MM: It’s great to chat to you today, how pleased are you with your new Album and the general feedback from both fans and the media
SJ: Thank you, the same to you. We are really pleased and proud of our new album. It’s been a really satisfying process we been through while writing the material for ”To Kill To Live To Kill. There’s been some changes in the line-up since the last album saw the light of day, so we have been quite excited to about the feedback from our fans and the community in general.
And the feedback have been quite overwhelming, we have received a lot of positive responses from our fans on the social medias and we couldn’t be more thrilled how this journey had developed.
MM: The album itself boasts 12 amazing songs, which tracks are you particularly proud of and why.
SJ: Well, we have been working quite intensely on the new material and put many thoughts into every single track. Furthermore, as a lead guitarist I have my own little story to tell during the guitarsolos. So if I have to choose, it will be:
Echoes of a Silent Scream, it’s a fast and powerful track that adds in influences from the death metal scene which suits me really well as a muscian and listener in general.
Katana: Awakening the lunacy. I think we hit this quite well compared to the story it represents from the novel Lars wrote. It’s grandiose and dramatic as we like it. It´s quite obvious that the lunacy awakens on this one, at least that´s what I think.
Growth, this one represents a new sound for Manticora which haven’t been heard on previous releases. This track is quite special to me. It´s funny thinking how this one ended out, we really didn’t knew the outcome and only started up with the first riff you hear: ”Growth, Growth…” It’s a string skip between two strings, and ”hey” where do you go from here? It was really intuitive and a proof that we really work well together as a band, it was a process we all learned a lot from and even more important, it was a lot of fun.
MM: The Album title is a concept Album can you give us a brief history about the ideas and inspirations.
SJ: well, the whole album is based on Lars´ novel ”To Kill To Live To Kill” which is a horror story. It was released a few months before the album was released, giving the fans the chance to read the story before diving into the album and really understand the concept. Without revealing too much for those who might read it, it’s an ultra violent story bout a guy who becomes a brutal assassin. And at the same time you have this story about a Katana (a sword) that actually get´s a very important role in the novel.w1
MM: If I was totally new to you which two tracks from the new Album would you play to introduce me to Manticora
SJ: A lot of the tracks are quite complex, so for a totally new listener of Manticora I would pick ”Echoes of a Silent Scream” and ”Through the Eyes of a Killer - Towering over You”. To be honest I think that ”To Kill To Live To Kill” is that kind of album you have to listen to from the beginning to the end. And if you really want to understand the concept of the new album, you should do yourself a favour and read the book as well.
MM:The Album cover is interesting can you give us some insight into it
SJ: The artwork for the album is done by the very talented artist David Troest from Denmark. We contacted David after seeing some of his work and luckily David was in for the job after introducing him to our ideas. The cover represents different stories from the novel/album, so you have these stories surrounding the maincharacter. And well, this might not be a coincidence.
MM:Will you have the artwork framed on your wall at home
SJ:No not at home, then it should be at the rehearsal studio. But I like to keep my home kind of neutral. I mean, I do have instruments and so on at home but sometimes it’s just nice to close the door and call it a day. Saying that, I think that David did a fantastic job on the artwork and actually we have more things coming from David which we are very excited about.
MM: Can you tell us your plans tour and festival wise.
SJ: We are heading on a North American Tour with the great prog metallers Persefone from Andorra. The tour will be kicking off in Mexico City 26. August 2018 and we will be playing shows in USA and Canada as well. When we get home from that tour, we´ll have some danish shows to play. And that’s pretty much sums up 2018, for now. In 2019 we have been confirmed for Karmøyggeddon Metal Festival in Kopervik, Norway. And some other festivals might be confirmed soon, but that´s still in the making.
MM: What can we expect from Manticora live?
SJ: You can expect a band that are dedicated and are more than thrilled to be back up there on stage. Manticora are all about atmosphere, fast and tight riffing and the will to create a dramatic storytelling. I think the whole energy surrounding the band shows when we are on stage, the fans should be in for a treat.
MM : What do you like best about touring - how do you rate the importance of being seen live and meeting fans whenever possible?
SJ: Touring is the best part, it´s here you get the response from the fans and get to meet them. I mean the whole thing, touring, going from town to town while playing gigs and meet up with fans face to face, that´s just awesome.
I think it’s extremly important to go on the road and present the band in the best way possible, meeting the fans really is the most rewarding part, without them we wouldn’t be touring. We are lucly to have true dedicated fans supporting us, being active, posting pictures, link to reviews on our fanbased Facebook site ManticoraArmy.
MM: Whats the Metal scene like in Denmark
I think the metal scene has grown over the years, a metal festival like Copenhell shows that pretty well. It has reached it’s limit now due to capacity and it’s being sold out.
There a lot of new metalbands from Denmark, I think it’s cool to see many new upcoming bands bringing in new ideas and trying to make it in the music business. Bands that comes to mind is Baest, Møl and Bersærk.
MM: What's the most memorable concert you've been to (other than your own) and why?
That has to be Dream Theater when they played in Copenhagen in 1995 when they toured after the release of Awake, Fates Warning was warm-up. At the time I think they were one of the most revolutionary metal bands around and Fates Warning as warm-up, doesn´t get much better than that. Definetely one to remember.
MM: Being in a Metal band you’re bound to like a drink or two, so who’s the party animal of the band and what’s their poison?
Well we all like to get a drink or two, to be honest with you we are quite boring when it comes to the drinking part. I mean we do have parties where we hang out up and get a lot of beers and gin and tonic, I think that’s the drink of Manticora, not very metal to be honest. But we dot not have this party animal in the band.
MM: Which are your Two favourite albums of all time and what they have meant to you personally
SJ: Dream Theater – Awake, actually I thought of Images and Words, but Awake had a huge impact on me as a guitarist. And personally I think that the Awake album is one of the most complete albums ever made, a masterpiece from start to finish.
Yngwie Malmsteen – Odyssey: Yngwie was probably my first real guitar inspiration. I mean, the man is a living legend. I have very fond memories of this album. I know it isn´t the most highly rated from the swedish master, but I think he sort of perfected his sound and his songwriting skills on this album. There really are some killer songs and the guitar work was just ahead of it´s time, he really raised the bar for what shredding was and still this day today, his impact can be heard on upcoming guitar players.
MM: Can you tell me why we should buy "To Kill to live to live to Kill"
SJ: Because it’s the best record Manticora ever did.
MM: Four Words to describe Manticora
Fast, Melodious, Dramatic and Grandiose.
MM: Quick Fire Round
1.Festival or Small intimate gig
2.Vinyl or Digital
3.Danish Bacon or Carlsberg
4. lego or playstation
5. Hans Cristen Anderson or Donald Trump
SJ: Quick Fire Round
5. Hans Christian Andersen (H.C. Andersen)
Buy the record, go to the show, Manticora is coming to a town near you