With 2018 coming to an end it’s been a big year for Melbourne’s political funk rockers Mammal; with the Community Tour which included fourteen shows around Australia and one show in London. Followed by signing with one of the worlds biggest metal booking agencies, KZ Booking Agency and last week the release of their new video for their song Dead. Chatting to frontman Ezekiel Ox about their year, we certainly had plenty to talk about. First up I asked about the tour.
“It was amazing, we discovered so many things along the way, new costumes, new songs were debuted. We released a new song Dead the day before the tour started and then that clip just came out last week. We wanted to sort of pair that up with the end of the tour; we wanted to put a full stop on it with the clip. Osaka Punch was great, Fresh Violet was great, Violet has just landed the Butterfingers tour. It was really exciting to have everyone together and then London was such a great full stop, it was a great way to finish it. We had had so much fun and success last time we had been there. We decided to have Violet open up, it worked really well production wise having a hip hop artist open up, as far as the set up goes. But then to have her get up with Mammal at the end of the set and have that explosive thing happen where I could leave the stage and watch; that was really awesome! I think the whole vibe of the entire tour, Osaka and Violet and Mammal and all the crew around us, sound engineers and tour managers was just a really wonderful thing.”
Signing with K2 Booking Agency is a strong move forward for Mammal. Ox spoke about the excitement surrounding this and about working on their new album.
“We think that Mammal is a live band, we will keep making records and we will keep making live records. We knew that going over to London that we wanted to get people along, and we had a few bookers come along, we had a couple to pick from. For me and I think the rest of the guys feel the same, there was a time in between those 7 years, Mammal did have an opportunity, we had a very successful tour in the UK and when we broke up we had been booked to go back there and tour again. We were ready to go and I think we all would have given up on that second chance that we’ve now all got. So it has been nurtured and it is different this time. The people who can place us in the correct places live or get us gigs; it is all about the live show, cos we are a real fucking rock and roll band! The main thing is to take it to the world right? We can keep going in Australia but the idea is that we can take the ideas that we talk about like in Dead the clip, and in Community and the three tracks that we released, we didn’t want to come back and just do laps and relive old glories. We wanted to put out new stuff and we have done that, in one year we have put out three tracks and we have got 14 more written and we are about to go into the studio in January.”
Reflecting back to 2009 when the band called it a day, then making their comeback in August 2017 I asked Ox how it felt to have fans so excited that their first comeback show in Melbourne sold out within hours.
“It was good, it was a successful day for the band and we hadn’t had one in seven years. We had ended in failure really’ unable to grasp on an opportunity that had presented itself to four people, and that was something that we all felt very strongly about obviously as you would. So we had to grieve all that. But yes it was kind of that resurrection thing and the growth and the fans are definitely a great reason to do it. There has been a bit of it going on, with Cog and Butterfly Effect. After saying it wouldn’t happen, it happened. There has been a bit of it in the water, you know John Farnham keeps coming back, never say never *laughs*. It was so much fun to get Mammal back, you know, I’m a fan; always a fan of what we could do to a room. I have performed in lots of projects as have all the members and we all acknowledge the chemistry in that so to see fans enjoying that is awesome.”
Mammal’s killer new video for their song Dead was released last week; Ox goes into some detail about the clip.
“Mammal directed the clip with Gareth McGilvray, props to Gareth who is awesome. We all got in two cars and we drove around Melbourne, we had three or four sites that we wanted to explore and then we would just stop places and shoot and we did a live set up. It was a fun day. It captures the energy of the band, we are on the street you know, not in the club, that captures the politics of the band. “
Any fan of Mammal can see that Ox is a born performer and musician, when I asked him if he felt it was his calling in life he agreed and quoted his Nanna saying about him at a young age “That kid’s got more front then Myer” Mammal fans would agree with Ox’s Nan I am sure and we are glad to have Ox and Mammal back and better than ever with their hard hitting music and live performances. Next year is set to be even bigger than this one with the new album due for release followed by tours and more. Stay tuned Mammal lovers, there is so much more to come!