J: Give us a little history on how the band started out.
A: Well basically the band started out about five and a half years ago. It was a little bit before I joined the band. I joined about two years ago. Started out in Riverside ,California . Just a bunch of local/high school friends getting together and jamming. Progressed as a local band, got the name out there. I joined the band by being a friend of the band after another guy left. Wrote a bunch of songs did a bunch of touring. A lot of west coast shows. All of California, Oregon, Washington and all that shit. We then went in the studio. Actually took out a loan to record ‘Sleep in your Grave’, and shopped it around and Century Media ended up picking it up and put it out in June of ’05. We just been on tour and here we are today.
J: So since it’s release, how has the overall response been towards it?
A: Really well. Surprisingly well. It is doing a lot better than I thought it was going to do. The response out on the road has been really well. We’ve been lucky to be out on the road with a bunch of really cool bands. Like Anthrax, God Forbid. We were just out with Hatebreed for there whole ten years brutality tour. The exposure we’ve gotten by being out with these really big bands has been really good.
J: On the disk you can hear several varied influences throughout it. Is this something you guys set out to do? Or is it the natural songwriting coming out?
A: Well we just kind of threw all our influences together and threw it out there. We do have a lot of different influences in the band. All kinds of metal and hardcore influences or whatever. We all listen to a lot of Pantera and Slayer, Metallica. All the heavy shit out there. I think it definitely shows a bit on the album. Hopefully by the end of the year we’ll be doing another album and it will be a bit more progressed. Seeing as there are a couple of new members since then.
J: Now in your own words, can you give us your description of the album?
A: It’s fast and it really doesn’t let up much. It’s heavy. A fast record with a lot of screaming. If you like heavy metal and you like to get into the mosh pit and have some fun, we’re a band you’ll like to check out.
J: For those who may not be aware, as I was not, give us a little run down of the whole battle for Ozzfest thing. How did you get involved with that?
A: We were actually out on tour up in Washington and we just heard about it from the newspaper. We didn’t even known it was a TV show, we just decided, hey we can try out for Ozzfest. Said fuck it man and cancelled the last couple of shows we had and drove home to try out and they liked us man. We didn’t win or anything but we ended up in a really good position where we met a lot of really nice people who helped us out along the way. Got us up on feet after the thing was over. It was a pretty cool thing.
J: So the exposure was a real positive?
A: Yeah definitely it helped out a lot.
J: You’ve been constantly out on he road for the past year. How is that wearing on you guys?
A: Well before this past year of touring it was just sporadic stuff that we booked on our own. Go out for a couple weeks, come home, go out again for a couple weeks. This is a lot more solid of touring. A lot rougher on the body. A lot more drinking. More partying. A lot more fun you know. But also it took it’s toll on a couple of the members and they actually ended up leaving the band because of it. They didn’t want to do it because we really aren’t making that much money doing it. It was a very big thing. It made a huge turn for the band. I think it’s been great.
J: What has been the best tour package you have been on so far? This one?
A: Yeah I think this has been the best one to date. Anthrax, God Forbid and Sworn Enemy and with us opening has been great. The last tour we were on was really good too. Hatebreed, Most Precious Blood, Full Blown Chaos, If Hope Dies and Gizmachi. That was an awesome show but this is definitely one of the most solid tours we’ve been on. If it’s not sold out every night, it’s real close and we’re the first of four bands to go on. It’s gnarley playing at like real concerts to 500 to 2000 people every night. The parking lot parties and the lines around the buildings.
J: How are things with Century Media going for you guys so far?
A: Amazing man. It’s going really cool. Before we did our deal with them, we basically just started up a friendship with them. Phil Hinkle (sorry if the spelling is incorrect Phil) the A&R guy and George over there. They just treated us really good over there and they’re really cool. Very personable. If there’s anything going on we just call and they take care of it and if there is a home show they come by and party with us. They’ve kept us out on the road consistently and have hooked us up with these really cool tour packages . It’s been amazing man.
J: So what are some of the bands long term goals? To make money?
A: Hell yeah, eventually you know. But we’re full on aware of the industry and that we’re not going to make the money for awhile. We’re going to have to earn it. We’ve got to write the songs that are going to make us that money. We just want to fulfill our whole contract with Century Media, do a few records with them and just keep pushing. Just play metal shows. I’d like to be to the point where we’re playing 250-300 shows a year. That’s pretty much what I’m looking for.
J: So what’s up next for Manntis after this trek with Anthrax?
A: Next? We’re going out with God Forbid and Sworn Enemy’s tour. After that we’ll be going out with Soulfly. Then we might take a little bit of time off to write or something. We’re trying to get on Sounds From The Underground after that. See if we can’t get a good summer package going to keep us busy till we do another record at the end of the year.
J: What are your thoughts on today’s American Metal scene?
A: My thoughts? It’s growing. Definitely going in the right direction. I think everybody’s coming around. You’re hearing a lot more of the harder stuff on TV and on the radio. I think that it’s definitely a beautiful thing. Lot’s of different bands. I don’t like all the bands out there, but there are a lot of rad bands out there that I do like that are doing some amazing things. Paving the way for bands like us.
Courtesy of metalwarrants.com (1-06)