Posted by Dee-Ann On February - 10 - 20113,323 views

Mojokings is a band out of the East Anglia region of the UK. They released their first studio album, ‘Got The Devil In Me’, in 2008 on UK independent label, Pink’n’Black Records. The album gained great popularity in the UK’s rockabilly scene and also found success in Europe and Japan, as well as sales in Australia and the USA. The band was getting a great reputation for themselves as a live act and things were looking good for the band, even getting nominated for a 2008 indie award for best live act! Mojokings stormed the stage at the UK’s Bedlam Breakout Psychobilly festival.
Paul Scoulding is the singer/ songwriter and founder of the band and we got the chance to talk about the band, even though he has a very busy schedule.

When was the band founded and by whom?

The band was founded by me around 2007. We had been gigging around as The Fat Cat Trio for a couple of years before that. We changed the name and started taking it more serious.

How did you all meet?

We ended up at this line up in July of 2010. The previous drummer and bass player left in summer 2009. I had put so much work into the band that I couldn’t just sit back and let Mojokings stop there. Olly Simmonds (drummer) was already lined up to stand in on drums for a gig at Bedlam Breakout Psychobilly Weekender in the UK, and my brother Rich was playing at the weekender with Shakeout so he stood in on bass for that gig. Olly then stayed on as the drummer and a guy called Mark Palmer joined us on bass for 6 months. Mark left because of personal reasons and Rich stood in on bass again for another gig then decided to stay on!

This lineup is a dream to play with- everyone has so much to offer and the live shows just get better and better.

How did you come up with the name The Mojo Kings?

I wanted a name that was a little different so people didn’t just assume what kind of band we were, a name that made people curious, Something short and punchy. And its just ‘MOJOKINGS’- no ‘THE’ and its just one word.

Paul, when did you start playing the guitar? Who inspired you at first? I started playing guitar when I was about 8 years old. I was infatuated by Stray Cats- the hair, clothes, big Gretsch guitars. Also Eddie Cochran. I knew I was going to play the guitar as soon as I saw those guys. I was also influenced by all the great neo rockabilly/psychobilly guitarists- Mark Harman (Restless/Dave Phillips and the Hotrod Gang), Boz Boorer (Polecats), Stuart Osborne (Guana Batz), Paul Fenech (The Meteors), Captain Pat Marvel (The Deltas). I also had a massive addiction to Chuck Berry, Cliff Gallup (Gene Vincent) and Carl Perkins.

These days I take inspiration from all kinds of musical genres and guitarists.

You play all over the UK. Where have you been in Europe?

In Europe we have played in Germany, France and Holland. We would love to line up more gigs in Europe. We haven’t played the USA yet. There has been talk of lining up west coast tours but the promoters never come up with the goods at the end. I really hope we get to play there someday.

You’ll have a new CD out next year, the second. Who wrote the songs? We all had input in writing the songs. I came up with the lyrics and melodies and Rich and Olly would bring there ideas to it and turn it into something fantastic!

How are you inspired for new songs?

A lot of our songs are guitar riff based. We would all start jamming to a riff I had or a beat Olly would be playing and before long, songs start to emerge from what we are doing.

We all have many different influences, it makes the songwriting process so exciting!

Do you have a funny story about one or more gigs?

I remember once smoking on stage and coughing during a guitar solo. I swallowed the cigarette right down and started choking. I eventually coughed the cigarette back up and it was still burning!! Didn’t drop one note of the solo though. Another time we were finishing a small tour of Holland. We left the venue and we were heading back to the Hook of Holland ferry that was about 45 mins away. We all fell asleep and when we woke, we were about 2 hours into Germany! Our driver hadn’t even noticed the road signs had changed from Dutch to German!

Where do you see the Mojokings 10 years from now?

10 years from now I will be 44 years old! I hope Mojokings will still be here. I would like us to be one of those bands that are always there- through good times and bad times, always making the best music we can, entertaining people, and having a great time along the way- you couldn’t ask for more!

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