1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
1. Akem Manah is working on a new album for later in the year (2016). Will be releasing 2 singles before the album, each with their own exclusive song. First will be the song "From Hell They Ride" with the b-side being a cover of Mayhems "Pure Fucking Armageddon". Right now it is just Ivan de Prume (ex-White Zombie) on drums and myself (Dead Nedry) handling everything else.
2.The last album was released in 2014, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
2. I feel 2014's "Demons Of The Sabbat" took the earlier doom & death metal sound but heightened the death metal approach, while also trying to mix a little black metal. I feel it mixes 2 bands i really dig, Black Sabbath & Behemoth. I kind of liken it to some early My Dying Bride too.
3.Your lyrics cover some occult and satanic topics, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these subjects?
3. I enjoy writing about darkness as i feel it is more entertaining. Akem Manah is really inspired by horror, and satan, demons & death seem to be where it dwells. I have always had a darker side when writing, even when a kid. I have always felt that the darker side of things has a lot more to offer. The bad guys always seems to be more interesting then the good guy. Not all the time but quite often. I like to dig through old horror/cult movies, old stories from guys like HP Lovecraft & Edgar Allen poe and get some great stuff, some of which may have the occult vibe to it… Also, to dig through history and find great stories of dark weirdness. And religion or some form of occultism plays a big part in a lot of the old historical stories i find. i don't directly attribute the things i write to occultism, but it is there. I do feel more so that each song is a small horror passage, that has a more sinister side to it. Though when Akem Manah was first starting, i was reading a little about Anton LaVey, the Satanic Bible and the Church Of Satan. So there were some songs and occasionally still songs written that may bring that influence in. Though I am not Satanist, but i am not against it. But i found some of the things said interesting. I am not a fan or a part of any religion, but don't disprove the idea of a God, but don't believe it is how religion teaches it. So every once in while those feeling do get reflected into a song.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Akem Manah'?
4. Back in mid 2009, months before the band even existed, i was working on some new music and looking to possibly start a band/project and looking for names. Went through many ideas and came across Akem Manah. it is comes from an old religion called Zoroastrianism. Akem Manah (or Aka Manah) was the name for a demon/spirit of "Evil Thought" or "Evil Mind" and thought that it was a perfect fit, knowing that a lot of what i was writing would be dark and maybe a little sinister.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and alsohow would you describe your stage performance?
5. Akem Manah is really just a studio band. Though the original line-up did some small shows in 2009-2010 and on show in 2012, right before recording the 2nd album. The band was formed in Seattle, Washington, but right before the release i had to move a long distance away, so shows were really out of the question.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
6. Soon i really do hope to put a live lineup together. I live in an area where playing this type of music is hard and finding people to play it is hard as well. So hopefully around the time Akem Manah releases the 4th album this summer/fall, i hope to be in a place where we can get a good live lineup together and be able to starting performing live.
7.Recently Possession Records re-issued your 2014 album, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
7. Possession Production is a label i reached out to because they handle many great underground death/black/doom metal bands. While they handle a lot more black metal bands, they are willing to give other metal genres a chance if they think they are heavy enough & fits the theme of darkness & occultism. So they are a perfect fit. Another reason i reached out was because they handled an artist i enjoy Nortt. So seeing a band that i like and listen to, i had to reach out, and luck for me they liked what they heard and were willing to work with me.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of doom metal?
8. Hard to really see not being a touring band. But the reviews i have seen for all Akem Manah releases have been good. Haven't seen any negative reviews or comments on music. Had one review that was not super good for this last album "Demons Of The Sabbat". It came from a person who was not a fan of the doom metal genre, and straight up said so, but the review wasn't bad, basically just an impartial review. In the end, reviews good or bad wouldn't change what i do. While i like seeing good reviews, and people enjoying music. I make the music i want and enjoy. So nothing good or bad will change that.
9.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the bands members are a part of?
9. Right now there are no other main projects. Drummer Ivan de Prume owns his own recording studio, so he does a lot of things for bands. His former band White Zombie has a box set of their early material coming out in June called "It Came From N.Y."… As for me , i am alway working on material, mostly for Akem Manah. I have ideas for a new solo ep to release either this year or next year. Also have a black metal project i started years ago called Matanbuchus that i wish to finish work on a new album. But right now my focus and mind is set on Akem Manah.
10.When can we expect new music and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
10. Well the first single/b-side, "From Hell They Ride / Pure Fucking Armageddon" should be very soon, hoping early April. Another single will be June. And 4th full length album will hopefully be out in the fall (2016). It will be a continuation of style from the last album "Demons Of The Sabbat", but a few song written have a little more black metal approach. They are not black metal songs, but incorporate some black metal instrumental passages. I try not to stray to far from the main sound but i find some experimentation good.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
11. Early on the influences were Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, Ramesses, My Dying Bride, Skepticism, Thergothon, Evoken & Sunn o))). Lately a lot more Behemoth, Primordial, Dimmu Borgir, Amon Amarth, Satyricon, Immortal & Mayhem influences have crept in. But of course the early doom metal influences are still there, bands like Uncle Acid, Ghost, 11 Paranoias, Windhand, Bloody Hammers, Lucifer & Brimstone Coven, But really anything musically can influence me. I can listen to The Doors, Cream & Jimi Hendrix before recording. But Black Sabbath has probably been the biggest influence on me no matter what or when i am recording. I am always looking for new bands to listen to, i would say the bands i listen to most right now are Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Mayhem, Behemoth, Satyricon, Uncle Acid, Ramesses, Judas Priest, Amon Amarth, White Zombie, Ghost, Immortal/Abbath & Primordial.
12.What are some of your non musical interests?
12. Since Akem Manah has a lot of influence from old movies, that is one thing. I have collections of old horror movies, cult films and mafia movies. Mafia stuff especially, always had an interest in that. Like reading and watching stuff about old cult stuff like the Manson family, which helped inspire some new lyrics. I am also a gamer. In between writing music and working, i like to play video games, many different types.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
13. I want to thank everyone who has purchased and listened to Akem Manah's music. Want to thank Possession Productions. New music is coming very soon. It will be just as dark and just as heavy if not more so than before. So stay dark, stay twisted and support underground music.