Anders, thank you for taking the time out to answer a few questions with Cathedral13.  It was early 2004 and you release 'One Up For the Dying'.  It's success was immediate and you become all-time most downloaded goth artist at with over 40,000 downloads in 2005.  Your music and videos are turning up everywhere and the response is overwhelmingly positive.  Did you ever envision any of this when you started out?  

AM: None of it would have been possible if Cathedral13 wasn't playing me:-)

In all honesty, I'm still scratching my head about it's success. Not that I don't think it's a good album, but it just started out as me just having fun, writing and recording songs. The next thing I know DJ's all over the world are spinning it at their goth/industrial night and I'm getting tons of mail about it. It's been overwhelming and I'm certainly grateful to all the fans and DJ's who are spreading the word.


I think that one of the things that has made your project such a success is the fact that it can't really be labeled and put into one specific genre.  Your music seems to cross several boundaries which in effect attracts a much wider audience.  Are their any specific artists, past or present, that have influenced the sound of Anders Manga?

AM: Alice Cooper was a huge influence on me growing up. The Misfits, Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, Rozz Williams, David Bowie, Gary Numan & Nick Cave have all spent a lot of time in my CD player. The world has really gotten out of control with labels. Every time I read an article or internet thread there is some new label for bands. I still don't know what the hell Emo is. I've been labeled as Goth, EBM, Darkwave, Alternative... I just record whatever comes out if I like it. If I pigeon hole myself into a specific genre or purposely try to write a song a specific group of people might like, it would ruin my stream of consciousness and probably send me into a miserable period of writers cramp.


Anders Manga is basically a solo project with a live band.  Do you envision it staying that way or do you see it ever becoming a more collaborative effort as it continues to grow?

AM: I'm kind of a control freak when it comes to writing. However, I am getting much better at letting people play on the songs. I just had Sco, my live synth player play on most of the songs on "Left of an All-Time Low" and was very happy with the results. He brings additional texture and I'll definitely be working with him hopefully more in the future. 


You've done quite a few videos for your music and have done some directing in the past as well.  Has music become your primary focus or is it another added component that makes up Anders Manga?

AM: Music has always been my first love. Most of the film directing stuff was just to pay the bills. However the knowledge I gained in my movie making days has allowed me to be creative and save money by doing all the music videos myself.

I just recently signed a deal to do some directing for GothErotica, a new studio focused on dark erotica based out of Los Angeles. I definitely enjoy doing work in movies but I have to have full creative control. I've had paid gigs in the past where I shot someone else's script or idea and that wasn't very artistically fulfilling.


You headlined "Gothstock" in Hartford CT, played at "Dracula's Ball" in Philadelphia, and at Dragoncon in Atlanta in 2005.  Do you have any plans at this time to tour to support the new CD 'Left of an All-Time Low'?

AM: I'm actually going to be booking shows next month. There are some festivals I'd love to play... Wave Gothik Treffen, Convergence and some others. As an independent artist it's difficult to get the bigger shows without the backing of a label, but if the fans request me which I hope they will, I'll be there.



You write, record, self produce your own music and run your own label Vampture Records (and manage to do it all quite well).  Where do you find the time?

AM: I wonder the same thing. Lots of dedication... I guess it's a personal goal to see how far I can get completely independent. All by myself with no record label, agents, managers, etc. with only the fans and DJ's support.



Have you considered releasing any other bands on your label in the future?

AM: I have but realistically I have no time right now. Possibly in a couple of years If the right band comes along I'll definitely consider it.



Advances in technology have made it easier and more affordable for bands to record and release their own music without having to rely on major record labels, and the internet has provided a means to promote and distribute it.  While this gives the artists complete control over artwork and all other creative content it also places many additional demands on them from a business standpoint.  If given the opportunity would Anders Manga ever sign to major label or have the major labels become outdated and somewhat irrelevant?

AM: I doubt it. It would have to be a pretty damn good deal. I'm really happy with the level of success I'm having now and really have no desire to be a household name. The internet, good songwriting ability and a little business sense is really all any artist needs to be successful these days. My advice to anyone looking to "make-it" is to work hard, do not expect overnight success and unless you want to be boy-band huge, stay independent.


While technology and the internet have made it easier for artists to get their music out and be heard it's also made it easier for people to pirate and illegally share music.  Sony BMG recently took a public relations beating when it secretly inserted copy protection software onto the computers of those who transferred the music of disc encoded with XCP copy protection into their computers, which in turn made those computers more susceptible to attacks by hackers.  What is your opinion on file sharing, copy protected CDs and the RIAA?

AM: The internet is without a doubt the way to go to get the word out. However, it is a double edged sword because obviously if people are getting tracks for free, they have little motivation to buy the album. People need to realize that we need their support to keep the music and scene alive. Buy the CD, a t-shirt or something.


Your first band was called 'The Dogwoods'.  What type of music did they play was anything released under that name?

AM: Yes. There was an album which is now out of print. It was a traditional bass, drums, guitar project which ended in 1999.




Your music has some incredibly rich and thick synth riffs in it, what type of equipment do you use?

AM: An Oberheim Xpander, Virus and Lots of different software including products from Native Instruments, Sonar, etc.



If you had to compile a list of ten essential CDs or records what would they be?



Nick Cave - No More Shall We Part
Sisters of
Mercy - Floodland
Gary Numan - Pure
Alice Cooper - Billion Dollar Babies
The Beatles - White Album
George Jones - I Am What I Am
David Bowie - Scary Monsters
Christian Death - Only Theater of Pain
Slayer - South of Heaven
Nitzer Ebb - That Total Age


Thanks once again for all of your time and for agreeing to do this.  Any final thoughts?

AM: Definitely want to thank Cathedral 13 and your listeners for all the support and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing everyone on the road this year!





Anders Manga is: Anders Manga: Vocals, Synths, Programming

live Band is: Anders Manga: Vocals, Sco: Synths & Boitnott: Synths

Unofficial Discography:

D   i   s   c   o   g   r   a   p   h   y

One Up For The Dying (2005)

10 track CD-Album
Label: Vampture Records


1. We Won't Stay Dead (Sample)
2. Solitary Heaven (Video) (Audio Sample)
3. Shiver (Video)
4. The Source (Sample)
5. One Up for the Dying (Sample)
6. Burn (Video)
7. Heart of Black (Video)
8. See Me in the Mirror (Sample)
9. Processing A Monster
10. In the Open, In the Crowd (Sample)



Left of an All-Time Low (2006)

Label: Vampture Records


1. This Circle
2. Empire On the Sun (Video)  
3. Mutiny
4. Gypsy
5. Bloodletting On the Kiss
6. Glamour (Video)
7. What's that Hell in your Heaven
8. Character in Charm
9. Innocence End
10. Bad Girls Go to Hell
11. Surrender



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