Straddling the broken white dash between big band and folksy pop, John Mancini and company caught our attention with his brand of slightly left-of-center, timeless songwriting and arrangements. With crispy clean production and surprising instrumentation, we felt it was only right to wheel the spotlight in his general direction and bring some groovy soundwaves to your earholes.
In our endless search for knowledge, we went even further and probed the frontman about the nature of his project as it launches it latest offering Sun King.
MusicZeitgeist: Tell someone who has never heard The John Mancini Band something about it.
John Mancini: Ever since I added the word “Band” to my last name in 2007, I’ve had several talented musicians join me in making original music, the most dedicated of whom has been Tom Haller, a great friend and amazing drummer. Just listen to that machine gun snare and those monster fills! It’s so much fun playing with this guy. We recently added two new members: Kevin Lichtfuss on bass and Adam Kuchta on keys. Live, we’re a powerful jam band with occasional horn players and special guests — including, of course, our most special guest: the audience.
MZ: Talk about your latest release “Sun King.”
JM: I spent over a year recording it as well as most of the money I had saved up from teaching. We recorded in a great studio and the production is top notch. Lots of layered vocals, horn arrangements and synthesizers. It’s also a great looking CD. We worked hard on getting a design that matched the integrity and feel of these songs, several of which run 6+ minutes. We’ve got tight pop songs on here, but the long form jams are something that we often go for in concert, and we wanted to capture that on Sun King. With ten songs running almost an hour, it’s the kind of album you can listen to straight through, and it takes you on a little trip. Pick it up on iTunes or CDbaby or just about anywhere else. It will make you happy.
MZ: Where are you guys based at present?
JM: The city that gave you Animal Collective, Tupac Shakur, and Frank Zappa — Baltimore, baby. But we love to get out of town. Lately we’ve been making the trip up I-95 to Philadelphia and New York. Shooting down to Virginia. The East Coast is cozy. We’re on it.
MZ: How long have you been working at it? And when will you be satisfied that your work is done?
JM: I’ve been writing songs for over ten years. I love writing songs. I’m looking for that hit song, that one that changes the conversation, that one that sticks around to inspire the next generation. You know. Is that even still possible? I also just love playing live music and seeing live music. It’s a party I’m happy to throw wherever there is electricity and for however long I can move my limbs.
MZ: Where are we most likely to run into you next?
JM: Summer festivals… Film and television placements.. More features like this one.. What can I say? We’re getting popular. I hope more people will buy the album and support the project. Connect with us online. Come see a show. We would love to meet you!
- Official John Mancini Band Website
- John Mancini Band on Facebook
- Buy John Mancini Band at CDBaby
- Get John Mancini songs at iTunes
- The John Mancini Band at Amazon
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