Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite has questioned the UK’s stance on maintaining its nuclear capabilities.
The band released their latest album Atomic earlier this month, which featured reworked material that the group composed for last year’s BBC4 documentary Atomic: Living In Dread And Promise. It was directed by Mark Cousin’s and explored the 1945 Hiroshima bomb attack.
And making the album focused Braithwaite’s attention on the fact that the band’s hometown of Glasgow lies just 28 miles from the port where the British nuclear arsenal is based.
He tells Prog: “I’m surprised there isn’t an absolute outcry. I remember everyone just laughing at Pravda in the 80s. But here, now, there’s a state-owned media. In any kind of normal situation, there’d be an outcry.
“Did they not drive one of those missiles up the M4 during one of those big storms? And the Trident submarines are running on Windows 95 – think about that when you’re trying to sleep.”
Braithwaite also thinks it’s ridiculous that the UK would even want to have nuclear weapons in the first place. He adds: “The argument to renew Trident for £100 billion – for what? So you can sit at the top table?
“It’s just a wee island in Northern Europe. It doesn’t matter whether folk are scared of us. It’s like something out of Lord Of The Rings.”
Mogwai will kick off their Atomic tour next month where they’ll screen the documentary in the background as they play – and it’s a run of dates which will see them play two dates in Japan.
Braithwaite adds: “It’s either going to be a really overwhelming experience or just a bit odd. It depends how people in Japan feel about it. I’m curious to know how they’ll take the film – it has a lot of Western propaganda from the time, which is quite horrible, given what happened.”
The full interview with Mogwai features in the latest edition of Prog – out now in print, online and via TeamRock+.
Mogwai Atomic tour dates 2016
May 01: Krems Donaufestival, Austria
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, UK
Aug 28: Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre at Edinburgh International Festival, UK
Aug 30: Berlin PopKultur @ Admiralspalast, Germany
Sep 14: Coventry Cathedral, UK
Sep 15: London Barbican, UK