Gil Mantera’s Party Dream

In Interview on August 17, 2010 at 4:32 am

None of your fucking business.
Gil Mantera’s Party Dream

       My first time hearing and seeing the synth-pop dance madness of Gil Mantera’s Party Dream was on accident as I passed by their small stage at Warped Tour this summer in Vinoy Park. There were people standing around all three sides of the stage and Gil, the keyboardist and vocoder vocalist was half-naked and fiercely, but whimsically dancing and gyrating in between keyboard parts. Donny, the guitarist and vocalist had just gotten out a large piece of gold fabric and was dancing with it as the audience looked on with heads cocked and a smile on their face. I’d have to say their show is the most provocative show I’ve ever sat through- mostly due to Gil’s dancing and touching himself underneath his black spandex pants. I could say maybe this band isn’t for everyone- but I feel like that’s a lie. Because in more than one way, it is. There’s no way someone wouldn’t enjoy seeing their friends bounce and dance happily if they put their music on at a party, or driving aimlessly [or not aimlessly] to lyrics that have simple lines but that hit your racing mind like “I’ll stick to my guns no matter what the cost”; “Is anybody truly happy?”; or “I’ll never get a grip on it.”

       My interview with Donny was probably the most awkward interview I’ve done. It wasn’t necessarily that he wouldn’t answer my questions. He did, just not readily. Maybe I was asking the wrong questions, but the other bands interviewed that day would take my question and run with it, adding a lot of reasoning and detail. Donny comma Ultimate did not do this. I asked him what kinds of records he listened to when he was younger. He said all kinds. What kinds? Public enemy, Led Zeppelin, Twisted Sister, Metallica, and Iron Maiden along with Fat boys, and UTFO; which are hip-hop groups from the 80’s. I asked him what some non-musical influences of his were. He said food. Pause. Pause. And animals. I asked what kind. He said cats and dogs are really funny, and kind of chuckled. So, on paper, what you could learn about these two people isn’t much. Especially about their personal lives. They are brothers, which I asked if they were natural brothers or step-brothers. He asked me what it mattered; which is a much nicer answer than received by a woman from the Daily Californian. After being asked if they were spiritual brothers or biological, Donny asked if she thought that was any of her fucking business. Even though he laughed afterwards, I would have to say he meant it. Though, I wonder why they take interviews if they aren’t fans of talking about their lives. They don’t reveal real information to journalists. Even though I wish I had gotten more, let’s say, vibrant answers, I understand and it should probably be that way. Their music is their lives, and questions and interviews should surround that, rather than details that really don’t change anything. Fair enough, Party Dream.

       Anyways, performance, impression, and having a good time are equally important when it comes to their stage presence and how the audience receives their music. Gil is the man behind their costumes. Their costumes are different for each tour and are found anywhere from e-bay to thrift stores or a friend’s closet. Their last tour included Donny in a pair of black boots, and a black sleeveless body suit with strategically placed gold stripes, and Gil with black spandex pants, and a pair of black boots, with varying shirts such as a fishnet tank top that would go from over his head as he played his keyboards to completely no longer in sight during the set. These “bruised and battered costumes will most likely be retired forever.”

       Whether it is in-between two songs, or before they start playing, Donny will tell a short story, or mutter a few words of caution. At the festival, it was something about people naming their children after the King Kong director, Peter Jackson and the movie bombing and their children being made fun of. Then, after leaving his home, his neighbor filled it with cat food, leading him to come home to a pile of dust due to hungry cats. On their MySpace, there was an mp3 called ‘Sundays in Orlando’, which was actually an example of one of these little oral excerpts from a show. It mentions knowing he could trust a man who had a Nike shoe on his left foot and a Puma shoe on his right foot, and a necklace that said, ‘Jesus might not have been the most important person in my life but he was definitely the most famous’. He commented that it was random and they could do 100 straight shows and what he would say would be different each time. “We feel strongly about what we do, period. Whether it comes off as goofy or not, we like to have a good time on stage and entertain a bit.” Speaking of stage, does Gil have a dance background? While laughing he said, “No, but he’s been doing this for so long. I’ve seen his dances moves evolve. It’s so funny. He’s gotten good.”

       When asked if there was anything he wished he would be asked, he replied, “Sometimes I think of something I’d like to be asked, but I usually just leave it up to the interviewer. Know what I’m saying?” I know what you’re saying. Maybe. As for the festival, he thought it had turned out well, though he wasn’t playing he’d probably have more fun. “I’d love to just hang out, drink beer and listen to some music.”

       Their Bloodsongs album has been playing in my car more than any other cd since the last night of the Real Big Deal fest. When I went to pay for the album before the interview Donny said, “Nah, buy yourself a nice drink,” and handed me the cd. He told me not to tell anyone. I guess I just did. Sorry Donny, but thanks for being so kind and real. Do yourself a favor and check them out.

Official Site

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