So we haven't had anything up on the internet for a while. And really, it's been a couple months of restructuring, rethinking, and reevaluating who we are as Mantra.
After a long period of soul-searching and self-induced self-improvement (not to mention a flurry of line-up changes), it's become clear that Mantra really is an extension of me (Jason). So don't be surprised to see some new guests playing with us at the Hard Rock, such as Jim Cobb on lead guitar and Chris Luke on drums. They are there to back me up when one of the core members has another commitment, which will happen fairly regularly on a Friday night. Sometimes, hiring a band of professional musicians has it's draw back..
Despite accepting my fate as the face of Mantra, the band (and especially the upcoming album) has always been more about what can be done through collaboration. Our latest mix, "Distractions", is the perfect example of this process. It started off as a couple disconnected riffs and chord progressions that I took and put into an initial structure. From there, Matt and Mark worked out the rhythmic hits and I wrote the lyrics based on what the song sounded like it was conveying. On the album, it's topped off by one of Paul's crazy creative leads, which ties all the insanity together nicely.
It's a lesson that comes up time and again in music, and I suppose in most other aspects of life: No one person can ever know everything. Working with diverse backgrounds, cultures, and aesthetics, while at times frustrating and seemingly impossible to mediate, produces results that nobody could have imagined individually. Learning to be flexible while staying firm in your own beliefs isn't easy, but it's something that I constantly strive for a look to improve on. There's always more out there in the world. The tricky part is getting over yourself, getting off your ass and finding it.