Now on Sludgelord it's my pleasure to be interviewing Canadian Sludge Metallers – Tunguska Mammoth – who are about to unleash their brilliant new S/T album upon to the world.
I recently described the album as:
“Tunguska Mammoth début album is a brilliant ride full of epic thrills and riffs, which will get your heart pumping. It is brilliantly produced through out. If you want to get the full effect of this heavy pounding album, you will need to play this as loud as you can.
I hope one day the band can release this album on Vinyl as it is the perfect album for a vinyl release. Loud, powerful and epic in scope .The perfect ingredients for an amazing vinyl experience. ”
Tunguska Mammoth have kindly agreed an interview with me which I am very grateful for as I have been a fan for a couple of years now. So lets get started with these riff-slaying rockers.
Q1 – Hi guys, How are things with you today. Thanks for doing this.
Great ! We released our first LP on October 1st, and we got great feedback, so things couldn’t be better.
Q2 – For people not in the know can you give a brief history on how the band came about.
Initially, Maxime, Mathieu and Paolo were in a cover band, doing a couple of gigs per year, just for the sake of it. Pierre-Hugues was busy with other projects during that time. But at some point we started composing easy-funny Rock’n Roll songs. Then we wanted to create something more heavy and loud and this is when Pierre-Hugues joined in.
At first we tried doing Death Metal, but soon realized that wasn’t really what we wanted. Something was missing... the groove ! Where’s the fun if you can’t swing your head around a killer riff ? So we started with relatively simple riffs, which then became awesome songs. In 2011 we released an EP containing our first three songs, First Chapters, which was really well received. We toured around Quebec a bit, even adventuring in Ontario, promoting our EP. Since then, we just kept on riffin’!
Q3 – Where did the name – Tunguska Mammoth – came from and what does it mean.
Since we wanted to be known as one hell of a loud band, we searched for the loudest thing ever recorded in human history. This is when we learned what was the Tunguska Event. Tunguska was more than appropriate for the kind of music we were doing, and we also thought it was pretty badass. And for the Mammoth... well... A god damn mammoth ! It’s big, hairy, HEAVY as fuck, it just seemed to fit perfectly. And it did !
Q4 – I first noticed you back in 2011 with your excellent EP. It's been a long time coming waiting for your début album. But it's finally here. Congrats on the album as it's a brilliant album. Was it as much fun recording it as it is listening to it..
We know each other very well and have been friends for a long, long time. Of course the recording was a lot of fun ! Even if we had to be at the studio at 7am... It was a lot of work though. We spent most of our time at Sonart Studios, which is where Pierre-Hugues (our drummer) works. He also produced and mixed everything. We also went to the amazing Wild Studio (Voivod and Gorguts recorded their last albums there) to record all of the drum tracks. This studio is amazing: big rooms, awesome gear, great ambiance, perfect to get that killer natural sounding drums tone we wanted. We really enjoyed being lost in the woods for a couple of days!
Q5 – Where did you get the insane idea of Mammoths coming back to life and destroying all of mankind. Was it based on a fun idea you wanted to expand. Or is there a deeper meaning to it.
The idea came to us a couple of months after we started the band. Since we don’t take ourselves too seriously, we thought it could be funny to take this ridiculous idea and make it sound serious.
Who knows, maybe we’ll sell this idea to Hollywood some day... and make good money out of it !
Q6 – Is there anything you want to change about it or is it perfect the way it is.
We had to stop Pierre-Hugues from working on it, he’s a bit of a workaholic. For every step of the album, we made sure everybody in the band was fine with every choice and decision. We wanted to be sure it was as good as it could be, and I think we did. It sounds absolutely brutal, super heavy and everything is there.
Q7 – How would yourselves describe your sound.
Stoner/sludge mixed with a lot of other influences. You can definitely hear a lot of hardcore, classic rock, prog, and probably a shitload of other styles. We want to be loud as hell too... not necessarily Sunn 0)) loud, but loud enough so you can feel it !
Q8 – Which bands and artists influenced you as musicians.
Mathieu: Led Zeppelin/Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, Eddie Van Halen, Matt Pike, Brent Hinds, and much, much more !
Maxime: So much fucking band. The list would be almost infinite.
Paolo: Mastodon, Groovy Aardvark, The Sword
Pierre-Hugues: Vinnie Paul, Dave Grohl, Shannon Larkin, Mario Duplantier, Johnny cash
Q9 – What is the local scene like in your home town,. Do you get regular gigs in your home town. Or do you have to travel further afield to perform regularly.
The scene is great. Quebec is kind of famous for the quantity of quality bands in the Metal genre, and still awesome metal bands keep popping up. The stoner/sludge/etc. scene is growing up ,with bands like Dopethrone, The Great Sabatini, Barn Burner (RIP), etc. We play most of our gigs in Montreal, but it’s been pretty easy setting up gigs around the province. Right now we are looking forward to gig around the country, maybe start with the East Coast of Canada. Maybe head west after... that would be pretty awesome.
Q10 – It seems the Canadian Govt has brought in a stupid idea charging bar owners/promoters/venue owners more for International touring musicians and bands just to play in your great country. What are your views on this as it's receiving a lot of attention amongst the Sludge/Stoner Metal Scene.
There is a lot of confusion around this law. Like this law does not seem to apply on venues that are dedicated to live music. This kind of makes it a little less worse, but the initial reason for this law is pretty stupid. Kind of a protectionist law, to encourage various venues to have Canadian artists instead of international ones, “to create more jobs”.
It is already a struggle for bands these days to tour, and now with this on top, it could mean less and less venues for international artists, because the independent promoters might not be able to assume these new fees. There’s a popular petition that’s on the verge of getting their goal, please sign it ! https://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/canadian-government-don-t-ruin-live-music-with-425-00-charge-per-international-artist-per-performance-in-canada
Q11 - What are your favourite bands you are currently listening to. Any bands that myself or our readers should check out.
Maxime: I just bought the new Monobrow, the new Pelican, the new Rosetta... You should also look up “Regarde les Hommes tomber”, a black/sludge/apocalyptic metal band from France. Really liked their LP. Also, if you guys want to see what I am buying, just check on this page: https://bandcamp.com/Mabe. This new bandcamp's feature is very nice to discover new bands!
Q12 - Do you all have regular jobs or is being a musician your main job.
We do not have any record label yet, so, yes we all have regular jobs. We needs those jobs to get studio time, big ass amps , drums sticks and even gaz money to get to the gigs!
Q13 - What are your views of bands using websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to fund their new album releases. Some people and bands are for it. Some are not. Would you consider doing some thing like that yourselves.
Funny you asked, because we did a very successful Indiegogo campaign. The response was GREAT ! We exceeded our initial goal by a lot, and we picked up enough money to help us finish the recording and get all the merch our fans needed ! I think this is going to be a more and more common practice. Crowdfunding is itself a great idea, and if you’re honest about it, people will notice, and people will help you. We kind of live in a DIY world now so... this follows this new tendency.
Q14 – In 5 words or less describe the Tunguska Mammoth live experience.
Energy, Loudness, booze, riffs & fun.
I wonder what their answer would be if I asked for 6 words instead of 5.
Q15 – What is the songwriting process in the band? Is it a group collective or is just down to one individual?
Most of the time, one of us comes up with a killer riff, or a couple of great ideas. We jam around it, explore and sometimes fall on to something that completes the initial idea, or helps it. We make sure everyone put their personal touch in every song, and make sure it sounds like Tunguska!
Q16 - Has BandCamp been a big help in getting your music across.?
Yup. Bandcamp is a very nice tool for a band like us. We sold albums and merch in Finland, Sweden, Ireland, USA, UK and Croatia! People around the world downloaded our first EP because of Bandcamp.
It's more effective than giving some flyers to drunk people outside of shows I can tell you!
Q17 - What are the most and least rewarding aspects of participating with the band? Obviously, the reality of how expensive it is being in a band could be considered as a negative aspect
I think the most rewarding aspect is the reception of our music. Friends, family and people we don’t know telling us they keep listening our album is some of the best feeling you can get. After putting so much work in it, it’s pretty rewarding. The least rewarding has to be the bad gigs. You know, these gigs where you play for no one but the barmaid, in the bottom of the bar, not giving a shit. And yeah it’s expensive, but we love our big and noisy toys...
Q18 - If you could provide words to wisdom for people wanting to start a band – What would they be.
Play with people you enjoy passing time with, because you’re going to spend a lot of time, sometimes in very small spaces, with your bandmates. You gotta have that chemistry. Don’t join a band with a bunch of dicks. You will kill yourselves. And also... practice !! Practice home, practice with other people, other styles, other instruments ! Get as much inspiration as you can, don’t stay in a mold playing the same shit all the time. Get rhythm. Get steady. Practice.
Q19 - What pisses you off most in music. Or do you not let the bad things in music stop you from performing and writing songs.
What pisses me off is pretty much everything that happens in the pop music/culture. What the fuck is wrong with these kids ? Everything sounds the same, popular music is getting worse every week.
Also the kind of music they put out don’t inspire newer generations to pick up an actual instrument.
In the 60s/70s, pop music was all about Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon, with absolutely amazing tunes, grooves, and very inspirational lyrics. Now today we get Lil’ Wayne with Paris Hilton with their new hit, «All she know is S**k, F**k». How about that ?
Q20 - Finally do you have anything to say to your fans.
Thanks for following us ! Keep listen to our album as loud as you can ! And if you are in a desert listening to our album, please, send us your craziest pictures !
Well guys thanks for doing this interview. All the best with your excellent new album. Hope to see you in concert sometime. Maybe supporting Lil' Wayne and Paris Hilton. HA HA....
Their excellent S/T debut album is now be available to buy from Tunguska Mammoth’s BandCamp Page.
Check The Band From Links Below