Interview with ALL MANKIND
by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show
Lamitschka: Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?
ALL MANKIND: Europe, such a great place. So happy to be here right now. So our music, i guess could be boiled down to simply being melodic rock. I guess if you wanted to compare it with other bands you could say it’s somewhere between The Killers and Coldplay, but of course it’s its own thing.
Lamitschka: How was the last year for you? What were your highlights?
ALL MANKIND: 2011 was good, we had our ups and our downs like most people have. I think the best outcome of 2011 was that we got to go to Germany and play a bunch of shows. This was an eye opening time for us. The Germans and Europeans in general have a very broad love of music, they love all sorts of music and wont let their love of one type of music stop them loving something completely different. It’s really, really cool and it means that we’ve had people that look like total metal heads come up to us and buy and album and tell us how much they love our music. To me that’s how the world should work, open. So this year we decided to focus our attention on Europe and go as hard as we can here and play as many shows as we can.
Lamitschka: What is your latest CD and how’s it doing?
ALL MANKIND: Our latest CD is called Simple Desire. 11 tracks that was recorded in Liverpool, England produced with the amazing Mike Crossey who has done other albums by The Arctic Monkeys, The Foals and The Kooks. The album is doing well, we have only done a few soft releases in a few countries so we can do a bit of a slow build with it but so far the response has been really positive. We are really proud of the album as well, we put so much of ourselves into it and so much love and blood, sweat and tears (literally) that even if the album still only sold 5 copies we would still be immensely proud of what we have created.
Lamitschka: How did you choose the title for the CD? Is there a story behind the name?
ALL MANKIND: The title of the CD is also the title of one of the tracks on the album. We spent a long time trying to think of a name for the album but in the end the name Simple Desire summed up our feelings towards this album that it just felt right to call it that. Bassically Simple Desire refers to things in life that we all want and we all need and that in the end even though we may go after material things or success or whatever, what we really want deep down is love and friends and family. That’s our simple desire if you will.
Lamitschka: Do you write the songs yourself? If not, how do you go about finding the songs for your CD?
ALL MANKIND: Yes everything is written by the band. We aren’t interested in performing anyone elses songs on our albums because one of the main things that we are in the band for is to have a creative outlet. It feels so good to slave over something, to take it from a tiny little idea and see it develop into a fully fledged song, and not just a bunch of sound but something that moves us. The idea that you can just write something that is a couple of notes in to something that makes you really excited and makes your heartbeat faster is what we are all about. That’s where we find our enjoyment of the whole process.
Lamitschka: Your current single is being played by radio. What do you feel is special about this song that makes people want to hear it?
ALL MANKIND: I think our music is exciting. At least to us it is. That’s always a great place to start with music, you don’t want it to be boring. Also i think there is a lot of electronic music, music that has autotune all over the vocal, a lot of music that the lyrics are really shallow and pretty much pointless. I think there is a place for this stuff but i think at the moment we are saturated by it. Our music is primarily 4 guys in a room with their instruments, playing their songs that were written in a church in Sydney and that kind of honesty will always strike a chord with people, especially those people who are sick of what the mainstream currently has to offer.
Lamitschka: What is your favorite song among all the songs you have recorded and what’s the story behind it?
ALL MANKIND: I think my personal favourite song is Lovers Song. The track is basically all about us being a band and it’s also a huge song. The lyrics, the guitars, the way it kicks your ass, it just does so many things right that i really love it. Also, it’s just so much fun to play it.
Lamitschka: How much creative control do you have over your music?
ALL MANKIND: Complete control. Everything that you hear is because we wanted it that way. We do take input from other people but at the end of the day we believe that our fans will like our music if we like our music first. So we have to love it and then we hand it over to the public.
Lamitschka: Who inspires you musically and how deep do your musical roots run?
ALL MANKIND: Personally i really love 90s music. My favourite band being Pearl Jam but also so much of the rock from that time is still a huge influence on me. In the band though we listen to all sorts of music from metal to rap and folk etc. It’s all about finding that music that for whatever reason really strikes a chord with you and going for it.
Lamitschka: What do you think about today’s music scene versus its post and where do you see it going in the future?
ALL MANKIND: Todays music scene is interesting and i think it changes from one country to the other. I think as far as the mainstream stuff, as i said before there is a lot of pop and electronic on the radio now. I’m not really into a lot of it my self, some stuff is great but really so much of it isn’t. But with the internet it’s not stopping people from finding new bands or new artists from all over the world. The internet has really opened everything up. In saying that, i would really love to hear more great bands on the radio.
Lamitschka: If you had the chance to change something about the music industry, what would it be?
ALL MANKIND: I just wish people had more an idea on what it is about music that moves people. Take Adele for example, she is real, her music is all recorded with real instruments and there is real heart in her music. It’s no accident that her Album was the biggest album last year (good chance that will also be this years biggest too). Her album speaks to people, it connects with people and i think people forget about the human element in music so often. The industry just wants whatever they think is going to be the coolest or what the flavour of the month is, there isn’t a lot of long term thinking going on. Some labels do think like this and they are being rewarded but those people who are going for the quick buck are going down.
Lamitschka: As an artist, you so many tasks such as recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what’s your favorite activity?
ALL MANKIND: Recording and touring are really where it’s at for me. The recording process is where your music comes alive. It can be super exciting to sit in a studio and hear everything you imagined really hit you in the face in a fully formed way. Touring is the other side of that, it’s where you get to take those songs and play them as they were ment to be played in front of people. When you have some songs you love and you have people that also love your songs, it’s a really special place to be.
Lamitschka: Who is your biggest critic, yourself or others?
ALL MANKIND: Ourselves for sure. Critics can say whatever they want about our music, they can say they love it or they hate it. To me that doesn’t matter, that’s almost just there for marketing or whatever. What matters to me is do we love what we are doing? If not lets go get jobs at McDonalds or something because it’s a waste of time otherwise. You have to love what you do.
Lamitschka: Is there any place you haven’t played that you would like to?
ALL MANKIND: Almost everywhere in the world where we havent travelled. The great thing about being in a band is the ability to go to all these countries you have only heard about. I mean, i’d love to see France, Russia, Indonesia, Japan but im pretty sure there are plenty of places we will go to that we don’t know much about that will be amazing as well. We want to go everywhere.
Lamitschka: When you’re on tour, do you have time to play tourist?
ALL MANKIND: Yes and no. Sometimes you get to a venue in the afternoon, setup, soundcheck, play the show, go to sleep and then wake up and head off. It’s a shame when this happens. Other times you may have a few hours or a day or so to go and check things out. We were in Hamburg just recently and we were able to have a few hours before we left to go and check out the Alster lake which was frozen over. It was an amazing experience and you want to be able to have that everywhere you go but sometimes it’s not possible.
Lamitschka: Many music fans today get their information about artists online. Do you have your own website and what will fans find there?
ALL MANKIND: If you want to know more about us or listen to our music you can head to
www.allmankind.com or you can check us out at Facebook and Twitter www.facebook.com/
Christian Lamitschka ( Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de )