Mammoth Mammoth were formed in Melbourne, Australia but have now based themselves in Berlin which is where I spoke with singer Mikey Tucker…
‘We’re loving it in Berlin. It’s a good base for us to get everywhere we need to. We’re gonna be here for at least two years. It was getting to the point where it was crazy and too expensive to keep coming over from Australia all the time especially in the festival season. You know coming over for the weekend then going back..It’s made life a whole lot easier for us to base ourselves in Europe. We can give it a real push because it’s the place to be. There’s not much in Australia at the moment. Not may venues plus there are huge distances to travel between gigs.’
The bands are being supported by their record label Napalm and their booking agent, Sound Liberation, which is a fairly old school way of doing things.
‘Yeah. Napalm only sign bands they like personally so when we said that we should move over they were right behind us and hooked us up with the agent. So we basically played from the start. We released the new album at the end of April and we did about 22 gigs straight away. We’re doing festivals every weekend during the summer. We’ll maybe do some more European dates then head to Spain and Portugal in November.’
So how did the band get together?
‘We were all mates who knew each other when we were in different bands. All the bands split and our guitarist and original bass player started jamming some tunes. Then my band folded and they took me for a beer and mentioned it might be a good idea to start a band. So I called Bonez our drummer and that’s how it all started. We’re all good mates so we can hang and not get on each other’s nerves and try and kill each other.’
No that’s down to other people. Mikey elaborates.
‘Yeah we had a pretty crazy start. We recorded an ep which was meant to be a demo but this radio station to play it so we arranged a launch gig. Just before the show I got involved in a fight with a bunch guys with claw hammer s and I ended up in hospital for a week. Then our guitarist and bass player got in the middle of a shootout in s trip club in Melbourne. They were hiding under the table as the bullets were flying over their heads. That’s not all – the venues were going to use for the gig burnt down! Man someone was trying to tell us something! Once we got going it has been rock n roll ever since.’
Back to the new album ‘Mount the Mountain’. How was it written and who are your influences?
‘We’re all into the classic Aussie bands AC/DC and Rose Tattoo but we all have other influences like the guitarist is really into Glam Metal like Ratt and Motley Crue, I like Stoner , Metal and Doom. Our bass player is into punk and so is our drummer, the old school stuff. But although we like that stuff we don’t consciously put it into the music. The way we write is just by jamming then developing the ideas that come out of the jams. I write all the lyrics and we all write the music. It’s all fuelled by a lot of alcohol too.It was recorded in Melbourne and we used the guy who produced our previous releases Jason Peacy who is a guitarist in a metal band in Australia. We took a bit more time to write and record this one plus we have like an extended family of guys who come in and help us. Like we had an interim bass player called Spliff who is also an awesome guitarist. He came in and played on a couple of songs and added a real psyche edge to them.’
If you have not heard the album, it’s a full on raucous rock/metal effort. No ballads all pedal to the metal with an absolutely inspired choice of cover version.
‘Yeah we had a lot to drink one day and we just decided to do it. People were expecting us to do a Motorhead song or something similar but it would just have been a faithful reproduction and we didn’t want that. So I suggested ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ by Kylie. Well she’s a fellow Aussie. We just went in and rocked it up then poised ourselves laughing on the playback!’
If go to the Mammoth Mammoth website you will no doubt come across the video for their first single ‘Weapon of Mass Self Destruction’ the video was banned by Youtube, but only after it had got a million hits! It got the band into a shit load of trouble and nearly got them banned for life by Facebook.
‘It was a crazy idea. A friend of ours is a director. He brought to us and said have a look and if you like it use it. We saw it and went ‘Fuck yeah!’ It was the craziest shit we had ever seen. We posted it and we kept getting warned to take it down. We took it down then we would re-post it. It definitely worked for us.’
Finally I wanted to know if Mammoth Mammoth are bringing their full on rock n roll to the UK anytime soon.
‘Yeah we do play pretty full on. We rock as hard as we can and we’re pretty dangerous live. We’re trying to work out the logistics of a tour right now that brings in the UK. We might just fly in and hire a backline for a few gigs. We really want to get to the UK because it’s not somewhere we have played that often. We really do want to come over. I think we could do well over there.’
Interview By Andrew (Smudge) Smith from Monday nights show Route 666 6-8pm
Check out all his shows here