The band Manifold may not mean a lot to you yet, but this little band from Central Scotland are flying the flag from home grown rock music and so far are attracting quite a bit of attention. I tracked the band down to have a chat with them about how it all started, what they’re up to at the moment and where they want the band to go.
As you look at the names of the band members, there’s no doubt that this is a glam metal band, who are carved from the same rock as bands like Steel Panther, Motley Crue and KISS. With band members names like D.D. Diamante and Trixxi Lixx, they are hardly going to be influenced by some of the more extreme bands like Slayer or Napalm Death now, are they?.
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Don't get me wrong, though, I do like a bit of hair metal myself and I am aware that there is still a very large fan base all, over the world for this type of music, so I sat with the band to find out how they formed in the first place. Manifold became an actual functioning band, I'm told in July 2012 but had been "hanging out together that it seems we've known each other a lot longer" explained vocalist D.D. Diamante.
Since then, the band has flourished both musically and socially. As guitarist Jones Jackson explained to me, "Over the past few months, we have gigged a great deal in Glasgow city centre and Dumbarton and we've developed quite a big fan base already, which is incredible considering we've not even been together a year yet". "We can't really say what our favourite gig has been so far, because we've enjoyed each and every one of them!" he adds with obvious enthusiasm. "We're having a brilliant time together, and we've been given a lot of great opportunities" explained drummer Rucka, "(and) we're very grateful to all those who have helped us so far in our journey, and allowed us to get the Manifold name out there in the Scottish music scene".
Asked about current plans, Jackson confirms that the band are working on their debut EP at the moment, which brings me nicely to the subject of the bands musical influences. "Well, our influences are very varied, which we think gives the band a sound that is very unique", comments Rucka, "As a group, we're greatly influenced by rock bands such as KISS, Motley Crue, Steel Panther, Skid Row and Def Leppard". Jackson adds at this point that he and other guitarist Trixxi Lixx are big fans of the Motown sound while Rucka is a fan of blues music. Asked what influences herself, Diamante is quick to point to vocalists from many different genres including Bon Scott, Annie Lennox, Joni Mitchell and Skunk Anansie vocalist Skin.
Bass player Rexx MacTavish is last to answer telling me that he likes his music "a bit heavier preferring to listen to a lot of Industrial and Thrash Metal bands. Actually, I'm a big fan of Pantera and because of this, we managed to secure a support slot with Pantera UK (one of the UKs premier Pantera tribute bands) on the Glasgow leg of their recent tour, which was just awesome!"
When asked them what first attracted them to the Glam metal style, Lixx jumps in to answer the question: "Oh that's easy to explain" he says with a smile, "when we first met, we realised we all had a shared love of the genre. We had all grown up listening to the music, and to be honest, we're all really big 80s kids at heart!" "We love the musical style: the sleazy sound of the guitars, the powerful vocals", Lixx continues, " we love the fashion as well, and that's something that we try to emulate in our stage show and our promo pictures - the amount of hairspray we go through is fucking ridiculous!" The band are also happy to admit that they love to put a glam spin on classic songs which are not necessarily within the glam rock genre too.
As the band produce their own material and are not simply just another covers band, I ask the about their song writing process. "We all pitch in ideas, so it's not just a case of one lyricist, or musician, dealing with it all", Diamante tells me. "For us, it's all about team work - we all have our own ideas which we write down, and then we chop and change the music or lyrics that we have and improvise the track until we get the sound that we all really like". "Don't get us wrong, adds Diamante, "the themes of our music reflect our love for the genre, and not to mention our love of partying!"
With the prospect of the new EP being released later this year, I move the conversation onto the bands live shows, asking them to tell me what someone going to a Manifold show can expect: "With us", Rucka explains, "as soon as you hear that first beat on the drums or that first chord scream from the guitar, it's a non-stop party. Our hope is that the audience have a brilliant time, obviously, and that they leave the venue with a smile on their face!" "For those who don't believe it", he continues, "get your asses down and check us out whenever you get the chance. Manifold are here to stay!!"
Bringing the conversation to a close, I ask them to be realistic and tell me what they really want the band to achieve: "We just aim to be the best we can be" explains Jackson in a serious moment, "Glam Rock is a genre which has really come back into prominence in the last few years, and we hope that our fans appreciate our new spin on a more classic genre." A heartfelt sentiment indeed, and when asked to describe the band in just one word, MacTavish smiles wryly before putting forward the phrase "Glamtastic!" I couldn't have said it better myself!