Every Mew fan out there is fully aware of how much this tour means. For years, we’ve been patiently waiting, occasionally checking the band’s facebook page for tour dates, listening to our favorite songs over and over, and wistfully hoping for the five-year hiatus to come to an end. Well, it has, and not only do we have a collection of new favorites, but we also have the opportunity to catch this storied band at numerous venues across the US.

We were fortunate enough to catch one of Mew’s shows down at SXSW, but couldn’t find the time to sit down with them. Luckily for us, and you, we locked down a chat with Johan Wohlert ahead of their stop in the Mile High City this Saturday.

TMN: Hey Johan! Thank you for taking some time to chat with us. It’s been quite some time since you’ve had a full tour in the states! How long has it been?

JW: I think it’s been 5 years.

TMN: How’s it been going so far?

JW: It’s been great, to be honest. The states have always been really good to the band. It seems like there’s a lot of excitement around the fact that we’re back here.

TMN: We’re really excited to have you in Colorado on October 3rd.

JW: Absolutely!

TMN: We had the pleasure of catching you at SXSW for your make-up show after the rainout. We’ve been waiting a long time to see you play live and it definitely did not disappoint. One thing we caught is how well you capture your studio sound in your live performance. How much of an emphasis is that for you guys?

JW: The general rule is to try and be well prepared. A live set should never be exactly the same as a record, but we try and at least make it sound really great. I think, in the case of this new record, we spent a long time before we even started recording. We made sure the songs were sounding up to snuff with just the five of us playing them in a room. We knew that they would work in a live setting.

TMN: This whole tour has been in promotion of the new album, +-. Let’s talk about a few of the tracks on there. “Satellites” seems to be the clear favorite. In our opinion, this is classic Mew. Did you guys know when you were writing it that this is what fans would gravitate to?

’Satellites (Edit)’

JW: Yeah, I rejoined the band three years ago, and before we started recording it, they had this version of “Satellites” that was melodically similar. But, it didn’t have that Mew feeling to it. That came about when we got the bass back in the mix, and the whole thing sort of became more of a spaced out rock song. I knew very early on that it captured the essence of a lot of great Mew songs – melody, drama, something weird, and something wonderful. You know?

TMN: “Rows,” on the other hand, showcases the other side of your music, which is the dreamy, shoegazey stuff. Did you guys write that with the intention of it being a 10-minute experience? Or did some improvisation come in the studio?

JW: It was written to be long. Like a “Shine On You Crazy Diamonds” type song. It was kind of long when I got back in mix, but we thought it was a bit…I don’t know. It just needed a chorus. It needed a dynamic. We added to it, but in that process, we made it interesting. We made it a song, not just five different bridge parts after each other.

TMN: As long time fans, we have to ask. Why the 5-year hiatus between albums?

JW: It’s a pretty logical explanation. Obviously, I was out of the band at this period, but I still know why it happened. I think they toured for a year and a half or two years with the No More Stories record, and we had been going for 10 years straight, more or less, switching between writing, recording, and touring. I think everybody was just fed up and needed a change.

TMN: Why are eggs funny?

JW: I couldn’t really give you a sensible answer. It was a title of a very old song that we did when we were teenagers. I think we were pry just goofing around and the title just stuck around. I wasn’t really in the band when they did the greatest hits record, and I don’t know that I would have agreed to calling the record Eggs Are Funny.

TMN: Anything else you’d like to share with your fans? Maybe some 2016 festival appearances? A new album in less than 5 years time?

JW: We still have quite an extensive amount of touring to do on the record, but we’re talking about new material. We’re pretty excited about creating new music. I can pretty much guarantee it won’t be five years before we release a new record. We’re really enjoying ourselves at the moment. The vibe in the band is really great, so it’s just a matter of pushing on and keeping the wheels greased. I would say, we finish this circle, then head straight into writing and recording!

TMN: That’s great news! So, towards the end of each interview, we like to switch it up and ask some random questions, just to get to know you on a personal level. Let’s start off with one of our favs – what was your first job, ever.

JW: Newspaper route.

TMN: Tell us some of the posters you had in your room as a kid. What bands were you into as a teenager?

JW: I’m a child of the 80s, so, in the very beginning, it was good 80s pop like Eurythmics, Pet Shop Boys, Bowie, and stuff like that. I still really like all that stuff and all those bands, but I guess when music really became an important thing in my life, it became bands from the late 80s/early 90s, like My Bloody Valentine, Dinsosaur Jr., The Pixies and stuff like that. Stuff that probably made me the musician I am today. It’s sort of the bedrock of my musical understanding and language.

TMN: What’s the one thing, other than your fans, you look forward to while getting ready to tour in the states?

JW: I think it’s the culture. I have a real weak spot for Los Angeles in particular. I’ve spent a lot of time here, and I really like the combination of the climate and nature. Doing a cross country like this is getting to experience the different cultures, food, and people. It’s such a vast country that holds so many different aspects of life. It’s super interesting to suck all that up and try to make sense of it.

TMN: If you weren’t professional musicians, what would you all be doing?

JW: I can only speak for myself, but I would probably be an industrial designer. I come from a long line of architects, so I thought that’s what I might end up doing.

TMN: If Mew’s music were an animal, what would it be?

JW: I’m going to go out on a limb here…it’s pretty tempting to say a seagull or a cat. But, it would be something cuddly and furry, but with a twist of something hard underneath. Maybe a Tasmanian Devil.

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