The Skinny On... Stuart Braithwaite

Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite tells us who he thinks is the worst, what last made him cry and which celebrity he thinks he could take in a fight

Feature by Stuart Braithwaite | 10 Feb 2021
  • Stuart Braithwaite

In 2020 there wasn’t a whole lot to get excited about, but Mogwai gave us two things. In May they surprised us with the release of their stunning ZeroZeroZero soundtrack which they used to help raise money for Help Musicians and NHS Charities. Then in October, excitement rippled around our respective Skinny home offices (kitchen tables, bedroom desks etc) once more as Mary Anne Hobbs gave the lush Dry Fantasy its first airing on BBC Radio 6 Music, announcing that Mogwai were set to release a brand new studio album – As the Love Continues – in February 2021. It was just the news we needed to hear as the days had started getting noticeably shorter, the nights darker, and the ongoing news cycle, well, you know?

It feels like that day in October was just yesterday, but here we are, already in February, with the release of As the Love Continues imminent, or perhaps it’s already out, depending on when you’re reading this? Either way, congratulations for making it this far; you did it, here is your reward: a Q&A with none other than Stuart Braithwaite as he tells us about the last thing that made him cry, which celebrity he thinks he could take in a fight, and lets us all in on a pretty exhilarating secret!

What’s your favourite place to visit?
I’m lucky to have visited a lot of great places, but I think Tokyo is my favourite. It’s unlike any other city and changes every time I go there. It’s wonderfully weird.

What’s your favourite colour?
I’m not sure I have one. I have a lot of black clothes. Is black a colour? 

Who was your hero growing up?
Yoda. I loved Star Wars as a kid (and still do). I think Yoda seems super wise and I like diminutive heroes. 

Whose work inspires you now?
I’m constantly amazed by the music of David Bowie. His records are so varied and so unique. 

How have you stayed inspired during the multiple lockdowns and various restrictions that have been in place since last March?
Being stuck indoors isn’t the worst when trying to write music so it hasn’t been too hard. Having things to do can be a bit distracting when trying to get songs written. 

What’s your favourite meal to cook at home?
I love making Indian food. I’m vegan so am a big dhal fan.  

What three people would you invite to your virtual dinner party and what ice-breaker question would you ask them? 
Werner Herzog, Siouxsie Sioux and Tilda Swinton; how’s everyone doing this evening? 

What would your answer be to your ice-breaker question?

Apart from your own, what album are you most looking forward to coming out this year?
I’m really excited to hear the new Blanck Mass record. I think Ben is on a real roll right now.

What’s the worst film you’ve ever seen and what made it so bad?
The film version of The Hobbit was unspeakably awful. Turning a pretty slight book into three films was a disgusting money-making exercise. I’ve still not seen the second or third parts. 

What book would you take to a protracted period of government-enforced isolation?
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. It’s an amazing book and since it’s a while since I read it and I have a rubbish memory it’d feel like a new book. It’s also pretty big.

Who’s the worst?
Michael Gove is the worst. He’s an embarrassment to Scotland.  

When did you last cry?
I cried watching the film Soul. I dare anyone to watch it and not.  

What are you most scared of?
I’m scared of greedy people. They’re mostly in charge and look at the mess they’ve made of everything. 

When did you last vomit?
I used to puke when I was drinking all the time but have curtailed that, thankfully. I think I was sick because some food was too salty a few months ago. 

Tell us a secret?
Donald Trump is going to jail. 

Which celebrity could you take in a fight?
Jacob Rees-Mogg.

If you could be reincarnated as an animal which animal would it be and why?
Definitely a dog. They sleep all day and just want to have fun. 

As the Love Continues is released on 19 Feb via Rock Action; Mogwai premiere the album on 13 Feb with a special online live performance, filmed at Glasgow's Tramway

Mogwai's soundtrack to ZeroZeroZero is out now; ZeroZeroZero is available to watch from 14 Feb via Sky Atlantic