As the saying goes; nothing turns out quite the way you expected to be. I had every intention of having Mantra being our first video interview but after a series of technical failures and quality control issues, we decided to go in a different direction. Mantra is comprised of two 15-year-olds (Liam Sinnicks, Jacob Blundon) and two 18-year-olds (Nick Slade, Dawson Sinnicks) though they are young they had insight beyond their years we talked philosophy, religion and a whole host of topics.
Mantra has its root firmly in two things Buddhism and grunge.
Liam Sinnicks said of the creation of the band, “We were in the car driving home from a movie, listening to Nirvana when I looked to my brother and said ‘we should start a band’”. The band’s approach to music is just go get it. When I asked them how they got their record in Fred’s Records they said, “We just asked.” It’s that just go get it attitude, I believe will set them apart from other bands.
Buddhism plays an empowering role in their band– that’s where they got their name. Mantra is a sacred adherence repeatedly spoken. In Buddhism, it is believed to have supernatural powers.
Mantra’s debut album Lucid is a musical concept of the day to night cycle. The album was recorded over two days. They poured their passion into the project.
The track ‘Arcane’ off the debut album was an intense experience. Everything was done in one take.
“It was intense. I was pounding away on an open e-note so intensely ‘cause if I messed up, I had to start again.” Said bass player Jacob Blundon.
Guitar Player Nick Slade said “I was dyeing such intensity for one note”
They talked about expanding their influences. Dawson Sinnicks said “My current influences are not even music related” Sinnicks discussed how important it is to expand beyond the confines of music and seek knowledge from great thinkers.
Mantra says the next album is going to focus more on lyrics. “The first album was more about the groove and making it heavy cause it was our first time writing an album. The next one is going to really focus on lyrics”. Said Liam Sinnicks.
Dawson Sinnicks, the older Sinnick brother, said he’s going to learn sitar, a 13th century plucked instrument from the subcontinent of India, for the next album. Slade said he’s learning cello.
Whatever the next album is about, I’m in.
Age plays a big role in their careers right now. The lack of places for them to play, it feels like it’s limiting their careers and their ability to grow a fan base. When Mantra played George Street Festival, they got rushed off the stage by security right after their performance. Legally they couldn’t be at the festival as some members were under 19. People wanted to take pictures, but they had to go. For a lot of young artists, it feels like a waiting game trying to perform, and for most of them when they finally get a chance to play, they have moved on.
The youth are the heart of all art because of the unbridled passion and free time they have. Locations like Treble Lounge on George Street have all ages shows, but we need a lot more than one venue to create an industry.
This band has a big, bright future. So much creativity is running through this band and I think they have the ability to give Newfoundland a shot in the arm. It’s awesome to see young people going out there making a mark on the world, it’s truly inspiring. Go check out their latest album Lucid on all streaming platforms and follow them on social media, because I know they’re a band to look out for.