At Cyberjaya Music Festival 2017 , one of the great bands that would be performing at Centrus Mall is Golden Mammoth! Let’s get deep into the possibly trippy mind of the band members so that you are armed with the knowledge of thwat to expect!
If you’re a fan of psychedelic rock, Golden Mammoth brings a sense of familiarity to their sound. You’ve heard these bass lines, you’ve stared into the abyss to these distortions, Yet on the other hand, they’ve got a lot more under their sleeves especially evident after the release of their first full-length album, Metaphoric Quadraphonic. Golden Mammoth started off as a musical project led by Syabil Alyahya, with the musical intention of creating “prog-rock-psych-blues rock-jazz-fusion”, solidified by the various influences that the band incorporates to convey dreamscapes of varying hues and degrees.
Recently, they’ve released a music video for their single Malicious Judicious. A great song in and of itself (we’re still grooving to that bass line ever since we wrote a review on it), the music video gives a teaser towards the type of aesthetic that Golden Mammoth paints in their world of bending strings to the sound of psychedelic daydreaming. We talked to the band members to find out what makes them tick!
(Get your tickets at the door or at kedai.tapau.tv. Door tickets are still available!)
What makes the Mammoth, Golden?
Tell us a little bit about the history of the Golden Mammoth and how you guys came to be? How did the name come about?
I started off making music in my bedroom since I was 16. When I listened to bands like Pink Floyd and Beatles, it gave me the inspiration to write music like them, so I decided to produce music on my own. My mom gave me my first audio interface and since then, I’ve been making songs with just the interface, guitars and some instrument plug-ins. I find myself putting in a lot of modulation effects into my mix to partake in the realm of psyche-rock music. At one point, I decided to put some of my tracks together into one EP (which was Golden Mammoth’s debut release “Malavita”). I realized that executing these songs live would be another level of experience, hence, I decided to form a band with live members. I recruited my school friends to help me execute these songs live and one night, I decided to do a meet-up to decide on the band name. The name came from a number of randomly generated ideas and we came up with names like Odd Mammoth / Golden Drips. Knowing that Pink Floyd came up with their name by merging 2 great band names, I decided to merge “Golden” and “Mammoth”.
Syabil, one of the major influences you’ve cited was Todd Rungren, do you remember the first time you listened to Todd Rundgren? Your favourite songs from him?
Yes! Of course. The first time I found out about this man was from the TV series “That 70’s Show” as the characters went to a Todd Rundgren show. So I tried to look him up on Youtube and stumbled upon his album “A Wizard, a True Star”. This album opened my ears, man. The complexity of arrangement, the dreamy concept and mixing, and the fantasy & cosmically written lyrics. Everything was perfect. My favourite track from him is “Zen Archer” which is from this album.
What are your other musical role models?
I often find myself changing my role models from time to time, some of my profound inspirations are John Lennon, Jimmy Page, every member of Pink Floyd, Brian Wilson and a lot more. Some inspirations from the 21st Century that are worth mentioning are, Kevin Parker from Tame Impala (no denying that), Stu Mackenzie from King Gizzard and Matt Bellamy from Muse.
Metaphorical washing machine & evolution from Malavita
What’s the concept behind your latest music video, Malicious Judicious? Why is there a dancing Alicia Amin on a washing machine in a kampung house?
The idea of this video is that we wanted to express how machines can break the barrier between man and reality. The girl is a foreign element in the general setting. She doesn’t oppose to the idea of being general, but there’s an alternative person, an alter ego wanting to get out. Knowing that her other self would not be accepted, she finds solace in the laundry room being alone while waiting for time to pass. Her other self, breaks free in the space, free from the chain of judgment holding her, indulging in her self-pleasure, invigorating herself to face the world outside.
How would you describe your evolution from Malavita to Metaphoric Quadraphonic? How much have you guys changed since your first EP?
When I first planned out for Metaphoric Quadraphonic, I wanted it to be more towards a conceptual direction. Malavita was just a compilation of songs that I made throughout the years and the EP doesn’t really have a conceptual direction. Malavita was more of introducing our sound and influences and Met Quad (Metaphoric Quadraphonic) was about producing tunes from the heart. I would say Met Quad is more complex in terms of musical arrangement and lyrics. Writing Met Quad was more of like narrative/tales of past-personal events and I also tried to step out of my comfort zone to explore with different instruments.
King Gizzard and the Generous Wizard
Have you listened to King Gizzard’s latest album Polygondwanaland? What do you think of their decision to give the music away for free and let people press their own vinyls and make their own CDs on it?
Yes I have! These boys never fail to stun me. I was surprised that they decided to give away this piece for free. I think it’s a bold move for musicians to do this. However, they are at a position where their stuff actually sells. So, I guess it shouldn’t be a problem if they give this album to people. After all, it’s only 1 out of 12 albums of theirs and the whole ‘press your own Vinyl’s and CDs’ sounds pretty fun and interactive. Despite that, I wouldn’t give away albums for free at the moment since I’m still a penniless musician…
Syabil, when you were in high school you used to perform in a band together with your cousin, so when did you first take your music seriously?
I’m surprised you knew about this! Well, back when I formed the band with my cousin and siblings, the purpose was purely to play songs that we enjoyed listening to. I wouldn’t take this phase as a serious entry, it was more of a training phase. I did try to get serious though, but everyone went on with different paths and it seemed that I was the only one who’s deeply sunken into the music world. The point where I got serious in music was when I joined Jes Ishmael’s band, Black’s Wormhole which now goes by the name, Capt’n Trips and the Kid.
It seems that you guys seem to have a close bond with band members from Capt. Trips and Ramayan. I mean, Que, sometimes play the drums for you guys. How did you guys meet?
I first met Jes Ishmael at one of his house parties where he had invited my band to play. We became buddies when he asked me to session for his band. Shortly after, I often come to his place and we used to jam in his bedroom almost everyday. By that time, I was playing Lead Guitar for the band and it was called Black’s Wormhole. After the drummer left for studies, we re-branded and called ourselves Capt’n Trips and I decided to go on drums. I met Que from a show at LiveFact where Ramayan and GM were playing together and I think we exchanged contacts there, could be wrong. But, we would often meet at gigs or random places like weddings. Till one day Pi’e and Que helped session for Capt’n Trips and at one point, we were all in that band and became like a big-merged-jam-band. I had problems with the initial line-up for Golden Mammoth (They all had to focus on studies). Hence, I asked Que if he could fill in for Drums in GM which he agreed to.
Any upcoming projects you’d like your listeners to know about? Upcoming music video? Tour after Cyberjaya Music Festival?
Yes there are a few interesting projects on the list. First of, I’m stoked to play at Cyberjaya’s Music Festival as this is a great opportunity for the Cyberjaya scene to rise up. Shortly after, we’re re-releasing Metaphoric Quadraphonic remaster. Then, finger’s-crossed, another music video (Can’t say much bout this yet). I guess the most exciting news of all is that I am now recording for the 2nd Album which will hopefully come out next year!
Featured image credit: All is Amazing. Check out Golden Mammoth stuff on their Bandcamp, and follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook! . Check them out and all other bands this Saturday (25 Nov 2017) at Centrus Mall, Cyberjaya for Cyberjaya Music Festival 2017. Follow them on Instagram to get updates.