Earlier this month, Northern Beaches based duo ManaLion released their latest full-length album Nothing II Lose. Ever since then, we’ve had the album spinning on repeat.
ManaLion make the kind of music you can’t help but groove to, so we caught up with members Mondo and Duan & Only to chat about the new album, their ever-evolving sound, and what you can expect heading along to one of their live shows.
Fresh off the release of their incredible new album Nothing II Lose, we caught up with Sydney two-piece ManaLion for a chat.
HAPPY: Hey, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?
MONDO: Just finished an omelette breaky with my lady in our little kitchen in Dee Why, Northern Beaches.
DUAN: Sitting in a cafe in Barwon Heads (Victoria) after wrapping up a run of solo shows and then off to the Australian Open.
HAPPY: We’re really loving Nothing II Lose! And it’s your first full-length album since 2014, right? How do you feel your sound has changed since then? If at all…
MONDO: Hhmm that’s a good and tricky question… For me, I think it’s a new and exciting evolution from then to now. Our new sound on this album I think is a good notch above in production quality and the songwriting and structures seem to flow a bit better, however, I still totally love the first album as well.
DUAN: I love the new record! Personally, I wanted to write more catchy tunes as I love it when people sing along to our songs. I also wanted to move toward a more commercial route as I don’t like being pigeonholed as a reggae band. I love reggae but we have a range of genres to our music.
HAPPY: Now that the album’s out in the world, are there any particular tracks you’re most proud of?
MONDO: Apple Tree for me because it was born out of a few different ideas that I presented to Duan, he liked it, we fine-tuned it together and it came out great. Breakdown –I’m a drummer and this is a drum-heavy song, say no more.
DUAN: Voyage and Alright as I was going through a pretty difficult time.
HAPPY: There are so many different genres incorporated in your music… do you feel like your sound is always evolving? Or do you feel like you’ve settled on something concrete?
MONDO: Forever changing, growing, hopefully for the better haha.
DUAN: I’d like to think we’re always evolving, not just musically but also personally. I’m really proud of Nothing II Lose and I’m sure our next body of work will be a progression of this project.
HAPPY: Are there any particular bands you seek inspiration from?
MONDO: Alien Weaponry (NZ), Sublime, Metallica, The Sound of Music, Snoop Dogg, Uncle Bob, Rage Against the Machine (We sound like none of them haha but I love em).
DUAN: I’ve been listening a lot to Mac Miller and Post Malone. But I’ve just discovered this kiwi band called Mako Road and I’m digging them atm.
HAPPY: For me, Nothing II Lose felt like some journey outer space. What do you want listeners to feel when they’re listening to your music?
MONDO: I like it when an artist/band or song moves me, whether its happy vibes, party vibes, deep and emotional stuff or straight up moshing… if we can have any of those effects on people then I’m happy.
DUAN: I think people relate to music in different ways, whether they’re moved by someone’s tone of voice, lyrics, chord progressions or beats, it all affects us differently. I just hope our listeners don’t get bored and each track offers something new.
HAPPY: You’re about to head out on a pretty big national tour… what can people expect heading along to a show?
MONDO: Expect to dance, sing and rage out with us haha.
DUAN: Yeah lots of the above!
HAPPY: What’s next for ManaLion beyond the tour? Any other exciting plans in the works?
MONDO: A brand new video clip for the track Floating 2s, more Aus-NZ tour dates. High rotation radio play, sold out shows, screaming fans followed by a chain of messy public meltdowns… No, but seriously just keep grinding, touring pushing the album and just keep doing what we love: Music!
HAPPY: Cheers for the chat!
Listen to Nothing II Lose above, and catch ManaLion live at any of the following dates:
Jan 26th – Sydney (Newtown) – The Hideaway Bar (Album Release Show)
March 9th – Sydney – The Metro Theatre (supporting House of Shem)
March 10th – Canberra – The Basement (supporting House of Shem)
March 14th – Sunshine Coast – Villa Noosa (supporting House of Shem)
March 15th – Gold Coast – Parkwood Tavern (supporting House of Shem)
March 16th – Brisbane – The Backroom (supporting House of Shem)