Mancino Interview (Part 2 of 2)
And here's part two! Hope you enjoyed reading this thing as much as I did!
Mike: It feels like I grew up on Led Zeppelin, one of the advantages of having an older brother. When I started my first band, I was heavily influenced by Nirvana and felt really liberated by Kurt Cobain's limited mastery of the guitar. Prior to that, I was reading all those guitar magazines where noodlers like Yngwee Malmsteen would diagram finger-tapping exercises and shit like that and it was really daunting as a clumsy-fingered 14-year old. Only later did the Beatles and Beach Boys come into my life in a way in which I fully appreciated their songwriting and I'll always be influenced by them I'm guessing.
Jonathan: When I was a kid, I didn't really listen to anything recorded. My parents didn't use their record player, and I didn't have a TV or radio until I was probably 8 or 9. So I mostly heard my parents and their friends. But by my teens I was really into Jazz (mostly Bebop) and later had my obligatory grunge phase. I tend to still listen to jazz tinged music, where its influence can be found in other music especially, like in the punk of Garage a Trois or Dionysos, the funk of Ceux qui Marchent Debout, or the rock of Menomena, Stephen Malkmus, etc.
(7) Additionally, are there any bands in NYC that you're currently supporting or fans of? I feel like people outside of the city always miss out on the gems just because it's not our home, so please, recommend some stuff!
Jonathan: Shot'nez, The Muggabears, Secret Life of Sofia, Man in Gray. Some of the usual crowd you read about all the time are not bad too, but there are so many great and not so great bands in NY, it's hard to keep tabs on it all. I'm also a fan of people like Marco Bevento and the former Tonic crowd (RIP), I feel like that's a scene that gets neglected by music nerds/snobs on places like pitchfork or stereogum.
Nadim: Die Romantik
Mike: Definitely in agreement with all of the above. I would also add Sam Champion to the top of the list too. The absolutely kill it live. I'm looking forward to hearing their new album.
(8) What else are you all doing currently, aside from the band? Any crummy day jobs or awesome projects?
Nadim: Just temping these days. Recently finished a M.M. in music technology. Trying to get involved with a recording studio/production house.
Jonathan: I recently graduated from film school, so I'm pretty much unemployed. I've been free-lance editing and doing stuff from home, but I'm trying to write as much as possible so I can be responsible for the new version of "That's So Raven," in which Raven Simone is an undercover agent in the cold, dark world of shady Russian night clubs in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.
Mike: I got my Masters in journalism a few months back so that also means I'm somewhat unemployable but have been freelancing at this production company where I used to work full time.
(9) And, in terms of the group, do you've anything planned for the future? Touring, singles, another album (please, please!)?
Jonathan: We had planned a tour for the fall, but had issues with some of the dates. I'd say at this point, we'd much rather meet with a booking agent than a label A&R person. So I think the plan really, is to focus on NY area shows some more, and try and tour later this year. We're also starting to write new material, which is challenging and fun. As far as singles go, we'll see how the album does when it comes out "nationally" on Sept. 4.
Mike: We're definitely looking forward to CMJ when it rolls through in October. And for "the future", I was just talking to Jonathan last night actually about how I can't wait to really immerse ourselves in new material. I'm itching to start working on new songs, play them live, and then eventually record the next album.
(0) Any comments on the Internet and how it helps/hinders your performance, visibility, profits, etc.? We usually don't get to hear about the Internet and the current music industry from anyone but those on the management/executive side of things, so I'm always curious to know what musicians are thinking and feeling.
Nadim: Asides from what everyone says about the Internet (e.g., how it can help unknown smaller bands/artists get their music “out there” and noticed) I actually think that the internet is having a peculiar effect on a people’s attention spans. I know I’m over-generalizing, but I think with random access people now want and have come to expect instant gratification. I’ve heard quite a few people say that “nobody listens to music anymore” and by that I think they mean that by and large, many people don’t really sit down and take the time to really listen closely and fully digest an album in one sitting. It’s all headphones, multitasking, and singles (as opposed to albums). Unfortunately, I actually think that Manners Matter is not an album that is easily digestible, so, while I believe the Internet is definitely a blessing, I’m still not sure people will actually listen to our record and I worry that a lot of music in general might be dismissed if it doesn’t immediately hook people and reel them in.
(1) Alright, I think that covers most of it. Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with me! Best of luck: you've created something timeless and precious.
Mancino: Thanks for taking the time to listen to the album, Nik.