Possession Productions Artist- Akem Manah
1. So Akem Manah seems to have been around for awhile tell us a bit how and why the band came to be?
1. Akem Manah was an idea formed back in mid-2009 to do a doom metal project. I had been doing mostly groove metal influenced material before. And when i moved to Seattle (WA) later in 2009, i met some guys who also wanting to do some doom metal stuff and we formed the band. It was really just an experiment to continues to grow and evolve.
2. From listening to " Demons of the Sabbat" I hear a mix of Doom, Black, Classic Metal, Prog and 70's Spagetti western elements into something at is very original Dark metal. I know there is a new EP how does it differ from this album?
2. Akem Manah uses everything we hear as an influence. The latest EP titled "The Twisted Rites" is similar to the "Demons Of The Sabbat" release, as the songs were written and partially recorded at the same time, just the EP songs had not been fully completed. There are new songs being written, that some are similar and some include more straight forward black metal sound (in sections not whole songs) and some electronic pieces (mostly interludes/short instrumentals).
3. Your working with Possession Productions in Russia how did that come about and how has the PR or push been for album in North America working with this label?
3. I had reached out to Possession Productions in 2013 to release this album initially. But due to some issues over there (economics and possible war), it was hard for them at the time to release. So we released ourselves and then the label re-released when things improved over there. I haven't seen too much notice here in America, seems a lot more notice in Europe. Which Europe always seems to be more appreciative of metal.
4. Are you signed to Possession Productions now and will there be a new full album coming by the label?
4. We have discussed releasing our new album with them. But right now it is not a full signed thing, but a release by release deal.
5. Does or Has Akem Manah perform live much or is this really just a studio creation?
5. Akem Manah is really just a studio band at the time. There had been shows with the initial early line-up of the band, most at parties and such. But after people moving, lineup changes and just schedule conflicts, it has become hard. I am hoping to get something together soon, to play some shows to support the new album later in the year.
6. How did come to work with Nile and White Zombie members with this project that seems very different from any other thing they have done in music?
6. I had reached out to Ivan de Prume (White Zombie) do do some drumming on the "Demons" album after the early members left. He lives here in Oregon and owns his own studio and does some session work. So i sent him some material and he liked it. I asked him about anyone he knows that plays bass and would be up for doing this style. He gave me a few names, and Chris Lollis (Nile) was one of them and seemed like he would be the best fit for the music.
7. What your thoughts on Social Media, Digital Media, Bandcamp, Reverbnation and Webzines. Are there too many bedroom bands watering down the scene or is this a new golden age for underground extreme music?
7. I think social media is fine, good to keep in touch with fans. I dig bandcamp, being able to self release with out labels and majority of the money made is yours, there are small fees, but not much. I think though that digital music has its down side as so many people don't want to spend money on music anymore, so they just steal it. Kind of sucks especially if you are not a live band. Webzines and such are something good, good promotion for music and bands. Anytime someone is willing to take notice is good, and mention you, opens up new people to your music. I am not bothered by so called "bedroom bands". People doing what they enjoy is fine. If the music is good, thats all i car about. I probably have quite a few extreme metal bedroom bands in my collection. Extreme music is extreme music.
8. What bands and music are impressing Akem Manah members currently any thing that would surprise us?
8. My collection of music is varied. Been diggin the latest Church Of Misery album, the latest albums by Shape Of Despair and Skepticism. The new Amon Amarth album "Jomsviking" is killer. Abbaths debut solo album is also killer. The album by Beastmaker "Lousus Naturae" is killer and still rocking the latest Uncle Acid album "The Night Stalker". I also think the new Megadeth album "Dystopis" is pretty killer, better than the last few albums… But then i am also rocking classics from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Grateful Dead, The Doors, and of course Black Sabbath.
9. Oregon seems to have a major Post Black metal and Avant Metal Scene why do you think the Northwest USA has become such a hotbed of extreme music ?
9. Not sure really. Maybe it's the weather. Can have so much rain and bleak looking days here. Maybe that brings out that style in people. Oregon too, just seems weird, especially Portland and Eugene. Lot of weird people, old hippies and such. Passing down the love for real music to their kids and the kids form their own style of music thats influenced by what they heard growing up, but done in a more modern sound that suits them.
10. Does Image and Visuals still matter in Metal music in 2016 or is that Aesthetic long over?
10. I think it helps to have a look or some sort of visual to grab attention, as long as it helps show the vibe or sound of the music. Sometimes bands use a look and it mis-represents the sound of the band. And possibly a look that carries into the live shows. But is it 100% necessary to have some big look (as far as make-up, clothes etc), i don't think so.
11. Akem Manah has gone through many members over the last 6 yrs .. Is it hard to find musician that want to stay long term playing this kind of music?
11. It's hard in any band. Getting people that start something, and as it goes on, everyone's mind can start doing in different creative directions. Maybe get bored playing and being around the same people all the time. With Akem Manah, people moved away for jobs and such, and some lost interest in doing this style of music or even playing music in general. I think in time, there will be a long term solid Akem Manah lineup of the bands, once i am back living in a larger area where people can be found.
12. Do the members of Akem Manah create other music outside of this band if so please tell us about it so my readers can check it out?
12. Always working on different things. Ivan de Prume does some solo stuff. Nothing released yet. He also does session work for bands and records / engineers bands in his studio (Burningsounds Studio) in Salem (OR). My main focus is Akem Manah. But I have done stuff in the past, some solo material (Dead Nedry) with an album and ep released, most recent was in 2012. And also an experimental one man doom metal project called Cataclysm that has one album out called "Death Becomes Us" released back in 2011.
13. If you could make a proper video for any track you have create which would it be and why?
13. There are a couple, first would be off the "Demons Of The Sabbat" album, which is the song "The Twisted Rites Of Satans Bride". I think it could be make a really killer dark video, plus being a longer song gives more time to create a story line sort of video for the song. Another song would be "Reign Of Terror" also off the "Demons" album. Though a shorter song, being about Jack The Ripper, it would be pretty cool to have a dark slasher style video for that song. Then there are a couple new songs coming up that would be cool to have videos for like the first single "From Hell They Ride" and another song called "We Are The Dead". Both those songs are influenced by movies and real life events of the 60's, so i think it would be great to make some videos that style the 60's look.
14. I'm always interested in this view from the artist side can bands on 2016 making a living from playing this extreme music or are those days long gone?
14. It is hard to make a living in this style of music. You need to be able to perform on the road for at least half the year. Because so many people are stealing music or using streaming services (which is basically stealing), you can't make enough to survive on music sales. Unless you are lucky enough to be on a large label and have support from them. And of course you need money and time to be on the road, which makes it hard too… We need to go back to people caring about the music they listen to, not feeling entitled and wanting everything for free. We need more people actually supporting music and not just freely consuming it… I say if you like a band, BUY their music from wherever - itunes, amazon, cd baby, bandcamp, band/label website, actual cd/record store. That way it can help get the band you enjoy out there playing shows for you to go to and enjoy…
15. Thank you for your time any closing thoughts here
15. Just want to say thanks to anyone who has supported Akem Manah, fans, magazines, websites/webzines, label. New music is coming soon. New single "From Hell They Ride" is coming out June 10th on cd & digital with a re-imagined version of the classic Mayhem song "Pure Fucking Armageddon". New album coming later in the year. Be sure to check out our music at Bandcamp - http://akemmanah-usa.bandcamp.
com or iTunes, Amazon etc… Go out and support underground music.