The Malta Independent 17 November 2018, Saturday

Mana Tapu take on the World

Malta Independent Monday, 22 April 2013, 11:11 Last update: about 5 years ago

The band Mana Tapu has been chosen to represent Malta in the Hard Rock Rising global competition. Public voting will open on the Hard Rock Malta Facebook page from Monday 22 April at 5pm. Make sure to give them a helping hand by voting for them!

Earlier this year, Hard Rock International called on aspiring musicians around the globe to rock out for a chance at stardom through this year’s GO Hard Rock Rising global battle of the bands competition – and they responded.

Over 12,000 entries, 390,000 fan votes, and 941 competing bands later, Mana Tapu is now one step closer to having their dream come true. Following several battle rounds against some of Malta’s other top talent, Mana Tapu will now move on to the global voting round and vie for the opportunity of a lifetime – a World Tour in six big cities arranged by Hard Rock International – including a spot on the bill at the Hard Rock Calling Festival in London; an album and music video produced through Hard Rock Records; and new music equipment and gear valued at $10,000!

Now, Mana Tapu is calling on Malta fans to show their support. Mana Tapu, along with 95 other winning bands from around the world who took the top spot in their respective city, will battle it out during the final online fan vote. Starting tomorrow at 5pm CET, fans will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite band, while downloading free tracks from any band of their choice.

The top 25 bands, as determined by total votes, will move on to the final round, where a panel of music industry professionals; including Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band, Live Nation Senior Vice President of Music Toby Leighton-Pope, Hard Rock International’s Head of Music & Artist Relations, John Kirkpatrick, and Hard Rock Records Co-Heads of A&R, James Buell and Blake Smith will evaluate the bands and select the Grand prize winner and two-runner up bands, that will each receive new music equipment and gear valued at $10,000.

Visit www.hardrock.com/hardrockcafemalta for additional details.

Mana Tapu is a six-piece multicultural band whose infectious music and multilingual lyrics generate massive audience reaction when they play. The Malta Independent on Sunday caught up with them a day after they won the hard-fought GO Hard Rock Rising Battle of the Bands Malta final at Hard Rock Café in Bay Street.

 

Where are you all from, and how did the foreign guys end up here?

Well, Fran grew up and still lives in H'Attard, and Dario grew up and lives in Tas-Sliema. As for the others, we often ask ourselves that same question. “How did we all end up here, at the same time, in this band?” We’re all so thrilled to be making and playing music together that it’s hard to think of a life before ManaTapu.

Jogy’s got the craziest story of us all when it comes to how he got here. Not kidding, it involves a stolen car and an epic road trip as far south as he could get from his native Germany where he had gotten tired of freezing his balls off. He’d previously been living down under for years. That journey south is what landed him in Malta. Want the full story, buy him a beer after the next show.

Andrew came to Malta all the way from Montreal, Quebec, after two bands he’d been playing with split up and life had just gotten monotonous. An opportunity to relocate from snowy Montreal to sunny Malta came up, and it just seemed like a no-brainer. Two weeks later he was having a Cisk at Black Gold in Gzira.

Pupa Chile had been living in Orleans, France, where he’d been studying and playing reggae music with his crew. He took an internship in Malta, found Juuls, and ended up having so much fun here he never looked back. 

Tete’s originally from southern Spain, just outside of Seville. He’d been wanting to get a new language under his belt for a while so Malta was an obvious destination with it being such a cultural melting pot. According to Tete “the fact that it had sunny weather and nice beaches didn’t hurt…”

Suffice to say, we all got here as a result of one of life’s everyday and completely unpredictable curve-balls, and we’re all pretty stoked about it.

How did you all meet?

Dario and Fran have known each other for a long time and they met Pupa Chile and Jogy at the now legendary reggae bar, Juuls in St Julian’s around two years ago. Dario and Fran had already been playing in a band called ‘I n’I’, so once they met Jogy and Pupa Chile, it was only a matter of time before they started a new project. That was summer of 2012. A few months later Tete joined us on stage at Ta’ Fra Ben in Bugibba during one of our jam sessions and there was instant chemistry. That’s when it became clear – all we were missing was a drummer. Like magic, Pupa introduced us to Andrew, and the rest is history.

What are your musical and lifestyle influences?

Jogy-Bo: Ex-multipolytoxicoman, all vibrations

Andrew: Punk rock, indie, grunge, a drive to smash the status quo

Dario: Reggae, rock, punk, psychedelic, peace, harmony, selfishness, anger

Frans: Psychedelic rock, reggae, ska, keeping it relaxed

Pupa Chile: Reggae, ragga style, salsa, live life to its fullest, generate positive vibes

Tete: Rock, punk, reggae, flamenco, ska, be happy, stay cool

How did the name and style of the band come about?

The name of the band, Mana Tapu, refers to the energy that feeds back and forth between a group of people, or things, present in the same room or area, small or large, animate or inanimate. It’s an energy that creates enhanced connections between people. It’s a mash up of two related spiritual words ‘Mana’ and ‘Tapu’ that originate from Maori spiritualism and culture. It’s just the perfect band name for us and our vibe, and the music we play. You’d have to check us out live to understand.

Whose idea was it to merge Maltese and other languages in your songs?

Honestly, that all just came about naturally. I mean, it’s bound to happen when a bunch of guys who speak different languages start a band in Malta, right? The Maltese songs were a collaboration between Jogy and Dario, and they are some of our favourite pieces. We’re all pretty amazed at how good Jogy sounds when he sings in Maltese.

Is it hard to learn the pronunciation of the Maltese words?

Jogy says: “Il- pronunzjoni tal-Malti huwa ezatt l-istess bhal lingwa Germaniza. Well insomma...”

What are your feelings about the Battle of the Bands?

You have to see this from our point of view. Less than five months ago, the first show we played with the current band was the final of the Rookies Battle of the Bands, and we won. The prize for that was an album recording in Ibiza, which we’re off to record on 23 April. Right after that we signed up for the Hard Rock battle, and bam, we won that one too. The prizes for this competition are equally awesome; €500 worth of cash and vouchers for us to go drink and eat chicken wings at Hard Rock Malta, new gear, a song recording, a music video, a chance to represent Malta on the global level. I mean, we’re a small band in a small country, so it’s exciting to have the chance to help put Malta on the map, music-wise. Look at Nicky Bomba. Big thanks to both Chris Ciappara at Rookies and Adolf Vella at Hard Rock – you guys have been so cool!

What are your feelings about the international competition ahead?

We enter battles to win them. Ok, so that’s a little cocky, but seriously, big up to all the bands we’ve played with. Lots of talent there, and we’re truly humbled by the wins along the way. Special thanks to Paul Formosa from Ascendor for letting us use his Gretsch kit. 

Is your ambition to make it big around the world with this band?

Nah, that would mean making music for all the wrong reasons. Come on, you couldn’t write the stuff we’re playing if your objective was to become a Top 40 band that appeals to everyone. We started this because we love making music. Now do we think we write good music? Absolutely! And people seem to be digging our music as much as we love making it, so if that means we’ll get the chance to tour the world, our bags are packed, ready and waiting by the front door.

What projects do you have lined up?

We’ve got tons of stuff on the go right now. We just shot a music video for Babylon Aside which is going to be GREAT, thanks to the amazing Green Ant Productions team. We’re off to Ibiza to record an album and play a few shows and when we get back to Malta we’ll be playing two shows at the Earth Garden festival, and two more shows at Beer Fest. This week we’re also doing a bunch of media stuff for the Hard Rock Rising competition.

What is your message to your fans and everyone else reading this?

Man, our fans have been awesome, and if we keep getting their support, the sky is the limit for Mana Tapu. If you’re hearing about us for the first time, check out www.facebook.com/manatapu, hit the ‘like’ button and come to our next show! Bless.

 

A word from Adolf Vella, the Sales and Marketing Manager of Hard Rock Café Malta and organizer of the Battle of the Bands.

“This was my second year in charge of Hard Rock Rising Malta and I must say that it was superb. Having eight bands compete was a huge logistical challenge, especially when you remember that this involved over 40 band members. I have to thank them all for their commitment. This year we invested in a collaboration with BAM events which contributed to many other people joining the various band fans to create a great atmosphere over the four nights.

We at Hard Rock were proud to receive applications from almost every genre of our local scene. We had Blues, Rock, Progressive Rock, Alternative, Metal and Reggae. This is Hard Rock, we love all things awesome and all these styles gave us a great competition.  The judges had a very tough choice, especially in the final. It’s not easy to judge, especially when you have a Metal Band in competition with a Reggae(ish) band and a Rock band. By the way, for the second year we had a Gozitan band in the final, Ascendor. And Criminal Kiss took the competition by surprise when they ranked high in votes in the first phase on Facebook, then they performed an amazing qualification gig and ended up as runners up in the final.

The winner, Mana Tapu’s style is unique. All members have different cultural backgrounds which, in my modest opinion, makes their sound even better. When you listen to them you have to jump, dance and move.

After receiving their local prizes, which were valued at around €2000, they will now represent Malta in the bigger challenge, winning the global competition, which will award them a world tour, a record deal with Hard Rock Records and much more. The voting is taking place on Hard Rock Malta’s Facebook page  –hurry! We need all the Maltese, even overseas, to vote for Malta and vote for Mana Tapu.

Win a trip to the iconic Hard Rock Calling 2013 Music Festival

London’s calling and you have a chance to answer! Hard Rock Café Malta and Pepsi are giving fans an opportunity to win a trip to London for one of the world’s most-anticipated concert events – Hard Rock Calling 2013! To qualify for a chance to win, just go to Hard Rock Café, partner your Legendary Burger with Pepsi, enter your details and listen to 897 Bay!

Thirty lucky listeners will be called live during the 897Bay Drive Time Show with Nathan and be asked to answer a question about Hard Rock Calling. If they answer correctly, they become finalists for the Air-Guitar Showdown on 11 May, a night headlined by the band The Crowns. The winner’s package for two includes round-trip airfare; hotel accommodations for three nights; concert tickets for each of the two days of Hard Rock Calling 2013; and $300 spending cash!

Hard Rock Calling, now in its seventh consecutive year, will take place from Saturday, 29 June to Sunday, 30 June, in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The lineup features Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and Kasabian among many others. 2013 performers will join a long line of rock ‘n’ roll greats who have previously taken the Hard Rock Calling stage including: Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, The Who, Pearl Jam, Peter Gabriel, The Killers, The Police, Rod Stewart and Bon Jovi. 

For more information on the 2013 artist lineup and ticket details, visit www.hardrockcalling.co.uk        

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