Q & A with Mangelwurzel

1- Mangelwurzel by George Johnson

Melbourne six-piece, Mangerwurzel have unleashed their new baby, ‘Gary’ onto the world, and they are touring in celebration of its birth, including stopping by at Solbar on March 19. Not one for being pigeon-holed, the band (and the album) need to be seen and heard, and they will leave you scratching your head in a sick perverse pleasure and wanting more.

We sent through some questions to Cosima, the woman out the front of the band, to get some more insight for you folks before they head our way.

Hey guys. Oh. My. Gary… Congrats on this album. It basically scooped my brain out of my skull, tossed around a few times, then plopped it back, upside down, with some chocolate syrup on top. How long was the process in writing this album?

The album took a while due to money restraints and “life” things getting in the way. We feel relieved the turd has been polished and now we don’t have to think about it anymore.
Have you been surprised by the (mostly) positive reception for the album, by the industry? (In the way of thinking ‘Yes! They fucking get it!’, particularly when we’re of a time of playing it safe, and pandering to a certain sound or formula to get noticed) 

Yeah we have been surprised! it’s rather unfortunate and strange music so it’s great that people can listen to it and then get some good feelings inside.
Do you think that you’ll be paving the way for more artists that are completely left-of-centre, now?

Not so much paving the way, more so just passing on the torch. There is a long and interesting lineage of musical freaks and we are just the tiniest addition to the story. All hail Zappa.

I’ve noticed the references being made to Hiatus Kaiyote, Gogol Bordello, Bungle etc, which is a fair call… but I’ll be honest and saying that I can hear some Laurie Anderson coming in (which I fucking love). When it comes to putting a song together for Mangelwurzel, how does that actually work? Some of the songs sound like aural jigsaw puzzles…

It’s a different process for each song depending whether it was conceptualised by a single member or a haphazard collaboration. Mostly we just gather around a Sao and whoever makes it soggy last has to come up with the next riff.

OK, I missed your set at Bigsound ’15 (my bad), and hate to do the generic question here, but I’m really curious about what to expect from you at a live performance… and even more so, what’s some of the best reactions you’ve seen from crowds who you can tell are seeing you for the first time?

Sometimes we just awkwardly trudge though the set but sometimes, when the mood is right we go nuts and pass round the mic, pump durries and tickle security guards

Now that the album’s out, and you’re touring it, once that’s done, what’s next? Should we expect another Jaala release, perhaps?

You can expect another Jaala release most definitely. 

Alright… thanks for taking the time to answer these q’s, have a kick-arse tour, and we’ll be seeing you at Solbar on March 19th!


Mangelwurzel’s ‘Gary’ is out now, and available as a digital copy, or order the vinyl through their bandcamp.

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