Welcome to another chapter of The Amazing Sessions! This week has been amazing for us, with not one, but two awesome artists in our studio. Firstly Saint Saviour, and today, Holy Mammoth. The North-East based four-piece came in and made a hell of a noise. Ruth Kilpatrick was there to tell all.
Being termed a ‘buzz-band’ can often come with a few negative connotations these days – either in that the term itself is now so overused it appears completely redundant, or more often than not it’s due to the fact that the cynical minded amongst us tend to equate ‘buzz’ with ‘brand new’, and a lack of longevity with a consequent lack of credibility.
That said, I can vouch for the fact that Holy Mammoth fall into neither of the above categories - despite seemingly being at the epicentre of an audibly ‘buzzing’ scene that’s currently thriving in their native North East. They've made their tracks available at amazingtunes.com and SoundCloud but with no official releases or plans to tour. I mention this because despite the lack of any records to sell, any big social media based marketing push and what in fairness is a sparse gigging history as Holy Mammoth, they still find themselves at the top of numerous lists when it comes to recommending new music and prove to be a consistent crowd puller whenever they play.
With us in the studio that day were guitarist and vocalist Andrew Davey, bassist Sam Megahy, Andrew Metcalf on guitar and Mark Atwill on drums. As with most bands there’s a long history of previous incarnations as musicians, Holy Mammoth however like to keep things simple by all having been in the same band beforehand. Starting out as The Catweasels at the age of 15, whilst still at school, worked out quite well for the Mammoth lads at the time; successful touring and the release of well received EP’s stood them in good stead for the shift into what would become Holy Mammoth and the new direction that they’d craved, as Andrew Metcalf explains:
"Catweasels toured and put out singles and EPs and filmed videos, we had a lot of fun but it came to a comfortable end. Mammoth was quite a conscious decision because we knew we wanted to get away from what we had been doing and write music that was a lot closer to the music we'd started discovering as we were growing older, and we found that the sound and the songs themselves seemed to develop naturally."
Including The Sea has never been played live in their hometown and never recorded before either, yet the live version we have a here is still a great representation of their abilities as musicians and along with Amazing Radio favourite Years stands as a testament to their increasingly validated live reputation.
Guitarist Andrew Metcalf went on to explain:
"Our writing process involves Andy bringing the building blocks to the table, but it's very much a collaborative effort after that. We normally work out the structure and parts together and it normally ends up being very different to how it started. A lot of the time it doesn't take us long to write, on the other hand our most recent song took us about 2 years to finish, putting a pin in things and coming back to them can be good."
After listening back to the tracks from the session and their recordings online it’s obvious that whichever writing route they choose it’s clearly working for them. Their scuzzy sounding guitars and steadily building rythms are an example of an increasingly popular style of music at the moment, but Holy Mammoth are way ahead of the curve. This has to be in part due to Andrew Davey’s seemingly effortless knack for sounding just the right amount of aggressive in amongst what are often incredibly tender vocals and lyrical content. Holy Mammoth are one of the best, and with new material being recorded plus plans for more gigs around the end of April I don’t doubt that they will, at some point, be your new favourite band too.