Cosi of Mangelwurzel (Melbourne) talks Gary, Whitney Houston obsessions and hyperactivity

The first listen of Mangelwurzel can be a bit of a mind fuck. But in the best way possible. Tantalising overstimulation meets uncompromising direction. There’s a thousand elements whooshing around, but it maintains the kind of effortless fluidity that’s not often paired with seemingly disjointed brilliance.

We chatted to Cosima Jaala ahead of the release of their very first album, an ode to (or perhaps celebration in the demise of) all that is wrong with the world. ie. Gary. Get listening and get your mind rattling.

Who is Gary? Give me some context.

Gary is everything wrong with the world right now. Gary hates wild women and nature. The title track off the album was played at his funeral.

A lot of people are very happy this album has come to fruition. How was the whole process of putting it together?

The album was slapped together with the help of Liam Barton, who records at his studio in Preston. He is actually the sweetest guy and working with him is always a pleasure. Mr Mckenzie mixed the album, which was very kind of him.

Talk me through the artwork. The images are taken from plasticine models made by yourself is that right?

Loretta made the tiny kitties and Cosi made the little dudes.

I’ve heard very good things about your live shows. What can one expect to see and hear on a Mangelwurzel stage?

Just a bunch of people playing confused music with silly banter in between.

Have you got any tricks up your sleeve for the Gary album launch tour?

Yeah, we want to get wilder and play more improvised music. I’m about to make a life sized effigy of Gary, so hopefully he will be at some of the shows.

The tour isn’t so far off. What are three things you’ll take with you around the country?

Guitar, toothbrush, positive attitude.

I read an article that dubbed you ‘the weirdest band in Melbourne’. Would you agree?

Yeah the vibe is pretty weird. Mandek Penha is the weirdest though.

What are the weirdest things about Mangelwurzel as a band?

Jonny is completely obsessed with Whitney Houston and always wants to play covers of her songs. Sometimes he gets sad because she died.

(Laughs) What resonates with you with music and performance. Why is it so important that you’re doing this with Mangelwurzel and Jaala?

I think playing music comes from a creative fire, it lives inside us all… that, and being hyperactive certainly helps.

Also, I’m really curious, what does Mangelwurzel even taste like?

Like a watered down beet. It’s a shit vegetable you only eat during famine.

Gary, their long-awaited debut LP will enter this world tonight, kicking off their national tour at Northcote Social Club. Be there, or don’t.

February 26th – Album Launch Show – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne

March 12th – Newtown Social Club, Sydney

March 18th – The Foundry, Brisbane

March 19th – Sol Bar, Sunshine Coast

March 31st – Crown And Anchor, Adelaide

April 1st – Babushka Bar, Perth


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