When Manganista chartered a "party bus" for a gig at L.A.'s Viper Room at the end of June, they decided to record on the way.
"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 onto my portable eight-track recorder. I grabbed the recorder, two boom stands, two mikes, 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 the 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."
Manganista's new album Propaganda in Stereo -- which includes the bus recording -- will be released in September. They appear Wednesday, August 15, at 'Canes.