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Moloko - Greek for Wanker
Donnacha DeLong and Olivia Fox spoke to Roisín Murphy and Mark Brydon of the band who say they do things by accident, when they played the Mean Fiddler in March.

"Do You Like My Tight Sweater?", as well as being the name of Moloko's first album, is the come-on that started it all. Two years ago Roisín, from Arklow, walked up to Mark, from Manchester, and demanded his opinion on her outfit. From these humble beginnings, Moloko were born.

Descriptions of the band have ranged from Portishead-style trip-hop to 70s P-funk. Mark said that such categorisation doesn't annoy them, but when you see them on stage, it's obvious that they are different.

"When you see Roisín performing, it ain't no Portishead."

Roisín lists P-funk legends, Parliament and Funkadelic, as their main influences.

"It's their attitude more than anything. They were open to do anything from an acoustic ballad to a funk track to a heavy rock track to anything really and still have their own identity."

Mark said the trouble is that a lot of current rock bands are too retrospective and "it's depressing." They themselves admit to looking into the past, but are never faithful to it. The band make music by accident, and maximise on their accidents.

"Whatever we do, whatever we touch, it comes out wrong. We've learned how to celebrate that."

Moloko They chose "Do You Like My Tight Sweater" as the title of the album not just because it was the phrase that formed their introduction, but as a reaction to their media image. One magazine described Roisín as 6'2" and a size 8.

"They were a few sizes and a couple of feet out."

Roisín realises that she looks striking on stage "and why get upset if someone says you look nice?"

An important point about the album title is that nobody else would have called it that. Roisín says there are plenty of meanings in the songs she writes, "it is just the way that I think. One minute I will be worrying about whether my shoes match my jacket and the next I'll be thinking about reincarnation. The songs are all about something, you just have to listen to them a couple of times. I wasn't interested in writing lyrics you can get the first time around."

The band feel that they have been very lucky with the media attention they have received as they don't fit into the current Brit-pop scene. The more people see them live, the more popular they become as people realise they can do it live.

Moloko don't feel that there is much of a difference between rock and dance music anymore.

"There is definitely no dividing line between them, but we are not interested in being a dance band. The important thing is to be contemporary."

The band's name is taken from Anthony Burgess' classic novel 'A Clockwork Orange'. In the book Moloko means milk. One thing the band really like about their name is the fact that "people pronounce it differently all the time." In the book, Moloko is also the preferred method of narcotic indigestion. According to Roisín, there are definite drug overtones in their choice of name as well as in their music.

"We don't directly talk about smoking spliffs, that's Cypress Hill's job. But, what we do is based in dance music, on the album especially. I suppose that's drug culture, really."

An interesting fact about the name Moloko is that it means wanker in Greek.

"If we play in Greece we'll have to change our name to Wanker. Perhaps wanker means milk in Greek."

"Can I have a pint of wank , please!?!"

by Olivia Fox & Donnacha DeLong