Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Quickie Interview - Manatella

Manatella began as Isabella Parole in Jacksonville, Florida in 1998. Isabella Parole members, Lauren Chase and Alissa Leonard moved to Chicago in 2004 to form Manatella with drummer Shelly Uehara. The line up includes rotating bass and guitar work between Leonard and Chase, and Uehara on drums and keys. Compared to the likes of Mazzy Star, the Softies, and strangely, the Jam, their are songs inspired by life, rabbits, employment, baker's dozens and summertime. I will be honest here, there are not many female based bands that I dig now of days (nothing against the ladies, but currently most female bands tend to sound a like in my opinion)...but Manatella has grown on me with their sweet and smooth vocal and rhythm stylings. I got the chance to meet up with Lauren and Alissa to discuss a little bit about their music and their upcoming show at the Viaduct Theater this coming Saturday.... How long have the two of been playing together for? Lauren- For about four years, we were just friends who wanted to start a band, and at 16 started taking guitar lessons. We didn't play our first gig till we were 18 though. What the hell brought you up to Chicago? Alissa and Lauren (I couldn't keep up with who was saying what)- We played a show with a Chicago based band Lesser Birds of Paradise down south when we were playing with Isabella Parole. We developed a friendship with them, and eventually came up to Chicago to play a show with them in 2004 at the Beat Kitchen. We really wanted to see how the scene was up here, and the show was encouragement enough to relocate and see how things would work out. We love the fact that there is always going on in the music scene. How has your music grown since moving out here and forming Manatella? Lauren- Shelly is more powerful and rhythm driven with her drumming, which has led us to keep up and be more rhythm driven with the rest of the band. What would you say your favorite colors are? Lauren- Green Alissa- Blue What can someone expect at your upcoming show this weekend? Alissa- A hot drummer who wears high heels and kicks ass. We will also be unleashing a My Morning Jacket style jam song...and there is always the chance of something ridiculous happening. Lauren- Expect a band of good friends, who enjoy playing music together and work hard doing it. Manatella will be playing this Saturday, June 17th with Avagami and Starina and the Vel Johnsons at the Viaduct Theater. You can check out Manatella's music at


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