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MANOLO PANIC – CHINCHILLA Album review + Interview

There are bands that you know that you’re gonna like from the first string that’s played on the first song you hear. It’s been like that with Manolo Panic !

One day, you check your mails, and you see that someone hints you toward listening to a band. And when you do, you think to yourself  « How is this gonna be ? ». Thankfully, I’m open to any new music, I love music so much. And I was glad I did open myself to new music and open my mails to find them out.

Manolo Panic is one of those bands that, when you listen to them, you just feel cool. And they slowly become a new obsession !

Before heading on my UK trip and getting to spend 3 days full of Waterparks, SWMRS and of course, ALL TIME LOW, I had a 4 hours trip to Paris and all I could listen to on my way up there, was Manolo Panic. Their album CHINCHILLA came out March 3rd 2017, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, then you probably should !

So let me introduce to you, dear kind people, the magnificent Manolo Panic

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Starting with a sweet guitar solo riff, the album sets the tone as being indie, alternative, and in the same line as Kings Of Leon, The Strokes, or Babyshambles.

I like it when a single songs gets you interested in a band, and that was the case with MP.

What I like more, it’s listening to a record from beginning to end, and find a certain harmony in the way the songs are put, not just songs put out there, but when they tell a story, and I found this in CHINCHILLA.

Mary Ann, second song on the record, is also the first single and lead music video for this breakthrough record coming all the way from Switzerland.

My favorite song is yet number 3 on the record in You Got Me On My Knees. The starting slow pace, then getting into more powerful chorus and ending on a killer guitar solo got me all hyped up !

The next couple of songs on the record are songs that could easily be played during a summertime party, drinking beers outside by a pool.

My next favorite song on the album is Runaway. Why you’ll ask ? Simply because it’s one of those songs that gets stuck in your mind, and it will definitely be on my « summer 2K17 » playlist ! If there is a song that’ll make you dream of being young and reckless, and rock’n’roll, it’s definitely that one !

The last song on the album, Wasting Time has definitely won over my heart with a sax-solo that’ll remind you of the early years of rock, and especially in the way the instruments talk with each other and it’s like every one of them is alive and they’re playing themselves (props to the musicians playing them for giving us that vibe).

Overall, this album is a masterpiece from start to finish and once you’re done listening to it, you’ll want to listen to them some more. (I now have the album in my playlist and have a go at a song at least once a day if not more).

Every song is like a personal call to your adventurous soul and will give you chills and scenarios.

It’s as if these songs were the soundtrack to your life.

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I’m mostly pop punk. But sometimes there are albums that just speak to you on a level you can’t necessarily comprehend, but it doesn’t matter. What matters, is that the music makes you feel something. And if you wanna feel something new, exciting, and lose yourself in the music with a few beers and a pool table, that album is definitely for you ! (ok, I admit, this scenario kinda is my dream scenario to listen to that album and feel completely at peace. Cause ain’t no better way to listen to some good ol’ rock’n’roll than with a beer and a pool table).

Oh and did I forget to mention ? The band are also such a cool bunch of people that they granted me the pleasure of interviewing them, and you should definitely read the interview to get to know them better in case you didn’t already love their album ! So go see below the picture, come on !

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INTERVIEW MANOLO PANIC

1) Who are you guys ? Introduce yourselves !

We’re Manolo Panic, a four-piece indie-rock band based around Zurich, Switzerland. Singer Ramon Margharitis also plays rhythm guitar, Janick Zumofen leads the way on his six-string, Raphael Aardoom supplies the low end and Michael Fiedler is working the skins.

2) When did you start the band ?

We started the band in 2010. Since then our line-up changed a couple of times, the last time in December 2015 with the addition of Raphael.

3) Why did you choose that band name ?

Actually, it chose us, so there wasn’t much we could do about it. The funny thing is: most people believe it’s a pun referring to a brand of shoes. We really get that, but it’s not the case at all.

4) Who writes the songs, the music ? Where do you get your inspiration from ?

We don’t have a fixed workflow. Someone might come up with a hookline, chord changes, or even a whole song, which is then seasoned to taste by the other members. And of course, we jam. Usually, the lyrics come last. Chinchilla’s lyrics were written by Ramon and Raphael and are inspired by our own lives, but also our wishes, fears, and fantasies. Musically, there’s countless influences, so we can’t really point at a specific source of inspiration.

5) What are your plans for the future ?

We just released our second album, Chinchilla, so in the near future, we’re just trying to get heard. In the long term, it would be nice to be able to live from our earnings, but there’s still a long way to go. A more realistic goal is attracting some attention in Europe and play a couple of small tours. Right now, Ramon really wants to cover Norah Jones’ songs, so we might just go for that, too.

6) Any places you’d like to tour ?

The whole wide world. Wherever there’s people who like our music. It’s that simple. On the small scale, we’d like to go back to the western parts of Switzerland where indie-rock seems to get more attention. Maybe across the French border, too.

7) Tell us your main influences, do you have different ones each of you ?

Of course, there are some big names like Kings of Leon, the Strokes, Editors, Arctic Monkeys. But each of us will give you other influences, changing from time to time. When we’re composing, we’re influencing each other, so you can’t really put a nametag on it.

8) Give us a funny anecdote to get to know you better

A few years ago, we played at a small club in the French part of Switzerland. After maybe half our set, there wasn’t anything to drink left, but it was so stuffed that there was no way we could get new drinks. So, Ramon went crowd-surfing to the bar and mad it back with four beers.

9) Dream tour line up, what would you like it to be ?

Well a Caribbean tour with Snoop Dogg and the Dixie Chicks is bound to be legendary. But we might settle for a sandwich position between Kings of Leon and Led Zeppelin as well.

A great thing would be a tour where we’d always be supported by some local heroes, so the audience gets to see two bands they really like, not some obscure supporting act they’ve never even heard of and want to get rid of after they hit the first notes.

10) What’s your favorite song to play live and/or was the most fun to record ?

Well, recording sessions are always a lot of work. Looking back, we mainly remember the intense moments, where you really become one with the music. A great example would be Ramon’s vocals on Dear Miss Hunter. Recording those takes were definitely the most emotional hours we spent in the studio. Playing live, it’s probably Broken Bottles. Ramon gets rid of his guitar and goes crazy on stage while the others kicks it up a notch to fill out the gaps.

Give it a go, and check their song Mary Ann out down below !

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