Did you miss this band? Here’s a second chance.
One of the best albums of 2014. A lot of metal blog exposure and already three times in the US. Mantar is a two men strong german metal band that you should take time to listen to. You will not be disappointed. Bara Metal had to know more about the metal magicians, Hanno [guitar, vocals] brought the answers.
Three times in the US already? That is so impressing! Who sets it up? You or the record company?
– We all did it ourselves. We just got in touch with different booking agencies.
Are you as popular there as in Europe?
– Not as popular yet, but we are getting there. USA seems to be a strong market for Mantar. The record is licensed there by Brutal Panda Records and came out this may.
You mangage without a bassplayer – is a bass player ever needed?
– Well. Nothing really is needed in creating art or playing music. It just depends on what you want. We wanted to play heavy and intense. You don’t need a bass player to do that. Even though most bands do have one.
– If you know your gear and have a straight vision you can raise some serious hell and fuck shit up just with a guitar and drums. Noone ever complained of us not beeing heavy enough. And to be honest noone wanted to join Mantar on the bass in the early days. So we were left alone with the two of us.
So the advantages are quite clear – you split 50/50 and earn more if we talk business, you travel easily and less expensive, you gather the band toghether more easily – are there more apparent advantages? And what disadvantages have you noticed?
– I guess you quite nailed it. Another good thing is that there are no comprimises as there is either a ”yes” or a ”no”. And if someone of us disagrees on anything it just simply wont happen. One big disadvantage for sure is the amount of equipment we have to carry ourselves. We play as much as a five piece band and unfortunately it’s on us alone to carry that shit around, set it up on stage and load it in the van afterwards again. That sucks. Plus it can be quite annoying to tour with just the two of us as it’s tough to spend 24 hours a day together. There is no chance to escape.
– I wont lie to you and wont make any romance out of it. Its like a relationship sometimes and we all know that can suck big time from time to time. Nevertheless there is noone else I could think of doing this with.
So is it written in stone that Mantar is a two piece band, even live?
– Mantar is a two piece, yes. It’s not a dogma thing, but I doubt we will just add a bass player or so. Time will tell. And being a three piece definitely wouldn’t make us more efficient or creative. It’s the oposite. The less options you have the more you have to make something special out of your limitations. A good riff or a good beat or best case scenario both, is all we can and will work with.
How do you solve it live? With that raw sound for example. A lot of pedals?
– We play exactly the same equipment on stage that we use in the studio to record the album.
And when you play live like at a huge festival and you have to leave the sound to someone else, do you plug in everything yourself or how is it solved?
– Well, we just set up our stage equipment, give some advising words to the sound guy and hope that it works out. Sometimes we bring our own sound guy.
Googling Mantar, I get a lot of mushroom images – what does the name mean and why did you choose it?
– It’s a turkish word meaning mushroom/fungus as the drummer is turkish. We just wanted a simple one word kinda name that sounds powerful and is easy to draw as a logo. Old school, you know?! I guess the name sounds pure and strong. Just good for a band with the same characteristics.
Your song writing process – how does a song like Astral Kannibal come about?
– We mostly jam along. Songwriting for us is a very rough process. Actually Astral Kannibal is the only song where I already had the riffing, or at least part of it, before we played it in the rehearsal room. Most of the songs we finished the night before recording them. Some weren’t even ready then.
I believe you are in the middle of a snow ball right now, rolling and getting bigger. I found you through a blog, fell directly for the clean yet raw songs you create, and have myself told the Bara Metal blog readers to listen to Mantar – you are in the center, how much have you noticed this buzz around you?
– You can tell that people are aware of the band. We played almost twenty countries within the last ten months. We just started touring in general last april and already played one of our first shows ever on Roadburn. So I guess people like the band.
– But Mantar still is and underground thing and that’s just alright with us, even though we want to play for as many people as possible of course. We take this as a gift. As long as it lasts. It’s already more then we ever could have dreamed of. So, no expectations.
– We knew that the record would be called Death By Burning before we had that cover. When I found that image I was blown away and I knew I need to have that for the debut album.
– We figured out who did it, dropped Aron a line and explained the situation. That we are musicians withour any money and are in love with his work. We kindly asked to use it and he understood. A very cool guy and awesome artist.
And how did you find this painting? In a book by chance?
– A friend of mine found that pic on the internet ans showed it to me.