Back from extinction with Wooly Mammoth

We're lucky to live in a city that is always producing talented new artists, musicians, bands and performers. Local act Wooly Mammoth have risen from this sweet city of ours and emerged in the wave of new acts taking our hearts. It was our pleasure to get an insight into the beautiful double single 'Arrival', Wooly Mammoth will be launching this weekend at Rosemount Hotel during my chats with Jon and Christian from the band.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves, and how you came to play together?

Jon: I had a few songs written and along with Andrew (Bass), I’d been trying to get a band together for a while, but nothing had really clicked. This led me to WAAPA, where I found myself in the same course as Christian (Guitar, Keys, Vocals) and the two of us hit it off immediately. Josh (Drums), who was also studying with us, came into the picture a little bit later. The 4 of us gel together as both a band and friends and we all share an absolutely un-ashamed love for playing and listening to music.

You’ve been playing around for a little while now, what’s your favourite aspect of being part of this community?

Christian: Everyone is tight, and most have each others back. Though we're the most isolated city in Australia, there are no hard feelings for those who move onto bigger and better things - everyone gets right around them.

Do you recall your first gig? We all love a good origin story!

Christian: It solidified that this whole band thing was going to work, for me anyway. We packed out 459 Bar, and with mates like that you can't go wrong. I do remember not being able to move a muscle though.

Wooly Mammoth jamming.jpg

Your music fuses a lot of styles together - a bit of dream pop, jangley rock, a hint of jazz - was this a conscious decision, or did it happen organically?

Christian: Organically, definitely. We all listen to different artists, and though we're playing the same song and we're all on the same wave length, different influences always shine through.

You’re launching your double single ‘Arrival’ at the Rosemount this weekend. What was the idea behind this release?

Jon: We had a couple of songs that we felt stood out among our early tunes. We were also really keen to get some more music out there, and while we didn’t feel we were ready for an EP, we thought a ‘Double Single’ would be a good way to do so.

Christian: Neither climbed on top of the other either. It didn’t feel like one of them should be an A-side. 

The artwork is beautiful. Who is the designer/artist and what was the inspiration behind it?

Jon: Responsible for the painting is fantastic local artist named Jane Spencer. In the process of recording the songs, I visualized a painting featuring a woman facing forward and a male gazing across at her. To me it represented the break down of a relationship. I took this idea to Jane and we bounced a couple of ideas back and forward and ended up with the beautiful centerpiece that’s now on the CD cover! We then enlisted the help of James Shepherd, who beautifully captured the painting on location for us.

Tell us a little about the supports joining you on the night.

Jon: The lineup is a bit of a family affair. I used to play music with Michael and I’m a huge fan of his stuff, so it was awesome to get him on board. He’ll be opening the night with his beautiful acoustic tunes. Noah Dillon and his band play a striking brand of indie folk and Demon Days are the coolest neo soul cats going round Perth right now. We met both bands through WAAPA and at the end of the day, they’re our mates and people we respect and we are beyond excited to share what should hopefully be a special night with them!

What album (or albums) are you really loving at the moment?

Bob Evans - Suburban Songbook. Though it was released over a decade ago now, I still find the intertwining melodies and song arrangements quite interesting. Kevin's voice sound like home to me, too. Christian

Alabama Shakes – Sound and Colour. Chilled vibes and great grooves for the drive to uni. Gimme All Your love, especially, is an absolute tune. Josh

Bloc Party – Weekend In the City. This album is filled to the brim with great lyrics, emotion, edginess and musical creativity. I love the raw energy of the vocals. Andrew

Jordan Rakei – Cloak. This album has everything, grooves, emotion and atmosphere to get lost in. The man is a genius. Jon

You can join Wooly Mammoth along side Demon Days, Noah Dillon and Michael Dunstan celebrating their new single 'Arrival' at the Romseount Hotel Friday April 28.

Interview conducted by Ellen Oosterbaan.