It’s your classic band formation story. Fran and Dario had known each other and been playing music together for years and they eventually met Pupa Chile and Jogy one night while out drinking at Juuls reggae bar in St-Julians. What started as casual moonlight jams by the beach led to meeting Tete in Buggibba, and then finally finding Andrew to get behind the drums.
That’s a tough one… not sure any of us have ever really, properly been able to answer that question. People say the soul of our sound is rooted in reggae and ska. We see it too, but it’s the base, or the glue that lets us throw funk, folk, punk, blues, flamenco and keep it all sounding cohesive.
There are six of us, and we’re all pretty passionate about song-writing so it can get messy at times. But that’s also the beauty of it; the collaborative spirit. We all draw influences from different genres, so the ideas we bring to the table basically guarantee that the end-result will be original.
The amount of support we’ve received from our fans, and even people who are just catching us live for the first time, has been incredible. We’re always amazed at how much fun we have on stage with the crowd in front of us. The way we see it, it’s a positive feedback loop – our fans are out there singing with us and dancing, and that gives us a huge boost to give ‘em as good a show as possible.
Like any other corporation or business, it’s important to remember that Hard Rock Café exists to turn a profit. Hard Rock’s aim with this competition is to sign a band to Hard Rock Records record label, and for them to tour the world in support of this album with other big name acts.

Exhilarated. It’s the second competition we win in Malta, in less than 6 months, so at very least, what we take out of this is that we’re doing something right. It’s funny we won both competitions because we’re all of the opinion that ‘battles of the bands’ are kind of a silly idea. We were probably more motivated by the desire to not lose, than we were to win.

Loads. Between the two music videos we’re working on and all the time we have booked in the studio over the summer, we’ve got our work cut out for us. We all just got back from a short trip to Ibiza where we basically spent some down time as a band, recharging our batteries, and getting ready for a long summer of music and hard partying here in Malta.

Keep coming to our shows, keep singing along and if you’re digging it, tell your friends and bring them along for the ride. Nothing makes us happier than playing for happy people.

See question #7.

Just like Malta, it’s tiny, but there’s definitely some solid local talent. We just need more venues, more bands, more fans and more music culture. Only when people support local bands and talent by attending shows, by requesting their music on the radio, by buying their music, can a local music scene thrive. Conversely, musicians and artists have a responsibility to make a proper effort to give people something enjoyable. It’s a two-way street.

The idea is super basic, and it’s a concept that transcends all spirituality. “Babylon” in Rastafarianism is a place that represents all that is bad in the world, while “Zion” is a place that represents all that is good. So if you want to be happy, and be good, you need to start by keeping Babylon aside. None of us are particularly religious but you don’t have to be to agree that the world would be a better place if everyone made more of an effort to stop doing shitty things.

Absolutely, and that’s one of the reasons we have a number of songs in Maltese. We really are looking forward to playing these songs for big audiences this summer, who’ve never seen us before, or heard our stuff. But if the question is whether or not we think we’ll be able to sustain ourselves off our music solely by playing in Malta, the answer is a big NOPE!

Considering everything we’ve got lined up this summer, it’s tough to allow ourselves to look past that. But like any other artist or musician, the hope is that our music will be appreciated by as many people as possible.

Probably not, and that is the sad reality of being an artist. Let’s face it, artists are martyrs to their craft until they either die, succumb to societal pressures, or achieve success, and only a small fraction achieve measurable levels of success. And yet, it’s these musicians and artists that make life so much more palatable, whether you’re stuck in traffic, doing homework, painting, or out for a beer with friends. So why aren’t we, as a society, more invested in supporting these artists?

It isn’t easy, but making music with a bunch of other people never is. It always takes an enormous amount of cooperation, collaboration and compromise. But our #1 rule is to do what’s best for the song, so that synergy is what governs the song-writing process in Mana Tapu. There’s something really amazing about composing music with a bunch of guys from different cultural backgrounds and influences that is bound to result in some interesting sounds. And it really does – we’re thrilled with the result.

You’ll be able to catch Mana Tapu twice at Earth Garden, two shows at Beer Fest (date / time TBA) and another show at The Bubble 2013 – a charity event to raise funds for African school-kids.

Earth Garden @ Ta’ Qali National Park

  • May 31 @ 6:30pm
  • June 2 @ 6:30pm

The Bubble 2013 @ Buskett Roadhouse in Buskett / Dingli

  • June 9 between 2:30pm – 11pm

Farsons Beer Festival @ Ta’ Qali National Park

  • July 26th – Aug 4th @ Beer Fest – Ta’ Qali National Park

Considering the only song they’ve heard is Babylon Aside, pretty well! The majority of the buzz surrounding Mana Tapu right now is to do with the live show. Good chemistry is impossible to fake, and we’re fortunate to have an awesome back-and-forth with our audiences. Local media have been very kind, but lots of it has been corporate-fueled, so we take it with a grain of salt. Once we’ve released a few records and put out a few music videos, it’ll be interesting to see what people are saying then.

Totally, but we’re all to blame. Why would bands bust their asses to make music if no one comes out to see them play, or if there’s a lack of good venues, or if sound guys suck? And contrarily, why would anyone waste their time going out to support shitty bands, night after night, in shitty venues? And look at it from the venues’ side of things – why would they invest in a great sound system, or solid promotion, if the aren’t enough bands to play there regularly, and when the bands that are playing there are mediocre, and not drawing crowds? It’s a vicious circle, and everyone’s responsible for it.

There’s also the very real problem of Malta’s geographical isolation. Bands from abroad that are on tour just don’t come here because it’s not cost-effective. Imagine if the government in Malta subsidized some of the costs of traveling to Malta for bands from abroad, and/or the costs of promotion, as long as local bands are on the bill. That would be GREAT for the music scene here! Malta needs a major infusion of culture, and the government needs to invest. If Malta wants Valletta to be a credible cultural capital in 2018, then it needs to be the actual hub of culture in Malta. Currently, what is going in Valletta aside from lots of construction, and a few restaurants and wine bars? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And that is immediately apparent to anyone walking through the streets at night.

Bless to our loyal fans, and we look forward to playing for the big crowds this summer!