Before we witnessed a night of metal in The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton, I got the chance to have a chat with main support act Manimal, so here's how it went down, with the niceties out of the way:
MoM: So personally I've been following you guys since your debut but you may be a new name to some of our readers so give us a bit of history about the band?
Samuel (singer): Manimal was formed back in 2001 back then it was me and Henrik (guitar) along with to other guys, we took until 2009 until we released our debut album The Darkest Room. Then we took some time to write some songs for the the second album in that time the other two guys left the band and Andre (drums) and Kenny (bass) joined and we recorded Trapped In Shadows in 2015. Since then we have done two tours one in Europe and now this one in the UK.
MoM: Your style of metal is a bit darker and more melancholic that many of the more bouncy bands in the genre. We hear some Primal Fear and Queensryche but you influences you as a band? Anything that might make us think, wow really?
Kenny: Actually Rammstein for example
MoM: Ok yeah I can see that
Samuel: Obviously Judas Priest
MoM: Well obviously and you have to say that because of where in the world you are. (Birthplace of heavy metal)
Samuel: I would say also the German power metal scene, bands like Helloween and Gamma Ray especially for me and Henrik.
MoM: I can hear that in your music it's 900 miles an hour and then stop which is great for me. This is your first UK tour right? How is it going so far?
Kenny: It's been over our expectations
MoM: Really? That's good to hear
Kenny: We thought Germany was going to be our top, but then we started here (The tour started in Glasgow)
MoM: Everyone says that before they get here.
Kenny: Really well received, everyone really likes what we do here
MoM: That's great to hear, is there for you guys a difference between UK crowds and European fans?
Kenny: Yeah I would say it's a little more like in Sweden here, a bit more controlled to the point that we think do they like it? But then after the gig they are like "fuck yeah that was awesome"
MoM: Not like South Americans where they carve the name of the band in their chest?
Band: No! *Laughs* Nothing that extreme
MoM: As you've said the gap between your debut and your last album was 6 years, are we going to have the same gap?
Samuel: We had a meeting the other day with our label (AFM) and after we finish this tour we are going to head straight to the studio to focus 100% on finalizing the last songs for the record. For release next year.
MoM: On the previous record the excellent Trapped In Shadows you had Udo Dirkschnieder as a guest, are there going to be any guests on the new record?
Paul: You never know, maybe
MoM: Ah see some journalistic prying here and you're going to keep us in suspense, that's fair enough
MoM: After you've finished the album what have you got lined up for the rest of the year? Any festivals or shows you are looking forward to?
Kenny: Nothing really after the recording, we're focusing on festivals for next year mainly
MoMs: Well we would personally would love to see you guys at Bloodstock
Paul: But of course if something turned up we couldn't turn down then...
Kenny: We really need to concentrate on finalising the album *laughs*
MoM: Well yeah you don't want another 6 year gap
Samuel: Exactly we don't want that
MoM: Don't worry I'm a Pink Floyd fan and there was a twenty odd year gap between their last two albums so you're doing ok.
MoM: Finally as we are Welsh and have an obsession with them, I have to ask you what is your favourite sheep either collectively or individually?
Kenny: The Shetland is my favourite, cool horns
MoM: The Black Metal sheep
Andre: Manx Loghtan
MoM: Nice that you are all picking the Satanic Metal sheep with the horns
Samuel: So what about you Henrik?
Henrik: Devon Closewool, I like that one, the fat one, he's so fluffy, I don't want an evil one I want a nice one, since I don't have my cat here
MoM: That seems fair enough fluffy is good, well guys it's been a pleasure to meet you all and thanks for putting up with our silliness
Band: Pleasure to meet you too
We exchanged goodbyes, I got stuck trying to get off the bus and then we discussed that Wolverhampton and the Black Country in general is the birthplace of metal before the band went back in to soundcheck. It was only after the gig we saw that KK Downing was in attendance, so it looks like Manimal made their mark on the UK scene.