Track x Track: Mammoth Mammoth Vol. IV Hammered Again
by Walter Price
Mammoth Mammoth bring new meanings to modern hard Rock N’ Roll on their recently released Volume IV: Hammered Again (Napalm). A kick ass album loaded with swagger, elements of raucous classic rock heroes, personal depths, heavy barroom electricity, darkness and enough wink and a smile to trip out the hardest of music aficionados.
The Australian outfit know how to make any subject matter a full out gut twisting jam. Sex, drugs and Rock N’ Roll are historically rock staples and Mammoth Mammoth deliver these elements in spades with added whiskey drenched soul and pedal to the metal earnest fuck it all.
Vol IV excels in its honest no gimmicks, no excuses approach to rock. Refreshing, loud, poignant and timeless.
Dig into The GTC exclusive track by track of Volume IV: Hammered Again from Mikey Tucker and Frank “Bones”Trobbiani.
Lifes a Bitch
BONES: There were a few version of this song before we got it to a place we really liked. Some slow versions, and even some faster ones, which were kinda nuts fast. It really came to life when Cuz started playing around with the chant at the end. We liked how it was something we could all the sing along to. It’s like a celebration. It gives the song a feel that even if life wraps you a shit sandwich, you still punch through – with an insane grin on your face. We love that contradiction.
MIKEY: I was listening to a lot of OFF! when I wrote this song so it has more of a punk vibe than anything else on this album, the lyrics are basically a reflection of the amount of times I’ve been fucked over by life and especially ex-girlfriends.
Looking Down The Barrel
BONES: Cuz and I Jammed on this riff really early in our writing sessions. It was just a fun jam, a bit a glam too. On the very first recording of it (We record every session) Cuz says “Nah not much there, bit generic” but we ran over it again with Pete and it just really started to work – then Mikey slayed it with a killer lyric – ‘…you’re the hate I gaze upon’. It was also one of the few songs on VOL4 that we played live to test it. We played it on our tour with John Garcia and also when we supported SLEEP.
MIKEY: The guys had a basic tune going for this song without me, they didn’t think much of it but as soon as they played it to me I immediately started just improving lyrics and basically came up with the chorus in the first jam, we all then got really excited about the song and it turned into a really good song.
BONES: This was the very first song we wrote for the album. It was at a stage where we were interested in doing some mid tempo stuff. We wanted it to be trippy but still dirty and evil.
MIKEY: This song is basically about acid, we got a sheet off this guy and he called it “electric sunshine” there is basically a little bit of electric sunshine in every song on the album!
BONES: I think Mikey rocked up one day with this idea before we had a music base for it. He was just ranting ‘I’m a fuel injected suicide machine’ and ‘I microwave the cat’. We have written songs where Mikey will just impro a lot of lyric ideas and when we play them back we find some gems. It’s a very honest way to write, totally spontaneous. It’s100% gut feel. Classic Mikey.
MIKEY: Yeah the inspiration for this song just came from all crazy shit i’ve done and the amount of times I’ve come close to death, I actually have had the title spinning around in my head since our last tour in Europe when I would introduce myself to the audience as “the fuel injected suicide machine”
BONES: To be honest this was a one take jam. We played it once. Loved it – but then had break it down and relearn exactly how we jammed it. This was originally called ‘Mumma Load’, which was actually the working title for the album right up until we did the album art. Then we just threw that title out.
MIKEY: All the songs I write are a kind of therapy for me, it allows me to get stuff out of my head and off my chest, I’ve always suffered a lot with depression and this song is basically all about that daily struggle with the black dog.
BONES: Probably My favourite song on the album. Like ’Dead Sea’ on VOL3, this is the kind of mood I really like. Menacing and dark and a bit abstract, like a bad dream that could become a nightmare at any turn or you might wake up and all is fine. We were on a two or three day session when we wrote this and were chasing a slow number.
MIKEY: This song is purely about all the shit we have to deal with in life, that daily struggle we all go through in life, whether it’s with money, addiction, anger whatever it is and how we are all constantly trying to find a better place, our promised land.
BONES: Again one of the first tacks for VOL4. Pete just hammered this out on Bass – Cuz and I had been jamming on that groove as a warm up for a few days. it’s killer to play. I think Mikey rolled in late with this arrogant lyric about
‘Reigning supreme’… when he’s in that mood we refer to him as Lord Tuckington. The track has swagger.
MIKEY: Yeah this song was pure improv as we jammed, I was in a good mood on that day and as we jammed this song just flowed straight out of my mouth and luckily we caught a recording of it and as I listened back to it jotted it down.
Sick (Of Being Sick)
BONES: Cuz was on a roll this particular day. We had just smashed out ‘Electric Sunshine’, we had a few beers then launched straight into this. Mikey was in on the jam from the start and just got into this great rhythm with the vocal delivery in the verses. He was like a possessed hillbilly ready for some feudin’. It was a real good one to jam on.
MIKEY: I had lyrics written for this song and brought them along, I kinda sung it to the guys the way I saw the vocal delivery and the guys started jamming on that, it didn’t take us long to bang it into shape, it turned into a really good song. The lyrics we’re kinda inspired by a conversation Cuz and I had about how rundown we we’re feeling and I had a run of being sick from various things and cuz told me about a quote that Steve Tyler once said about why he got off drugs, it was something like “you know man I just got sick and tired of being sick and tired”
BONES: Belting this out in our small room, this just felt great to play.
We all kind of agreed it felt like a tribute to Aussie pub rock. The music just led us that way, you can’t fight that. Songs do that sometimes. I think they actually control what you play rather than the other way around. Anyway that happens to us a bit, we let the song take it’s natural course.
MIKEY: Our old bass player Johnny Gash has a tattoo of a glass of whiskey with a hammer head shark in it with the words “hammered again”, he’s also a maniac, nearly as mad as me, so this is kinda a tribute to him – and getting hammered.
High as a Kite
BONES: Again, this was written as a one take jam so you are really hearing the band at it’s most instinctive. Mikey brought in the lyric and had an idea for the tempo and mood and that was that. We liked this one because it has bigger dynamic shifts than many of our other songs. We don’t often play in this space. So it felt fresh. ‘Engulfed by Flames’ on VOL2 is probably the only other time we’ve made a track like this.
MIKEY: This was kinda another improv song, it really was the perfect jam.
‘Alcohol’, ‘Drugs Are Comin’, ‘Taste Your Blood’ and ‘Kick Out The Jams’ and other the scratchings…
BONES: We tracked a bunch of other songs in our studio sessions.In fact I think we actually mastered a few of them too. We were really happy with them, but we wanted to keep this album to nine or ten songs. It was more of a consideration for the length of vinyl pressing.‘Taste Your Blood’ has been around for a long time, we finally recorded but it still hasn’t made it on disc. It’s a bit of a glam-tripped-out-fucked-up-raver that one. It’s cool though.
The tracks ‘Alcohol’, ‘Drugs Are Comin’ and our version of ‘Kick Out The Jams’ are all absolute belters too, we loved recording
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