written by Marko Jakob
Pix666: Hello Marko. Thanks for your time. How are you doing these days, are you alive and well? How are the other guys of Manntra?
Marko: Hey! Thank you! We are all live and well and really full of energy after two great shows in Augsburg and Leipzig
Pix666: Please introduce your band to the readers in a few short sentences. What kind of music does Manntra make?
Marko: Manntra is a mix of Gothic, Metal, Industrial and Folk. We come from Croatia so our sound is somehow rooted to the Slavic Croatian melodies but in matter of lyrics and message we are a European bend by all senses.
Pix666: It’s the 10th anniversary of your band Manntra this year. What have been the best experiences and milestones so far?
Marko: Well 10 years is somehow not true, since we started in 2012 but had a lot of time off the band due to other obligations. Let’s say we really started taking Manntra seriously 2 years ago when we released our debut album in English called Oyka! (NoCut Entertainment). Every day is a milestone, every day something happens that makes us happy!
Pix666: At the beginning of the band’s history you sang in Croatian, the last two albums are in English – why did this change come about?
Marko: Yes, we became famous in the scene in Croatia, sold out all rock n roll clubs and then we found out that there was nothing really more to do there with this kind of music (since the scene is small really small), so we took our time off and then we returned with English speaking album that opened for us a much bigger opportunity and we are thankful for that!
Pix666: Four months ago your new album ‘”Monster Mind Consuming’ was released. How were the fans’ reactions so far? In which versions can people buy your album?
Marko: Amazing reactions. We never expected an album to performe that well without touring during a pandemic. Now that hopefully things are getting better in terms of gathering we really hope that we will be able to tour the album as planned!
The album is available in a limited box set (I think we have less than 10 pieces in the store and it is basically sold out), the standard digipack album and of course in all digital formats!
Pix666: You have also released a new video clip ‘Heathens’. There have already been around 160,000 views on YouTube. Where did you shoot the clip and were there any difficulties during the shoot because of Corona restrictions?
Marko: It was challenging but we had really few people on set… Mostly was shooted outside so there was really never a serious danger…
Pix666: Your new songs are listened by so many people – are you a statistic fan? Do you know in which countries Manntra is listened most?
Marko: Well statistics are good if they are on your side hehe Mostly at the moments there are German listeners, Russian and Americans – so we are really happy to see those charts!
Pix666: How do you generally create your songs? Is there a certain plan? Who in the band is responsible for what?
Marko: No plan, from song to song. Sometimes a member writes everything sometimes we do it together. It is about the mood and melody, then you can do whatever you wish.
Pix666: A few days ago you played your first two concerts after a one-year break. Please describe the feeling of finally being back on stage.
Marko: Unreal! Like we never left and like all this crazy thing never happened. Hope that this where just the 2 first concerts to happen and that many more will take place as planned!
Pix666: You had to postpone your planned concerts in Russia until 2022. Were there any other postponements and are there already fixed dates for concerts or festival appearances in 2021?
Marko: All is postponed; you never know if it is going to happen until you don’t play the last note of the show… then you know “Okay! It happened! We got lucky”. A really strange time.
Pix666: You spoke some words and even sentences in German at the concerts in Germany. Where did the motivation and disire to learn German come from?
Marko: Well I like German language, would like to know morer to be able to speake with the crowd. I am learning slowly by myself, by hearing people talking… so let’s see in a 20 years maybe I will be fluent hehe.
Pix666: Normal life is slowly returning – the first tourists are spending their holidays in your home country Croatia after more than a year’s break for tourism. How important is tourism for Croatia? Can you recommend some good holiday destinations in Croatia to the readers? What is the current situation in Croatia and especially the mood among the people?
Marko: I think 70% of the income of the whole country is coming from few costal cities that have a really big touristic machine. That is it regarding the talk about economy…
Regarding destination, of course you should visit our hometown of Umag and then move south to Dalmatia to explore wild islands and untouched beaches.
Pix666: As a musician, you certainly spend most of your time creating music – but what else do you do in your free time when you want to get your mind off things – are there any interesting hobbies that you pursue?
Marko: I play sport, learn new skills but I am also a full time music producer so I tend to produce tons of artists during a year from tons of different genres and that is challenging but diverse so I like it!
Pix666: The progress and development of your band is really impressive. Where do you see Manntra in about 5 years – what are your dreams as a band and on which stages would you like to play most?
Marko: Since all this corona no one knows when something will happen but one thing is for sure… We came a long road, was so hard to move abroad and start playing in a foreign scene and now we don’t think of stopping…
Pix666: Do you have any other news, that you would like to share with the fans?
Marko: At the moment we are focused on ‘Monster Mind Consuming’ and the upcoming tour! So see you on next shows!
Pix666: Thank you very much for the interesting answers – Good luck with the new album and stay healthy!!!
Marko: Thanks! You too!!
photos © by Franz Schepers