Ahead of a trip to the USA and in between explorative studio sessions looking ahead to the next record, Room Thirteen managed to pin down Pete Baker from Watford band Mohair.

The band have been going for eight years now, but are only just making a name for themselves, something which is long overdue. They are festival veterans, playing every UK event under the sun over the past few years. In 2006 we covered their sets at
Guilfestin July, and
Electric Gardensin August.

R13: The first time I saw you was a few years ago in Leeds, and you've been going for around eight years in total, why is it that things only now seem to be taking off for you?
P: I think it is a combination of things, many of which were out of our control. We had a record deal up until about 2 years ago which we managed to get out of, we weren't seeing eye to eye with them. That kind of introduced us to the press and industry too soon, we released a few singles then disappeared. The press seem to like 'finding' a NEW band. I think also we've only just got our shit together. We have always been a good live band but we have found it hard to translate that to a record.....with this album I think we have done that. Although we have been through the mill at times I think it has made us the band we are. Without all that going on, we may not be in the position we are in now.

R13: How would you describe what Mohair do to somebody that hasn't heard it?
P: We try to entertain at every level. Be it seeing us play live, listening to our album or having a drink with us. We NEED you to walk away with a smile on your face. You can hear that in our music, I'm not saying it's all happy flowery stuff...there are some dark subjects touched upon.....but it's all written with the express desire to entertain. Escapism rather than realism.

R13:W ho were the bands that made you want to become musicians?
P: The usual subjects really, The Beatles, Stones, The Who, The Doors, Crosby-Stills and Nash (and sometimes young!). When we were 'growing up' musically it was bands like Gomez, Kula Shaker and Moke who were really flicking our switches (in terms of current music then).

R13: What music are you currently really into?
P: There is some really great stuff about at the moment. We are listening to - Data Rock, Hot Chip, Arcade Fire, Tom Yorke, Elbow etc etc.

R13: The two festivals I've seen you at this summer (Guilfest and Electric Gardens) seemed to have a few who'd travelled from Watford, do you have a local fanbase who will travel like away football fans?
P: There is a few but not as many as the mighty Watford footie team! We have slowly built up pockets of a loyal followings around the country, I am sure the people of Watford are bored sick of us by now!

R13: What have been your festival highlights for 2006?
P: I saw Radiohead at V this year and they completely floored me. I can proudly state that my life is better because of their music! If we ever have 10% of that effect on anyone I will be a happy man. They were AMAZING!!

R13: You've played with Bluetones and Kula Shaker, what were those gigs like and who have been the most exciting people to play alongside?
P: Those tours were great fun. All great people to hang about and they have written some brilliant music between them. Kula Shaker was a nice gig to get for us as they were a massive influence on us in the day....maybe why we love the hammond organ so much! We have played with a load of big bands like Depeche Mode, Garbage, Muse, Primal Scream, Rolf Harris! etc etc, and it never becomes boring. For starters there is a ready made audience of excited people and you are on early so you can enjoy the evenings festivities to the fullest!

R13: You're off to the USA soon, how well known are you over there and what do you expect to find when you get there?
P: It's still VERY early days for us in America, but the first signs are looking promising. We expect to find a very big country with many venues for us to play in......and I am sure we will play EVERY one by the time management gets their own way. We can't wait!

R13: What other countries have you had success in?
P: We had a number 1 in Bosnia....does that count?

R13: Once the US tour is over is it back to the studio for another record and if so when might we hear new stuff from Mohair?
P: I have only just got back from the studio this minute actually. We have been demoing new songs for the next album. We have about 20 or so finished and they are sounding really good. They are as diverse as ever, we just can't help it. When will you hear it? Who knows, I am sure the Americans will have us touring this album for a while yet....we will just have to wait.

R13: Thanks for your time and good luck.
P: Thank you very much!

The album refered to is 'Small Talk' released via Ear Candy records. For more on Mohair check out