It was in the late months of 2009 that Australian rockers Mammal announced their split as a band. The statement released read, “Due to long standing personal, political, musical and business differences, Mammal has decided it cannot continue and is no more”. All previously planned touring arrangements were cancelled and the band as we knew it dissipated.
Forming in March of 2006, Mammal very quickly rose up the ranks of the Australian music scene and went on to earn a highly-esteemed reputation as a live band. Consisting of members Ezekiel Ox (vocals), Pete Williamson (guitar), Nick Adams (bass) and Zane Rosanoski (drums), the four-piece were best known for their tracks ‘Hell Yeah’, ‘The Majority’ and ‘Nagasaki in Flames’, which received regular airplay on triple j.
You know what they say about too much of a good thing though, right? Too much of a good thing in too short an amount of time can sometimes become excessive, or harmful – which appears might have been the case for Mammal.
“When we were touring back in the day, when we started out, like most bands do, we would do the 12-seater van with a trailer, or even at one point we took out a Ute with a gear trailer on it, just to try and do things as cheaply as possible,” explains Pete Williamson, guitarist of the band.
“We drove one day from Melbourne to Sydney, played a show in Sydney that night, got back in the van, drove to Maroochydore overnight and then drove home again, back to Melbourne,” he recounts. “And that’s the sort of stuff that even the best of friends are going to hit a wall doing, because you just get so fatigued.
“It’s great when you’re young, but you can’t do it forever.”
Eight years having passed, it would seem our dreams of a possible Mammal reunion were slowly dwindling. That is, until the unthinkable happened and the boys announced they would be returning for one hell of a reunion show, in their home town of Melbourne during late 2017.
“I guess it had been in the back of our minds, wanting to do at least a proper farewell show,” says Williamson. “When the band broke up, we never did a farewell show, we just disbanded and there wasn’t really a good vibe around it.”
The show – which was intended to be a one-off – was an absolute success, with tickets selling out within mere hours of going on sale. Mammal were quick to add another three shows to follow, yet the question still remained whether the band were truly back.
“We decided we’d play the one show and that show went incredibly well,” explains Williamson. “There was just this massive vibe – the chant from the crowd before we went on was insane – it felt like we were Metallica or something. It was really unexpected, but we just felt that love so much from the fans and then we spoke to our booking agent and we said, ‘let’s do a few more shows’.”
Well, those few more shows have now become a tour, with Mammal announcing earlier this month they are back and better than ever.
“Enough years pass by and a lot of other projects and bands come and go… And you just hit this point where any kind of past resentments, hate, or negative feelings towards the project fade away,” says Williamson of how the decision to reunite arose. “We’d matured and we were at this point where we were all loving the music still.”
“We’ve got this chemistry with each other that you only get with a small handful of people once in a lifetime, if you’re lucky,” he continues, “It’s hard to find people that you’ve got chemistry with musically, as a collective.
“You could go and play with a guy down the street, but then to find that third guy and that fourth guy and have it all mesh together, that’s a very special thing. We’re all from such different backgrounds and lives, but when we come together and we’re playing music, we’re all on the same page.”
Mammal will be setting out on their national tour in June of this year and they’ll be bringing Brisbane heavyweight funksters Osaka Punch and Melburnian hip-hop artist Fresh Violet along with them.
To accompany the massive news of not only their reunion, but their forthcoming tour also, they’ve further come bearing gifts in the form of new music. Mammal recently announced the release of their first single ‘Community’, which comes paired with bonus track ‘Virtue Signalling’.
Self-produced by Mammal and recorded in Melbourne by engineers Tyson Fish and Simon Smith, the Double A-Side Single release was mixed and mastered by legendary producer Machine (Lamb of God, Clutch, etc.).
Williamson says the band are “really excited to get the groove on with this one [‘Community’]”, as they’re “yet to successfully play it live”, with the Geelong show set to be the first time punters will have the chance to see and hear the track performed in the flesh.
“We’re playing better than we ever did before,” exclaims Williamson regarding the forthcoming tour. “Some people say we used to get so excited we would rush tempos and things live, you know, you’re jumping around and you’re going wild – and I’m not saying we won’t be jumping around and going wild now, but everyone has actually just matured better as musicians.
“There are no bad vibes in the band – not that we ever played shows with bad vibes in the band – but when a band is back on track and positive and the chemistry is gelling, it just seems to translate in the songs and the mood live.”
Williamson invites all extended Mammalian family members, near and far, to “come down and catch a Mammal rock show” and join the band in celebrating their return.
Release: Community with bonus track Virtue Signalling is out now via iTunes and Spotify
When & Where: Bloom, Geelong – Friday 8 June; Theatre Royal, Castlemaine – Friday 29 June; The Croxton, Melbourne – Saturday 11 August
Written by Helena Metzke