Jelly Mammoth are bringing an evening of heavy riffery, wild antics, loose times and debauchery to Geelong

Subscribe to Forte Magazine

Jelly Mammoth are bringing an evening of heavy riffery, wild antics, loose times and debauchery to Geelong

Sprouting from the ashes of underground Geelong bands ‘Mock Turkey’ and ‘Sherpa Sherpa’, four piece outfit Jelly Mammoth present fast, raw riffs, with fun on-stage antics with the aim to create as much live chaos as possible, and generate a large intense sound. Consisting of Trent Stephens (vocals), Lonny Pratt (guitar), Dylan Callanan (bass) and Nick Burchell (drums), these long-time friends started jamming sporadically before actually locking in a gig to put the gas on the Jelly Mammoth project that is now in full force.
We chat to the band ahead of their upcoming record launch party.
You guys have completed your debut self-titled EP, what are some of the main influences on the EP and how long has it been in the works for?
The Stooges, Queens of the Stone Age, Smashing Pumpkins and Fugazi. The process of the EP began with recording in late June 2017 and was quite the learning experience taking time to ensure release of a product we are proud to put out.
You also enlisted the guidance of Sleep Decade singer/songwriter and sound savant Casey Hartnett (Murder of the Universe- King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard engineer) for this record, how was working with Casey? What made you guys go down this road?
We’ve known Casey for many years. Playing in different bands over the years in a pretty tightknit community like Geelong, you meet many talented musicians and like-minded crew – Casey is one of those. Dylan (Bass) managed the National Hotel for a period of time and the quality of music coming through Geelong from Casey and his age vintage from an early age was extremely good. Not only did it spawned artists like King Gizzard and The Wizard Lizard, Orb, The Murlocs and Fraser A Gorman. It was a very rich talent pool and Casey and the bands he has been in (Periscopes, Sleep Decade, Sagamore, and Dreamin’ Wild) were and still are right at the centre of this.
In the studio Casey really brought the best out in the band. An exquisite ear for detail via his technical knowledge and finesse, while also pushing us in our individual performances. The studio vibe was relaxed, but Casey also challenged us to keep pushing and not settle for takes we weren’t 100 percent on.
You guys also did multiple recording sessions across winter last year at a secluded farm in Wallington. Why did you chose to record in the 1950’s era wooden cool room as opposed to a studio – and doing so live? What did it lend to the EP?
I guess we sort of lucked out finding the farm and the cool room to record in. A gang of mutual friends had just taken a lease at a 70 acre property (which used to be an apple orchard) in late Autumn of last year. Deciding to throw a large scale party with bands and DJ’s, we were added to the bill. The night was mayhem and while bands played outside, the DJ Den (an old wooden cool room box) intrigued us. Soundproof, great size, complete with retro wooden interior and very cosy. While the beats were booming, people outside were none the wiser. It seemed the perfect place to record, isolated, a nice sounding room, close to Geelong and somewhere where we weren’t bound by time constraints. We felt it was important to capture an enhanced portrayal of our live sound. The aim to avoid an overproduced recording which lacked feeling and encapsulated the audience experience.
Jelly Mammoth has shared the bill with the likes of Gold Class, Tired Lion, Clowns, Orb and Private Function as a show at The Corner Hotel supporting Australian rock royalty, Spiderbait. Was there anything in particular you took away from performing alongside these bands?
We’ve been quite lucky really and getting the opportunity to support bigger bands is something you can definitely learn a lot from. The Spiderbait gig at The Corner Hotel in February 2017, is probably the one that really stands out. Walking onto the stage at such a well renowned venue, is something we (as a band) really cherished. To do it with a band we grew up listening to as teens was mind-blowing. There’s always something that sets these acts apart from your average band and watching Kram annihilate the drums with so much raw power from backstage while singing “Buy Me a Pony” to a capacity venue is pretty surreal. It also makes you appreciate their hard yards, the band’s 20 plus year journey, what success looks like and the professionalism and stamina it takes to rock out night after night.
You guys are having your record launch party at The Barwon Club on Saturday (June 30), what can we be expecting at the gig?
This launch feels like it’s been a long time coming; a project we started over a year ago and it’s finally finished. This is a celebration. We’ve decided to keep it local, play in one of Geelong’s great rock and roll venues and try and fill it to the brim. Sponsored by Melbourne Bitter and with supports from our favourite talented friends including Green Blanket, Social Haunts, Jaws of Death, The Drunken Poachers and DJ sets from Kritt and GANGXIETY spinning all the tracks. We are frothing to get on stage, play a killer set and hopefully sell a few records.
Jelly Mammoth Record hi res
What’s it like being a rock and roll band in Geelong in this day and age, how do you view the scene at the moment?
The Geelong music scene feels really healthy at the moment. We love being a part of it and are proud to be from the 3220. You only have to look at recent events like “God Save the Fiends’, and ‘Jerk Fest’ last year, both showcasing a wealth of diverse local talent to see things in Geetroit Rock City are definitely trending in the right direction.
When & Where: The Barwon Club, Geelong – June 30.