MANTICORA are classic Danish metal. Check them out if you ahven’t already done so. Answered by Kristian Larsen/Guitars. Anders Ekdahl ©2021
Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you? How important is it to have the right name?
-BACK IN 1996 WE HAD A LOT OF BAND NAMES THAT WE THOUGHT WOULD BE BEST SUITED FOR US. WE ENDED UP WITH MANTICORE, RELEASED A DEMO AND LATER FOUND OUT THAT THERE WERE OTHER BANDS OUT THERE WITH SAME NAME. INSTEAD OF STARTING ALL OVER, WE JUST CHANGED THE LAST LETTER TO AN A. THIS CREATED MANTICORA AND IS ALSO THE ORIGINAL NAME OF THE LEGENDARY CREATURE IN THE OLD DAYS I FOUND THE BAND NAME EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, BUT TODAY I DON’T THINK IT MATTERS.
Who would say have laid the foundation for the kind of sound you have? Who are your heroes musically and what have they meant to you personally and to the sound of your band?
-BANDS LIKE FORBIDDEN, SLAYER, SAVATAGE, SYMPHONY X, HELLOWEEN AND BLIND GUARDIAN ARE DEFINITELY SOME OF OUR BIG REFERENCES. WHAT COMES TO PERSONAL HEROES, I CAN SAY THAT THE GUITARIST CRISS OLIVA HAD A BIG IMPACT ON MY “EDUCATION” AS A HEAVY METAL GUITARIST. BUT ALSO JEFF WATERS FROM ANNIHILATOR HAD A SAYING IN HOW I WAS GOING TO PLAY GUITAR LATER ON.
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-FOR ME IT IS ABOUT THE APPROACH AND THE TONE IN EVERY RIFF THAT DECIDE IF IT IS A HARD HITTING OR A SLOW RIFF. IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER IF THE SONG IS FAST OR SLOW. IN MY HEAD A RIFF CAN BE SLOW OR FAST BEFORE I’VE FULLY CREATED IT. I RARELY CREATE FAST OR SLOW RIFFS… I CREATE RIFFS AND LATER DECIDE IF IT SHOULD BE IN A FAST OR SLOW SONG.
Will your music work in a live environment? What kind of stage environment would best suit your music; a big stage or a small club?
-WE’VE ALWAYS KNOWN THAT OUR MUSIC IS MADE FOR THE LIVE SCENE. WE LOVE PLAYING ON ALL KINDS OF STAGES BUT MY PERSONAL FAVORITE IS IN THE SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZED CLUBS. THE INTENSITY IS OFTEN BETTER AND YOU ARE CLOSER TO THE AUDIENCE.
It is very hard to be 100% satisfied. Everybody seems to be disappointed with something they have released. Is there something that you in hindsight would have done differently on this your latest recording?
-You are correct… normally you would have something you would have done differently. But on this release, I don’t have any regrets. BUT if money, pandemics, and other weird things weren’t obstacles I maybe would have used way longer in the mixing and mastering process. I think we managed to “hit” the goal in the end.
Promotion can be a bitch. Even today with all different platforms it can be hard to reach out to all those that might be interested in your music? What alleys have you used to get people familiarized with your band?
-WE ARE COMPLETE MORONS WHEN IT COMES TO PROMOTING OURSELVES AND ON TOP OF IT, WE DON’T HAVE THE MONEY OR BRAINS TO BATTLE WITH THE BIG LABELS AND PROMOTERS. WE’VE TRIED USING FACEBOOK, BANDCAMP, SPOTIFY AND OUR WEB SHOP WITH DIFFERENT RESULTS. WE WOULD LOVE IT THOUGH IF WE ONE DAY COULD GET OUT THERE AND GET SOME PROPER EXPOSURE.
To me art work can be the difference between bust or success. What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-It is a hard question to answer… In my opinion the front cover should reflect the storyline or the theme on the album. I see so many front covers today with absolutely no connection to the title or the theme.
Sometimes it is just a great looking artwork, with a completely irrelevant title. I think that an album “as a whole” includes the cover artwork, lyrics and theme or concept.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? Is a local/national scene important for the development of new bands?
-WELL, I THINK THAT WE’VE FINALLY ACCOMPLISHED TO BECOME PART OF THE NATIONAL SCENE IN DENMARK…. AFTER 20 YEARS. WITH THAT SAID IT IS IMPORTANT TO SAY THAT MANTICORA NEVER WAS PART OF THE SCENE IN DENMARK AND THAT MADE IT REALLY DIFFICULT TO SUCCEED… SO YES, IT IS IMPORTANT TO GET RECOGNITION ON YOUR HOME TURF. WITHOUT IT YOU DON’T HAVE THE GUTS TO TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE BORDERS.
I could just be me but I got the feeling that the live scene is not what it used to be. Could be that more and more people use the net to discover bands instead of going out and supporting new bands live. What is you experience with the live scene?
-WELL THE PANDEMIC SURELY KILLED THE LAST HOPE FOR THE METAL INDUSTRY… SO, I AGREE WITH YOU. TODAY THE INTERNET IS THE ONLY WAY PEOPLE GET TO DISCOVER NEW BANDS… THAT IS ALSO WHY WE SEE MORE ONLINE STREAMING CONCERTS AND SO ON. WE’VE HAD SO MANY CANCELLED LIVE SHOWS IN A LONG PERIOD OF TIME AND A EUROPEAN TOUR IN THE PLANNING… HOPEFULLY WE’LL SOON GET THE CHANCE TO PLAY FOR OUR FANS AGAIN…
What does the future hold?
-A EUROPEAN TOUR, A NEW ALBUM AND MAYBE A TRIP TO JAPAN AGAIN… I ACTUALLY DON’T KNOW. EVERYTHING IS GUESS-WORK AT THE MOMENT, BUT WE TRY TO KEEP OUR FOCUS SO THAT WE ARE READY ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CORONA VIRUS.
THANK YOU FOR TAKING YOU TIME TO DO THIS INTERVIEW WITH ME.