You Want to Know About: The Manvils

You gotta give it to Vancouver’s The Manvils. It’s like they started with the BC-band template of “classic” bar-rock and then… went to the pub instead. (And we’re talking about a proper UK-type pub, none of this rubbish “upscale casual” crap.) In fact, it’s kind of weird how Mike Manville and the band can sound so English sometimes.  This is a good thing, one supposes. I’ve heard it makes a band infinitely sexier.

But let’s talk about what really matters here (though a cool, crisp pint IS important). TheManvilsLive

The threesome’s third album The Manvils is a catchy and scratchy bit of Jolly Olde Engerland-y rock. It passes through the 70s, reverbs around with an occasional bluesy Zeppelin shuffle and/or bellow, then smacks into The Jam and finally tips its hat to Pete Doherty. There’s nice production on the album (thanks Limblifter/Age of Electric’s Ryan Dahle!), tight performances, and it’s got that warm vinyl-y sound. Hail the warm vinyl sound. HAIL IT.

Sing-outlouds include “Turpentine”, “Strange Disaster” and “The Stoker”. And it’s here in Rockland where Manville (along with beardy basher Jay Koenderman and bassist Greg Buhr) seem most comfortable – some of the slower tracks are, well, yeah. But all in all, it’s a fine platter.

We wanted to know about this Mike Manville chap, so that we could tell you about him.  So we tracked him down to Chicago, where he’s actually working on a solo album, and put to him the world’s most pressing questions. Because you also want to know, right?

Whatchoo doing right now? How’s Chicago?
Wiping the blood dripping from my ears after 7 hours of guitar overdubs. Chicago is wet today – which reminds me of Vancouver.  Although, it was pretty damn cold at the Bears game over the holidays.

What is the Manvils’ master plan? And is it evil?
If a master plan of ‘evil’ proportions includes bad-ass, sweaty live shows spanning the far reaches of the globe, and writing another album in 2010, then an emphatic YES!

The newish video for “Turpentine” is out and it features John Savage (from my fave 70s hippy film Hair). But what’s with the frilly shirts and bolo ties?
Ah – John Savage said he would only do the video if we dressed in ridiculous turn of the century garb.  The truth is, we were on acid when we picked out our costumes.


Finish this sentence: “I think the Manvils are  …”
…Comfortable sharing beds on the road.

Best places to rock out in Vangroovy? And favourite US city?
The Biltmore show coming up will be exciting – it will be our first show at the new hotspot!  We had a great time in the US. We were really surprised with the hospitality in Indianapolis.  But Chicago takes the cake for me.

You’re putting on your own imaginary music festival: who’s on the bill?
I just saw the Jesus Lizard at the Metro.  David Yow crowd-surfing at a festival would be nice to see.

If I meet you in a bar, what are you drinking and what topic should I definitely avoid bringing up?
Drinking a local beer in _____.  Avoiding topics?  What’s the fun in that?

What 5 tracks or albums from English bands turn you on? And why?
The Libertines – Up The Bracket (The first 5 tracks especially).  Greg and I were really into that album when we started the band.

Tell us something cool about Ryan Dahle and John Savage.
Both are hyper-dedicated to their respective crafts and one prefers yoga over the other, but I’m not saying who…

What’s the “Strangest Disaster’ (geddit?) the band’s ever had?
Who knew that Thunder Bay was SO close to the US border…

Are you a music geek? Prove it:
My new Montreux Coda guitar pedal is only #23 on the production line and I think it will sound great with recently acquired NOS Mullard Tubes from December ’67 through my custom Texeira 45 Head & especially through the 6V6’s in my ’73 Deluxe Reverb – this will make my ’56 Les Paul sound a bit more bitey in songs like Strange Disaster and Turpentine…

Happy new decade! Can you tell us a bit about what sort of things rockstars are going to have on their backstage riders in 2020?
Same as in 1967 probably.

Works for me. So, Mikey, when we off for that pint down the pub? \m/

GLORY DAYS presents The Manvils w/ Glory Days DJs on Saturday, January 30th. Band on around midnight. Go and be one with the rock and reverb. Check out the Manvils on MySpace or follow them on Twitter.

One response to “You Want to Know About: The Manvils”

  1. Any article about a band that references The Jam, English pints and T.Bay is OK by me. Was at The Biltmore last night and will be back there for the 30th now that I’ve found out more about these intrepid adventurers.

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