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A Dirty Dozen with TRAVIS LOWELL from MAMMOTHOR – October 2021

| 14 October 2021 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Boston heavy rockers MAMMOTHOR drop a brand new single “TAKE THE WORLD” fresh off their latest full-length album, The Silence of Ecstasy… The Agony of Dreams, available now in CD format through retailer Bull Moose and later, on all major streaming platforms. “TAKE THE WORLD” is the second single to be launched worldwide with new members Euz Azevedo (from Boston’s own Das Muerte) on drums, and Alex Muss (from Minsk-based Slaves of Insanity) on guitar alongside members Josh Johnson (guitar), Lori Gangi (bass) and Travis Lowell (vocals).” We get singer Travis to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

The album was recorded in two separate sessions, intended to blend together as one.  When we got a chance to play on a huge festival with Godsmack, we ran into the studio to record the first 5 tracks.  Later, we settled on the other 6 (plus the musical piece).  Then, the pandemic hit, and our world got thrown upside down (along with everyone else’s).  We lost one of our guitar players, plus our drummer.  We finished the album as a three piece (me, Josh, and Lori) and hired a phenomenal drummer named Jake Wertman to play on the other tracks.  Earlier this year, we met Euz (drums) and Alex (guitar), and they really helped to flesh out the current lineup. I think that there are a lot of layers in the recordings that you may not pick up on your first listen.  For instance, there are two whispers at the end of “You Don’t Know Me” that are very quiet in the mix…but they are there!  Lyrically, I always try to put little Easter Eggs in there that play with the language.  “The Red State Blues” as a title alone has multiple meanings and references.  Dig in and see what you can find!

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I was what you might call a “late bloomer.”  I grew up in a very small town, in a very small state; and there wasn’t much of an art scene, really.  I dabbled with some singing in college, then fell out of it for a long time.  Back in 2013, a buddy of mine and I used to hit the bars in Boston… well, basically every night.  A bunch of them did karaoke contests.  I started jumping up and doing some of them… and winning… a lot!  Eventually, I figured I might as well bridge those tiny earnings from contests into losing much bigger money playing with a real band!  Ha!

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Growing up in the 90’s, I was a huge Collective Soul fan.  They aren’t a typical band that people reference as an influence, but I loved the hooks Ed Roland came up with back then.  As I got older, I started diving deeper into music and became a huge Megadeth fan.  Eventually, on the vocal side, I grew to love people like Mike Patton, Brandon Boyd, and Greg Puciato.  They were/are people who always dared to try to do about anything.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

The sax guy from “The Lost Boys,” disco, any Mongolian throat singer, a screaming baby, and the secret lovechild of Sonny Bono & Yoko Ono.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Oh, Jesus.  Don’t do this to me.  I’m lucky that pretty much everyone I’ve ever worked with is better than me, so I’m learning all the time.  I could probably do something cool with Dave Mustaine though.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Mammothor can be pretty hard to describe, because I think one of our defining characteristics is that we don’t have just “one sound.”  I would actually find that to be pretty boring, honestly.  We pick and draw from all sorts of influences, including the ones I cited above.  I didn’t cringe, because I like Volbeat; but I’ve seen at least a couple of people compare stuff we’ve done to them recently.  It’s honestly not anything I ever picked up on.  I think it’s just a matter of where my vocal placement is sometimes and the fact that I did lots of tight doubling on the new album (clearly, he does too).

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

The satisfaction of finishing a song, having people respond to it, or connecting with an audience directly.  It’s really, really cool to have people pick up on what you were trying to do, or to tell you that something you recorded is one of their favorite things to listen to.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

 We order out, usually everyone drinks but Josh (but he’s a lot of fun when he does), and Josh definitely likes to bust out an acoustic from time to time.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

I’m not sure I’ve ever felt starstruck with any musicians, but I’ve had a great time hanging with a few of them, like Dave Mustaine, Jacoby Shaddix, and Mark Tremonti.  The guys from Saliva and hed PE were always great with us as well.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Physical therapist.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I don’t think I’ll delve too deeply into that, because I don’t want to offend anyone.  But I’ve made a lot of missteps.  I like to think that things happen just the way they’re supposed to, but I wish I had known then what I know now.  Actually, one thing I would definitely not do is release demos before official recordings.  We did that several times in my early days with the band.  Ultimately, I think it just dilutes the official product.  In the future, I would consider putting demos out as bonus tracks or whatever, but I certainly wouldn’t lead with them.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

God, there are too many to list.  I’ve always been fascinated by the layering on Faith No More’s Angel Dust and Incubus’s S.C.I.E.N.C.E. though.  Talk about albums with a lot of hidden parts!





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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