Hunting Manilapede: An Obsession & Strange Conversation

Have you ever wondered what would happen if Lou Reed, Michael Gira and Captain Beefheart got drunk on port and did some improvising? Well, you probably haven’t, but it’s the type of thing I think about all the time. Luckily, I was introduced to local band Manilapede.

Information regarding their origins and musicians are shrouded in mystery. I made phone calls, searched the web and even attended one of their performances. Having arrived late, I walked in and watched the band carry their equipment outside then simultaneously, spontaneously combusted. I did learn that Manilapede released their eponymous debut on UK label Turgid Animal in 2010. This only added to the mystery as the record art shows only hazy photos of what I assume is the natural area surrounding Manila. I became even more intrigued with the band and became desperate. In a move that may seem obsessive, I hired a private detective to follow the members for two weeks.

Late one dark, stormy evening, I received a call from a blocked number and the following conversation went down:

Manilapede Representative: Greetings. Thank you for your interest in the Manilapede. You may not get all the answers you want, it’s better that way. Just kidding, I stole that line from Jandek.

Ben: I’ve been briefed on your music and personal life and would like to ask a few questions. I’ve had my researchers following you for the last couple of weeks and would like to follow up on some of your recent activities. I understand you went to the Sequoia Park Zoo recently. Did you have the opportunity to see the Red Pandas copulating?

MR: We (two of us Manilapedes) only saw one Red Panda. It wasn’t boning anything except the log he was sleeping on. Maybe he was having a sexual dream?

Ben: Did you get to see any of the other animals screwing? I especially like it when the Gibbons force oral on each other, followed by some fun with their feces.

MR: We didn’t get to spend much time there, so unfortunately we weren’t able to see too much wild animal sex. We did see some fat idiots screaming at their kids in front of the signs encouraging people to be quiet and not disturb the animals.

Ben: Alright, let move on. What’s your favorite meal from KFC?

MR: I haven’t been to KFC in years, although my father worked there when I was born and he actually met Colonel Sanders when that rusty old fuck was touring through his many franchises. Apparently he was more like Bob Barker than we had previously thought. . .if you know what I mean. There’s no KFC in Manila, although I do have that lousy Christmas album they released. The best track is “Merry Christmas Neighbor” by Lorne Greene.

Ben: Would you try the product known as the “Double Down?” It consists of two chicken breast patties encasing bacon, the Colonel’s “special sauce” and cheese.

MR: When it comes to breasts, I think double is usually the way to go but the Las Vegas lingo turns me off. Plus I’m hiding my bacon intake due to all that epic hipster mustache shit that’s been going around.

Ben: My intelligence sources have informed me that you have a cat named Twinkletoes. What can you tell me about him?

MR: He’s the original Manilapede. He came with the house where the project was born and continues to contribute ideas and inspiration. He was born on a Hells Angel’s bed not a block from the Manila house and adopted us as his parents. The next album might be called Twinkletoes, unless we can think of something that sounds a little more serious and heavy.

Ben: Have you ever thought about taking him to the zoo to see if he’d copulate with the other animals?

MR: I have now, thanks for the suggestion.

Ben: How do you feel about vampires? I mean, just in general?

MR: They’re a total pain in the neck and they suck. Sorry, those answers are dumb. I like that Dracula sleeps with a hard on all the time.

Ben: Those sound like awful puns that horrendous local “comedian” Dutch Savage would tell on stage!

MR: He’s my best friend!

Ben: How about that Danzig?

MR: He’s a misfit and has mommy issues. Since we’re on the subjects of douche bags, you should know that I recently re-bought Black Flag’s “My War.”

Ben: Are you saying like Danzig, Henry Rollins is also a muscle-bound douche bag?

MR: He’s an egomaniac, but I hear Greg Ginn is as well. I’m totally ripping off Greg Ginn by the way.

Ben: Greg Ginn was the heart and soul of that band! Was Rollins the singer on “My War” and is he a bigger douchebag than Keith Morris?

MR: Rollins sang on “My War,” but that album is based on Ginn’s heavy guitar and crappy bass playing. Keith Morris looks like Bob Marley but talks like Bon Scott. There’s some definite douche material there.

Ben: Alright, I feel like this interview is quickly spiraling down the drain of a shit-stained toilet, we should wrap it up. What type of message are you attempting to convey with the music of Manilapede?

MR: I thought it was just getting good! Manilapede is about being yourself, being weird, getting lost, then finding yourself again. We hope that when people come to our shows or listen to our recordings that they don’t exactly know what to think. We try not to think about it too much. Really we just aim to be the heaviest band in town.


About Ben Allen

Our music editor Ben Allen was born one stormy evening in a quaint Northern California coastal village. Upon birth he was immediately exposed to the soothing analog sounds of artists such as Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Captain Beefheart and Santana. As the lad grew, so did his appreciation for an assortment of abrasive hard rock. A pubescent flirtation with butt metal was shattered in the early 1990’s by exposure to Nirvana and other so-called “Alternative” bands. While in college, our protagonist became a DJ on a local station, and began work as a freelance music journalist. During this period he became entranced with artists such as Tortoise, Slint, Modest Mouse, Guided By Voices and Pavement. Currently Allen resides in Arcata, CA where he continues to obsess and salivate over new recordings by his favorite artists. He works with music industry people to ensure that Savage Henry’s contributors receive music and other promotional materials. He also writes a silly monthly list titled “Ben’s 10.”

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