► You’re currently on tour all over the UK with English bands InMe and Lost Alone. Was it just by chance that the Belfast leg of the tour happened to be on St. Patricks day or did you guys plan this from the start?
You’ve made me question this now, i asked our booking agent and he said that he had planned it that way! Don’t know if I fully believe him haha! It’s cool but it kinda puts the pressure on. We gotta do a good show and yes, show the Englishmen how we do it on St Paddy’s day!
► What kind of antics do you have planned for the day? Anything you’re thinking of doing with your tour mates to show them a proper Belfast St.Patrick’s day?
Not giving too much away but there are a couple of freak out ideas flying around including green paint, livestock and burlesque dancers! We’ll see what happens….
► How has the tour been going so far? Is it good to be back out on the road so quickly after your previous tours at the end of last year?
This tour has been awesome! to be honest i was a bit apprehensive about whether or not Inme’s fans would get Mojo fury or not but i think we are going down great and the audiences like the versatility between us Lost Alone and Inme. It’s always good to be back out, we were in Europe in January for the first time and that made for a nice change, but this was exciting cause of the shared tour bus factor, so it’s a lot of fun not having to worry about driving. This is also our last tour before we record our next album so it’s cool having 35 shows to give Visiting Hours one last big push in the UK.
► You’re a band that has reputation for putting on a great live show, which was recognised with a NIMA nomination for Best Live Band 2011. Playing joint gigs with InMe, ASIWYFA, Maybeshewill etc… Has the competition on the bill every night spurred you on to create an even better live performance?
We have never sat down and said right we gotta raise the stakes here but i think subconsciously as performers we will have been inspired by watching so many cool bands. It’s cool getting to see the same show night after night and seeing how it develops or the dynamics it goes through over the duration of a tour.
► During your current set of dates somebody else has joined the band on tour. “Venue Mouse” has been posting video blogs of the tour as you go from different cities. What’s the story behind him finding a spot on the bus?
Haha, my friend’s kids own two of those mice and always give me one when i go on tour, this time he just got a camera turned on him; i don’t know why i did it. Its good fun and a slightly different way to document a trip, I will be able to look back in years and relive the tour as venue mouse! He is starting to get me into trouble though, today there was an incident with a water fountain and a bottle of fairy…
“I met a band from Liverpool the other night who actually want to move to Belfast, now that says something”
► In many ways your debut LP “Visiting Hours of a Traveling Circus” was a collection of tracks that you had built up during your formative years. Recently you’ve released a new track “El”. Is that a sign that more is on the way?
For sure, as soon as we get home we start work on album 2 which will be out later this year. We just released two free tracks ‘eL.’ and ‘Grounds’ to bridge the gap between the album releases. Also, when you get talking to people at shows who like the band but can’t afford an album you can say go grab some free tracks off our bandcamp page – that’s cool because its new stuff that is in the set at the minute!
► “El” felt like it had more groove to it compared to previous tracks. Is the kind of direction the band is moving towards for the next release or are there still heavier tracks to come?
Album 2 is definitely going to have a different feel, remember we have been together for 8 years now, i laugh because, when we started if someone said in 8 years your going to like Prince, Black Eyed Peas, and are going to sound quite pop in places i would of said no way, but you grow musically and taste develops as does your writing style. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s going to be mojo fury, there is serious dirt riffology but there are songs with grooves too!
► As a band you have been together for a quite a few years. How do you feel the music scene in Northern Ireland has changed since you first started out?
Well now there is actually a ‘scene’, it’s just far easier to have a grasp on what and who is going on because of the net and how pro-active the bands here have become, with help from the online tools. I met a band from Liverpool the other night who actually want to move to Belfast, now that says something. Ireland was a featured country at the Eurosonic festival this year too, proof is in the pudding, we have actually now ‘got it going on’. I feel its growing at a healthy rate and I’m so excited about the future of it. It’s funny that it all starts in people’s bedrooms, amazing songs get written, the live scene grows i.e. venues & festivals, labels & PR companies and that also means jobs are being created in our own music industry, a lot has changed in 7 years for the good!
► In recent times quite a few new acts have pushed themselves to the forefront of Northern Irish music. Is there any acts that have caught your eye?
How recent you talking? I’ll give you a few that have inspired me personally ; Asiwyfa, Alloy Mental, Strength, Ian Archer, Pat Dam Smyth and Fighting with Wire.
► With anticipation for summer gigs starts to build. Will we see more Mojo Fury shows back in Northern Ireland during then? What’s next for the band?
Well we are going to hide for a short time to make our next album, but summer will fly in then we’ll be playing some festivals and even headlining one at home which is cool! In the later part of the year we hope to be out in Europe more so we are looking forward to that!