SUNDAY CLASSIC GTC: MAMMOTH MAMMOTH Are Sittin’ Pretty [interview] + stream Kreuzung
Kreuzung, the latest Mammoth Mammoth album is available at Napalm Records.
by Alle Royale
The underground is in turmoil, the earth is shaking and spitting smokes and fire from its wounds, prehistoric creatures rise again from the ruins of corporate palaces; as we move towards the future, we step back in time. The valleys of stones eternal, they echo the heavy steps of the newborn child of the ancient times: Mammoth Mammoth, a four-piece all the way from Brisbane, Australia, delivering their wall of distorted guitars with such monolithic intensity, they had to double their already colossal band name. (From My GTC Review)
At the eve of an elephantine European Tour, Mammoth Mammoth, in full force, gave us the funniest and entertaining interview this side of the Pliocene.
Let’s read what this quartet, the best Australian export since the Boxing Kangaroo, has to say about their new earth-shaking album “Hell’s Likely”, and a whole lotta other juicy, rock ‘n’ roll subjects.
First thing, I have to apologize for mistaking Melbourne with Brisbane, as your town of origin, on the review; but that’s only because I watch too many episodes of Airport Security on satellite tv…fuckin hell, you guys do have some strict customs rules down there!! Since you have to go abroad a lot for touring, do you have some funny stories about that?
CUZ: A few years back I got busted trying to bring a gun and a bongo drum into the country from Bali. The bongo drum had a pigskin so they confiscated it. And the gun, well it was a gun.
BONES: Since we’ve placed a tracking device on Mikey tours tend to go a lot smoother.
MIKEY: We tend to be magnets for customs officers, we get searched so much it’s a joke so we’ve started to make a bit of fun with it, every time I go through the metal detectors now I put a big metal dildo down my pants, you should see there faces once they figure it out, some funny shit!
PETE: I’ve seen things, you had to be there
Did you vote for Angry Anderson?
CUZ: Na, coz he wasn’t running where we live. He’s in Sydney. Otherwise, we would have.
BONES: Angry was actually a lot less angry than the two main candidates.
PETE: I had no idea he was a candidate, fuck yeah!
Somehow Australia reminds me of Sweden, another country with a lot of great noisy rock ‘n’ roll bands and a low population density. Do you have to play loud to fill the void of the big open spaces?
CUZ: We only ever play loud. One of our favourite things to do is the go into the bush for a few days, plug into some generators and jam at full volume. That and pickin mushrooms.
BONES: That spot is about 5kms from the nearest house and we still got noise complaints.
PETE: The mushrooms really come into their own at high volumes, it’s a win-win situation
Is there a proper rock scene in Australia? Are the bands supporting each other, sharing stages, spaghetti and apartments?
CUZ: The rock scene in Melbourne is great. Venues like The Tote Hotel, The Espy and Cherry Bar are all throbbing hubs of rock n roll. Cherry Bar is our personal favourite. It is on AC/DC Lane in the city. We filmed a video in the disabled toilets there. Check it out: (HERE)
BONES: Melbourne has the strongest rock scene here. But considering Australia’s population is only about 50 people, a few dogs and a bunch of deadly snakes we kinda get tired of seeing the same faces.
MIKEY: Yeah Melbourne definitely is our rock capitol and has a very strong rock scene but it is very small, it doesn’t sustain regular gigging as there are only a handful of venues to play, that’s why we’ve been focussing on outside Australia now.
I felt relieved to discover you don’t get all your songs from “Flick Of The Switch”, like Airbourne do! I’m curious about this…what’s your list of influences? The legal ones…
CUZ: Well we do love AC/DC but yeah we’ve definitely got our own sound. We’ve been described as sounding like Motorhead doing mushrooms with the Ramones backstage at a Black Sabbath concert. We are also heavily influenced by Jack Daniels, Beef Jerky and Redtube.
BONES: We get often compared to a bunch of bands we’ve never heard of, which is always amusing. We do not sit down and say, ‘let’s write a song that sounds like AC/DC.’ It’s more like, ‘let’s write a song that is so ground thumping, cat punching, brain-busting and seizure-inducing that unicorns will explode in a haze of Cotton candy and bone fragments.
MIKEY: I’m into all sorts of shit from Turbonegro to AC/DC, older stuff like Alice in Chains, have been listening to a lot of heavier stuff like The Fucking Wrath, Cough, Electric Wizard, High on Fire lately too, shit I’ve even been cranking the shit out of Rod Stewart!
PETE: My influences are from bands that the other guys have never heard of, I just say it’s a new sound
How’s been the feedback for the new album, till now?
CUZ: Yeah really good. It’s the first album we’ve done where we have been happy with the production of all the songs. I think the production lets the last two albums down just a little. But we didn’t have any money then. Actually, we still don’t, but our record company paid for Hell’s Likely.
BONES: VOL III is getting decent attention and great reviews. We’re not sick of cranking it out live yet and we’re busting to do exactly that in Europe.
MIKEY: We’ve been pumped with how much positive feedback this album has been getting especially from outside Australia, it’s basically the album for us that has opened the doors to overseas tours.
How much did it take to record it, and why did you expect so long to realize a follow-up to “Volume II”, that was out in 2009?
CUZ: Well we toured a lot in Australia on the Volume II Tour. We went everywhere and also teamed up with Airbourne for a big national tour. We recorded Hell’s Likely in 4 days. So that’s pretty fuckin quick. But the process around recording takes so long; touring, waiting for studio time, mixing, doing album art and getting everything pressed. Also our original bass player Johnny Gash quit to become a stunt man so we had to find a new bass player who could drink as much as Gash could.
BONES: Exactly, changing bass players took six months – it’s hard to find someone who can play bass and put up with the three of us. Then we got straight into writing VOL III. I think the process was a shock for Pete – he was in detox for three weeks after those sessions.
MIKEY: We also recorded this album ourselves before signing to Napalm so apart from the time it took to find a new bass player it also takes a lot of gigging to have enough money to record and release an album independently, we are hoping now we’re with Napalm we can crank out albums a lot faster because we all love writing.
You just realized a cool and funny video for the song “Sittin’ Pretty”; how important is to be on the market with a video in this era of Youtube marvels?
CUZ: Yeah it’s a fun clip. Videos are really important. I mean our clip for Go has had over 40000 hits. That’s great exposure for us around the world. The first clip we ever did we released on a porn site and has had over 2 million views. Check it out: (HERE)
BONES: I got to eat a sandwich, that was good. I like sandwiches.
MIKEY: That goat was smokin’
PETE: It definitely generates a lot of extra interest that helps to fill the void between touring and album releases. Clips are always fun to do
After the recent vinyl re-release, will “Volume II” be ever available also on Cd?
CUZ: Probably not. But we do hope to release Volume 1 on vinyl at some point in the future
BONES: I’ve got it on CD, you can have that if you want.
MIKEY: Probably a question for Napalm!
Napalm Records is growing relentlessly with an amazing roster of great bands: Carcass, Kreator, Monster Magnet, Vista Chino (ex Kyuss) and so on; how are they promoting you, and how do things look like for the future?
CUZ: Well, they are spreading the word about Mammoth better than we can. And importantly they are gonna get us over to Europe to tour. We are there in Nov.
BONES: Our A&R guy at NAPALM totally gets us! That’s rare. They’re clearing a good path for us to Europe, the US, and Japan – and are right behind our next project and future tours. It’s a bitchin’ team effort.
MIKEY: The great thing about Napalm is they only sign bands they are really into so they are passionate about every band on their roster, they work hard and we work hard so we are all excited about future projects.
You are going to embark on a European Tour in November; which are your feelings about playing the old continent?
CUZ: Bring it on.
BONES: It’s always been right up there on our hit list. I think Mikey is so excited he’s gonna twerk Cuz on stage – or my drum kit.
MIKEY: I fucking can’t wait to hit Europe, I hear the crowds really get into it over there. Basically our motto “if you ain’t bleedin’ you ain’t rockin’” will come into full effect.
PETE: I was ready 2 months ago. Different faces, different beers, and new friends. What’s not to get excited about.
Are you already composing some new smoking stuff, or do we have to wait another three long years for a new album?
CUZ: We are demoing songs at the moment and will be working on them thru the Europe tour. Hopefully, Volume IV will be out mid-2014
BONES: It’s sounding loose and evil.
MIKEY: We are planning to write a lot while in Europe so some of the crowds might even get a sneak peek of anything we want to test out.
And now the everlasting debate…is AC/DC an English or Australian band?
CUZ: Australian. Not born but definitely bred.
BONES: With Bon Scott, Australian. With Brian Johnson, Global (or Scottish). No more AC/DC questions, okay.
MIKEY: Oz mate!
One last thing…could we have the name and address of your cover model?!
CUZ: Sure. She lives under a log in the Black Spur forest in Victoria.
BONES: She will drink you under the table then steal your soul and all your money and probably your car, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
PETE: No idea, but as soon as I see it in this interview I guarantee I’ll be there before you!
Hell Yeah! Thanks for the words!!!
[19 September 2013]
Volume III Hell’s Likely
Band photo via Facebook
Mikey Tucker – Vocals
Frank Trobbiani – Drums
Marco Gennaro – Guitar
Kris Sinister – Bass
Latest album KREUZUNG is available @ Napalm Records