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  • Writer's picturePatrick McNaught


We caught up with Mullholland fresh off their tour with Big Slammu. If you're new to the band be sure to catch their set; Rory and Mikey are incredibly fun to watch, bouncing their lively, eclectic sound off of each other. Read on to get to know more about them ahead of their set at Washed Out Festival:

We can’t wait for you to play Washed Out Festival. Who's set are you most looking forward to catching on the weekend?

Rory: I'm looking forward to seeing Gender Roles live - I've heard their music but never actually seen them before so that's exciting. Also really excited to see Big Slammu again, even though we've just been on tour with them and I saw them 8 times last week!

Mikey: Really keen to finally see Pocket Dread, [unfortunately no longer playing] The International Debt and DITZ. Always excited to watch Big Slammu and Squig play.

We spread ourselves out over eight venues in Brighton for the festival. Do you have a favourite?

Rory: We just played the Prince Albert and I really like that venue, I think the sound is pretty great. Also looking forward to playing East Street (especially since I've never been to a gig there).

Mikey: Yeah, seconds on The Albert. As for venues besides from WO Fest, we love The Pipeline and The Rose Hill.

There’s a lot of great bands coming out of the city at the moment - yourself included. Do you agree? What do you think it is about Brighton that’s fostering this lately?

Rory: Definitely agree - I think Brighton is a a great place for fostering talent, as well as being a place that attracts a lot of talent. There's a great scene here of people willing to go to gigs and see bands they might not already be familiar with. Also, if you're a musician, there's plenty of promoters, venues, producers, and other great musicians to help you out.

Mikey: I think there's always been amazing stuff coming out of Brighton, or being put on in Brighton all the time, so I think this is why we decided to move here a few years back.

Tell us two bands you'd like to play with in the future.

Rory: In an ideal world, it would be really cool to support Mogwai, as they're one of the bands that inspired the start of ours.

Mikey: Reciprocate (ex-Shield Your Eyes), Deerhoof.

You've been playing together for a relatively long time. How did the project evolve? Was it always the plan to make instrumental music?

Rory: The band started pretty organically, with Mikey filling in as the drummer for a gig with my old band (Scruffians), and then us deciding to have a jam at a later point. For the first year or so the band was just us jamming in a room, we didn't really have any real 'songs' as such. Our first album captures this relatively more raw sound, of two people in a room jamming. The next album was a bit more grand and post-rocky, which I think was always an album I wanted to write, but it took me until then to figure out how to do it. The new stuff kinda feels a bit more dreamy to me, in places, but also has some of our most energetic stuff in it. I think the reason the music is instrumental is because I was really into writing different riffs and chord sequences, and wanted a project to play them in, and also really struggled writing vocal melodies, so it felt natural to leave them out. I sing and write a lot more pop-based music now, so it's refreshing to be in a band where you don't have to write vocal melodies, as it still takes a while for me. I think when you write instrumental music, the focus completely shifts, both from a listener's perspective and from a writing perspective. This opens me up to writing quite different melodies, song structures, chord sequences etc, that I wouldn't write if I had to put vocals on top.

Mikey: I think we always wanted to keep experimenting and trying to push each other into playing music we'd be stylistically opposed to exploring on our own. I guess playing without singing is just kind of the way it comes out when we go about jamming, but there's definitely some kind of ambiguity, or depersonalization that comes with instrumental music.

You’ve just been on your first tour. Did it live up to or differ from your expectations?

Rory: Tour was great. Typically, we'll only play a gig every month or so, so it was really great being able to play 8 gigs in a row, and I think our live set and confidence on stage improved a lot as a result. I think watching Big Slammu every night really helped my stage confidence as well, since they're such an energetic live act. It was great to travel around and catch up with friends and family and meet new people. I think for the next tour I'd like to focus on writing a bit more, and use the whole tour experience as a way of writing music in different environments.

Mikey: Definitely exceeded expectations, we ate so many Linda's last week.. the bar has been raised for the next tour, whenever that may be.

We're pleased to hear you're currently working on your third album. What can we expect from the release?

Rory: I think the start of writing this album was a bit of a challenge, as I can't write if I feel like I'm repeating myself, and that was happening a lot to begin with. It all started to make sense to me when we wrote the song we've been closing our sets with lately, which is very long and drawn out and ends with these wide-sounding delayed guitar chords. For this new album, I'd like to make sure every song has a specific feeling to it, or evokes a specific feeling in me. I've also been turning more to electronic acts like Justice, Bonobo, Four Tet for inspiration in writing some of the new songs, and trying to replicate those sounds on guitar. I bought a 12-string a few months ago and have been messing around putting that in weird tunings, so that's been another good source of inspiration because it throws you into a situation where you don't know what you're doing, and then through trying to figure it out you write a song. But yeah, expect something a bit more dreamy in places, a bit more wild and energetic in others, and the rest is still yet to be finished.

Mikey: Repetition, + what Rory said.

Catch Mullholland live at Washed Out Festival on 13th April at East Street Tap. Remaining wristbands are available here.

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