Matt Rhea: Percussion, Vocals | Ryan McMullen: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric) | Travis Wingo: Keyboards, Vocals | Jason Thomas: Bass guitar | Dusty Norberg: Drums | Kyle Ponterio: Marimba, Percussion, Vibes

Genre: Alternative, Reggae & Ska, Rock

Sound description: Indie new-wave ska-punk.

RIYL: Oingo Boingo, Talking Heads, the Police, English Beat, the Specials

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Synoposis

Ex-Band Members: Drew Kent, Bass guitar

Influences: Oingo Boingo, Talking Heads, the Police, English Beat, Joe Jackson, Radiohead, Yo La Tengo, Calexico, Giant Sand, Thomas Mapfumo, the Bhundu Boys, Orchestra Baobaab, Bob Marley, Television, Toots & the Maytals, Steel Pulse, Desmond Decker, the Specials, XTC, Elvis Costello, Fugazi, Steely Dan, the Beatles, John Zorn & Masada, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, New Order, Joy Division, Magazine, Paul Simon, the Ramones, Ultravox, Kraftwerk, Cambodia, Fela Kuti, Ibrahim Ferrer, Alison Krauss, David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Missing Persons, Blondie, Berlin, Low, the Clash, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Mr. Bungle, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Kate Bush, Funkadelic, Parliament, Sly and the Family Stone, the Fixx, OMD, Tori Amos, Bjork, Devo, U2, Brian Eno, Haircut 100, Jimmy Cliff, Bad Brains, Japan, Visage, Black Heart Procession, Creedle, Gillian Welch, Mule Skinner Blues, Peter Gabriel, the Beach Boys

Background:

The intellectual composition of Oingo Boingo and Talking Heads and the ska mischief of the Specials and English Beat. Manganista somehow has the ability to dabble in countless musical genres and come up with a sound that can only be described as "Manganista."

Rock music with an island vibe, a ska band on steroids, or a new wave band that ran into the Beach Boys while vacationing in Cambodia.

Manganista's debut full-length CD release, I Make You Look Like Movie Star, was produced by Lee Knight of Mark Decerbo and Four Eyes and Joey Harris and the Speedsters).

The late great Buddy Blue wrote in a 2006 Union-Tribune article about the band, "Musically, the group can conjure pure hellfire." The San Diego Song Writers Guild wrote in a newsletter, "An exciting blend of electronic and acoustic elements combining into a sound that had everyone who saw their set transfixed."

When the band chartered a “party bus” for a gig at L.A.’s Viper Room in June 2007, they utilized the trip to do a little recording. “I wanted to record a crowd of about 30 or 40 people singing the last chorus of our song ‘Turn Back the Clock,’” says singer Matt Rhea. “The potential bus noise, balance issues, and organizing 40 drunk people to do anything seemed like a tall order. Our producer printed a rough mix of the song and I dumped it on to my portable 8-track recorder. I grabbed the recorder, two boom stands, two mics, and two pairs of headphones and set up shop in the middle of the bus, using one of the stripper poles for balance. We printed lyric sheets and [keyboardist] Travis brought his accordion to provide the pitch and for guiding the crowd. It went surprisingly smooth, so we did a couple of takes and it was a done deal.”

The band charged bus riders $45 each, which included a show ticket. “At the club, I spotted our lyric sheets in the crowd, so a lot of them were singing along. That ended up being the highlight of the show…afterward, we found a 300-plus pound man passed out cold in his own vomit across the Viper Room bathroom floor. Three or four security guys dragged him across club’s floor and dumped him on the Sunset Strip pavement, smack dab where [one-time club co-owner] River Phoenix had died. That was our cue to get the hell back to San Diego.”

In summer 2011, a single called “Dimension” was made available for purchase through Facebook and Reverb Nation. They played their first gig in three years January 28, 2012, at the Picture Head La Mesa band compilation release party at Pete’s Place. Rhea and Manganista bassist Travis Wingo also play together in No Reply.

A new single and video for “Old Grey,” from the album Shooting at the Big Bang Seams (on Matt Rhea’s Quasi Recordings label), was released in early 2013. “The album title comes from a line in one of the songs on the album,” says Rhea. “The song is partially about managing to reach the edge of the universe and blasting through some barrier that’s held together by common seamstress supplies, thread and needle.”

“This is all taking place during a dream, of course. After realizing this tune and many of the others on the album had references to space and dreaming, Shooting at the Big Bang Seams sounded like a good way to sum up the underlying theme that was threatning to rear its ugly head.”

Discography

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