Feature Photo by Zack Bruzgo, Panda Media
It is always good luck to find a praying Mantis. The praying Mantis is agile, nimble and quick, like a ninja, making it a formidable adversary. The elegant dance of the praying Mantis has a hypnotizing effect. It draws you in wondering what the next move might be. Just as such it was the perfect name choice for Atlanta bass music duo, Mantis. Having begun their careers with metal and deathcore, founding members Taylor Scott and Paul Ollinger, decided to make the switch to heavy bass music in 2011 and have gone on to pack venues chock full of devoted fans since. They certainly speak to the masses with their versatility in their music and challenge themselves on each new release to create that much-loved Mantis flow. On their mission to produce “music to make you feel like you’re somewhere else, and you’ve never been more stoked to be there”, they have taken the scene by storm with releases such as “Bludgeoned to Death” (Mantis Deathstep Remix), “Slaves to Substance” (Mantis Deathstep OFFICIAL Remix), “Insomnia”, Baptism of Fire” (Mantis Remix), “Desolation” and “BATman” which was featured on Excision’s 2016 Shambhala mix. With a new EP set to release through Uplink Audio on December 6th entitled THE HUNDRED DEEP, Mantis is POISED to turn the bass world upside down with their four new killer tracks.
I was able to catch up with Mantis after their stellar performance at the Adventures Through the Mulitverse and learn a little about the duo and their new EP.
Tell me a little about yourselves and how you two met?
We are Paul and Taylor of Mantis, we are based out of Atlanta, GA.
We both met through a mutual friend early on when we were both just starting to produce. We both heard what each other were working on and decided to work together on a track and we were so stoked with the results that we decided to keep working together!
What got you into dubstep? How did you learn to produce it?
At least for me personally (Paul) I first heard dubstep style music on Bassnectars album ‘Cozza Frenzy’ I was in a metal band at the time, and there were sections to me that sounded so close to metal breakdowns I was instantly hooked. Being a bass player as well, I was naturally hooked. We both learned from just trial and error and teaching ourselves and practicing, watching Youtube tutorials was immensely helpful for us in the beginning as well.
How did you decide to produce together? How many years have you two been a duo?
As answered previously, we met through a mutual friend and decided that we wanted to work together on a track, which was oddly enough a submission for the first excision remix contest of his track “subsonic”. We were so stoked with our workflow and chemistry together we decided to just keep going! We’ve been known as Mantis collectively now for about 5 years, time flies.
How did you pick the name Mantis?
Taylor came up with the name randomly actually. We were trying to think of names that sounded sinister and emotionally evoking without sounding cheesy, so Mantis just sort of stuck haha.
You guys have played with the metal band, Atilla, can you tell us a little about this and how it came to be?
Actually, only I (Paul) played in Attila. I was in the band for three years and recorded with them on two albums. I got into the band by replying to a Myspace bulletin they had posted looking for a new bass player and went out on tour with them that same weekend.
Where is one place you have never played before that you want to in the United States and overseas?
We’ve never played in Hawaii, we’d love to go play down there some day! As far as outside of the United States we would love to make it over to Japan or Thailand.
Your sound has changed a bit over the years – your early Suicide Silence remixes are super heavy, the Baptism of Fire (remix) is focused on growls, and now your newer tracks, such as Mainline with Half Empty and your Jotaro bootleg focus on some really great synths – how do you stay progressive as artists in the dubstep scene? What has influenced you?
Honestly, we’ve just always tried to make sure we were progressing as artists, at least to our ears. Obviously, that is all objective for the listener but we have tried to just continue to hone our craft and get better with every song we put out. We’re influenced obviously a lot by metal style music but also by cinematic and classical music as well. The climate has sort of shifted lately from songwriting to just making the craziest sounds possible, so we have been trying to maintain a balance of musicality while also making insane and heavy music!
Have you two ever played separate, and if so, how does it differ from playing together?
Actually, we play separately more than we play together. The budgets often aren’t high enough for us to both come out and play because this is our main source of income so we have to be selective about sending both members to shows. I would say that we both deliver sick performances playing solo, but when we play together we’re able to feed off of each other’s energy more.
What do you two do for fun when not making bass music?
Video games haha!
Tell us a little about the new EP you’re releasing soon through Uplink Audio?
We’re very excited about this new EP, it’s been months in the making. We feel that we took our songwriting and sound design to another level with it and we can’t wait for everyone to hear it! Also, it’s a huge honor to release on the legend Downlink’s label once again. Sean has always been a massive supporter and great friend to us, so we’re always grateful to rep the man himself!
How does it differ from your other releases?
Our last EP ‘Avidity’ we did in more of an experimental format in the sense that we made it one cohesive piece of music from beginning to end, we had a lot of fun doing that but honestly don’t think that many people picked up on it. With this EP we just wrote songs that we liked and are putting them out for our fans, we hope that there will be something for everybody on it.
How was your Adventures Through The Mulitverse experience this past weekend? What was your favorite part?
It was sick!!!! Such a legendary lineup. Our favorite part had to be just seeing tons of homies we rarely get to see and catch up with them!