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Jeff Potts – Guitar for Mantic Ritual

Date: 3/1/09
Interviewed By: Rich Catino


1. Give is a little history behind the band.

JEFF: Ok…it started with Ben and Dan, our bass player and singer/guitarist, in late 2004 but I wasn’t in the band at the time. You know, like everyone it started out by those guys jamming to Metallica songs in a basement, haha, and then eventually they had preliminary lineup when they recorded a demo, they added Adam our drummer, then I was found in 06. After that we started giggin crazy around Pittsburg, trying to get around to other cities like Cleveland, New York, then we went out to L.A. California to play a show in the summer of 2006 because we found out on the internet about these other young bands playing the gig and this style of old school thrash metal. After that, in 07 we decided to move to the west coast and that’s when we got in touch with Nuclear Blast Records. We had our own demo (that we recorded) at the time under the band name Meltdown, which was essentially the whole “Executioner” album, and Nuclear Blast said they liked it but wanted us to re record it. So we did that in Germany in 08 and changed our name to Mantic Ritual because we found out another band had the name Meltdown. After that did a tour with Rotting Christ and few dates with Exodus in December. And now we just released “Executioner”.

2. I think your debut is well fashioned old school thrash metal and really its scary when listening to “Executioner” you instantly feel like you are back in 1983-84 at the beginnings of the whole thrash movement with bands like Metallica, Exodus, Anthrax, and Slayer. Obviously thrash from the early 80s had an influence on your music.

My question is… What are the band’s Top 5 Thrash Albums?

JEFF: O wow…and you can really tell which songs we wrote earlier in our development because those are purely in that style. “Kill em All” from Metallica is definitely # 1. Actually the first couple Sepultura albums. Exodus “Bonded By Blood” is probably # 2. I’d say “Peace Sell” from Megadeth is # 3. # 4…early Slayer is really good, like “Show No Mercy”. Not really thrash but definitely Mercyful Fate was a huge influence.

3. Were you guys influenced by any of the German bands like Destruction, Kreator, and Sodom?

JEFF: O yeah Sodom was big, riff wise. Vocally I think that heavier German sound was a big influence on us.

4. Did the members of Mantic Ritual have a hand in designing the band’s logo? How about the artwork for “Executioner”?

JEFF: Yeah we did talk back and forth with the artist and actually this is the third artist who did the final product for “Executioner”. Our singer Dan did the logo. We were pretty involved in it and its based pretty much on our original logo.

5. There are many bands like Warbringer, Toxic Holocaust, Hatchet, Bonded by Blood, Fueled by Fire, from this thrash resurgence. Did the guys in Mantic Ritual ever fear you may sound similar to one of your peers?

JEFF: I mean yeah the comparisons are always made because there are so many bands popping up in this style, but it doesn’t really worry us because I think each band do there own thing with it. Like some are a little more punk influenced like Toxic Holocaust, Warbringer is much more brutal. I think if people really listen to these different bands they will notice each is different. I mean really we were pretty oblivious to how many bands are playing this old school thrash style because we are from the east coast.

6. Did you guys do anything consciously to avoid sounding like someone else or is your music created by instinct?

JEFF: I think in comparison to a lot of other thrash, we don’t try to cram like forty riffs into a song. We are all like Beatles, Ramones, and rock fans. So we try to keep it pretty simple and catchy actually avoiding the usual Kerry King (Slayer) type solo, ya know. We try to make our songs catchy and if you listen to some other thrash bands talk about influences they are like an encyclopedia when it comes to their knowledge of thrash metal. And for us we didn’t want to get to close to thrash music’s history that way just to avoid becoming too influenced by those who came before.

7. Have any veterans from the thrash scene, like Gary Holt from Exodus or Eric Peterson from Testament, had any influence on Mantic Ritual’s progress?

JEFF: Actually it happened after the fact. Like after we signed with Nuclear and did some shows with Exodus Gary was so cool he gave a plug for our album. They (Exodus) were all cool guys to us. But as far as helping us out on the business side not yet, hahaha. Hopefully sometime.

8. Mantic Ritual will be touring the U.S. in the spring with Destruction. What are your thoughts and expectation for that?

JEFF: Yeah that one came out of nowhere, we really don’t have much of a say in that but we are supper pumped because we are all fans of Destruction and Krisium so I am looking forward to this tour.

9. Have you had the chance to play any show outside of America?

JEFF: Well when we went to Europe to record “Executioner” in Germany that’s all we did. We are dying to get over there though.

10. Have any offers come to play one of the European festivals?

JEFF: Yeah we were asked to play Keep It True and we ended up backing out of that because we could only afford the trip if we booked a tour around the festival appearance.

11. What are the bands plans for the rest of 2009?

JEFF: Just a lot of touring since our album “Executioner” just came out.

12. You shot a video for the song “One By One”. Tell us about that.

JEFF: That was cool we did that when we were in Germany, we got to see some of the countryside. It was with Maurice from Legion of the Damned which was pretty cool, good guy and band.

13. What has being on Myspace done for Mantic Ritual?

JEFF: O man, o yeah, I mean being on Myspace is how we found out about these other thrash bands. That’s how we found out about that show in L.A. and started communicating with all those bands who play thrash like us. Its been great for us.

Official website: http://www.myspace.com/manticritual

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