Manukrishnan (July 2011)
This July, on Headbangers India, we talk to Manu, a.k.a. Vlad Moonshade (for the Facebook fanatics)- drummer for Wolf’s Lair and Escher’s Knot. In this exclusive round of Q & A, Manu talks about the Blood and Iron controversy, his latest endorsements, his carnatic music training and much, much more!
HBI: Hey Manu, thanks for chatting with us here at Headbangers India. How’ve you been?
Manu: Hey there, I’m doing good, thanks for asking. As of now, I’ve got couple of shows lined up for Escher’s and Wolf’s Lair . So just have been busy with jams and also some recording and programming drums for some bands here.
HBI: Let’s go back to how it all started for you. How did you choose the drums and when did you first get into metal? Also, have you had any training in any other music?
Manu: I can’t say exactly when it all started. Let’s just say from the time I can remember, I’ve been learning carnatic music (vocals) from my father. My parents loved music and the infinite support they gave made the path for me. But the major breakthrough to the percussion side was when I started learning the Mridangam when I was 9. Drums were introduced to me by a relative who was a drummer, now a professional programmer in the industry. I got to listen to a lot of rock bands from him. That’s it! 1+1=……. I started learning drums when I was 16… then down the line when I was in the store looking for my all time favorite band ACDC, I happened notice another album for sale, JUDAS PRIEST. The cover looked interesting, and I thought I’d give it a try . At the time that just blew my brains out and life was never the same again! It took the biggest turn. I came to Chennai 5 years back to learn audio engineering and started my first project Carnage.
HBI: Blood and Iron was a major factor in your success as a drummer. What’s happening with that now? Do you have plans of getting back or making any new music together?
Manu: Blood And Iron and Carnage were two bands I started off with when I came to Chennai, and both gave me a headstart to where I am now. Blood And Iron is no more, and right now I’m busy with Escher’s Knot and Wolf’s Lair.
HBI: Everyone’s talking about the controversy surrounding Wolf’s Lair and Blood and Iron. We’ve heard only the latter’s side of the story. Are there any clarifications that you, as a member of B & I and Wolf’s Lair, would like to make?
Manu: Every band would have gone through this phase. It just didn’t quite work out in a good way for Blood and Iron. We did part ways. We’re still continuing to make music with a new line-up as wolf’s Lair which has nothing to do with the latter. It’s a completely different band with a new style of music, we’ve moved on and so yeah.
HBI: Talking about Escher’s Knot… the band is doing great, and we’re all very happy about that. Is there any new material coming up from your end and will we be seeing any new releases soon?
Manu: Thank you… We’ve been continuously working on 3-4 new songs and hopefully we’ll play it soon! We will be hitting studios to record a single soon. We’ve got big shows lined up and yeah, we’re gearing ourselves up for the full length.
HBI: What about Wolf’s Lair? Any recordings planned there?
Manu: We have like 6-7 songs , and are planning to hit the studio in and around August and record our debut album.
HBI: Chennai is a great place for music, but not necessarily metal. At least, that’s what outsiders believe. What is your take on that? And do you think this affects bands in any way?
Manu: Chennai indeed is a great place but when it comes to Metal it is kind of subtle, there are hardly any venues. Unseen Underground is the only thing that is keeping the metal bands active around here. Score magazine has started out with metal nights and we all hope it picks up soon. It does affect the band in a way as there are no stages to play.
HBI: Tell us a little about the equipment you use…
Manu: Am Endorsed by Soultone Cymbals. Other endorsements are on also on the process. (Watch this space for details!)
Mapex M 6 piece Drum Kit,
Tama Iron Cobra double pedal
Cymbals : Soultone Cymbals
22” Ride Custom Brilliant
18” Crash Custom Brilliant
16” Crash Custom Brilliant
7” Splash Custom Brilliant RA
9” Splash Custom Brilliant
18” China Custom Brilliant
14” China Custom Brilliant RA
17” Fxo FXO 12
15” Hi Hats Custom Brilliant
12” China Vintage / 10” Fxo Stack.
HBI: What does Manu do when he’s not the badass metal drummer on stage?
Manu: I’m Full time into music , a sessions drummer, a Drum Instructor at 3-B school of music and drum programmer,I help out bands with recordings etc. As I brought up my hobbies in the level of main stream I am bit confused about my hobbies. I like to be in quiet places though, and to get there and put on my “Thinking Cap” ( you know what I mean).
HBI: Practice is extremely important for any musician, and for a drummer, a lot of other things also count (i.e. keeping yourself fit etc). So tell us, what’s your practice regime like? Do you have any other exercises to keep yourself fit?
Manu: Thanks to my neighbours I really can’t practice with my kit at my place, so its basically on my customized practice pad. My drum routine will be minimum 2 – 3 hours every day with Master Studies by Joe Morello and Stick Control by George Stone and the rest of the hours according to the necessity of the period or show or band or a technique that I need to build, I select the workouts. Other than that, no particular routine as such! I just try to eat a lot, I don’t exercise and stuff hahaha.
HBI: Where do you see yourself in a few years from now? Do you plan to stay in India and play for the bands here or (as is the trend these days) are you planning to go abroad and study music?
Manu: As of now I’ve no plans of studying music abroad, still shit loads to learn, more shows to play. Most importantly to play different styles of music other than metal. If all goes well, and opportunity knocks I’d give it a serious thought on going abroad.
HBI: That’s about it for now. To wrap up, do you have any words to fans, friends, critics etc? (This is your celebrity moment, so go ahead and say it out, loud!)
Manu: Support the Indian Metal scene. Thank you Headbangers.in for this interview. Don’t just troll and diss any bands, instead pick up an instrument and start playing! Cheers guys…