The Mantras, a group of self-proclaimed North Carolina boys, are gearing up to ring in the New Year the 828 way.
Members Keith Allen, Bryan Tyndall, Brent Vaughn, Julian Sizemore, Justin Loew and Kenn Mogel produce a collaborative sound they call a high-energy mix of funk-rock electronica.
“We try to put everything in the pot we can just to keep it interesting,” percussionist Vaughn said. “A lot of that helps from everybody in the band writing songs, so stuff comes from different directions.”
The Greensboro-based band has spent its fair share of time in Asheville; they estimate they’ve made the trip west on I-40 upwards of 30 times in the past few years.
Formed in the early 2000s, the band has had a few lineup changes, but the sound and the passion has the remained the same.
The Mantras’ last studio album, Jambands Ruined My Life, was released in 2013, but they assure fans new music is on the way.
“We have a new record that should be out first of the year,” Vaughn said. “We’ve been working on it all this year and it’s almost done.”
Details on the name of the new album are unclear, but one thing is for sure – this one was recorded in a whole new way.
“We decided to build our own studio and record the record entirely in house,” keyboardist Sizemore said. “Most of the records that have been done before have been more of a live in the studio process, and this record was totally tracked out. We went into the studio separately, did our parts, built the song, and they’re mixing now!”
The Mantras take the stage on Thursday with Baltimore-based Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, a band they have jammed with in the past.
“We’ve had a working relationship with those guys for a couple years now,” Vaughn said. “We get along with them really well and think it’s a good match musically.”
The guys say their musical goal is simple: keep it going.
“I think we all love what we do, and we want to keep doing it,” Sizemore said. “Just playing is our highlight.”
Catch The Mantras jam at New Mountain Asheville on New Year’s Eve. Doors open for the 21 and up show at 7 p.m., and music begins at 8 p.m.
Learn more about the Mantras here: http://themantras.com/
Learn more about Pigeons Playing Ping Pong here: http://pigeonsplayingpingpong.com/