I first met Mantooth when he approached me to do the cover art for his first single “A Few Too Many”.
When I say approached, I mean he literally jumped out from behind a tree and yelled my name in my face (mispronouncing it as most people do) while I was walking my dog in the park. Ever since then I have been working with this strange being. Unlike most of the people I work with, Mantooth doesn’t seem to understand that he can simply hire me to do work via email or messaging me via social media. He seems to be under the impression that the only way to get me to work with him is via kidnapping. Call it Stockholm syndrome if you will, but after finishing the visual work for Mantooth’s first single I was very curious to know more.
Mantooth enjoying his morning coffee.
This was originally supposed to be an audio interview but...
However Mantooth being Mantooth, you can’t just go and find him, he has to find you.
This time I was making myself a cup of tea when Mantooth crawled into my window and once again “hired” me for his next and latest single "Damn Fine Coffee". He also insisted to take photos for him -with his own camera- and do a promotional review of his single. After traveling with him for nearly a week in the back of his trunk blindfolded, he finally asked me to interview him. Here is what happened in our interview.
Q: This is your second single, what is your inspiration for making "Damn Fine Coffee"?
MANTOOTH: THIS SONG IS ABOUT MY LOVE FOR MÄDCHEN AMICK I HOPE ONE DAY SHE WILL HEAR IT AND REALISE THAT WE ARE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER.
If you're wondering why Mantooth’s responses are in all caps, this is simply to capture how much this man yells everything he says. Even though we were in a tiny cabin room where it was dead silent, Mantooth refused to say anything without yelling so loud that it broke the audio levels in my recorder. This was originally supposed to be an audio interview but Mantooth’s insistent yelling peaked the microphone so badly that the audio was unusable.
If Mädchen Amick is reading this (which I doubt) please double your security and avoid Mantooth at all costs.
GUITARS ARE FOR SQUARES AND HIPPIES!
A day at the beach with Mantooth. It was freezing when I took this photo but Mantooth simply shouted "FOR THE LADIES" and got undressed and posed.
Q: After a hundred years of slumber what made you specifically want to make electronic music?
MANTOOTH: GUITARS ARE FOR SQUARES AND HIPPIES! I FIND MAKING ELECTRONIC MUSIC A LOT LESS RESTRICTING.
Ironically Mantooth was strumming a guitar (which had only 3 strings) while answering his questions. To be honest, I didn’t really dare mention his hypocrisy at the time.
Q: Where do you get most of your inspiration to make music? What keeps you going?
MANTOOTH: PRETTY MUCH ALL OF MY INSPIRATION HAPPENS ON A SUBCONSCIOUS LEVEL. IT IS ONLY AFTER I HAVE CREATED SOMETHING THAT I AM ABLE TO REFLECT AND UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS. I KEEP GOING BECAUSE IT IS ALL I KNOW HOW TO DO.
Mantooth is often stooped in confusion which can be endearing and also confusing to witness.
Q: What is a thing that people often get wrong about you when they first meet you?
MANTOOTH: A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE FRIGHTENED BY MY COLD EXTERIOR BUT REALLY I JUST WANT TO BE LOVED.
I personally was a bit touched by this answer. Made me feel sorry for him… until he ate a live spider in front of me.
It was at this point I realised that Mantooth was heavily intoxicated
Q: What equipment do you like to use to make your music?
MANTOOTH: I USE THE KORG MINILOGUE IN PRETTY MUCH EVERY TRACK I MAKE. PLEASE SPONSOR ME KORG!
Q: Where did you come from? Tell us about your childhood.
MANTOOTH: NO ONE KNOWS OF MANTOOTH’S TRUE ORIGINS NOT EVEN ME! I WAS DEFINITELY INTROVERTED AND OFF IN MY OWN WORLD MOST OF THE TIME.
It was at this point I realised that Mantooth was heavily intoxicated as he stumbled up trying to get to a chair, in the process knocking down some family photos hanging on the wall.
Q: Do you think your upbringing affects the type of work you do now?
MANTOOTH: I NEVER FULLY GREW UP DESPITE BEING CENTURIES OLD. I THINK MY INTROVERTED BEHAVIOUR PUSHED ME TO BE CREATIVE.
Mantooth proceeded to show me not one but three birth certificates of his all dated differently. One stated he was born in 1836.
He showed me some of his many colouring books.
Like most musicians, Mantooth owns his own "yacht"
Q: When you're not making music what do you like to do?
MANTOOTH: I LIKE WATCHING 80S HORROR MOVIES, BIKE RIDES, GUILLOTINES AND COLOURING.
He showed me some of his many colouring books. He was particularly proud of how well he stayed inside the lines with his crayons.
Q: If you were on death row what would your last meal be?
MANTOOTH: A BLOCK OF UNCOOKED, UNSEASONED TOFU
SZYMON: You wouldn’t even want any sauce with that?
Q: How many more questions do I need to ask you before you safely release my family?
MANTOOTH: UNTIL I SAY STOP GOD DAMNIT!
..interviewing Mantooth was a rollercoaster of an experience...
Mantooth would take me on these long walks. He often claimed he loved long walks but it was quite clear to me that we where in fact very lost.
Q: What is the one thing you want people to get from listening to your music?
MANTOOTH: I WANT PEOPLE TO FEEL WHATEVER IT IS THEY NEED TO FEEL WHEN THEY LISTEN. I HOPE PEOPLE WILL INTERPRET IT IN THEIR OWN UNIQUE WAY AND RELATE IT TO THEIR OWN LIVES.
Q: Could you please give me the keys to the handcuffs? I swear I won't run.
MANTOOTH: YOU WON'T FOOL ME AGAIN!
Q: Anything else you would like to say to those reading?
MANTOOTH: STAY SAFE, BE KIND AND EAT THE RICH!
Mantooth often acts like a daredevil without even realising it. I don’t think he's scared of death. I don’t even think he understands the concept.
After several hours of pure silence Mantooth released my handcuffs and I was on my way home to work on the visuals and type up this interview for “Damn Fine Coffee”.
Overall, interviewing Mantooth was a rollercoaster of an experience, the music he makes is unique but his persona might be unfit for today's times. Mantooth spends most of his days in a semi confused state and it's evident that he uses his music to try and make sense of the strange world around him. Being on the road with him was often terrifying but I quickly started to put myself in Mantooth's shoes and I started to understand (some) of his actions. Don’t get me wrong he is terrifying to be around, but he makes damn fine music. Damn Fine Coffee is a fantastic second single and shows great promise. It’s a track I gladly have on my own playlists.
I’m not sure when I will see Mantooth again, if ever. I’m sure if he continues to make music I will be an avid listener, however I do hope he learns how to contact me via phone or email instead of his bog standard method of kidnapping.