"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
"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."
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
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
"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