2021 IN MUSIC: Jaakko Mäntymaa (Marianas Rest)

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Recently signed to Napalm Records, doom metal act MARIANAS REST have become a staple of the Finnish metal scene. With the release of Fata Morgana,” the band has had a busy 2021. We asked singer Jaakko Mäntymaa a few questions about how he experienced the year. Read the entire interview below…

What musical goals did you set for 2021? Did you achieve them?

Our main aim was on the successful release of “Fata Morgana.” It was our first co-operation with a bigger label (Napalm Records) and of course, there is plenty of new stuff that you have to learn along the way. We did three music videos, got great reviews, made plenty of new contacts, and a lot of new friends. This was the best for us by far – even with COVID causing all sorts of misery. We had to move on quickly though, because the pandemic made touring impossible. Already sharpening our claws for the next release. 

Were you able to dedicate as much of 2021 to your project/band as you had hoped?

We put everything we had into this, so yeah. At this point, we are extremely motivated to just get out there, do our stuff, and see what happens next. It helps a lot that we have a great team around us to make everything possible and guide us through tricky spots. Couldn’t do this by ourselves. Lots of love to everyone, you know who you are!

What were some of the highlights you realized in 2021?

The best thing of course is to see your music make an impact on people listening to it. That is what this is about. Everything else is just to make it happen. Emotion comes from interaction. And of course, it was a memorable moment to get to play the new songs live for the first time in front of a wonderful audience at Dark River Festival last summer. It was a small miracle the event happened. COVID was getting worse back then. You really could sense the need for live shows in everybody in the crowd. The energy and good vibes were something you don’t get too often.

Is there anything you learned during 2021?

Plenty about the industry, about the business, and how everything works. Of course, we still don’t know much. Slow and steady, that’s the plan. We also had to learn how to be active on social media. Nobody in the band is a natural in that area, so we just had to push it. Our social media strategy is to make idiotism attractive. 

Have you (re-)discovered any new music during 2021?

Loads of good stuff this year! NESTOR made the ’80s album of the year (“Kids in a Ghosttown”) and HOODED MENACE‘s Tritonus Bell is an awesome death-doom record. Somehow I just found out this year how great the band ALICE IN CHAINS actually is. It took a while, but then again, I am really slow. 

What can we expect from you in 2022? 

We are coming out with a bang in January with a couple of winter festival gigs in Finland (Talvihelvetti and Seinäjoki Metal Festival). There is more awesome gig stuff coming up too, but too early to shout out at this point. We also have a new cool video coming up! I guarantee it is something worth the wait. And of course, we will get to the studio pretty soon with Teemu Aalto to record our fourth full-length. At this point, it would seem that it is going to have some surprising elements in there as well as something old. Happy new year to everyone from MR-camp! Hope to see and hear you all out there, on the road or on the internet! 

Written by Laureline Tilkin