MH2

MANHUNT have just released their debut selftitled LP and are set to hit the road with Internal Rot to promote it. We caught with singer Alix Katala to get the lowdown on what's been happening in the MANHUNT camp of late.

So let's start with a bit of background information? How did the band first come together and who initiated everything and who is currently in the band?

Sure! Myself, Jackson, Darcy, and bass player at the time Robert, really connected on similar levels RE: what kind of band we wanted to start and our intentions. We originally had two vocalists (myself being one), which didn’t work out, went through a couple of guitarists to find legend Chris (ex-Ghost Town) our now second guitarist. After Robert moved overseas early 2013, our friend Lena played bass for the months to come before also heading overseas, leading to us snatching up Moose (Starvation, The Weight, Lethal Dose Records) to play bass. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster to get to where we are now but everyone who has played for us are legends and our current line up is ace.

Is there one band or sound you all kind of agreed on trying to emulate at the start?

Not really honestly. Darcy, Jackson and I listen to pretty different subgenres of punk and hardcore but we do meet in the middle with a lot of bands we have in common. We like it fast, heavy, and as a full band we’ve never had any problems writing or coming up with music. We are a well-oiled machine, and I am confident the music we spit out is reasonably consistent and nothing gets recorded unless we all love it.

MH3

What about the way the band sounds now, is it how you envisioned it would be?

I don’t think any of us really envisioned it this far along! We’ve been actively playing shows for 2 years now, and jamming as a band for even longer. The way the band sounds now is a great reflection of our motivation and influences as a team, and how band members have grown in song-writing. We always aim to do better than previously, so each release is a step up for us.

Say you bump into an old friend on the street you haven't seen in years and they ask you what you're band sounds like? What do you reply with?

Hahaha oh yeah this is a hard one. I usually say “punk”, because that doesn’t sound as fierce as “hardcore” or “powerviolence”.. Sometimes people will say “oh like NOFX?” and I just say “…sure” and leave it at that.

One of your relatives asks you what sort of music you play, what do you tell them?

My mum is always asking me about Manhunt, she is super supportive. She just lumps it in with her other music taste (or lack there of) – Linkin Park, Nickleback, Limp Bizkit to Rolling Stones and Metallica. She likes heavier music so it’s never scared her off and everytime she finds a picture of manhunt online she sends me it all excited. I usually just try and say “punk”, again, to family members and give them no information. It’s just too awkward to try and explain it and I can’t be bothered.

Is there a bit of a double meaning to choosing the name Manhunt at all?

I’m not sure what you mean by ‘double meaning’ but I think we came up with it because of Extortion? I can’t remember. I like the idea of the name “manhunt” because of the ‘hunting down’ a person aspect, not the gendered ‘man’.

MH1

As a band with female members playing in a largely male dominated scene, have you encountered any dumbshit sexist comments or attitudes or is it more words of encouragement that seems to prevail?

As a gender who encounters it most days in general society, you’re going to find people in the ‘scene’ who act with the same male-entitlement or condescension toward women reasonably often. That being said, I like to think that MOST of the time, punk and hardcore provides a progressive environment and that we find people are way more supportive than they are not. I’ve learnt to pay more attention and time to those who offer support and encouragement, rather than those wasting their time trying to make women fail.

With members spread between Brisbane and Adelaide, how often does band practice happen?

Moose and I both live in Adelaide – Darcy, Chris, and Jackson all still live in Brisbane. We’ve taken about 6 months off after recording in July, with members being overseas and Moose and I starting our respective businesses, so we haven’t experienced the real struggles yet. We’ve used this time wisely though, to press and release our LP and prepare for a tour we’ve booked in February. At this stage, the three boys in Brisbane will be jamming up until we start our tour in February and they’re coming a few days before tour starts. We’ll be jamming, writing, swimming, whatever we can do to make sure we are as tight as always. The internet is definitely a blessing in the writing process as we can communicate our ideas to each other with minimal loss of concept.

The response to your debut 7" Human Detritus must have been pretty overwhelming? Do you still play much off it live?

I think we are all still so blown away at the response! We sold out so quickly and it went really well, we couldn’t be happier with how that release went. We still play probably half the songs off it and re-recorded two of the songs for our LP a bit differently to spice things up a bit.

How did the split with Internal Rot come about? What attracted Manhunt to doing a split with them and now a tour to boot?

Christoph is a good mate of ours, and he approached us after we played in Melbourne the first time saying they wanted to do a split with us. It took a few months to organise and get everyone on the same page but the outcome on both sides is great and the split went really well, being released in Europe on Psychocontrol, USA on 625 Thrash, and Australia on our very own Lethal Dose. They’re great guys, and I think each of us agree the best grind band in Australia. They honestly never fail and the Mental Hygiene LP was the best record of 2014.

Your new LP is due out soon. Tell us a bit about the recording process behind it?

We started writing straight after we recorded the Internal Rot split tracks. We all knew what we wanted to do, we made that our goal I’ve gotta say, all of the guys did an amazing job with the song-writing process. Everyone really got together and made it happen, it was an awesome process. I had relocated to Adelaide by the time recording came around, Chris had left for his overseas trip, but everything was pretty much written. We recorded with Mark Perry in Brisbane, who recorded our split tracks as well. We booked a weekend of drums & guitar/bass, then another weekend of guitar/vocals. Because of work, I was absent for the first weekend and I was so blown away when I got to Brisbane and heard everything they’d smashed out so far! I wrote half my lyrics in the studio because that’s the kind of person I am, and I was psyched that Jackson, Darcy, and Moose all contributed lyrics and some vocal parts too. Recording with this band is heaps of fun, and Mark really helps with that process.

What lessons did you learn from past studio time that you swore not to repeat this time around?

Don’t write your lyrics in the studio. You can swear you won’t repeat bad habits, but it doesn’t mean you won’t.

You're latest LP is being released by 625 Thrash in the USA and RSR in Europe. How did this all come about?

625 released our split with Internal Rot, and after being in touch with them (as Lethal Dose), I showed Max the rough LP songs and he was in. We weren’t intending on getting a third label, but RSR have been trading with LDR for a while and I showed Sandro the songs and he was in too. It’s been great working with those guys, they’re so easy to communicate with and encouraging as well.

Any long term plans to tour these countries?

Discussions have been had, sometimes discussions turn into plans and maybe this will be the outcome. But who knows!

MH4

Three releases in close to two years makes for some pretty prolific song writing. How does a Manhunt song come together and who drives the writing process?

It barely stops! Consistently, Jackson and Darcy have always been the most driven and successful to get into a room together weekly and just write whatever comes out. Two of the most motivated people I’ve ever met musically and otherwise. Chris and Moose have been amazing additions and since joining the band, have contributed to great extents. Usually one of them writes a riff or in Jackson’s case, he has been known to write a song from scratch on drums. They’ll send it between each other and by the time we get to band practice, we have a million ideas that make up an entire song. Jackson returned from overseas last month and came to stay with Moose and I for a few days, he and Moose wrote 3 songs during that time and we’ll write more once the whole band is in the same room again in a month’s time.

Got a favourite Manhunt song you're most proud of and why?

Liar is one of my favourites and makes me proud of Jackson, how his stamina continues to increase and his pace just gets neater and neater. He wrote that song and was convinced he’d never be able to play it but here we are and he smashes it everytime! For me though, Bonecrusher is a personal favourite – we recorded 17 songs and only 14 made it to the LP, unfortunately Bonecrusher did not fit with the other tracks. It has been released only on the LP teaser tape that Don’t Need You put out last month and not yet digitally (maybe soon). I was travelling for a long period in 2013 and assaulted while in California by a man who identified himself as only ‘Bonecrusher’, writing this helped with my process of moving on from it and now I feel larger than life when we play it. Also, what a riff.

Manhunt has covered a fair bit of Australia already. Got a favourite place to play and why there?

Last tour, I had so much fun between the shows in Newcastle, Blackwire records, Adelaide and most of our Melbourne shows. The vibe was warm and I felt like people wanted to be at those shows. There was a show we played in Melbourne last time and while I appreciate the people who came out to see us, the room was unsuitable for a comfortable environment and it was really stale. Lots of crossed arms and no one likes to play to that.

How is the scene in Brisbane at the moment and where does Manhunt fit in? What bands do you regularly find you're playing with?

It’s hard for me to tell personally what the scene in Brisbane is like right now, after having lived away from there for the last 8 months. Before I left, I was pretty bummed on the introduction of more violent and violence-influenced bands and shows, people with no regard for life or self-preservation. I don’t mean in an “anti-moshing” way – but glassing each other, throwing shit and taking other weapons to shows. In the beginning, I felt like Manhunt had a place but I don’t feel it fits anywhere anymore, and I’m not upset about that at all. We are a band, we write, record, release and play music to people who like it and whoever likes it or supports us in anyway is all that matters – no matter what city or scene they hail from. We play with bands we like, want to support, or who want to support us and it honestly goes no further than that.

How can people listen to or contact Manhunt?

You can hear the band at either manhuntpunk.bandcamp.com OR lethaldoserecords.bandcamp.com. You can get in touch with us to book shows, or for any other questions you have at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Any final words or thoughts you want to add?

We tour in February with Internal Rot – you can find the tour event and your local shows here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1511793585735898/

12 FEBRUARY - METRO, ADELAIDE (18+)*
https://www.facebook.com/events/851390391572402/
13 FEBRUARY - ANIMAL HOUSE, ADELAIDE (AA)*
https://www.facebook.com/events/893295320692552/
14 FEBRUARY - BENDIGO HOTEL, MELBOURNE (18+)*
https://www.facebook.com/events/1518784415041771/
15 FEBRUARY - THE MILK BAR, COLLINGWOOD (AA)
https://www.facebook.com/events/1580626648838619/
19 FEBRUARY - LACKLUSTRE HQ HOUSE SHOW, CANBERRA (AA)
https://www.facebook.com/events/607068326106467/
20 FEBRUARY - HAMMO STATION, NEWCASTLE (18+)
https://www.facebook.com/events/712624702167682/
21 FEBRUARY - FACTORY FLOOR, SYDNEY (18+)
https://www.facebook.com/events/1044482862234837/
22 FEBRUARY - BLACKWIRE RECORDS, SYDNEY (AA)
https://www.facebook.com/events/400299106801664/
13 MARCH - UPSTAIRS @ 199, BRISBANE (AA)
14 MARCH - THE BEARDED LADY, BRISBANE (18+)
https://www.facebook.com/events/708751745910967/

Thank you for supporting us & taking the time/interest to interview us, Ryan!

ManhuntIR

 

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