Focus on: The Man Behind Malojian
Malojian – the sound of the word conjures a sense of curiosity – distinctive and unusual. Perfectly fitting then as a pseudonym for Lurgan musician Stevie Scullion and the eclectic yet quirky songs he creates. Making music since his teenage years, Stevie’s musical journey developed with indie-folk band Cat Malojian. After two album releases however, they split in 2011, encouraging Stevie to go it alone. ”A lot of my friends already called me Malojian, so I decided to run with that rather than my own name,” explains Stevie. Focusing on his music, written with personal meaning for himself, he soon self-released his first solo album in 2012. ‘The Deer’s Cry’ was an evolution from the days of Cat Malojian seeing Stevie step out as an individual performer, showcasing his personality. The album was rewarded with praise from a range of respected music sources including BBC Radio 2′ s Bob Harris, Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody and BBC Radio Ulster/NME’s Stuart Bailie. ”I was thinking about doing a really stripped-back solo album even before Cat Malojian split,’ he says. Building an harmonious group of musicians, Malojian fell into place combining a variety of instruments including accordion, violin and organ to create the unique sound he describes as ‘Jizz Formation and Sauerkrautrock’
We didn’t even really know each other before the first recording session. It’s always great craic playing with the musicians I play with now. I try to work with the same group as much as possible so the core of the band is Joe McGurgan on bass, Michael Mormecha on drums and myself. There are some other players on both albums too.
Following on from ‘The Deer’s Cry’, Malojian are set to release eagerly awaited second album on May 18th. “Southlands is a bit different from all my previous recordings,” he reveals. “Our drummer has a class studio outside Lisburn (www.millbankstudios.net), so we recorded it there. When we recorded ‘The Deer’s Cry’ we were in a costly studio on a tight budget so were very mindful of the clock, plus, we’d only just met so we were definitely flying by the seat of our pants. With ‘Southlands’, we’d had time to get to know each other properly and were very comfortable with one another musically. I think the tightness of the band and the fact that we were confident and comfortable in the studio, comes across on the record.” The album launch, over two nights on 29th and 30th May (tickets £8). will be held at No Alibis Bookstore in Belfast, perfectly in keeping with Malojians’ nostalgic ethos. “I used to play No Alibis all the time with my old band. It’s a really interesting place for a gig. Very small and very quirky. The atmosphere is usually class even before you start playing. There’s a song on ‘Southlands’ called ‘No Alibis’ which was inspired by the shop. I had an idea to write a song about getting lost in there, in all the books, but it soon morphed into something else. I still kept the name though! ”
“I want the launch to feel really special for those that attend so instead of going for a bigger capacity venue, I’ve decided to do 2 nights in a row.” With an album launch and the new single release ‘Communion Girls ‘, Malojian are looking ahead to a busy summer of tours and festivals and gigs.
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