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Jake Daniels, Adair Cobley & Clint Grego (Manntis)

Interview with Jake Daniels, Adair Cobley & Clint Grego from Manntis
by Katrina Cannon at 10 June 2005, 9:26 PM

For those out there that are out of touch with the world of Metal, Manntis is one of the three finalists of The Battle For Ozzfest, which aired in 2004 on MTV. I arrived at The Howlin' Wolf, in New Orleans and met with Dave Moscato. For those of you who did watch the show, you'll recognize him as Big Dave, the tour manager. So Dave took me to interview Manntis and they were all very down to earth and cool guys. I stuck around for their show and they put on one hell of a live show. I won't be surprised if they blow up in the next year, these guys were awesome. They are currently on tour and I recommend going to see them, and if you can't go see them then pick up their new album Sleep In Your Grave which will be released through Century Media Records on June 28th.

How’s the tour going so far?

Adair: Fantastic, we’ve been having a blast. All the bands are rad, all the turn outs for the shows have been really cool and the fans have given us great responses.

Clint: And lots of alcohol.

How did Manntis come to be and where does the name come from?

Jake: The names actually came from Clint and Jimmie, our drummer, and our original guitar player Matt. At our practice house there are always a lot of praying mantis flying around and Clint being the joker that he is just said hey, let’s call ourselves Manntis, and that’s when I came into the band and that was about October of 2000, and ever since then we’ve just been fucking shit up wherever we play.

Clint: Yeah, during the spring, our whole practice room is covered in mantis, they’re everywhere, so we just started turning into them \[All Laughs]

You’ve recently signed a worldwide deal with Century Media Records and your debut album Sleep In Your Grave is due for release on June 28th. How do you feel about the whole thing?

Adair: Fricking ecstatic! It’s the most amazing feeling that I think all of us have ever had because all of us have been playing in bands for a long time now and it’s all that you strive for. It’s like Damn, I want to get my band signed and tour and all that stuff and finally we’re going to be doing real tours and we’ll get to tour with some bigger named bands. It’s just amazing and the fact that we’re going to be on such an amazing roster with some really kick ass bands.

Clint: With bands that we grew up listening to.

The producer on your album was Cameron Webb, who has also worked with Danzig, Motorhead, and Social Distortion. What was it like to work with such a well known producer?

Clint: He’s one of the coolest dudes that we’ve ever met. He’s like the most comfortable, laid back guy.

Adair: Yeah, he’s very down to earth and he has an amazing ear for the music that we’re doing. And he was very low key, just kicked back, very calm, but he was a very fast and efficient guy, he had everything done very fast, but he knew his shit and he was just very easy to work with and I guarantee he’ll probably, hopefully do our next record.

Jake: I usually don’t let anyone tell me how to do my vocals but he pretty much just sat me down and taught me a whole new way of screaming and opening my mouth and pronouncing words. I think it helped out a lot on the record.

Adair: He’s the one that made me do every single guitar solo on the CD, like I was just doing them as jokes, you know, doing some cock rock 80’s shit and he was just like Dude that’s bad ass, we’re gonna use it, we’re gonna leave it. He’s just got a really good ear and everybody really liked him.

Clint: He’s a genius. He’s definitely got talent, that’s for sure.

How did the recording go?

Jake: Quick and easy.

Adair: Yeah, it was very fast.

Jake: We already had all the material basically written and then we just had to throw in some vocals and get the lyrics down, stuff like that. But other than that, we were in and out in like a month or so. It was really fun, we had a lot of good times.

Is there any particular theme for the album? What is it about?

Jake: Pretty much just reality. I don’t try and sing about shit that’s made up or use big words that kids can’t understand. Basically Sleep In Your Grave has to do with our lifestyle, which is just partying and hanging out.

Clint:  Yeah, and living life to the fullest and when you’re dead then its over.  It’s bed time when you’re dead. For now, we’re going to live extreme, live our life to the fullest.

Adair: Hammer Smashed Face.

Where does the inspiration for your lyrics come from?

Jake: Just reality, life, family members that have passed away, friends and relationships, ex-girlfriends, stuff like that. What I went through as a kid listening to other vocalists, Ian MacKaye had a lot of good stuff back in the day with Minor Threat and the Hardcore scene. Basically just positive reality and being straight up.

It’s been said that your music has influences ranging from Meshuggah to Killswitch Engaged and Zao. How would you characterize your music?

Adair: I like to characterize our music as just straight up Heavy Metal. Just brutal Heavy Metal, cause I’m tired of all the different names for all these bands.  There’s like hardcore, post hardcore, metalcore, fashioncore, all this pussy stuff.  There’s like all these weird trends and stuff, there’s like hundreds of fucking categories for Metal now and I just want to say to everybody that we’re just a straight up Heavy Metal band. Big drums, loud guitars and guitar solos, screaming in your face; it’s just brutal.

Clint: Riverside brutality. Its very hard and very old school.

What are some of your musical influences?

Adair: Metallica, Slayer, Machine Head, Zao, Sepultura…

Clint: We have a lot of Hardcore influences too.  

Adair: Yeah, like Throwdown, Hatebreed, Strife, Unearth, God Forbid, Shadowsfall…

Clint: Its like, just put everything into a fucking blender and hit frappe, you know what I mean.

How was it to participate at The Battle For Ozzfest in front of such a large crowd?

Adair: Unreal. Still to this day it almost seems like it was a dream. In front of like 35,000 people. That’s something you dream about to play in front of that many people. It was just an ocean of people. It was one of the biggest sound systems and it was just totally surreal.

Jake: It was a lot better than having Big Dave and the other bands screaming in our ears, so it was kind of relaxing getting up there and having people actually cheer for us! \[All Laughs]

What are some of the most memorable things from that?

Jake: The pit we started, all the hands in the air, 35,000 people screaming, opening up for Slayer, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath.

Adair: Yeah, we got to play right before Slayer and that just kicked ass. It felt really good to have cheers from the crowd because there were a bunch of fucking drunk pissed off people that wanted to hear Slayer, you know, some evil, righteous music.

Clint: And they have no idea what we sound like, so they have to sit through it and wait.

Adair: Yeah, they’re just sitting there thinking Yeah who the fuck are these guys setting up, we’re waiting to see Slayer, you know what I mean.  It was definitely a tough crowd, so it was nice to get a good response.

Jake: Meeting Ozzy and Sharon, that was really cool. We still thank them to this day for giving us this opportunity and giving our band a chance out of the hundreds that tried out.  

What are Manntis’ plans for after this tour?

Jake: Tour.  Tour, tour, tour!!!

Adair: Hopefully shoot a music video as soon as we get home.

Jake: We’re getting everything worked out with our new management and we just want to tour for the next 6 years, do 200 shows a year at least, put out a new album, stuff like that.

Adair: Hammer Smashed Face, man, it’s kick ass all over the world.  That’s where we want to go. We want to expand and get our name out all over the U.S., do quite a few tours here before we get out of the country. We’d love to go to England, Germany, Japan, all over the place, just play for the whole world.

How has life changed since The Battle For Ozzfest?

Jake: A lot more emails! \[All Laughs]

Adair: Everything’s gotten a lot more serious.

Clint: It’s all a lot faster.

Adair: Yeah, everything’s very fast paced, things are really picking up. We’ve all been waiting for this moment for so long, so it’s like it’s finally happening.

Clint: No more slacking off.

Adair: Yeah, no more slacking off. This is all we do, we don’t have jobs, we just play Heavy Metal. That’s changed a lot, everybody has really cracked down on themselves and practiced their skills.

Any last words?

Jake:  Hammer Smashed Face!

Adair: Hammer Smashed Face!

Jake: Come out and support. We’re gonna tear your fucking town a new asshole.

Adair: And we’ll be back a million times.

Big Dave: I think you should just end the article for Jimmy who can’t be here and say Blue Tooth Boogey Out.

Everyone:  Blue Tooth Boogey Out!

Big Dave: That’s our road handle if anybody’s on the C.B., so if they hear Blue Tooth Boogey they know Manntis isn’t far behind. \[All Laughs]

Blue Tooth Boogey Out!


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