As a music genre, rock has endured rough times in the new millenium so far — the influence and reach of more dynamic fields such rap, electronica or EDM have dominated the music consumer behavior for the past few decades. Enter Crass Mammoth — a trio from Georgia that has the potential to revive a genre that has been in need for innovation without the stylistic compromise of genre-bending. With only one EP under their belt, the band has been added to this year’s Lollapalooza lineup. In addition to that, Crass Mammoth also announce their very first tour (see dates below). We sat down with the group and talked about success in the music industry as well as the shape of rock music in 2014.
You’ve been added to the Lollapalooza lineup. How does it feel? Was it expected?
It feels great to play in a festival that my heroes have played. I went when I was 15 to see QOTSA and Burning Brides. It was unexpected when we found out. A lot of Rocky-style shadow boxing going on in the living room.
You are embarking on your first real tour which leads you from Denver, to the Mid-West and all the way down to your homestate of Georgia. How will this differ from your previous life experiences?
This differs from other things we’ve done because this is our dream. All other life experiences were just a build to this one.
What can you tell us about your new song and video “Me in Her Smile?” What does the song mean to you and how do video and song align with one another?
“Me in her Smile” is a song about a drinking problem; not caring what happens day to day. Story goes, something bad happens, you medicate with alcohol, you disregard people and their feelings. Even your own. The video is just me sulking with liquor, then turning it into a song.
Your initial goal was to revolve a band where styles or genres were disregarded. Yet, people tend to see you as a rock group. How do you feel about this?
We’ll always be a rock band. I’m fine with that, I guess. I can never give an answer to people who ask our type of music. We just like to play what we like. We try not to worry about whether or not a song sounds like Crass Mammoth. What we play is who we are. As it should be.
What are you trying to accomplish with your music?
Our goal is to change something in music somehow without compromising self-expression. To play music for the rest of our lives, and be to other people what our heroes were to us. Oh, and try not to starve to death in the process.
You’ve listed this generation’s high regard for apathy as one of the main difficulties that rock is facing as a genre in 2014. Why is rock needed in 2014?
Because good rock shines a light on how crammed the world is with talentless hacks. Really, for me, Rock my way of understanding how to grow up and really feel things. That’s more than enough reason for need.
How different does rock today sound compared to the music in the ’80s/early ’90s?
Rock seems a little darker and a little more blue nowadays. Could be the detuning..
You’ve been working from Dave Grohl’s recording studio. Can you elaborate a little on your relationship with him?
I don’t have a relationship with Dave Grohl, that he knows about.. He’s one of our heroes, and we’ve been offered an opportunity to work at his LA studio, so we are definitely taking it.
What artists would you like to collaborate with?
We’ve always been about recording with Grohl, Reznor, Homme, and Jack White, but Modest Mouse, Speedy Ortiz, and Savages would be killer. The Toadies!
Biggest lesson in the industry that you have learned so far?
Don’t ever not be real.