Interview with: Maninnya Blade's vocalist Leif Eriksson
Maninnya Blade is one of those bands you've often heard off, but never really heard. The fact is the band released one classic metal album named "Merchants In Metal" back in 1986, which was enough to garner them a somewhat of a cult following. After two recent re-releases of their material, the band is back and active again, currently working on a new studio album. To find out more- we spoke with vocalist Leif Eriksson:
Hey Leif, I understand the band is currently working on a new album, how much of it is done by now?
Hi Alon. about ten new songs are written. “Ghost Town Ride”, “Down At Night” and “Sleep Terror Disorder” are a few of the titles. Nothing is recorded yet, but rehearsals are ongoing and have been for a while now. Things take more time these days, but our plan is to start the recordings during first half of 2007.
How is the album going to sound? Is it going to be similar to your classic material?
I’d guess we still have our roots in the 80’s, but we are not dead yet. Of course we are influenced by what is produced today. The new songs are much heavier, much thrashier and darker, a lot more “modern” metal. We are more experienced today, more focused, our goal is to make a production we can really be proud of.
Some history- how did you guys originally start out?
We were just four (at that time) crazy restless souls finding each other in the desire to make something new and brutal, musically. Our aim was to do what no-one else had done in our part of the world. For real. For the love of it.
What the meaning of the band's name?
The meaning is that we wanted something unique. You could interpret it anyway you want, really. In my mind one way is “the man inside”, another is an old swedish biblical word for woman - and then “Blade” because a metal band needs that kind of cool word in its name. These things resulted in the mistress with her sword who has been around on all our covers so far. Now it is the name we have to live with. Still unique, though…
You started out as a guitarist as well, why did you turn to vocals only?
I was too lazy to change strings. They became dirty and sounded bad, so I quit. Really – it was at the time Mike Wead joined, and he was a far better guitarist than me, and I have always been the opportunist with a lot of things to say, so focusing on the vocals felt natural for me.
I understand some band members were also part of Hexenaus, what was the relation between the two bands?
Hexenhaus was born out of the ashes of Maninnya Blade. Besides the fact that some of the members of Maninnya were involved in Hexenhaus early history the bands have little in common, if you ask me.
Why didn’t the band go on after releasing "Merchants In Metal", why wasn’t a second album released?
The sound of this album became totally different in the post-recording process, the power and the drive was reduced from originally pounding to poor, and it really turned us down. We had a fight with the label and got dropped. Band members left and eventually the hunger died. We made this “Incubus” demo that I think basically was really good, but it never resulted in a proper album production.
What did you do during your time away from the band?
I have a life as well. I added different values. I walked the streets like an average mortal, I’d guess... I’ve made two home demo recordings just for the fun of it, rather far from Maninnya sound. These made me rediscover my love for music again. My own music in particular, that is.
What led to the release of 2001's "A Demonic Mistress From The Past"?
This little independent label just contacted us one day and proposed a release. We never really understood why, but of course we liked the idea. A little ego is never wrong, is it? And on vinyl? Yeah, why not?
When did you get the idea to re-unite the band?
The Maninnya spirit never died. When we were invited to play at the "2000 Decibel metal festival" it just woke up and we decided to go for it again. It could be spelled “revenge”. We feel we have something to prove.
How did "Undead, Unborn... Alive" take form?
Marquee Records is a label that is specialized in re-releasing bands from the past. They believe in our legacy and we finally agreed on doing this as an epitaph of the undead, to the things that were. We put together about everything we ever recorded and added some new live recordings, primary for the collectors and the die-hards. It's pure nostalgia, and can’t be compared to anything else. As a life sign. Some good, some not that good…
How did you feel during your 2002 re-union gigs?
I must tell you, it was some of my life's greatest moments! It was 17 years since last time on stage with my good old friends, but I then realized how big a part of my life our music really was. It was as high as you could possibly get without drugs.
Hexenaus's Mick Wead used to play with you, are still in contact with him?
We have met once in a while over the years, but otherwise no, we live in different worlds today, so to say.
Being such a veteran of the Swedish metal scene, how do you view the current one?
It makes me happy to see that this kind of music never seems to die. What is been done today is really, really good, and Sweden is a top producer of metal today.
How different is the band's working relationship now than what it was when you started out?
We are more focused now. We all know our places. I write all the lyrics, Nicke (basically) writes the music. We don’t interfere in each others work too much, we have no time for that. We try not to discuss everything like in the old days. We have learned to fully rely on each other, and then we’re having a couple of beers, naturally…we are better friends then ever.
How far are you going to take this reunion? Touring? A label contract?
We’ll first of all make sure we’ll make the production of our career. Of course we'll get a deal somehow, we are not concerned about that, and it’s no big deal these days. When it comes to touring – well, we already know that stuff, we are older today, with families and ordinary jobs…This business is about the hardest on earth to survive commercially on, so we don’t even pretend we could be that successful that touring is the future. But of course we want to play, that’s one of the main things about being a band. To feel the monster again, the living creature within the music, is worth a lot. You’ll never know…
That's all, Thanks for the interview, the time and the effort. Let's hope to hear more from you guys soon