Treasure Mammal Celebrates a Decade of Loosening Inhibitions
"You can't 3D-print Obamacare; it's too beautiful."
This is one of the things you could overhear at a Treasure Mammal practice. It's what they're talking about at the moment, but the subject may shift to the "rap-rock vortex," Juggalos, Bud Lite Lime, or bro culture. It's part of the consciousness of the band -- a fixation upon forces that make society generic, absurd, and tasteless -- that somehow is intermeshed with a narrative of positivity and self-improvement. If you've heard any record by the band, it's to be expected.
The obsession with 3D printing is ridiculous but relevant. In the same way you can't 3D-print Obamacare, you can't 3D-print Treasure Mammal. The band's bizarre legacy in the Phoenix music scene just can't be duplicated.
The group, composed of Abe Gil and whoever seems to gravitate around him creatively (the current lineup includes, but is not limited to Gil, Jeff Wright, "Jeff Wrong," Claire Slattery, Ryan Stephenson, and Dave Driscoll), celebrates its 10th year of channeling spirits, igniting bromances, and alienating a few people this year.
The band basically started in 2003 when Gil decided he was burned out on the morose indie rock band he was playing in at the time, Clementine, and decided to do something more constructive.
"I was still going to ASU at the time, and we had a practice one day, and I just thought, 'School sucks. I am singing these songs that make me feel worse. My job sucks. All of this shit sucks.'
"It still took a while to kill Clementine, but after that I was like, 'I'm going to try to have the best time that I can have and still try to change people but also be totally indescribable"
The early material was mostly noise and experimental music, functioning as a duo. However, it was in that period that the seeds were set for it to become a permanent and dynamic project, as Abe decided to persist with Treasure Mammal after his collaborative partner Nick Kroll set off for Yale.
"I was like, 'Fuck, I am sick of starting these projects over and over and over and them dying and having them waste my time.' So Nick left and I decided I wanted to do it on my own and take it into a new direction but keep the name."
Eventually, the project took it's inspiration from both dance music and motivational speakers, exemplified by songs such as "Total Winner" on 2006's Expect the Max.
"I wanted to be kind of like somewhere where Richard Simmons and John Cage met," Gil says.
"And Tony Robbins," says current drummer Jeff Wright.
"Yeah, I probably connected more with Tony Robbins," Gill adds.
"And Jared from Subway," Wright says