Beginnings are never easy.
Three years after forming in a room where the only pieces of furniture were a piano bench and a drum throne, Manic Bloom is finding its voice. It wasn't the delusion of grandeur or the promise of fame that inspired the five members to let go of everything and pursue their musical ambitions. That isn't quite the style of Nashville, Tennessee's "Epic Melodic Rock" band.
"We played plenty of shows to empty rooms when we were first starting out," drummer Jeff Brinkley admits. "It was during that time we had to ask ourselves a lot of questions about who we are and what we were trying to accomplish. If any of those answers had anything to do with money or stardom, I'm pretty sure we wouldn't be where we are today."
In their 2010 sophomore release "In Loving Memory," listeners can hear some of the thoughts that were going through their heads. Visions of hope met with brutal struggles. Intense passion confronted with equally concentrated opposition. This dichotomy is what defines Manic Bloom, according to keys player Jeff Hildebrand. "The reality is that we all live in conflict. However, we've seen over and over again that if we persevere, the result can be beautiful."
And persevere they have, garnering Stereofame.com's Artist of the Month for July 2010, the "Best New Artist of 2009" award from Nashville's 102.9 The Buzz, Ourstage.com's October 2008 Grand Prize, and airtime on MTV. They also found themselves as the exclusive background music for the videos of internet sensations Dude Perfect, whom have over 18 million views on YouTube. "Almost immediately after [Dude Perfect] used our music, we started getting emails from people all over the globe," recalls frontman David Stevenson. "We were having to use online translators just to communicate with fans - it was surreal."
Manic Bloom approached the process of recording "In Loving Memory" differently than their first self titled EP. Though still completely self-engineered and produced, "we were very intentional while recording this time around," said bassist Andy Neale. "We were not going to be satisfied with just releasing a handful of new songs. We threw parts away and re-recorded entire tracks multiple times, and several melodies were rewritten weeks after we thought they were already solidified. We even completely scrapped one song because it didn't fit the cohesiveness of the others."
After emerging from their basement studio, which they have nicknamed "The Dungeon," they called upon Swedish mixing engineer Tobias Lindell (Kadawatha) and mastering engineer Richard Dodd (Kings of Leon, Green Day) for the finishing touches.
"Our first EP was mostly created while reflecting on the past," said guitarist Matt Lawrence. "[For this project], we focused a lot more on what's in front of us. This album is about everything after this moment. We're not stopping."