Sunday 5 January 2014

Interview with Mammoth Mammoth

For a band that dub themselves ‘more awesome than God’s tits,’ getting an interview from Mammoth Mammoth, a band teetering just on the right side of insanity, was never going to be easy. It would take 5 weeks and countless emails to hear anything from a band too focused on grabbing Europe by its big, hairy balls to sit down for a little chinwag  and understandably so. Their first tour of the continent, the jaunt marked an important stepping stone in the band’s progress and development. This, alongside having their music used in TV commercials and the arm wrestling with naked woman are the topics of conversation with drummer Frank Trobbiani.  

SL: You've been touring across the UK and Europe recently, how do you feel the tour has gone?

Frank: It’s been amazing! We knew we had some kind of following here in Europe, but to play to these rowdy fuckers has been great. You guys really know how to party, that’s for sure. And none of the band have ended up in hospital, so we are claiming the tour a massive success.

SL: An Aussie friend of mine described you as a "very Australian" sounding band, would you agree with that, does Australia have its own brand of rock n' roll per se?

Frank: In the hard rock genre, yeah maybe we have an Australian sound. But there are a lot of bands that come out of Australia that sound like they could be from anywhere really. If anything, bands from Australia generally grow out of the pub scene, it’s rowdy, loose and fucking chaotic. We play to smaller crowds in that scene, so you have this personal connection with the audience; we involve them as much as they get us charged up. Mikey [Tucker, vocals] likes to go missing in action from the stage and lose himself in the crowd as a result of this. I think that feeling of ‘all being in this crazy shit fight together’ at a show is very Australian and that’s also very MAMMOTH MAMMOTH.

SL: Looking on your website it says your tracks have been licensed for commercials and the film "The loved Ones," could you tell me a little bit more about how that came about?

Frank: Straight from our first EP, ‘Let’s Roll’ was used in the horror film ‘The Loved Ones’, which had success at film festivals. We were contacted directly by the film company for that. ‘Weapon of Mass Self Destruction’ was licensed for a German power tool company in an advertisement where they built this giant concrete fist to smash shit up – it was actually pretty cool. We are open to licensing our songs but only if the idea is mammoth.

SL: Has having your songs gain such exposure had a positive impact?

Frank: It’s had a positive impact on our beer money budget.

SL: You recently signed to Napalm Records for the release of 'Hell's Likely,' has having a bigger label supporting you helped in anyway? 

Frank: Napalm have been a great partner for us. They totally get us and what we are about, that may sound odd but a lot of people don’t. They’ve released our back catalogue in Europe and the USA, so that’s been a massive help for our exposure. They were also pretty instrumental in bringing us to Europe to tour. To say the least, that’s been a killer effort on their part – and we’ve had a blast! Good dudes


SL: The cover for 'Hell's Likely features a rather attractive naked woman. So, first of all what was the thinking behind that and secondly, how has the cover been received, has it helped lure in new fans?

Frank:  Right, well to us, a cover is just as important as the songs. We design all our art work ourselves, although we do get photographers, illustrators and directors involved in the production, but always people associate with MAMMOTH MAMMOTH. That way the images are more strongly connected to us and the music. A cover has to be a part of the overall idea that we want to create for a particular album or show etc. With Hell’s Likely-VOL III, it was all about creating artwork that was timeless and impossible to ignore.

This was shot at The Black Spur, a forest just out of Melbourne that was totally destroyed by fire. It’s right on our doorstep, we could see the fires blazing from the city while we were playing a festival that day - and that forest was a favourite place of ours to hang out and jam. It was hell. It was brutally devastating. Whole towns burnt to the ground. So it seemed apt as a starting point. The Bush girl, who features in the imagery, lives in the woods there and survived that mayhem. We got talking and drinking with her and threw some ideas around. She agreed to be part of the project and appear in the video too. She’s very cool and very talented and very dangerous and very rarely wears much clothing. She’s strong as an ox too, and beat all of us at arm wrestling and drinking – except Bones, because he cheats. From what we hear, people love this cover.

SL. So what's next for Mammoth Mammoth after this tour?

Frank: Some moderate rehab; then we start working with Napalm Records and our producer, Jason PC, on VOL 4.

We reckon we’ll be getting noisy and messy in the studio around April or May 2014 - then head back to Europe (and possibly the USA) to tour at the end of the year. We have unfinished business in Europe and want to hit some cities and countries we missed on the last tour. So we strongly advise you call your lawyer, rob your dealer and get prepared for our second coming! See you all then ~ and stay MAMMOTH!

Mammoth Mammoth are:
Ben Couzens – Guitars
Mikey Tucker – Vocals
Frank Trobbiani – Drums
Pete Bell – Bass

Interview by : Phil Weller

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