Although Denver's Manic are a relatively young duo, they are no strangers to the local music scene. Frontman Nikkolus Banos and guitarist David Richard are both former members of Denver band, Defy You Stars, and with a dedicated fan following and plenty of experience, the two are ready to pour their hearts and souls into their new project, Manic. This time, it is in the form of their brand new single, "Braille."
The song, which was recorded at The Blasting Room in Fort Collins, CO is a very intimate love song of sorts. We won't tell you what to hear, though. Listen to it for yourself below!
With plans to hit the studio to record more new music soon and a few shows coming up to support the release, Manic are hitting the ground running, promising a strong end to 2016. We recently caught up with vocalist Nikkolus Banos to talk about the Denver scene, "Braille" and the future of Manic. Listen to "Braille" and read the interview below!
You’ve been involved in many different projects in the Denver scene over the years. What is something that you’ve taken away from those past experiences and brought with you to Manic?
I definitely think it has helped me personally learn and grow as a musician. I think of every band or project as a learning experience. It has made me appreciate different styles of music. I like to think that Manic. is pretty eclectic and has it's own style; and that's because I don't draw inspiration from one type of music, rather many types. I learned what not to do and how I want to do things this time round.
What has been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned while involved in the Denver scene?
I've learned how important it is to really live in the moment. I've met so many amazing people and I've seen so many bands, met so many fans. Once upon a time I took it for granted and got distracted. It wasn't emotionally fulfilling. Meet as many people as you can, hug every single one of them, leave it all on the stage, and allow yourself to experience what is going on. Put the phone down, leave the drama at the door, make friends, listen to new music. The music and the people around you are more important than anything.
You’re just dropping your new single, “Braille.” What inspired this song?
The song is basically about that really touchy and intense kind of romance between two people when you can't keep your hands to yourself. Like this person is the closest thing to divinity you've ever experienced and it makes you feel very exposed and very human. It's hard to describe, but I see a specific moment when I close my eyes. This girl and I were together and one day it was really coming down outside and we decided to lock ourselves in her room all day. At some point we were listening to this really obscure Johnny Cash record on vinyl, she was smoking a cigarette by the window, and I was studying her like a map. And I felt this really profound sensation I couldn't put words too. So I wrote "Braille" about it.
What was the highlight of working on “Braille?”
We worked with some really cool people on it. We had the opportunity to record it at the Blasting Room with Chris Beeble. I absolutely love working with him. The amount of work he put into it with us made it feel like he was a part of the band. We stayed up late ironing out kinks with us and he brought cool ideas to the table as well. This time around I was able to record drums. Not many people know, but drums was my first instrument. Playing drums is one of those things that I love to do but has gotten away from me. So it was nice to be behind a kit for a few hours. We went in with a rough version of the song, and a lot was changed and written on the fly. We were able to get it mixed by Eric Palmquist, who has worked with Bad Suns, Thrice, and Night Riots. I love his work. He brought a new element to the song that was instrumental in achieving the tone of the final product. Chris Gehringer mastered it. He has mastered records for Twenty One Pilots and The 1975, which are two of my favorite bands.
With the release of “Braille,” can listeners expect to hear any other new music soon?
I have a lot of new material! The set we are going to be playing consists of both new songs and re-envisioned versions of some of my favorite Defy You Stars songs. For a while I thought I had to get away from my old material and I concluded that I just needed to breathe new life into it. I plan on recording both new and nu-old stuff. Right now it's just the matter of when we will have the means to make it happen. Hopefully it will be in the near future, because if it were up to me we would be releasing a new track every month.
What is the rest of 2016 looking like for Manic?
For a while we were doing acoustic shows while we were writing. That's over now. We'll be doing full band shows now, hopefully a lot of them. Manic. has already done more shows since March than Defy You Stars did in a year. I'm hoping to keep that up because I love performing. We're gonna try to hit the studio again. I'm going to do everything in my power to make a music video happen, but I can't make promises yet. Although we want to tour, and we'll try to, it probably isn't in the cards this year. But we plan on being very busy!
10/15/16 - Colorado Springs, CO - The Black Sheep w/ Cute Is What We Aim For
11/12 - Denver, CO - The Moon Room w/ Assuming We Survive