“Music is both a way of expression and release for me, so it means everything! Without it I die!”
There is something about Canada when it comes to ballsy metal. Manacle is no exception to the rule. Forged in the underground metal scene of Canada, Manacle are all about shackles, chains, studs, leather and pure metal worship that will blow your mind. Founder and guitarist Inti Paredes talks to Crystal Logic about everything…
Give us a detailed bio of Manacle.
Inti: Manacle started sometime in 2013 as a trio, with myself on guitar and singing lead vocals, Amar on bass and Matt on drums. Initially started with the intent of being a speed metal band like the first Exciter album, or Agent Steel, we kind of just naturally turned into a more melodic heavy metal band that plays fast. We’ve gone through a few line-up changes since the inception but the idea and direction for the band remains the same. We managed to record ‘No Fear To Persevere’ in the end of 2016 and sat on it through a few line-up changes, among other complications with the album release, until now. The band currently sits with myself on guitars, Shawn on bass, Spannah on drums and Jesse on vocals.
How do you compose a Manacle song? Do you have a specific idea, do you jam or it comes naturally in the studio?
Inti: Typically I have a lyric or melody idea come to me and start from there. I have a bunch of riffs in the old riff bank and it’s just a matter of arranging them in a way that sounds good to me. I like trying to jam out song ideas as well; usually I’ll just play a riff or two and see where it goes from there.
Give is few notes on each song of your first album.
Fight For Your Life – Opening track, I really clean/acoustic type intros, one of our older songs and typically a show opener.
Tears Of Wrath – This is the song that made me get a real singer, when I wrote the music I couldn’t play guitar and sing it. Kevin’s vocals are amazing on this track. I was working a shipping receiving job, and a friend there was talking and he said “tears of wrath” joking about something, I thought it would be a great song title!
Journey’s End – Longest song on the album. Don’t let your life pass you by!
Live Fast Die Fast – The oldest Manacle song, I wrote a couple of these riffs when I was briefly in Axxion with the intention of making it a song. When I started Manacle I turned it into a full song.
Witches Hallow – I can’t remember whose idea it was to have the drum solo, maybe John Dinsmore or Jason Decay. This is a song we jammed out together in a rehearsal.
Stand Tall – We didn’t originally have the intention of recording this track. It was something we were still working on at the time, but Jason convinced us to try and record it and we finished writing it in the studio actually! Jason is part of the back-up vocals at the end.
How was the recording process of 'No Fear To Persevere' and how did you end up with Olof Wikstrand of Enforcer for mixing and mastering?
Inti: Jason Decay from Cauldron is a friend of ours and has helped us out a bunch over the years. Essentially, he knew John Dinsmore from doing previous Cauldron recordings, and recommend we book time at his studio. Jason was down in the studio helping us out, I wanna call him our unofficial “co-producer” since he didn’t want the official credit! John is also a really good engineer who taught us so much and had way too much patience! Haha… The studio was a great time because we were all really stoked to finally be in the studio, it was late August and the weather was scorching hot, and we were hungry with something to prove! We were sweating buckets but we finished it in a weekend.
Olof is a friendly acquaintance but also a close friend of Cauldron, so it came together the same way. Olof nailed the sound we were going for and I couldn’t be happier with how it sounds, not to mention all the other great albums he’s mixed.
Your musical inspirations are quiet obvious and they are from 80s US heavy power speed metal legends like Omen, Savage Grace, Agent Steel, but also classic bands like Judas Priest. What made you start playing music and what metal means for you?
Inti: Something about music, rock music, heavy metal, it just clicked for me! When I was younger I looked up to the guitar heroes of my favourite bands and it definitely inspired me to play. Randy Rhoads was a big motivator; and Judas Priest was a huge discovery as well. I also think Canada has such a good library of rock and metal that it was easy to be influenced by Canadian classics. I think particularly watching music videos also made me think, “whoa! This is so cool, I want to do this. I CAN do this!” I had some friends who were also starting to play music around the same time and that helped me learn to play.
Music is both a way of expression and release for me, so it means everything! Without it I die!
There is a new wave of metal bands coming from United States and Canada with Gatekeeper, Eternal Champion, Visigoth and more. How is the current metal scene in North America and Canada? Which bands do you distinguish? It appears that there is something boiling and ready to explode but do you think that it will break through or it will remain underground?
Inti: I think it’s hard to say. Sometimes I feel like metal is becoming popular again and everything is big, lots of shows and bands, and then suddenly everything dries up for a bit and suddenly no one is around. If anything I think I don’t think it’s boiling over, but simmering down and becoming more concentrated. I’m more involved in what’s going on in Canada, so the bands I’m distinguishing are Spell, Barrow Wight, Possessed Steel, Emblem, Cellphone… Canada has lots of great bands, but we could always use more, the big cities in North America are too far apart. and maybe a few more fans while we are at it.
However, speaking of underground, do you think that underground can be the new mainstream and what's your view on "underground" and heavy metal music nowadays? There are many new traditional metal bands out there, various festivals appear everywhere, older bands reunite (even with just one "cult" album), there is a vinyl hype, cassette tapes return and everything 80s-related seems cool...
Inti: I think the underground could become the new mainstream, but it would take a lot to get it there. In the 80’s heavy metal was advertised on a mainstream level like pop music. If they gave it that kind of treatment again, I’m sure it would rise …although I don’t necessarily think it would be the best thing…
My view: Too much hype on everything!
What does it take for a new metal band to survive?
Inti: I’ll let you know if I survive!
The world is changing. Society is changing. Politics and extreme ideas are rising. Do you think that metal music should raise a voice and take place?
Inti: Absolutely, music is the common language that unites us and I strongly believe we can make a positive difference in the world through it. Music and the arts have always been at the forefront of social change and there is no reason that should stop now. Things like the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, Moscow Peace Festival, Hear N Aid, Rock Against Racism, Live AID , etc. are some examples or music raising its voice for noble causes and I think we need more of that today.
What will you do if you will find out that a member of one of the bands you love supports extreme ideas or will be convicted for a hateful crime?
Inti: Probably will be the end of that band for me, I can’t separate the politics from the music. But there’s also that Dave Holland thing? I guess we just tell ourselves he was a secondary member that didn’t matter and that he was out of the band anyways...
Then you start talking about how good Scott Travis is and Racer X or something instead… Les Binks was really good too!
I know that you are also running a metal record store and label in Canada. It seems that metal is your life but how easy or difficult is to survive?
Inti: I co-founded and ran Stained Class Records for 1 year (I no longer work there), I’ve been doing the label for a few years now and playing in bands, DJing, promoting shows and doing anything I can! Metal is my life and I love it, sometimes it feels like a lot, and there’s not much money in it…but what else would I rather do?
Where do you place Manacle in the current metal scene and what should we expect from you in the near future?
Inti: I’d place us in the bottom right now, but that’s not a bad thing, I’m hoping to play a lot more show this year and record a 7” soon before beginning work on a new album.
Are you still going to see Judas Priest without KK and Glenn?
Inti: I did! Priest will always be my favourite band, and I have the feeling this may be one of their last tours. Of course it’s not the same without KK and Glen, but what other choice do I have since I missed the glory days! They were still great and I regret nothing, long live the Priest!
Photo by Kimo Verkindt
No Fear To Persevere is out now on No Remorse Records