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Friday, Jan. 21, 2011
Since making their first live appearances in Japan in 1999, Mogwai have returned to tour the country a dozen times. With this in mind, it is unsurprising that the Scottish postrock quintet played only two gigs last year, and one of them was in Japan.
The act spent much of 2010 working on their seventh full-length, the awesomely titled "Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will." In late August they performed a hometown charity show in Glasgow. A week later they headlined Shizuoka's Metamorphose festival.
"We really wanted a short break between the recording and the mixing of the album to give our ears a rest," says multi- instrumentalist Barry Burns. "It was actually a great help, and we had a brilliant time up in the hot springs and at the concert.
"Plus we just love playing to Japanese audiences and we wanted to try a few of the new songs out, too."
Continuing to show Japan their adoration, Mogwai will issue "Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will" here through local label Hostess on Feb. 2, nearly two weeks before it drops in Europe on the band's own Rock Action Records and in North America on famed indie imprint Sub Pop.
As a special treat for fans, Mogwai will travel to Tokyo for the record's release to perform a pair of concerts. One of the most popular postrock bands, they are globally renowned for two things: being leaders of their subgenre and performing at often punishing volumes. Earplugs are highly recommended for all gig-goers who prefer to have their hearing intact the next morning.
No strangers to Japan's festival circuit, along with Metamorphose, Mogwai have played the Fuji Rock Festival four times and Summer Sonic once. With a new disc to promote, is there a chance they will be back this summer for one of those large-scale events?
"We wouldn't say no to that," says Burns. "Here's hoping we spend as much time in Japan as possible."
While their Feb. 2 performance at Liquidroom is sold out, Mogwai play Feb. 3 in Tokyo at Liquid Room (7 p.m.; ¥6,300 in advance;  5464-0800). For details, visit www.hostess.co.jp/mogwai/index.html or www.mogwai.co.uk.