The Mojo Fins
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The Mojo Fins

Brighton, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

Brighton, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
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"The Mojo Fins - Interview with Stephen Brett"

The Mojo Fins are a Brighton band, formed in 2004. Vocalist, guitarist and lyricist Stephen Brett tells e about the origin of their name.

"Oh, Sam [Lloyd], John [Chandler] and Dave [Russell] were working together already. They'd a gig coming up and John, whom I'd known since we were about four years old, asked me to join. They were called Charlie Smoke. I wasn't keen on the name. We were all pretty smitten with Jeff Buckley who had a track called 'Mojo Pin' on his album Grace. I liked that, but Dave said it was too obvious, so we changed it. I remember standing outside the venue at that first gig altering the name on all the posters with a marker pen."

So what happened to Sam? "Our first bassist? He was never that into it; not like the rest of us. It was only when Stephen [Hoile] replaced him on bass - he plays piano too - that the thing really got proper, gigging more and thinking about recording. Initially I'd no intention of singing, just playing guitar..."

And then in 2007 John was killed. “Yes, in a road crash. Five people died in that crash. It changed everything. His song 'Piñata Face' was due out as our first single. When it was released later that year it was as a tribute to him with all the proceeds going to the charity RoadPeace. When we eventually agreed to carry on, about a year later, Adam Luke Atkins on guitar and vocals was an obvious person to bring in. Bizarrely, he'd been in a band that also lost a member, killed in that same accident, so he understood what we'd been going through."

Many of the bands lyrics touch on the theme of mortality. "Yes, I suppose so; even on one of the songs on our new CD, The Spirit EP."

Songs are credited to the whole band, but the lyrics are Sthepen's. How does their song-writing process work? "Very rarely with the lyrics coming first. That's because I'm totally addicted to playing the guitar. It's a strange thing. My hand just needs to play, basically. I don't think I've ever written a set of lyrics without any tune."

The two albums (2009's The Sound I Still Hear and 2011's Shake The Darkness), both on Amazon Records, have been well received but sales haven't been great. Was this slow progress disappointing?

"Oh, no. I have quite a strange relationship with it. I never really expected a lot. I just assumed nothing much would happen. I couldn't imagine either album being massive. Maybe I'm just not confident enough. I feel lucky really. It's a small label and anyway, I've another career entirely with social work, so it's not like I depend on it."

The new EP sounds different, more acoustic and with a much more assured and interesting vocal style especially in the quasi-choral touches - not unlike Fleet Foxes.

"I feel much ore content with what we're doing. Rockfield is a superb studio. When we did the last album there, we went for a big sound with overdubs and strings. For this EP I got into finger-picking, hence the acoustic guitar. We definitely tried to make something quieter, keeping the instruments sparser. I'm happier with that. The plan now is to make two more EPs, maybe with some songs that are a bit more up-tempo."
Nick Toczek
- R2 (Rock'n'Reel) Magazine


"The Mojo Fins- New Album- Shake the Darkness"

“Since their debut album in 2009 The Mojo Fins have cranked up the epic levels; these songs soar with anthemic confidence. The production stewardship of Dave Eringa (Manics, Idlewild) truly brings the songs to life, juggling crescendos of analogue guitar warmth with live strings and keys against towering vocal harmonies. The tunes are there, the hooks are there – you’re unlikely to hear a more accomplished and self- assured album this year. The Mojo Fins just have to transfer it to a national audience, and that can only be a matter of time.” - (NC) Brighton Source - Brighton Source Magazine


"The Mojo Fins - 'Shake the Darkness'"

Quite why the worlds of post-rock and sensitive singer-songwriter balladry don’t meet more often is an enigma, as The Mojo Fins’ documentation of this chance meeting is quite special. They’ve taken the feather-light tremolo guitars and precise, heavy-hitting percussion beloved of more dramatically-inclined bands and then weighted them with a steady stream of pop nuances. It's a transition made all the more seamless by Stephen Brett’s skill at manipulating his vocals to complement, but never interfere with, the core of the songs.
This means that cuts like Owning My Condition and its angelic background harmonies manage to veer away from clichédom and into the heart, while Heligan strips the vocals back to bare bones and concentrates instead of building upon layers of intricately intertwining melodies to compensate for the loss. Switching emphasis between voice and guitar can often be an unsteady path to walk but Shake The Darkness maintains the balance with grace and poise.(Dave Bowes)
- The Skinny


"The Mojo Fins - 'Live'"

“The much acclaimed Mojo Fins definitely do look the part – cool with an anorak twist. Their lyrics are deep with a capital P (poetic and philosophical) and rhythms are intricate works of musical art. A tight set, melodic riffs and Keane-like vocals all made for a luscious sound that could well set itself apart in the world of pop rock. 4/5” - Latest 7 Magazine

- Latest 7


"The Mojo Fins"

“The much acclaimed Mojo Fins definitely do look the part – cool with an anorak twist. Their lyrics are deep with a capital P (poetic and philosophical) and rhythms are intricate works of musical art. A tight set, melodic riffs and Keane-like vocals all made for a luscious sound that could well set itself apart in the world of pop rock. 4/5”
- Monica Pedoni - Latest 7 Magazine


"The Mojo Fins"

‘The Mojo Fins are one of the brightest stars in the healthy Brighton music scene, making spine-tingling, hazy indie music that features many elements of classic indie pop a la REM, Elliot Smith and others.’
- Jeff Hemmings - Latest 7 Magazine


"The Mojo Fins"

‘Hitting the kind of highs you expect from something religious… The Mojo Fins prove
themselves to be an exceptional band.’
- The Mag


"The Mojo Fins"

The Mojo Fins are what the Indie scene is crying out for at the moment, a classic, well produced sound, with meaningful lyrics and excellent vocals.’ Jess Hamil - BrightonMusicScene.com
- Brighton Music Scene


"The Mojo Fins"


The stellar chime pop instincts of the Sundays, the careering melodic disjointedness of the Go-Betweens, the sadcore sophistication of Red House Painters…all in one band? Truly. Brighton’s The Mojo Fins are a remarkable proposition, and this is a desert island disc of a debut. 9/10
Iain Moffatt – Rock Sound

- Rock Sound


"This summer The Mojo Fins get ready to help us all 'Shake the Darkness' with their amazing new album."


In just a few short months Brighton’s The Mojo Fins plan on spicing up the summer when they ‘unveil their new single ‘The Spell’ on June 5th and their second album ‘Shake the Darkness’ (which is scheduled to hit the streets on June 19). The Mojo Fins recorded their new, much-anticipated opus with Dave Eringa (who has produced records for the likes of the Manic Street Preachers and Idlewild) and are keen to capitalize on the success of their critically acclaimed 2009 debut ‘The Sound That I Still Hear.’

Having already wowed festivals go-ers at the likes of Glastonbury in the past, the prolific four-piece are on a roll right now and wrote 40 songs for their new album. Choosing the best 12 for the release, the Mojo Fins plan to give the listening public a taster of their new material when they release their new single ‘The Spell’ on June 6 through Amazon Records and it’s a track which once again effortlessly showcases the band’s phenomenal song-writing and consummate musicianship.

For exclusive snippets from ‘Shake The Darkness,’ click on <http://www.facebook.com/themojofins <http://www.facebook.com/themojofins> > and for more information on the band’s tour dates, check out http://www.themojofins.com <http://www.themojofins.com> .



- Stephen Anderson Publicity


Discography

Albums:
Shake the Darkness (2011)
The Sound That I Still Hear (2009)

EPs:
Sweet Spirit (June 2012)
Live At The Red Room (2009)

Singles:
Introverts (Nov 2013)
Lighthouse (Feb 2012)
Owning My Condition (October 2011)
The Spell (June 2011)
Previous Single releases:
Pinata Face (2007)
Always Now (2008)
In The Script (2009)
Meet Me At The Pictures (2010)

Photos

Bio

Evolution. That's The Mojo Fins: their songs alive with samples and loops, guitars dancing in a digital world; stories of love and loss explored by a network of drums, electronic percussion mingling with acoustic. The trademark soaring melodies? The evocative and deeply personal lyrics? As intrinsic as they've ever been. Today, though, they move to a different beat, wrap themselves around new ideas.

With the band's as-yet-untitled third album due out in 2014, launch single Introverts detonates this October. Inspired by the likes of New Order and Miike Snow and oozing synth and style, it's four breathless minutes, one nuclear chorus and no apologies. If you think that sounds bold, it's supposed to – The Mojo Fins have been raising the bar for over a decade.

2003, the band release their first demo, two tracks hewn from the rock of shared ideals and a simple desire to write great music. Several years of hard graft follow – lives lived in practice rooms and on the stages of pubs and bars, four friends from Brighton learning their trade and finding their feet in the live arena.

2006, walking now, confidence growing exponentially, a “Yes” that turns dreams to reality as independent label Amazon Records signs the guys up. The following year and one member tragically lost... but another is found, and the band's first single Piñata Face proclaims the show will go on. 2008, The Mojo Fins unveil their self-produced debut album The Sound That I Still Hear: intricate, wistful, a testament to conviction.

2011, running now, blood pumping hard, epic second album Shake The Darkness a bravura display of songwriting and orchestration. Recorded at Wales' legendary Rockfield Studios and complemented a year later by the stripped-back elegance of The Spirit EP, the album ushers in a relationship with producer Dave Eringa (Manic Street Preachers/Idlewild) whose skills come to bear again on the band's new material.

Sure, it's been hard work, but then so is anything that's worth doing. And when you stand on that stage at Glastonbury; hear the radio play your songs; feel your heart race as your new album explodes from the mixing desk – you look to the future and smile.

Because suddenly anything is possible.

The Mojo fins are:

Stephen Brett - Lead vocals, Guitar
Dave Russell - Drums
Adam Luke Atkins - Guitar, Vocals
Steve Hoile - Bass, Keyboards, Vocals

Contact - Frank Sansom at Drive Management / Amazon Records - frank@amazonrecords.co.uk