more personal? A lot has happened to Mitchell Museum since our first album. Some things have been amazing, great and good fun…others have been disappointing and sad. The majority of the songs for the album have been written during our “extended leave” period. I wasn’t sure if Mitchell Museum were going to continue as a band and I had also broken up with my long term girlfriend. I was a bit sad during this time. That’s actually an understatement. So yeah the record is essentially a double album of emo breakup songs…that last bit isn’t true.”
The Break-up and subsequent reformation was an elaborate ruse for defeating the sophomore slump wasn’t it? What did spark the return?
“I hold my hand up, you caught us. We were always going to come back. Nah… that’s not true. We really didn’t know what was going to happen. I think we felt a bit burned out and tired after the first album. We put a lot of work into Mitchell Museum and it was really exhausting us. We released a single last year. To get to hear the song you had to break open a toy keyboard to access a download code that was hidden inside it. We thought it was a fun way to release song. Most people that bought the single enjoyed the idea and appreciated having a toy keyboard to bash out a melody on. Sadly a couple of people seemed to be pretty disappointed that it wasn’t a fully functioning Micro Korg. We got an email from someone asking if they could get a refund. The person was so disappointed in the keyboard that they didn’t bother to listen to the song. That would have been ok if it hadn’t happened the same day that we found out that we were losing our guitar player and our manger was leaving the country for Budapest. So (as stupid as it obviously was!) it was the toy keyboard complaint that that broke the Mitchell Museum back. We took some time out. I wrote some songs. We heard a rumour that De Rosa were going to reform and so we just decided to copy them…that’s not true.
We got an email from a girl in Japan that said that she was really sad that we weren’t a band anymore. Along with thinking that it was really cool that a girl from Japan took the time to write to us, we also found ourselves agreeing with her that it was sad that we weren’t a band anymore. We loved being a band, we really missed playing and recording songs for people. It seemed pretty odd that it had taken so long for us to realise this. We got back together, tricked Gav Thompson into being our new guitarist and started making a new album….That’s the short version.
I’m glad we’re back on track. Really, really glad.”
Our blog began pretty much around the time Mitchell Museum announced they would be breaking up. My response was to indulge in some shopping therapy and pick up a vinyl copy of ‘The Peters Port Memorial Service’ while they were still available. Do you anticipate being able to again release on vinyl?
“Hmm… vinyl? It is really nice and heavy and weighty and it smells good so we would love to do it all on vinyl again. Our first taste of listening to the album properly on a finished product was sitting out in our back garden with the record player listening to it on a very sunny afternoon. I say garden by which I mean it is a scummy grey rooftop on Sauchiehall street with the smells of the kebab shops wafting up and the seagulls swooping down at us thinking we were the origin of the smell. But we had shorts on our legs and shandies in our hands so it is a happy memory.
I guess this time it comes down to who we end up putting the album out with and if they want to do a vinyl release. As last time we did it as a self release and had free reign to do whatever we wanted but like all naughty children we secretly crave discipline and possibly having someone else releasing the record would straighten us up and make us fly right.”
Quite a few people are pretty excited about ‘Behold The Old Bear’. Could you tell us something that only you could possibly know?
”The Behold The Old Bear album that Raindeer’s working on just now is actually just The Wings album Band On The Run played in reverse….he made me promise that I wouldn’t tell anyone about that.”
Is there anyone else on your musical radar that we should be looking out for?
”Miaoux Miaoux (You might think that we’re being a bit biased about that as Kris plays Bass in the live incarnation of Miaoux Miaoux , but frankly Miaoux Miaoux is very excellent indeed!)
Martin John Henry (You might think that we’re being a bit biased about that as Raindeer plays Drums in the live incarnation of Martin John Henry, but frankly Martin John Henry is very excellent indeed!)
GRNR (You might think that we’re being a bit biased about that as Gav is the GRNR in the live incarnation of GRNR, but frankly GRNR is very excellent indeed!)
But also there are lots of nice sounds around being made by Adam Stafford, Kill The Waves and DIE HARD amongst others.”
We saw the Wedding Present , a little while back, play Seamonsters in its entirety. If you could pick any one album to be played live what would it be?
”At the moment I would go with the Sufjan Stevens album The Age Of Adz…I think he does play that in its entirety. I love that album. I always quite liked Sufjan Stevens ,but I would have to say that I was delighted that he threw his banjo away to make way for a load of weird squelchy electronic beeps. I’ve seen some videos of him playing songs from Age Of Adz on youtube and songs seem really immense live. He seems really into it. Which is pretty cool as I was under the impression that he was a bit of a shy type of musician.”
The path from indie obscurity to mainstream acceptance is littered with deserving bands. What are your thoughts on what it takes to follow in such footsteps…
“Ummm…that’s a really difficult question. I don’t know. I suppose we’re bobbing around in a black hole of indie obscurity just now, and I don’t really know what it would take to break into the mainstream acceptance…Good songs?? Yeah…it’s probably something to do with having good songs and being able to play well live…I think. Although I heard something about a major record label holding an annual competition to see which band bassist can throw a rock the furthest. The band that throws the rock the furthest get a 3 album deal….but I doubt it’s got anything to do with throwing rocks…so…yes…its probably got to do with talent. Yes that’s it… TALENT.”
What is it about Scotland that’s making good music happen?
“Again I can’t really answer that. Perhaps it’s Irn Bru. There’s maybe something in Irn Bru that’s helping us write decent songs. It’s probably illegal. I wish that I had a better answer for you…but I really don’t know.”
We need a second opinion. The best overall Over The Wall song: Grand Defeat or Thurso?
“Between those two songs I would say ‘Thurso’ but my favourite song is actually Settle down.”