It’s no fun waitin’ around to become a millionaire. Just ask the pride of Lexington Kentucky, Mojothunder. Their just-released debut album, Hymns From The Electric Church, is a stunner; a sun-dappled potpourri of everything good and true about American rock’n’roll, from crunching hard rock to soulful blues, from breezy cosmic Americana to head-bopping summertime arena-rock anthems.
In a normal world, they’d be on the road, clawing their way to the top, clocking up miles on endless highways, seeing a million faces and rocking them all. Instead they’re on a Zoom call with Classic Rock, riding out the hopefully final days of the pandemic.
“In one word, it’s been awful not playing shows,” sighs guitarist Bryson Willoughby, who formed the band in 2018 with bass player Andrew Brockman. “Obviously an album is great as the soundtrack for your band, but going out and playing live is what we’re really about.”
They didn’t spend their downtime lying down, however. One of the reasons the album is so good is that the band spent the entire past year working on it.
“We started recording right before the pandemic,” explains singer Sean Sullivan. “We were still playing a lot, and would record when we got the chance. Then in the middle of it the pandemic happened. But we used that to our advantage, and went into the studio to finish it during the shutdown. We were all hellbent on not putting something out that we weren’t a hundred per cent proud of.”
Indeed, and the proof is in the pudding. From hard-charging riff’n’rollers like Jack Axe to soaring southern-fried classic rock like Fill Me Up, Hymns is the feelgood album we’ve all been collectively craving.
“Our strong suit is uplifting choruses and positivity,” says Sullivan.
“We write for the live show a lot of the time, and then the recording comes afterward,” explains Willoughby. “With our writing process, we keep the live show at the forefront of our mind. We want it to be an energetic and positive experience for the audience. Pre-pandemic, we could all feed off of that, and it’s just a really good atmosphere and vibe.”
While they wait eagerly for the world to get back to normal, the band are keeping busy on social media, aggressively spreading the word about Mojothunder and the inevitable rise of what they call “southern alternative”.
“The reason we went with ‘southern alternative’ is because we didn’t want to get stuck as a ‘hard rock’ band,” says Willoughby, “like just a band doing a throwback style. We figured throwing in the ‘alternative’ would get people to at least check it out to see what that meant. We’re not indie, we’re not hard rock, we just like to make good music and we have our way of doing it.”