No longer Herros

No longer Herros
No longer Herros
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Local band Manatree kicked off the Fall Line Fest’s Saturday lineup at the National. “The biggest show we’ve ever played,” said Jack Mayock, acknowledging the scope of the Fest. A decent crowd of about a hundred greeted the band’s own take on pop music, which they describe as fun and accessible, while exploring ideas that add interest. As drummer Jack Oliver says, “Experience pop deliciously.” To me it’s pop with a punk accent, toss in some mid-song tempo changes and Talking Heads influence.

 

They’ve played as Herro Sugar for 5 years (since middle school). The band felt it was time to shed that middle school “nonsense,” especially in light of the imminent release of their new album. Mayock says they have questioned the Herro Sugar name for a while because of perceived confusion, “Some people thought it was a drug reference, others thought it might have related to racism – we just thought this was the last good chance to make a change.”

 

The album project is a direct result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, which raised more than their goal. They’ve finished recording at Montrose Recording Studio with Adrian Olsen engineering. Mayock says that it was an amazing experience because of the classic gear and the unique sound of the studio – it brought new dimensions to their music.

 

 

The Kickstarter campaign also funded a self-produced tour that included 10 dates as far north as New York. Not surprisingly, there were big nights and nights where only had a handful of people showed, pretty common for a band’s first tour. Even the so-called “crappy shows” let the band see and meet other bands and get ideas for their own sound. That’s the real payoff for all the hardship.  One highlight was a house show on steroids in Chester, New York, where a family’s barn was turned into a venue. It was their best show of the tour says Oliver, “There were a ton of kids on the barn’s second floor…it was completely packed.”

 

M 5College will challenge the band to stay together, but they’re committed to working hard to do that. At this point, everyone’s still in town. Being part of the Fest and playing the National (where they’ve play several times before) gave Manatree great exposure. Still, they prefer house shows because there’s no “awkward line of barriers” that separate their audience from them. For a band like Manatree that audience connection is what keeps them going.

 

 

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Manatree:

Jack Mayock- vocals, guitar
Tristan Fisher- guitar, vocals
Noma Illmensee- bass, vocals
Jack Oliver- drums

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