R13 found Mew bassist Johan (J) in a rather concise mood before their show at Manchester Academy2, probably because we interrupted his dinner! Oops.

R13: This is the second time you've been back to the UK since I last saw you, does this mean things are going well for you over here?
J: Yeah I mean they are definitely going in the right direction, we're putting in a lot of effort, doing a lot of touring. Last night we played for 2000 people in London.
R13: Are you getting to play bigger venues now?
J: Yeah, well as long people are buying the tickets we do!
R13: So you're noticing the difference?
J: Yeah, on this tour it's sort of taken a step up, we're playing for a thousand or so tonight so it's good.

R13: What was the reaction like to 'And the Glass Handed Kites', was it what you hoped for?
J: I guess so, it's what you could have expected, obviously you always hope that it's going to sell millions, of course it hasn't done that ... yet! I think we kind of knew what to expect, I was more disappointed with the previous album because I didn't know what to expect really so this time around we were more aware that we shouldn't get too excited.

R13:You've said that it's a shame to listen to fragments of the album as it really needs to be listened to as a whole, that said is there still value in putting out singles from it?
J: Yeah, some of the tracks do fine on their own and I think especially in England it's a very singles based market so yes I think it's worth it.
R13: Do you not think 9 versions of the same song (on the maxi single) is a touch excessive?!
J: I think it's always about giving the fans something extra, it's tough competition and you just have to give them something that will excite them.

R13: The new single features J.Mascis of Dinosaur Jr., how did he come to be involved?
J: We've known him for a couple of years on and off, met him a couple of times and he did a gig whilst we were recording in Los Angeles and we asked him if he wanted to. It was pretty smooth, he was like yeah that'll be fine so it was pretty cool.
R13: You were all fans of Dinosaur Jr. anyway weren't you?
J: Oh yeah we grew up listening to that band a lot, they're a great band.
R13: It must be quite exciting for you to get him then?
J: Of course, it's kind of like coming full circle.

R13: Are there going to be any more singles from the album?
J: Yeah there's going to be one more.
R13: Zookeepers Boy or White Lips Kissed?
J: Yeah it's going to be Zookeepers Boy
R13: That's already been released in Denmark hasn't it?
J: Yeah that's right

R13: You've been cleaning up on the awards front over there recently
J: Yeah we pretty much won everything we were nominated for so that's very good
R13: Is that really gratifying? I mean is there much serious competition?
J: Yeah it's definitely a quality stamp and something we're very happy about.

R13: On the website journal Bo suggested that one of the ZULU awards might be given away on the fans forum, is there anymore on that? Is that going to happen?
J: I think maybe he just got excited there for a moment and wanted to do something really great, I'm not really whether that's going to happen or not.

R13: People seem to either 'get' Mew or they don't, there doesn't seem to be much middle ground
J: No
R13: What are your thoughts on that?
J: It's all in the music, it's definitely music that's a bit different, when you try to be different from anybody else you'll not be aiming for the middle. You'll be aiming for this side or that side and that just means that you can't please everybody but we're fine with that, the side that likes us is big enough!

R13: When you write, are there quite a lot of songs that don't make it?
J: Well not a lot, there's a couple of tracks that didn't make it but not a lot.
R13: Are those likely to get released as b sides?
J: They're not really done, it's songs that we recorded the instrumental side to but never did the vocals because it wasn't good enough.

R13: Any plans for a DVD or a live album?
J: We would like to make a live DVD sure, in the pipeline it's being discussed whether it's a good idea or not. Within the band we think it's a good idea because we put a lot of effort into the live side of it so yeah, at some point it would be good.

R13: There's some pretty dark artwork coming from Jonas at the moment
J: Yeah!
R13: Can you shed any light on where he's coming from with that?
J: I don't know but I guess the dark side is more fascinating, more strong and powerful than the light side of things, more theatrical maybe. I don't know really, he's not very depressed at the moment so it can't be from there!

R13: Any plans for the next album yet?
J: No, we're just concentrating on this one for now.

Mew's new single 'Why Are You Looking Grave' is out now in various formats, including the 9 version maxi single!