Despite having been active for a number of years, Mojo Fury’s output has been comparatively svelte, the emphasis being firmly on quality rather than quantity. To date the band have released three EPs and a well-received studio album (2011’s ‘visiting hours of a travelling circuis’) and now they are trying something new. The pledge campaign is a method by which artists can offer a forthcoming product (usually alongside some exclusive extras) to fans in exchange for the funding needed to complete their project. Extras can include anything from signed drumsticks to hand-written notes, but for Mojo Fury the band have truly embraced the ethos that making music can be a community-based exercise and their range of offers include the opportunity to have the band record a cover song of your choice or hang out for a day in the studio, as well as get a hold of some neat pieces of merchandise if that’s your thing.
We got a hold of the band because we were keen to see how they saw the role of the pledge campaign in modern music making and to find out more about an act who have drawn comparisons to acts as diverse as Nine inch nails, QOTSA and Nirvana. Read on and meet Mojo Fury’s Michael Mormecha….
Just to start could you introduce Mojo Fury – when and how did the band form?
We met in music collage in late 2003 , two of us where paired in an assignment band. We had our first rehearsal as a three piece in february 2004.
The new album is to be released via the pledge system – your press release suggests you’re grateful to not be part of the corporate treadmill of overpriced studios etc but is it not worrying to be working without the safety net of a label’s backing?
There is never a safety net, labels take gambles on you ,so its somebody’s debt at the end of the day. If sales aren’t made maybe the artists or if they’re lucky enough to get dropped the labels or the managers are then hit. At least doing it this way we know exactly how much we need and where every penny is going. For sure i would like a big advance so i could lock myself away to record and forget about real life but thats not happening. This is the best option for mojo fury right now.
With so many bands turning now to the pledge system of raising funds for albums do you see this as the future of the music industry?
It wouldn’t / doesn’t work for every band, its a lot of work. Firstly you need a fan base and a realistic target, you need the media and skills involved in making a quality campaign. Im finding it interesting and fun but wouldn’t fancy it being part of every album I make.
On the one hand it allows bands to directly interact with their fans, and offer cool rewards, but on the other hand do you not think there is a danger the public will simply become cynical over the array of bands asking for funds for their next project – especially with increasing amounts of people simply pirating releases as they appear?
Yeah, I would even be slightly cynical over bands who do two pledge campaigns in a year, especially if they’re well over target, there is asking fans for help then there is greedy, its a thin line.
To look at your pledge campaign specifically, you’re offering some very interesting pledges including a cover song of choice – is that literally anything or do you have a list that your fans can choose from?
As long as someone wasn’t taking the piss we would have a go at any song. Its a great challenge, I want someone to say ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ or ‘Master of Puppets’.
You’re offering a number of other items as well including AAA passes and a chance for fans to come to your studio – will that not be rather intrusive for the band?
If your the sorta person who would like to come hang out in the studio then we would be happy to entertain you for the day, that is where i am most comfortable and happy so it would be good craic.
You’re obviously very proud of the new album – is it not frustrating to have to wait now to actually get it out to the fans?
Well it was frustrating for a while as we where sitting on the masters but now the first two tracks are out there and its really exciting hearing peoples reactions. Also we released the heaviest and lightest songs so to let our fans wonder what the rest of the record could sound like.
Your sound, right from the get go, was very unique – how would you say you have evolved as a band over the period of recording the new album?
Well by self producing there was nobody but our-selves to say ”is that the right part for the song?” so this is the honest sound of mojofury right now. Our first album we where very much a guitar band with a twist but now there are more electronic layers and depths to this album, but still with the underlying dirty mojo sound.
There seems to be a whole host of influences present in your music – are you all very eclectic in terms of taste or do you all represent different interests within the band?
We share many tastes but we also have very individual ones, or ones that we would devote more time. As soon as someone interprets a line melodically or texturally in a song its gonna have a bit of them in it, thats when even a song I have written start to finish can become more ‘mojoified’.
One of the things I liked about songs such as ‘the mann’ is the fact that you’ve captured a very raw energy in the recording – how long did it take to find and develop that sound?
I think the sound of our band is more because of the notes we choose. Our first album was mostly quite easy to record, Rocky O’ Reilly and ourselves just set stuff up and went for it, nobody was too precious about sounds because we didn’t have one yet. We had also been playing those songs for years so it was in the blood.
Do you think the amount of access to bands via the internet is a positive thing in that it encourages interaction, like the pledge campaigns, or do you think that over the years a lot of the mystique that used to surround bands has been lost?
Indeed it has been lost which is terrible. I love spotify for parties and more importantly referencing tracks whilst working in the studio, its a priceless / educational tool to have but as a result, sadly, music has become disposable and less treasured. I have a side project which I purposely don’t have a facebook or twitter for and that leaves a slight element of unknown between me and people who may listen to the music. It feels good like that.
The way the band is presented in videos and in images is also quite unique – what influenced the visual style of the band and is that something that you as individuals keep control of?
I guess we have always been quite particular and controlling of it, why not though, its our faces and music. Its another area to be creative and get consonance between the visual and musical aspect of what MF is.
When can we expect a UK tour from Mojo Fury?
I hope we are gonna be out around November.
With the campaign just starting for the album (and going pretty fast so far) when do you hope to get the album out?
I think the pledge campaign counts down to October so providing that goes according to plan ‘The Difference Between’ will be out in November.
What’s next for Mojo Fury – any ambitions?
One of my biggest ambitions is to work with an orchestra, possibly not even involving the band but the music of the band. Next Year on the 2nd February that will be 10 years since we first had a jam together so we will do something very special for that occasion.
Like what you’ve heard? Why not pledge now for the new album and get yourself some sweet extras?
Want to know more? Check out this video: