By Ferdy Belland
CALGARY – Mammoth Grove guitarist-vocalist Devan Forster is eager to describe his band’s recent adventures recording a new album at the Calgary Recording Company production studios.
“It’s all analog – direct to tape, right through mastering and pressing. All analog, all the way!” Forster says of the rewarding experience.
“We’d always wanted to do it, so we jumped at it. It felt good. It felt right and we are super happy with the results. We tracked as a straight three-piece, live off the floor. Then I laid down secondary guitar tracks, then vocals and a few organ parts on top. Sounds like a big rock band right in front of you! What you hear is exactly what we did. Which is very cool – we always felt this music needs to come across thusly to the listener. A bunch of guys in a room, playing music and capturing it. We can’t wait to show this album off!”
That’s exactly what Mammoth Grove has in store as they prepare to perform their new material at the upcoming album release party at Dickens Pub on Friday November 30th. After that? The crimson sky is clearly the limit, when it comes to where they will venture next in order to spread the distorted good word.
“It’s all up to whoever digs it – and the album itself. I’ll be doing this to the end of my days – whatever ‘this’ is, whatever ‘this’ is called – wherever it takes me,” he confirms. “This album will really psych people out. We’ll take it as far as we can and see where it goes from there. I love riding in a van with the guys on the road. I’m happy to play to everyone, everywhere, all the time. I’ve traveled all the way across Canada…in the winter, but I definitely prefer to do it when it’s nice, warm and enjoyable. Touring’s a double-edged sword- it’s the best way to do an awful thing and an awful way to do the best thing!”
In with Forster for the long haul, bassist/vocalist Tad Hynes and drummer Kurtis Urban have been riffing and rocking for long years on end, carving a solid name and presence amidst a Calgary scene that is both vital and vivacious. It is apparent that Mammoth Grove cares deeply about their music and that intensity shines through the canopy like so much sonic sunshine.
“Ever since I started songwriting, it’s all been pretty similar big-riff rock and roll stuff,” explains Forster. “When I was really young I got right into any weird, obscure ‘60s and ‘70s bands – I was sure I must be ripping somebody off! ‘Like, as if this riff hasn’t been done before, right?’ Lots of music inspires me, but I have never listened to an artist and decided ‘Oh, that’s the kind of song I want to write!’ I like the idea of realizing that if the song in progress sounds like somebody else we can probably keep chipping away at it, and nurturing it, and turning it into something that’s purely Mammoth Grove.”
The positivity the trio beams when discussing their new album is both blinding and heartwarming.
“The songs we chose to record were the ones we decided we were most proud of both writing-wise and vibe-wise. These are all songs that flow together; the whole continuous listening experience is exactly what we set out to do. In terms of tone, atmosphere and performance – everything about the album just sounds great. I am really excited to show people what we’ve accomplished. This album represents a thicker, heavier, darker, full jump-off-a-cliff achievement for Mammoth Grove!”
Mammoth Grove play their album release party November 30 at Dickens Pub (Calgary)Dickens Pub, Mammoth Grove