A few weeks ago MOTHXR played a gig at The Ritz in Manchester.
Having launched their first record, they went on a European tour with Californian based band The Neighbourhood.
Who are MOTHXR you might ask? Front man Penn Badgley, you lot might know him as Dan Humphrey aka ‘Lonely Boy’ from Gossip Girl, Simon Oscroft (bass), Jimmy Giannopoulos (bass) and Darren Will (bass) have met in Brooklyn a couple of years ago and instantly hit it off. Their sound is very much indie experimental – Hip Hop, Psychedelic, Electro and Funk influences, combined with gritty lyrics make their album ‘Centerfold’ a success.
After the gig I caught up with Simon and had a little chat about their songwriting process, why Manchester is such a great city and found out what the future holds for MOTHXR but before that we had to take a few selfies, duuuh!
Nina: How did you guys meet and how long have you been playing for?
Simon: We met in Brooklyn years ago, just by being around the scene of young artists, similar bars, venues, hang out spots. We all had friends in common, and eventually became friends, long before any idea of starting a band together. We’ve been a band for about 2 years, putting together the first record and playing a lot of live shows across US and Europe.
Nina: Have you all played in bands before?
Simon: Yeah we all have been on countless bands – besides Penn. This is his first proper foray into music with a group – however he’s been playing guitar, piano and singing since he was a young kid.
Note: Penn has portrayed Jeff Buckley and has delivered an amazing performance.
Nina: You’re currently on tour – what are your plans for after you finish this tour?
Simon: We go back on tour in the USA with Polica, then will be adding more US dates. Summer will be random shows here and there, then fall will be a headline tour across Europe and USA.
Nina: Your songwriting is quite experimental. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Simon: We draw inspiration from the process itself. Being experimental, painting with music and following the flow of 4 humans in one room creatively releasing improvised bits and pieces of sounds and words.
Nina: What kind of bands/music do you listen to?
Simon: We all listen to a LOT of music. At the time of writing the record probably LCD Soundsytem, Bowie, Frank Ocean, Beastie Boys, and a LOT of Hip Hop.
Nina: You played your second gig in Manchester – what do you like about the city and its crowd?
Simon: Manchester is amazing, the city is extremely historical in terms of modern music and the evolution of genres for the last 40 years, and has been unmeasurably influential on the rest of the world’s music and art. The crowd is passionate, loud and know what they like, we respect and love that.
Nina: Name three artists you would want to collaborate with – dead or alive.
Simon: James Murphy, Prince, Marvin Gaye.
Nina: Vinyl or Spotify?
Simon: Spotify has become the global source of finding/hearing new music wherever you are and having endless choices makes for an ultimate musical discovery and exposure tool.
Their debut album ‘Centerfold’ is now available on iTunes.
In the meantime, check out this live performance they did for Perez Hilton.Love, Nina x