After a memorable performance at Captain Toms only a few short months ago and a return to Aberdeen to play The Moorings Bar this Friday night, Still Burning took a time out and had a word with Oz and Co. Here’s what they had to say.
Ok, lets get the formalities out of the way… tell us who does what in The Manic Shine?
Ozzie Rodgers – Lead Vox & Guitars
Orren Karp – Guitars & Backing Vox
Hutch Hutchison – Bass & Backing Vox
Tamir Karp – Drums
You boys all have degrees in music too… were you in bands before the education, or did you learn your skills first then mash it all together?
We’ve been jamming together for years, about 4 years actually before we decided to make it happen as a band together. Oz and Hutch are the founding members and were in a previous line-up of The Manic Shine with a guy on keys and a different drummer. Before a show in Edinburgh both pulled out so the Karp brother’s were brought in and we all just thought ‘That’s more like it!’.
Who are your main influences, and does each member take their own part to the songs?
I’d say we have a core group of influences and everything else permeates from…well… everything else! There are only two types of music – good and bad; so if it’s good, it could be an influence! Our core inspiration comes from Tool, APC, Rage, Incubus, Karnivool and then a whole back catalogue of 60’s and 70’s legends (Van Morrison, the Doors, Hendrix, Allman Bros, Santana) – the list is endless!
Indeed, what is the songwriting/adding music process for TMS?
Oz will tend to put a song together and we’ll hash it out in the rehearsal space whilst getting quickly recorded on garageband as an outline of what we’d like to hear vibe-wise. Then if we’re not happy, it goes through an infinite loop of redrafts until it’s there or we say fuck it and move on!
I can hear all sorts of styles within your music, do you set out to be different or is it just a case of using the instruments and fitting it into the track?
Possibly both? I think the way we all approach the instruments/delivery of the music is slightly unorthodox; i.e. the idea’s and parts don’t start/come out of the ‘Rock’ box or the ‘Electronica’ Box – we just like to tick certain boxes with the material we come up with and go with that. Those “vibe” boxes are (in no order): Proggy. Disco. Money. Balls. Make of that what you will!
Doing research for this I just lost an hour of my life reading The Animal Farms blog… some seriously good advice for artists in there…. how did you guys get involved with The Animal Farm?
We sent our first demo to them about 3 years ago. They sent us an email back saying come in and have a chat. We’ve been friends and a team since. They’ve got a shit tonne of good advice about a market and industry thats full of illusions and dead-ends. Get out and tour. Write good songs. The old ones are…the oldest.
And your second album was crowdfunded, tell us why you opted for that…. to get it recorded and available sooner? I guess you had confidence that your fanbase would come good?
TAF suggested we should fund the record that way. It was a good test of our fanbase and ourselves at the time. It’s still the most humbling astonishingly awesome thing that it was successfully funded by our fans – we love them endlessly for it. It’s even amounted to us being advertised on the London tube so only good things came of it!
What were the more unusual pledge options, and do you recommend crowdfunding to up and coming artists?
Absolutely, but be sure you have the pull. A fan requested we draw a picture of a cowboy eating a cat and sign it. That was cool. And weird!
This is you just kicking off another tour with another pencilled in for later in the year?
Yes. Our mantra is TOUR. All the time. We’ve built up a good rep for being a rip-the-roof-off-it live band and never looked back. Better to be loved live than loved on record alone.
Do you find that touring helps record sales in the long term… or is social networking promotion just as important?
Do everything you can to help record sales. Both of those certainly do.
You were up here (Aberdeen) not so long ago, I guess you love our city? (joke) But glad you’ve returned, we appreciate the effort bands make to come here.
We do! Aberdeen was one of the best nights of the tour last year – moshpit in a rehearsal studio with girls kicking the crap out of guys and the audience belting their hearts out. That’s what we love about Scotland – fuck the guy that doesn’t think you’re cool for dancing – rock out like you’ve never heard music before!
Retracking a bit (no pun), I believe there’s some new recordings on the cards?
It’s all a bit Area 51 and hush hush but yes – we’ve got our sights set on the new stuff very soon. We’re taking 4 new tunes on tour this time round to put them through the paces. Only the audience can tell if it’s a keeper!
Are you all committed to TMS full time or…?
Being in a band we’re your constantly touring pretty much leaves you with your hands full but we have various ‘day things’; Oz teaches guitar, Orren Hutch and Tamir do charity work.
Tell us something no-one knows about The Manic Shine.
4 men – 1 foreskin.
If each member was a soap character, who would be who?
We don’t really watch soaps (unless you count Archer or South Park) but from ‘Friends’:
Orren – Rachel
Tamir – Monica
Hutch – Phoebe
Ozzie – Rachel/Monica/Phoebe
Headlining the Royal Albert Hall or Glastonbury?
Your five desert island tracks?
Right in Two – Tool
Calm Like A Bomb – RATM
Change – Karnivool
You Strike My Main Nerve – Tower Of Power
Thunderstruck – ACDC
And finally… your favourite flavour of crisps?
Thanks for your time and we look forward to seeing you on Friday.
Interview by Still Burning, pictures by Dark Secret.
The Manic Shine Website