West London rock band Måntra would rather stand up and deliver music with a message for the left-behinds and the disenfranchised in these increasingly polarised times. Frontman/guitarist Simon Stark formed Måntra with two friends from Ealing, Richard Leeds (bass) and Rob Emms (drums), as an expressive outlet for these subversive sentiments, underpinned by their shared musical influences.
The band combine emotive lyrics with haunting melodies, distorted guitars and thundering drums to powerfully affect their audience when they play live, something that the band thrives upon. “When someone came up to us for the first time and said ‘Man, that’s a fucking cool song’ it was just the best feeling in the world, like they understood it all.”
Måntra’s powerful live performance and articulate songwriting soon caught the attention of award-winning producer Tom Dalgety (Royal Blood, Killing Joke, Pixies, The Family Rain), who invited them to record at his Rockfield Studios in Gwent, Wales. The result would be the band’s debut, the I Want EP, which then went on to receive the attention of renowned Canadian indie label Dine Alone Records (Alexisonfire, FIDLAR, Jimmy Eat World, The Dirty Nil) who duly signed the band. The EP truly embodies all the encompassing sentiment and raw energy that have come to define Måntra – whilst at the same time echoing the band’s social commentary on what they perceive to be modern life. Premiered by Dan P. Carter on the Radio 1 Rock Show, lead single ‘I Want’ in particular wastes no time delving into societal subject matter. “It wasn’t like I wanted an outright political message in that song”, says Simon “But it’s hard to ignore people’s perpetual desire for more than they need”.
With the debut EP released in January of 2017, Måntra have received support from Radio 1 DJs such as MistaJam, Dan P. Carter and Annie Mac who named the band as one of her ‘New Names’ for December. Signing to Dine Alone Records hasn’t diminished the sentiments that breathed life into the band in the first place. Simon concludes “I don’t want to rest on our laurels, this is just the beginning. There is so much more we can do”.
Watch the video for ‘I Want’ below: