The Mammoths are an Austin band with Dallas roots, and they are ready to show off their fusion of blues-rock and psych-soul to the city where it all came together.
The band started when David Kapsner (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Michael Jekot (lead guitar, vocals) and Tyler Rush (bass, vocals) were middle-schoolers in Austin, but things didn’t really get going for them as band until they all found themselves in Dallas.
“I lived [in Dallas] for a few years after college,” Kapsner says. “I was playing open-mic gigs, which led to full band gigs. Michael and Tyler were driving up to Dallas on the weekends to rehearse. After Michael quit his job in Houston, he slept on my couch while we played the open-mic circuit in Dallas. Eventually, we decided to move the band to our hometown [Austin], where we met Tim.”
And it was in Dallas where The Mammoths learned to drive at their goals with the unsinkable spirit that shines through in their music and the unshakeable bond that ties it all together.
“My lease just ran out, and the band got one of those pay-to-play gigs at House of Blues,” Kapsner remembers. “Michael and I moved into a garage apartment in Plano, so we could sell all of our tickets. For a month, we went out every night slinging tickets to friends and strangers and came home to that tiny room. ... That was some good bonding time that we’ll, hopefully, never have to do again.”
These days, the band spends half the year touring around the country, constantly honing its eclectic sound. After releasing the critically acclaimed debut EP Golden Spell and a series of singles last year, The Mammoths are back in the studio working on a new album, due in early 2019, when they are not on the road.
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For this record, The Mammoths decided to return to their roots in Dallas, working with producer Jeff Saenz at Modern Electric, which has released work by Leon Bridges, Paul Cauthen, The Reverend Horton Heat and The Roomsounds, among others.
For Kapsner, it was “the music coming out of Modern Electric — Jonathan Tyler, Quaker City Night Hawks, etc. — [that] attracted us to Dallas.”
“Those records have an authentic feel to them that we dig," Kapsner says, noting the connection between the originality of those artists and The Mammoths' genre-bending style.
Returning to Dallas also gives the band the added advantage of keeping the band’s attention where it should be — on the music.
“It’s also nice to get out of Austin, where we have the ability to just go home after the studio," Kapsner says. "[In Dallas], we’re forced to be in the same space and focus on recording.”
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The band still finds distractions in Dallas, Kapsner says, usually with Dallas singer-songwriter Ryan Berg.
“We usually close down The Goat when we go there together; that's all I'll say about that," Kapsner says.
With their eyes on the future of recording in Dallas, The Mammoths are set to play a one-off show at 9 p.m. June 1 at Three Links before heading on a nationwide tour from July through August.
“We played there a couple years ago,” Kapsner says. “That room is the perfect size, and we should be able to pack it out with Swimming with Bears and Bryce Bangs."