Manntis breaks through into the mainstream

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By Griffith Fuller

BREAKTHROUGH (Courtesy of Manntis)

By Griffith Fuller

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines metal as “any of various opaque, fusible, ductile, and typically lustrous substances that are good conductors of electricity and heat.”

If you can apply that definition metaphorically to hardcore rock fans’ denotation of metal then it all will make sense. Local hardcore metal band Manntis embodies the essence of the metaphorical definition.

The band’s influences include Pantera, Slayer, Hatebreed, Lamb of God, and Delinger Escape Plan.

In a phone interview rhythm guitarist Jeremy Swanson said: “Pantera especially influenced us. Pantera stayed true to metal.”

Manntis have a distinct yet familiar sound in the world of metal.

“We’ll have crazy huge metal breakdowns and we’ll go into melodic breakdowns,” Swanson said. “Our music is emotional.”

Indeed Manntis music is emotional. Its song “A New Breed of Life” is filled with a lot of aggression and power, as well as “Shades of Hatred.” Even without the lyrics, the guitar riffs are apocalyptic bliss. Lead vocalist Jake Sirokman holds the epitome of hell in his voice as he screams so heavily that Lucifer himself would be wary. “My Enemy” is equivalent to any hardcore song done by their inspirers.

“Metal has more than evolved,” Swanson said. “When Pantera came out they were the big metal thing. It’s more accepted compared to how it was back then.”

Some bands play music and don’t really know what they are doing. Manntis knows metal, live metal, breathe metal, and it’s only the beginning of its career.

“Metal is a way for people to get away; kids get into a pit and let out aggression. Playing it live…it’s no other drug in the world!” Swanson said.

The band was fortunate enough to see the original Judas Priest, God Forbid, Slipknot, and Throwdown at Ozzfest this year.

“It was a true metal-fest this year,” Swanson said. “It usually would take up to a year to see all of those bands, but we saw them in one day.”

In June 2004, Manntis tried out for a contest for metal bands who wish to play on the Ozzfest 2005 tour. Mantis became one of the six metal bands picked out of hundreds for MTV’s “Battle for Ozzfest” conducted by Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne.

The show presented a twist in which only one member of the band would be selected to travel a tour bus to represent the band. The winning band receives a cash prize, new equipment, and a spot on Ozzfest 2005, the tenth year anniversary.

Lead guitarist Adair Cobley was selected to represent Manntis. MTV has aired four episodes of Battle for Ozzfest so far and since then Manntis has been getting recognition.

“It’s weird,” Cobley said. “We left on tour a day after the show aired and went to the mall; people noticed us. We’ve been doing radio shows that would laugh at us before. We’re on TV and it’s like ‘What’s going on?’ We are getting respect.”

Band representative for Battle for Ozzfest, Cobley, says that his favorite Metallica album is “Master of Puppets.”

“All of the songs… they have the best songs. It’s an amazing album; almost 20 years ago it came out,” he said.

Cobley stated that he couldn’t talk with the band too much while away on tour for Battle for Ozzfest, but he would call the band members when he could.

Manntis is currently in the studio working on a new album in Anaheim. Manntis will soon go out on tour with Drowning Pool and Hed PE.

Cobley also appeared on MTV’s Total Request Live on Nov. 15.

The band returned from a show in Hawaii earlier this month and plans to play in Oregon Nov. 30.

When asked where they would like to see themselves in 20 years Cobley was optimistic.

“Hopefully we’ll last that long,” he said. “We are going to retire in a castle. We would like to thank fans for all of their support. Every show has been outrageous.”

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