Mogwai had no plans to release Atomic


Mogwai’s Barry Burns says the band didn’t expect their latest album to be released when they started writing material for it.

Atomic was released last month and contains reworked soundtrack material they composed for the BBC documentary Atomic: Living In Dread And Promise. The film explores humanity’s relationship with nuclear weapons and consists of archive footage from events such as the Cold War, Chernobyl and Fukushima.

Burns tells Noisey: “It’s weird because this one turned out like a proper album. We didn’t expect it to even be released – but once we realised that these were proper songs that sounded like us and didn’t just sound like a soundtrack, we thought we may as well release it.”

Burns also hints that Atomic could indicate the direction of the group’s next record – but says that could change once they settle down to plan their next release.

He continues: “At first, I viewed it as a soundtrack for this TV show, but I think it also shows the direction that the next album might go in. But then again, you never really know until you get together in Glasgow and start playing the songs, so it’s quite difficult to predict what the next one’s going to be like.”

Mogwai have a run of shows scheduled where they’ll play Atomic in full, accompanied by a screening of the documentary in the background.

Mogwai Atomic tour dates 2016

May 08: Lyon Les Nuits Sonores, France
May 20: Brussels Cirque Royal, Belgium
May 30: Tokyo Ex Theatre, Japan
May 31: Osaka Big Cat, Japan
Jun 01: Hiroshima Club Quattro, Japan
Jun 11: Amsterdam Muziekgebouw, Netherlands
Jul 03: Paris Days Off Festival, France
Aug 27: Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre at Edinburgh International Festival, Scotland
Aug 28: Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre at Edinburgh International Festival, Scotland
Aug 30: Berlin PopKultur @ Admiralspalast, Germany
Sep 14: Coventry Cathedral, England
Sep 15: London Barbican, England

Scott Munro
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Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.