RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW AMERICAN ARTIST MAMMABEAR
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
I grew up with a mother that loves music, specifically 60s music- hippy/ folk/ psychedelic stuff. She would always have The Beatles playing, Jim Croce or Pink Floyd. She also had a lot of Monty Python tapes so that was a big influence for me as well. The combination of my moms tastes in music, late 80’s early 90’s soul and hip hop combined with the grunge movement inspired me to want to write songs.
Introduce us to you and your musical history.
My name is Kyle Gordon, from Atlanta GA. I wanted to be a member of the band that created or helped to create the sounds that people would love. Initially, I didn’t sing, as I was very insecure. Over time I learned to let go and to just be myself. I created MammaBear mainly out of frustration because I was burnt out on working hard with a group only to have it fall apart.
MammaBear was my first attempt at doing things completely myself. There are no official members other than me. I have, for the most part, recorded all of the albums alone in studios. I track all the instruments and vocals, write and generally produce all of my own stuff.
I’m no engineer so I need to be around technically minded people in order to record music. I’m virtually 95% right-brained so I’m practically useless outside of a creative situation- don’t let me fix your roof.
What was life like for you before music?
I started playing music around the age of 12. Music has been the predominant theme and drive of my life thus far.
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
I’ll never forget the first time I heard the opening strums of “Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. Stopped me in my tracks.
What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?
What I’ve learned the most about the music industry is that if you don’t have rich parents that are willing to support you, you will never reach a level that is respected by the vast majority of our society. It is then up to each artist to decide to continue forward making the best art they can for themselves and themselves alone. Success is narrowly defined in our society, I think anyone that is living for themselves in a meaningful way is a success
Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories? If not why not?
I absolutely believe in conspiracy theories to a degree. It is an absolute impossibility that our governments and the powers that be are 100% transparent with their machinations.
What was the worst experience on stage?
My worst experiences on stage happened early in my career when I was young and extremely volatile. I would lose my cool when equipment broke down, I would feel the urgency to get things back on track and would spiral out of control until I was throwing my equipment and generally acting like an idiot.
One time in Charleston SC such an emergency arose and on top of that a very drunk girl had crawled onto stage was holding onto my leg and wouldn’t let go and was puking her guts out on me and my stuff. I think that was my only real groupie now that I think of it.
What makes you stand out as an artist?
I think that the reason MammaBear stands out or has the potential to stand out, is that I have a unique way of writing tunes and doing things my way. I am not, nor have I ever been susceptible to popular opinion; for better or worse I march to the beat of my own drum.
Always have and always will. The other thing that makes me stand out is that I’m a demon on the stage and can emote with ease while performing, it’s the most natural thing in the world for me and might be the brightest feather in my cap.
You don’t want to miss a MammaBear show as we fuck shit up in the most spectacular way possible. Come see it. Loud, energetic, and deadly honest. MammaBear is a live bands band.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.
Last year my friend Ben Davidow of Gas Hound and I toured The UK playing solo acoustic shows and ended our time with two days of recording at Abbey Road Studios.
We were fortunate enough to record with the very talented engineer, John Barrett. I had initially planned to record an intimate acoustic set of about 6 or 7 of my favorite MammaBear tunes but two days before we were set to record I lost my voice and to the detriment of the shows I still had to play and move forward with the recording session that lay ahead.
I ended up going a different direction with the recordings at the last minute and recorded two rock songs which comprise The Abbey Road Sessions. “State of Grace” is the first single- I hope you dig it!
What was the recording process like?
I tracked all the acoustic guitars, drums, bass and some lead lines in two days and finished the vocals and final mixes in Atlanta with my good friend Kristofer Sampson of Sampson Sounds. I tracked “State of Grace” on the first day, and on the second day while Ben was recording before me I finished writing the last bits of the tune “Fever Dream”, which will be released in the coming weeks along with a killer video. Then Ben and I got dead drunk in the Abbey Road cantina and our group was given a late night tour of the full studio, a treat I will never forget. The pictures I used for the album art are of me in the recording studio and laying on the floor in the iconic Studio Two, Beatles room.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
In terms of how I view my finished music (current and old) is that only a handful of the songs I record I deem to be made the way I really wanted them to be. What I hear in my head verse’s the final product can be very difficult for me to process as a song is released. I keep those thoughts about individual songs and pieces of music to myself but yeah, no song ever comes out the way I envisioned it. That’s hard for me.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Thank you in advance for listening, sharing and coming to the shows- it means the world to me. I can’t wait to be back in The UK and meet some amazing people, take in some history, and burn down every stage we set foot on.
UK SHOWS: Thursday, Oct 5- Round the Corner, Liverpool
Friday Oct 6- The Jacaranda, Liverpool.
Saturday, Oct 7- NE Volume Music Bar, Stockton-on-Tees