Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Manipulated Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

Before there was The Manipulated, there was Meek. Meek turned into The Manipulated Living and this turned into The Manipulated, because people had a hard time pronouncing the entire name.  We consist of two guitars (before three), drums, bass and visuals. We only play instrumental music, ranging from psych rock to noisy doom. 

2.So far you have released new ep's, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how do they differ from each other?

We’ve moved from the more conventional post-rock sound towards a more doom/sludge-sound, which is probably the biggest difference between the two. But we still feel that they both have the Manipulated-sound, which is an awfully corny thing to say. Present on both Eps would be our love for noisy soundscapes. Having three guitars opens up to creating dynamic soundscapes that probably wouldn’t be possible if there were fewer and that is something that doesn’t change in our music. Instead of the conventional guitar solo, we’ve got noise soli.

3.So far all of the musical has been all instrumental, are you planning on ever using vocals in the future or do you prefer to remain instrumental?

A future project will bring vocals in the form of a poet, ie. spoken word. But there will probably never be vocals in the form of singing/screaming/etc. It has almost been some sort of fixed idea in the band that vocals weren’t a part of the music. We’ve used samples from films at times, and even the trumpet, which you’ll hear on Yr An Arsonist’s Daydream. You’ll find that on the first EP. Vocals often steal the show, whereas we want the listener to create their own images when listening to our music. And here we are, getting corny again.

4.What are some of the themes and images the band brings out with its musical sound?

Our goal is to have people form their own images when listening to the music. When we perform live we have a VJ that projects images onto a wall or sometimes directly at us, which of course gives the viewer a chance to reflect on both image and sound. For ourselves we’ve always had weather as a big inspiration; be it the cold Danish winter or rain pouring down on a grey Sunday afternoon in autumn. The weather outside is weather.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'The Manipulated’?

- Well, as mentioned before the band was first called Meek and had a slightly different constellation. Tobias and Christian were the main members and have been so throughout. We changed it to The Manipulated Living to signal a change in personnel, but also because there was another band with the same name. We got the inspiration from the film, Donnie Darko. We then changed it again, because it had a better flow. There isn’t really a great story behind it. We took ages to find a new name, because our focus really was in playing music.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

The shows we’ve played at Raum Eins (local club) have always been fun, because it’s a great place, very intimate. We played a party at an animation school once, which was very different from other gigs, but it turned out pretty well, even though it was a bit chaotic. Among other things, a storm trooper mask was involved. We shamefully also played a band contest of some sorts in 2008, which was utter rubbish, because the promoters only cared about the money and not the music. So we played a two-song-set that ended in a wall of noise. We, of course, didn’t win at all.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

- It’s hard to say at this stage. We’re at a waiting point right now; people have jobs, kids, side projects, but we will definitely be playing gigs when the spoken word project has begun. That’s all we know for now.

8.On a worldwide level how have underground music fans reacted to your musical sound?

- Curiously enough - and also, unintentionally - Russian people have taken a liking to our music. With the new EP, though, we’ve had a lot of great response from American listeners and blogs.

9.When can we expect a full length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Absolutely no idea. We’ve just released the new EP, Neon Messiah, which is our primary focus. Next up is the spoken word thing, so we’ll see how that goes, before we venture into new territory. 

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

- Earth, Torche, Kylesa, Converge, Mogwai, Swans, Sonic Youth, Yob have been our primary inspirations. Nowadays, Søren is listening to Corrupted and Karate. Andrew has been listening to Deafheaven a lot, but also discovered War recently.

11.What are some of your on musical interests?

- We work hard, we play hard.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Søren: Have you ever played oatmeal-canasta? If you haven’t then you’re missing out on something pretty special and a heart-warming adventure.

Andrew: Once a wasp flew into my living room and it landed in an open lamp bowl. It flew ‘round and ‘round getting more furious. Now see, the thing is, we hadn’t cleaned the lamp for a while so a great deal of dust had gathered. This created a sort of dust tornado, in the middle a furious wasp. Never in my life had I been so terrified and amused at the same time.

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