Hello Ocho @ The Mammal Gallery
Hello Ocho @ The Mammal Gallery
The Mammal Gallery is a brand new artist space in the heart of downtown Atlanta. The gallery offers a collaborative studio environment for local artists as well as providing a venue for music, film, and performance. Also it used to be a gay strip club.
by DAKIN ANDONE
indieATL has been in talks with Hello Ocho for months. We knew that these guys would have some interesting ideas for us and Spaces. So when they presented a golden, foil-wrapped closet at their new space The Mammal Gallery, we weren’t necessarily surprised. After what may have proven to be one of the more intriguing indieATL shoots, I was able to step aside with Chris and talk about Hello Ocho’s plans for the future.
indieATL: You guys are no strangers to the Atlanta music scene, but for anyone who is not in the know, can you give us a little bit of a background about yourself and Hello Ocho?
Chris Yonker: Well we’ve been playing around for a few years now. We used to be a three-piece and then we picked up Tim and Chris and have been playing as a five-piece for about a year now. Originally, on our album, we’d written all of our songs with three people but with the songs we’re working on now, we’ve been writing with five. So it’s been progressing and we’ve been evolving a new workflow and it’s been working really nice.
iA: You guys borrow a lot of elements from psychedelic music, funk, and blues, giving you a unique sound. I was wondering where the inspiration for that came from.
Chris: I mean, there’s a lot of different kinds of music and I feel that all of them have at least one thing that’s somewhat intriguing about it. I don’t know, I just try to take the different elements from music that are intriguing to me and try to inject it into whatever we’re working on at that point in time. I just happen to draw things from random places.
iA: You’ve recently acquired this space, the Mammal Gallery. Could you tell us about it and what you’re using it for?
Chris: The Mammal Gallery is an event space and art gallery as well as a studio space where we have artists making art upstairs, and they keep all their supplies up there. We have painters, filmmakers--all kinds of people, we’re even doing some screen printing. But we’ll have some small art shows up there, and then down in this big pink room we’ll do concerts. We actually had a film festival and even a video game tournament. But yeah, we’re basically just here on Broad St. trying to get people in these buildings and make something happen downtown in the city that we all say we live in, even though we all live out in East Atlanta. Downtown is kind of a ghost town so it’s fun playing around down here.
iA: Are there any local acts in or around Atlanta that you’re excited about or would like to see come play here?
Chris: Um, that’s hard to say. There’s definitely a lot of things I’m excited about. I’ve tried to set high goals and get bands on a higher level than I’m used to doing. Right now we’re just doing regular concerts with our friends and stuff like that, but I would really like to get a band about the caliber of Black Moth Super Rainbow. I want to see just what this building is capable of handling, like size of shows or caliber of bands. I don’t know, I’m really bad at answering this question. [laughs]
iA: I’m just as bad at asking it. So what’s the future hold for the Mammal Gallery?
Chris: Well the future hopefully holds more shows and breeding new art and ideas. I mean just, harnessing all around the energy that’s just floating around Atlanta and not saying like, “This is just a place where concerts happen,” or “This just a place where art happens.” It’s fun to see how diverse we can make the events and not close our minds to any sort of thing.
iA: Well what’s the future hold for Hello Ocho?
Chris: We’re trying to book a tour in March right now. We are also pressing some vinyl of our first record, the self-titled. So that’s cool. We look forward to selling those on our tour.