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MANIFEST: metal is written in their blood

MANIFEST: metal is written in their blood
BANDS : Manifest

Norway has been known for a long time as the home of black metal music, but there are persistent rumors that one of the best Norwegian live acts is, in fact, playing thrash metal. Meet Manifest, a rather young Trondheim band: not interested in playing soft stuff and going for the throat everytime! Why do they do that, might you ask? Because it’s Written in their Blood, as the title of their 3rd album explains. Guitarist Ole promptly consented to the blood test:





Metalfan: Hi Ole and welcome to Metalfan.ro. Do you like giving interviews? How about reading interviews?
Ole Marius Larmerud: Hi, thank you. I like giving interviews, because it`s a good way to promote the band. Reading interviews is cool, but I prefer to read a printed interview in a magazine.

Metalfan: Tell us a bit about yourself as a musician: when did you start playing guitar and who inspired you to do it? How would you describe your playing style?
Ole Marius Larmerud: I started playing guitar at the age of 12, inspired by Angus Young. A friend of my parents gave me lessons almost for free. I have my roots in rock&roll playing, but the last ten years have been devoted to metal.

Metalfan: You had a 3 years stint in another Trondheim band, called Atrox, playing a different kind of metal than with your current band. What can you tell us about that experience? And about trading avantgarde metal for thrash metal?
Ole Marius Larmerud: I was in Manifest two years before I joined Atrox, so it was kind of a side project for me. I knew the guys in Atrox and they needed a new guitar player and asked me to join. A couple of years later they asked me to leave ha,ha! I was too busy with Manifest and did not have time to make Atrox a priority. We made one album together, Orgasm (2004), and I think it`s a good album and I still talk to the guys from time to time, we`re still friends.

Metalfan: Your bandname - Manifest - goes very well with such an vibrant and energetic creative act as yours, but it is a quite common denomination, it doesn't really individualize the band. So why did you pick this name anyway, does it have a deeper meaning, are you trying to send a message through your music?
Ole Marius Larmerud: We are not a band that is trying to point out a political direction to people, if that`s what you mean. We picked the name from Sepultura`s Chaos AD album, there`s a song there called Manifest. I think it`s a good band name, easy to remember and sounds and looks good.




Photo by Siri Hovland Kaldal


Metalfan: Written in Blood is the band's third album. I haven't had the chance to hear your previous work, what does the new record bring new to the table? Is it better than the last album?
Ole Marius Larmerud: The first thing you would notice, is that this time we have a way better production than on the previous records. Plus I think the songs are better arranged. It`s difficult for me to say if it`s better than the last one, because I always feel that the last thing we made is the best, so I am maybe not the right person to ask. But right now it feels that way, yes. If you ask me in five years, maybe I`ll feel different about it.

Metalfan: Your music displays a raw intensity, an irresistible groove. How do you capture that live feel in the songs? How exactly do you guys write your music and how do you know that a song is good?
Ole Marius Larmerud: I write a lot of the riffs at home, and bring them to the rehersal place where we put riffs and parts together and write the songs as a band. We`re jamming and testing out different ideas together. A couple of the tracks were written in the studio while recording, working tight together. We have always felt that we should be able to play live what we deliver on the records. For example, we are only one guitar in the band, and on the records we don`t put rhythm guitars behind the guitar leads because that would not feel right in the live situation, where we then would be missing the rhythm guitar.

Metalfan: Where does all the anger in your music come from? Is every day life so stressfull? Do you hate your jobs? Your neighbours?
Ole Marius Larmerud: I hate going to work, I’ve always done that, but I`ve learned to live with doing it. My neighbors are cool. I don`t know, it just feels natural for all of us to play aggressive music. We are suckers for energy, don’t want to play soft stuff.

Metalfan: The album starts as a full on sonic assault but as it reaches the middle the rhythm is broken by two mid tempo songs: Pitch Black Inside and later on, Letter from the Grave, an accoustic track. Whose idea was it to expose this sensitive side of the band?
Ole Marius Larmerud: We wanted to write an acoustic intro to the track Irreversible, and came up with Letter From The Grave which we wrote in the studio. Pitch Black Inside is a song that I write the riffs to and Stian wrote the vocal melodies. The idea behind that song is that we wanted something heavy, something that made the record more interesting than just having ten tracks pumping at full speed.

Metalfan: The spoken intro of The Worst Is Yet to Come is another standout of the album. It adds a film noir-like atmosphere. What's the story behind it?
Ole Marius Larmerud: I came up with the music to the intro, and when we rehearsed the intro, Stian came up with the idea that he wanted some dark, spoken vocals. It reminds me of the movie Sin City, which is one of my and Stian`s favourite movies of all time. I think we have watched that film ten times together!




Photo by Siri Hovland Kaldal


Metalfan: Are you completely satisfied with your overall individual performance on this record? Is there any particular part that you are especially proud of? Now it's the moment to point it out!
Ole Marius Larmerud: I am very proud of the whole record and all band members performance. For my part, the guitar solo on The Worst Is Yet To Come is one of the moments that stands out I think.

Metalfan: For this album you worked with producer Knut "Fug" Prytz, recording tooks place at Trøndertun and Brygga Studio. Nowadays every extreme band goes to The Abyss, to Sonic Pump, to Finnvox, to Fredman. Everyone wants their album to be mixed by Sneap, Swano, Tagtgern or Madsen. But not Manifest. Who is Fug and why is this guy so special to you?
Ole Marius Larmerud: Fug is an old friend of the band. He used to work as an engineer in Godt Selskap studio where we recorded our first album, Half Past Violence. He also played guitar in Necrophagia for a while together with his brother Frediablo. He is special to us because we like to work with him and he likes to work with us. We have good chemistry.

Metalfan: Tell us a bit about the lyrics and the album title. What is Written in Blood and who is Tonnie von Adelaine? How do you pay the rent with a .45? Stian sounds quite menacing to me, are the lyrics dealing with violent topics?
Ole Marius Larmerud: The album title is first of all a classic thrash metal title which we think sounds badass. Having the word blood in the title makes me think of a lot of classic albums like Reign In Blood, Bonded By Blood, If You Want Blood You Got It and cool albums like that. The title has a deeper meaning too. Manifest have been going for ten years now, fighting our way through a lot of tough times. We have seen many bands come and go during those ten years, and we`re still here. It`s in our blood, written in blood. The title track is about Manifest and how we have fought to survive and are still standing tall. Other than that, the lyrics are some fiction, like Tonnie von Adeleine, and some personal stuff like Pitch Black Inside. Stian writes all the lyrics.

Metalfan: What do you think about about the presence of violence in the modern society? Are we living violent times?
Ole Marius Larmerud: We are living in violent times, definitely. It’s sufficient just to watch the news everyday, suicide bombers, terror, child molesters, it`s everywhere all the time, we are exposed to severe amounts of violence through media all the time. And it`s so fucking stupid, if theres a movie with sex in it, it`s not allowed to show a mans erected dick, but people being killed with machine guns, that`s fine! Wheres the logic in that?!?

Metalfan: Vocalist Stian Leknes has been involved in a travelling show called Earth Died Screaming, a tribute to famous experimental musician Tom Waits. What did the rest of the band think of this project of his? Did you attend to any of his shows?
Ole Marius Larmerud: Alessandro, our drummer, is also a member of that group, he plays percussion. I love Tom Waits and I think Earth Died Screaming puts on a hell of a show. I`ve seen them live a couple of times and I think they are great!

Metalfan: Your website introduces Manifest as one of the best live bands Norway has to offer. Everybody knows Norway has a lot to offer when it comes to metal bands, so this means you put on quite a show onstage. What is it that you have and other bands don't?
Ole Marius Larmerud: We have a lot of live experience, plus we have a killer instinct on stage that I see a lot of bands don`t have. We are going for the throat every time. It`s a kill or be killed attitude.




Photo by Erik Paulsen


Metalfan: Do you spend alot of time rehearsing? Are you picky about the shows offered to the band or you take any opportunity to be onstage? Do you find the recording studio boring?
Ole Marius Larmerud: We don`t rehearse a lot as a band together, since we live in two different cities. We used to rehearse a lot when we all lived in the same city, it was like four-five times a week for several years. Nowadays, we rehearse when we write songs or right before a show if it`s been a couple of months since the last gig. But in general, we don`t rehearse very often. I try to rehearse at home a couple of times a week.
We try to get as many gigs as possible, but we wont play any shithole around. We are dependent on having hotel rooms, a fee and the travel expences covered, plus a lot of beer. I think it`s cool to work in the studio, especially with Fug, but playing live is more fun.

Metalfan: Norway has a flourishing metal scene: countless noteworthy bands and excellent organizational structure. How does it feel to be a part of it? Is it all the land of milk and honey, does it have a downside, are there times you wish you'd rather be somewhere else?
Ole Marius Larmerud: We have a lot of good economical possibilities, it`s a lot of places in Norway to apply for money to different projects and stuff. The downside is that everyone wants to start a band. It`s so many bands here you would not believe it, everyone can afford a guitar or a set of drums. Right now I wish I was in the Bahamas, having a drink in the warm sun, the winter in Norway is cold as hell!

Metalfan: What's the most important Norwegian band (besides Manifest, of course, haha)?
Ole Marius Larmerud: I think that some of the black metal bands like Dimmu Borgir and Satyricon are some of the most important bands from Norway, even if I don’t like black metal. Either way you look at it, they have taken metal from Norway and made it famous. The downside about that of course, is that people outside Norway expect every metal band from Norway to play black metal, and if some band, like Manifest, don’t play black metal, people are suspicious to if it`s any good.

Metalfan: What is it that makes a band better than others?
Ole Marius Larmerud: The individuals working together like a well oiled machinery is what makes a band good. A band is not the guitar player, not the drummer, not the singer and not the bass player. It`s the combination that makes the magic happen!

Metalfan: How do you feel about the band's current renown level? You think you could have done better? How do you feel about the music industry? Does it want you to sell your soul to the devil?
Ole Marius Larmerud: I sold my soul to the devil a long time ago ha,ha! I feel that the music industry is filled with a lot of cool people, but it`s also filled with a lot of crap that I hate having to relate to. It`s not about good music anymore, it`s about the right contacts, having the right famous people in the band, having the right image and stuff like that. If you don`t suck the right dick at the right time, your band wont get there and that`s what I think is crap. I definitely think that Manifest deserves to be in at much higher place than we are right now, and I hope that Written in Blood can help us reach the level where the band belongs. One thing is for sure, we wont suck up to anyone to get there, we`ll get there our way!

Metalfan: Thank you for your time! Famous final word?
Ole Marius Larmerud: Thank you as well, and thanks for the interest in Manifest. Check out Written in Blood and come see us live when you get the chance!

Autor: Klawz
   November 15, 2010  | 0 Comments  | 7284 Views « BACK

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