Welcome Trevor, I see all members of the Mojo preachers have a great little bio on your website can you tell us more about the band?.
A: The Bios are OK but I can expand in areas that are not mentioned on the site. Some of the named bands in the bio have rather incestuous links and morphed gestations. Some of the folks are probably known to you . . . might not be worth mentioning. Tis a small world.
how did you all get together as a group to form the Mojo Preachers?
A: The MoJo’s first got together about 7/8 odd years ago with Sophie, Andy, and Carleton, as original members. I actually became aware of the band when I reviewed their debut album ‘Confessions’ back in 2016. I’ve been writing for a well-known monthly UK Blues music mag for many years now as well as playing bass.
Prior to this, guitarist Andy Walker and I met up when we were asked to join Malaya Blue’s Band for eight short months in 2015. We were both invited and asked to move on at the same time and since then have been inseparable. After this, I was invited to join the MoJo’s back in May 2018, with Andy now back in the fold, when the band was looking to replace their current rhythm section. New drummer Matt Furness came on board shortly after I joined after he was recommended by another local, Norwich UK, session musician.
Since then, the lineup has cemented, with the band releasing ‘Man-Made Monster’ in 2019. This album reached number 2 in the IBBA’s top 40 charts for July that year and reached number 15 as the most played album for all of 2019. It also garnered 7/10 in Classic Rock Magazines Blues review.
The Mojo Preachers albums past and present
The debut album ‘Confessions’ started life more as an extension of the band’s hard work on the blues circuit, but since 2018 the material and direction has lent more to the symphonic and progressive genre and aspect, but still with the elements of its bluesy roots, all touched with a hue of Rock; with the bigger and better venues opening their doors. Both Carleton (Keys) and I (bass) are great exponents and have a passion for good old Prog Rock.
The album ‘Man Made Monster’ is evident of this genre, with the new material, being written for the follow-up, leaning further. Often this band has been cited as hard to pigeonhole, such are the influences of each musician. The MoJo’s support the Legendary Prog band ‘Focus’ on their only London, UK date of their 50th Anniversary tour, probably now 51, or 52, after Covid has taken its toll. Over the last few years, appearances have come far and wide throughout the UK for this East of England-based band, headlining at London’s legendary 100 Club at the second time of asking.
Both Andy and Carleton are the main writers, with lyrics and subject matter coming from Sophie. Each band member has their own home studio with the ability to arrange, revise and substitute at will, often driving a song into uncharted territory as it develops with the addition of each part. However, apart from the strong catalog of self-penned material the band does include the odd ‘cover’, given the MoJo Brush Up.
Change Everything a track written during lockdown?
Mojo Preachers Lockdown ‘Change Everything’
The track ‘Change Everything’. These are the liner notes for this track which give a good explanation. This track and this version only appear on my 50-year legacy album ‘Cherish Ever’ which was released earlier in 2021.
‘Change Everything’ started life out as ‘Cave and a King’. Cave/King was released on the Mojo Preachers 2019 album ‘Man Made Monster’. In 2020 the world fell foul of a deadly virus (Covid 19) and in March the term ‘LockDown’ became widely used. During the inactive months that followed, of canceled gigs, no live music, etc, the world/UK turned to other musical means and outlets. This song was just an example. The lyrics were revised by Sophie and the whole instrumentation was solitarily re-recorded. This version is like an old-style ‘Re-Mix’ but under LockDown constraints.
Video JESUS SANDALS by The Mojo Preachers.
‘Jesus Sandals’ is something very brand new.
“Man sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived. – Dalai Lama.”
Mojo Preachers Performing “White Rabbit”
White Rabbit’ (a Grace Slick song) is a complete ‘out-of-the-blue one rehearsal take that was polished up rather nicely.
Here are the liner notes about ‘White Rabbit’ on my Legacy album ‘Cherish Ever’ released in Feb 2021.
The Mojo’s had talked about doing this song ever since the day I was asked to join the band back in May 2018. This version was recorded at a full band rehearsal studio session, in one take, with no overdubs. This particular day was the first time the band had actually played this song altogether. There was one unrecorded run through, an aborted first take, then this. The Mojo’s doubled up on the original song structure and introduced a Jefferson Airplane-influenced guitar solo, sandwiched in between.
It could be classed as a ‘Warts n’ All’ performance, but this captures, succinctly, the very essence of the band, the song, the day and is the sole reason for inclusion. A prime example of the ‘Performance-Spark’, the ‘Crackle’, that we all strive for each time we play. Even on this recording, there’s evidence of the band hunting for a new and unique groove, looking for that elusive ‘let’s make it different. There was no initial intention to use this take, but overall, it turned out better than expected. Even rehearsals can yield something special, this certainly has it, and the lesson here was to keep the “Tape Rolling . . . “
As with ‘Change Everything’, ‘White Rabbit’ was remotely mixed and produced by Andy Walker and supplied to Rooks Yard Studios as a complete, mixed track.
So Any Plans for Upcoming Gigs/Events or New Material Soon from Yourself or the Mojo Preachers?
As we come to the end of the year we mop up the Covid postponed gigs. As mentioned earlier, the support to legendary prog-rockers Focus is just one, as part of their 50th anniversary Tour, on 30th November at London’s Under The Bridge venue. This just so happens to be part of the stadium complex of Chelsea Football (soccer) Club and for those in the UK, I have tickets, and I thank you.
As for 2022, currently being scheduled, along with a new album release, the follow up to ‘Man-Made Monster’.
Personally speaking, very much doubt I’ll do a ‘Cherish Ever ’ Volume 2, it’s a hard album to follow, and rather leave it as the special, and limited edition, it was. With all the hard copies disappearing, 24th October 2021 heralds the release of the digital version; suggesting you all keep an eye out for the platform that this will appear on.
Thanks to everyone for your support, love and kindness. For further information on the Mojo Preachers, please pop along to our website:
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