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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Mants - Do The Dummy

The Mants are a canadian garage rock trio from Victoria, BC, consisting of Guitar/Vox: Andy, Bass: Shawn, Drums: Gordon. The Mants, who perform in suits and rubber ant heads, play hi-octane B-movie fueled schtick rawk that owes as much to The Mummies, The Mono-Men or Link Wray as to pulp sci-fi novels from the 50's.

After a slew of 45" and E.P's released on various labels including Estrus, Roto-Flex Records or Lance Rock Records, their debut full length "Do The Dummy" has just seen the light of day on Dead Beat Records. Displaying a wider, deeper and more menacing sound, this record is without any doubt their best offering so far.

The cover art is done by Darren Merinuk. Favorite tracks:  the instrumental "Atomic Wraygun", "Destroyed by fuzz" and its cool organ riff

Half Man - Half Ant - All Action! The mants will knock your socks off. Purchase the record here :

Here is a small interview yours truly conducted with the Mants :

1) Can you tell me a bit more about the band?
The Mants formed in 1996 in Calgary, AB as part of a small but vibrant garage rock scene that had spawned other garage rock losers as Huevos Rancheros, The Choads, Forbidden Dimension and The Von Zippers. Their sloppy take on garage punk a la thee Mighty Caesars and schtick rock performances (see: The Mummies) caught on immediately with the primates of planet Earth. Over the course of the next four years the Mants released three 7” EPs (on Roto-Flex, Lance Rock and Estrus Records), performed at the (now infamous) Garage Shock ’96 Festival in Bellingham, WA as well as played live nationwide in 1997 on CBC Radio’s “Nightlines” program. Their shows were always unpredictable, entertaining and off the hook as they pelted their audiences with a banana catapult, brought their cohort Go Go Gorilla out to dance, and belted out the Bug Rawk Beat! Their slogan of “Half Man! Half Ant! All Action” was quickly amended to “Half Man! Half Ant! All Asshole!” by their fans due to the charming stage banter slung their way at every show, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the last “Scum of the Earth” show in Cincinnati. Things were going so well that the Mants decided to go on tour, heading out on the Pan-Dimensional Circuit and hitting such hot spots as Moon Base Alpha, Milliway’s Restaurant at the End of The Universe, Planet-X and The Hip Joint, with a brief appearance back on Earth at the 2010 Sled Island Festival. A small computational error resulted in a glitch in the space-time continuum so when the Mants eventually returned to Earth they arrived in Victoria, BC in the year 2012. Taking this all in stride (Pan-Dimensional travel isn’t an exact science as you know) the Mants started playing on the west coast, performed at the 2012 Fall Down Get/Down Festival, Rifflandia 2013 Festival, and the Hot Plains 2014 Festival. The Mants released a 7” EP on Manglor records in 2014, and have just released a full length album called “Do The Dummy!” on Dead Beat Records.

2) How long have you guys been together?
The current line up on The Mants has been together for 4 years. Andy is the longest serving Mant and has been in the band since it formed in 1996. That guy really needs to get a life.

3) Do the dummy is your first full length, right? Can you tell about the recording?
Yes, this is our first full length. We recorded this album at the Noise Floor Studio on Gabriola Island, BC Canada with Jordan Koop. While there we used a $2000 microphone to record a flushing toilet - that about sums up our sound!

4) How did you you come up with the ant mask idea? How do you manage to breath and sing at the same time with that thing over your head?
We lost a bet with The Stinkies. The masks make it very hard to see or hear anything on stage, and they are pure torture to perform in. A recent study by scientists from the University of Victoria determined that at an average Mants show each member of the band loses over 3 kg due to sweat and water loss, and occasionally shitting their pants. 

5) What are the plans for the future?
We are working on a new record, playing shows and continuing the Bug Rawk Beat Invasion of Planet Earth! Maybe Europe is next?

6) Why is the record playing in 45"rpm? 
Because our songs are short (usually under 2 minutes so total about 12 minutes each side) we were able to cut the album at 45 RPM. By going at 45 rpm we were able to use the entire surface of each side of the record. A 45rpm 12" record will be louder and sound better than a 33rpm record (depending on how the lacquer is cut). I know a number of bands/labels that have gone this route (The Pygmies from Calgary come to mind).

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