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Making A Stand With EZEKIEL OX From MAMMAL

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Thrashville has quickly become one of the must-attend music festivals on the Australian calendar.

Not only is it situated miles away from any form of civilised life – meaning noise restrictions and the like are non-existent – but it is also a damn good festival featuring a splattering of the best in Australian music from major headliners through to up-and-comers.

With this year’s line-up – set down over September 8 and 9 at Dashville in the Hunter Valley – comprising a host of talent including CIVIC, Shady Nasty, Crocodylus, Bloody Hell, Downgirl, Wildheart, Operation Ibis, Deadshowws and more, it is the reuniting of two of this countries heavyweight acts that is generating most interest.

“Mammal, with the big, dumb riffs and the awesome hooks, we try to make it simple for people and say this is the way forward.”

Ezekiel Ox

Progressive rock outfit COG and funk/rock/metal masters Mammal headline over both nights, continuing their successful partnership at the top of concert-goers wish lists.

Since returning from self-imposed exile six years ago, Mammal have taken a more steady path to salvation, initially releasing the singles Community and Dead before retreating for a couple of years and emerging with two powerful tracks in Crime Scene and The War.

With their follow-up album to The Majority nearing completion and Thrashville less than a month away, enigmatic frontman Ezekiel Ox sat down with HEAVY to talk about all things Mammal and hitting the stage once more.

“I think the lineup is sensational,” he offered, referring to Thrashville. “We can’t wait to get back on the same bill as our old touring buddies COG – of course I narrated their documentary, I performed The River Song with them live, we’ve toured countless times on their headline tours and seen them on festivals – so how good is it gonna be? Mammal and COG in the same space. It’s about time, I would say.”

We steer the topic of conversation around to the fact Thrashville is an all-Australian affair, showcasing the talent on offer in our own backyard.

“I think it’s great,” Ox affirmed. “Losing Homebake, I was always super disappointed with that. Mammal was lucky enough to play on the 2008 Homebake with the Divinyls, Parkway Drive, Crowded House – because it was always New Zealand bands as well – but I think that was a huge loss, so to see festivals like Thrashville is a chance for us to flex our muscles and show what we’re capable of down here. We’ve got the best bands in the world. Of course, we do. You don’t have to spend so much, and you don’t have to go far from home to see the best in the business.”

Mammals live reputation is the stuff of legends, but Ox seems genuinely excited at the chance to play in an isolated environment amongst friends, without fear of being shut down or regulated by over zealous pen pushers.

“It’s such a great opportunity. I’m lucky enough to have played Thrashville before with another one of my projects, and it is such a good festival. It’s just got the vibe. They’ve got tattooists there and so much else going on. It’s worth getting a tent out. It’s worth coming to camp for two days, and it’s a family-operated festival. All of those things you said about it being almost off the grid, I think it’s pretty cool. Come and get loose.”

In the full interview, Zeke talks about what fans can expect from their show, their long-running association with COG, keeping politics out of personal life, Mammal’s steady path to the new album, what it will sound like, some of the topics covered lyrically, how far off it could be, standing up for your beliefs, where his strong views come from, future plans and more.

Tickets available via dashville.com.au/thrashville

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