SXSW 2017 Interview: Mantra

By on Thursday, 23rd March 2017 at 1:00 pm
 

I go through these phases in my musical tastes every so often and this year, it was clear that coming out to Austin for SXSW 2017, I would be needing a heavy dose of headbangingly good music. One of the bands I was most looking forward to in providing me this musical goodness was Ealing rockers Mantra (stylised MÃ¥ntra, left to right at top: drummer Rob Emms, lead singer/guitarist Simon Stark and bassist Rich Leeds), who I was pleased to see Tuesday night at Scratchouse as part of the Killing Moon / ReverbNation showcase. They released their most recent EP ‘I Want’ in January, so it was perfect timing for them to come out for their premiere visit to and performance in Austin.

After a bit of a scheduling mess and the loss of a tape recorder, the band helpfully met up with me and Carrie outside a burger joint in 6th Street to have a conversation about their music. I was gobsmacked to find out they thought their style of music wasn’t hard rock (?!?) and it was great being able to chat with the guys about the hard rock obsession with Led Zeppelin I’ve had since I was a kid. While looks can be deceiving, a band with the name Mantra has nothing to do with yoga, or at least yet. They also filled me in on their individual influences, as well as their excitement having played on the same bill in Austin at Bungalow with American greats Jimmy Eat World. Listen to the interview below. Our ongoing coverage on Mantra will be available through this link.

Mantra at Killing Moon / ReverbNation showcase at Scratchouse, Tuesday 14 March 2017

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