Introducing Interview: Mt. Doubt

Starting out as a solo project with Leo Bargery, Edinburgh-based Mt. Doubt have now expanded into a collective of six musicians, and are set to release a brand new EP in June.

Creating indie-rock ballads brimming full of delicate melodies, Bargery’s distinct beguiling vocals and insightful lyrical storytelling, reminiscent of the likes of The National.

We caught up with Leo to find out more…

Hey, welcome to Gigslutz! Can you tell us a little bit about Mt Doubt?
Hello! Mt. Doubt is actually surprisingly complicated to describe well… The project has existed in numerous different forms since its beginning in 2015; currently though, we are a six-piece band from Edinburgh writing and performing dark-pop songs. Mt. Doubt is a solo project, a collective and a band all rolled into one, very odd looking, but somehow functional ‘thing’. In the past two years I have released two albums My Past is a Quiet Beast and In Awe of Nothing, which came out on Scottish Fiction Records in 2016.

Your new EP The Loneliness of the TV Watchers is out in June – what were the inspirations behind it? Are there ongoing themes running throughout the tracks?
It is indeed! I actually never sat down with the intention of writing a collection of songs for an EP, that’s just how things have worked out really, but the name was inspired by a sketch I found that I had doodled in the back of an old notebook, which I had titled ‘The Loneliness of the TV Watchers’. I always seem to find the themes in my songs after writing them because I tend not to sit down to write about anything in particular (‘Tourists’ is a bit of an anomaly on that front). That said, a lot of the lyrics seem to be exploring the intricacies of the mundanity of everyday life and the sense of dissatisfaction that creeps into my mind-set all too easily… I suppose maybe it’s a bit of an ode to the comedown that is adult life?

Starting out as a solo project, Mt. Doubt is now more of a collective – how did you and the other musicians meet and all start performing together?
I played in a band during my time at secondary school, so I was in a fortunate position of already knowing quite a lot of people around Edinburgh who played instruments when I started Mt. Doubt. Musicians, not that I would class myself as one, seem to have a knack of finding one another, and I’ve been very lucky to have had so many brilliant musicians involved with Mt. Doubt to date! I think (at a very quick round-up) there have been 11 different musicians so far who have played in Mt. Doubt… It’s all very informal and I want to maintain the idea that it is fun first and foremost!

You’ve been compared to the likes of The National and Frightened Rabbit, but who would you say are you main musical inspirations?
They’re very flattering comparisons to have had made and I would count both The National and Frightened Rabbit amongst my musical influences. However, I really love a lot of music! I go through quite compulsive periods of listening to particular artists, for instance I’ve been religiously listening to the new Grandaddy and Future Islands’ records lately! I consistently adore Morrissey and Nick Cave, as well as bands like The Shins and Red House Painters and Death Cab for Cutie! I find lots of local bands inspiring too, just seeing the way other bands approach their music and how they present themselves can be really inspiring. It’s exciting to see your friends play in bands who inspire you to get better at your instrument or write better songs!

You’ve previously played at T In The Park and supported White Lies, but has one live show in particular stood out as a particular career highlight for you so far?
I think playing T In The Park has to be one of the highlights; it had been a personal dream of mine since I first went to the festival in 2007, and I actually marked a decade of going by playing on the T Break stage! It was one of the most surreal moments of my life actually; walking on stage at a festival where I had watched R.E.M and Pixies and Blur and Rage Against the Machine and Bjorn Again! We were also fortunate enough to play at the Quay Sessions on BBC Radio Scotland alongside Be Charlotte last December and that was a great night too! It’s a humbling problem to have too many great memories to choose from! Fingers crossed there will be many more!

And if you could perform anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
If it was based purely on location, I think it would be amazing to perform in Chile or maybe Iceland (I think I’ve watched one too many Sigur Ros concert videos!). But if it was also a dream situation, being able to play a sold out show in the Barrowlands or The Usher Hall would be the pinnacle I think, I can’t see how it could get any better than that!

Can you please describe your sound in three words?
Hopefully not dull.

And, finally, what does 2017 have in store for Mt. Doubt?
Well, I hope to make it to 2018, so hopefully no unfortunate twists. Musically; many more releases, shows further and further afield and hopefully a little expansion!

Huge thanks to Mt. Doubt for answering our questions! 

The Loneliness Of The TV Watchers, the upcoming EP from Mt. Doubt is out 2 June via Scottish Fiction Records.

Mari Lane

Mari Lane

Editor, London. Likes: Kathleen Hanna, 6Music, live music in the sunshine. Dislikes: Sexism, pineapples, the misuse of apostrophes.