The first song I heard from The Mobbs was one minute and forty-eight seconds long, emphatic little thing called "Jolly Good" from 2011. And it was jolly good. There's a little of The Undertones to them—and much from 1977 as well—for a refreshingly real sound in 2014. It would be great to hear what those who followed The Undertones and The Clash back in 1977 think of these guys in today's landscape, given the prevelance of auto-tune and digital masetering and their choice to record live on analogue tape in 2014.
Here's our interview with The Mobbs:
1. It’s nice to hear 1977 mentioned in a song in 2014. How important is that year to what you guys are doing?
It's not that important to us because none of us were born then, however according to the history books punk rock started ‘round about then so the lyric is a homage to a year of musical change that had it not existed we'd probably be a folk-rock combo now.
2. In terms of production, you make sure you have to play your instruments. The result is a sort of Sun Records-early Clash cross. How many takes do you guys do of a song in the studio?
We have always recorded onto tape, analogue recording preferable at every opportunity. We record live as a band, in the same room with all the instruments and amps in the room with us. We do all songs within two to three takes.
3.“Do The Bishop” has some great bass—and guitar and drums for that matter. Were there words at one point or is it just a dance tune?
It started off as a jam in the rehearsal room. It's always been a instrumental piece...kind of regret putting the "Do The Bishop" shout in it now due to the fact it's very difficult to shout that and play the riff at the same time in a live set!
4. “Garage Punk For Boys” has a great pun and good musicianship. Do you guys play around with pronunciation much in your songs?
Messing about with words, meanings of words, puns, jocular/old fashioned phrases is something that has always been a 'thing' in The MOBBS.
5. “Just as Bad as You” ska? Great lyrics here!
It was supposed to be a kind of a Bo Diddley thing.
6. There are some great rockabilly-New Wave fusions, as well as surfer-spy sounds. What kind of fusions are going on in your work—especially with tunes like “Mk-II”?
We like a bit of surf, a bit of Hank Marvin/Shadows style thing. "Mk II" is a sort of Gerry Anderson 1960s TV Theme.
7. “I Am the Anticlimax” would have been a classic had it been released in ’77. Are you guys getting listeners from that era?
Our best audiences are usually of our generation or a few generations older, so yes—probably. The kids don't get it —it's probably too lo-fi for them. "I Am The Anticlimax" is basically a complete Wilko Johnson rip off...however, yes, the lyric is very '77ish, but also maybe too personal for that era?
8. With songs like “Where’s the Punk Rock!?” you prove you know how to play your instruments, though there was a lot of strumming and missed chords back then in the heyday of punk. Have you ever considered trading instruments for an expressionist punk song?
We miss most of the chords when we play it live. We miss most of the chords live. I reckon it's the rawest song on the record really :-)
9. “We Don’t Need a God” has some elements of XTC, Drums and Wires era. Any XTC influence?
No, it's just R&B really, a dance song with failure lyrics!
10. Unlimited resources, any crew currently available, what is your ideal project?
Recording at Toe Rag or Gizzard studios London...failing that, Ciro Perroti Studios in Gijon Spain!