Manes recently released their album Teeth, Toes And Other Trinkets, which is a collection of eleven unreleased, obscure, hard-to-find and alternate versions from the Manes archives. We caught up with the band to ask them a few questions.
Could you introduce yourselves and tell us a bit about the band?
Torstein: My name is Torstein and I play bass and stuff. Manes is a band and/or project a bit to the left of traditional rockbands in many ways. We’ve never really had an urge to end up in the album/tour/album/tour treadmill, but rather try to keep focus on what we really like about all this, and that’s creating and releasing stuff we like ourselves…
Skei: Skei here, doing the geek stuff, plus guitars 🙂 And I make some of the music. The whole story is far too long to tell here, but in short: Manes formed in 1992, and has been going since then, with various breaks, changes and twists.
Eivind: I’m Eivind, making music and playing guitars. I would also like to mention that we’re involved in a lot of other projects too, such as Atrox, Calmcorder, Drontheim, Helsinki Horizon, Lethe, Chton, Manii, Kkoagulaa.
So 2014 has just begun – what’s in store for this year when it comes to Manes?
Skei: First it’s the Teeth, Toes And Other Trinkets compilation, then our next studio album Be All End All, which has been kind of in-progress since 2007-8…and then we can finally start working on new material! Additionally, it looks like we’re going to do some live appearances too!
Torstein: Yeah, this might be a busy year for us. For those that read, Manes is also featured in the new book Black Metal: Evolution Of The Cult by Dayal Patterson. Probably a cool book for those who just look at the pictures too.
Eivind: I think 2014 will be a very interesting year for Manes. There is a lot of things going on behind the curtains.
You recently released your album Teeth, Toes And Other Trinkets, which is a collection of rare and unreleased tracks. Was it a difficult decision to choose which tracks to include?
Skei: Not really…what took longest, was going through all the potential tracks. We had surprisingly similar ideas about what songs we wanted to have on it, not much yelling or fighting. 🙂
Torstein: We had quite a lot of stuff to choose from after we had climbed down the ladder and dug through the archives, but it all boiled down to the selection we ended up with. We had a little discussion, but we didn’t want this to end up too long, or as a double album, so we picked the right ones.
Eivind: Cern and Torstein came up with a list of songs to pick from and thus it was easy for us to select the songs.
Which track is your favourite on the album?
Skei: For me, it varies from day to day. Most of the songs have a different reason for being exciting…all of them, really, but if i had to pick one probably the jam/rehearsal version of Diving With Your Hands Bound 🙂
Torstein: I don’t have any favourites per se. Maybe Blanket Of Ashes or the live version of Ende from Vilosophe (Code666 2003).
Eivind: If I have to choose I think I would select Blanket Of Ashes. Maybe because it’s still “fresh to my ears”.
I thought the 8-bit closing track Deeprooted was a unique and amazing inclusion – what’s the story behind that one?
Torstein: That’s the full version of what ended up as the intro for our last album How The World Came To An End (Candlelight Records 2007). It was the result of our collaboration with this 8-bit artist called Flegmatical. That whole album was a collab extraveganza really – which was cool – and we wanted to share this whole “Deeprooted” version he created on his Nintendo Gameboy.
Skei: yeah, here it is, in all its glory..
Eivind: An interesting collab.
Are there any plans for some live shows in 2014?
Skei: Yes. We’re talking about a local ‘re-animation’ gig, and there are possibilities for some other appearances, both in Norway, and abroad.
Torstein: Yep, some festivals have shown interest, and we’ll probably do at least one of those. We’re eager to do some handpicked gigs here and there, but we won’t be touring, so be sure to stay in the loop to catch us out.
Eivind: There is something lurking in the shadows of the horns, so keep an eye on whats going on in the Manes camp and you might be in for a goodie or two.
What would you say the best show you’ve played has been?
Skei: Not sure…different shows for different reasons..
Torstein: Hmm. We haven’t played a lot of gigs, really, but personally I would say it’s a choice between a few. Either this one semi-accoustic gig we did at a gallery, at the opening of an art exhibition. The vibe there was really intimate and special, and we did some jammed out stuff there that we’ve never really done before or after that night. Then there’s another time where we collaborated with a noise act at this local experimental/noise “festival” in Trondheim… That was really cool and hmm…uncontrollable in many ways.
Eivind: I think I would have to say the gig we did at the Inferno Festival at John Dee in Oslo back in 2004. It was one of the first gigs we did. I guess you could say that “we nailed it” and the feedback from the audience were awesome.
Any interesting gig stories?
Eivind: Yes, but of course. To bad that the best stuff have to be kept secret within the Manes safe until we make and release a book.
Skei: Yeah, most of the interesting stories should be kept private, I think 🙂
Torstein: We got stuck in an elevator once, on our way to the backstage I believe, but as it turned out it wasn’t an elevator at all, just a small room.
If you could collaborate with another band or musician, who would it be?
Skei: Dälek, Burzum, G.G.F.H., Thorns, Shpongle…
Torstein: Ah, we dig all kinda collabs great and small. Maybe Tricky, Michael Gira or Varg Vikernes?
Eivind: Rammstein or Mike Patton.
If another band could cover one of your songs, who would you choose?
Skei: Again, Dälek 🙂
Torstein: Hard question. Maybe Venetian Snares?
Eivind: Depeche Mode.
And finally – if Manes could put their name to any product, what would it be?
Skei: Some GMO stuff…green soylent, pink slime, artificial flavouring.. 🙂
Torstein: Maybe a tooth?
Eivind: Mexican jumping beans.