Behind The Man From Managra moniker is the very talented Coti K. Having recently released his second full-length album ‘Half A Century Sun’ via the always eclectic Inner Ear Records, Coti K. was kind enough to provide us with this interview, revealing some ‘folds’ of his unique project. Hope you enjoy this one as we did…
Hello Coti! Welcome to Last Day Deaf. So, which are the latest news regarding The Man From Managra project?
Hello, thank you for the invitation! Well the news is that the second The Man from Managra album is out! It was a long time coming, but I think it was worth the wait!
Your second album ‘Half A Century Sun’ was recently released via Inner Ear Records, with a 3 year gap from your debut one. Which would you point out as the main difference between them? Has paternity affected your musicianship?
The main difference is a change, a subtle one maybe, towards a lighter, more extrovert mood. Paternity didn’t affect my musicianship, I was always lazy with practicing, I am quite mediocre as far as my playing skills are concerned, so having less time to myself didn’t affect me in that way, but it certainly has affected me as a person, I believe I am now a better version of my old self.
‘Half A Century Sun’ features quite a few guest musicians from all over the world, among them Blaine L. Reininger, Jim R. White, Hristos Lainas & James Wylie. How did you end up with these ace collaborations then?
Well all these people that played on the record are mostly friends, people I have previously collaborated with in one way or another, either as a producer or as a musician. I just had to work up the courage to ask them, I am inherently quite shy when it comes to my music…
The opening track ‘Sailor’ is among my favorite ones with its vivid Velvet Underground feel! Would you like to share some words about this?
It is one of the definitive tracks of the album, it is a love song in disguise… it has the nautical references that seem to prevail in the Managra project, plus its one of my favourites to play live, I like the fact that it builds and builds…
The sea element is and especially the travel mood is pretty present in the whole album. Perhaps, because it was recorded between Tinos island and Athens? Please enlighten us…
The sea is omnipresent on both Managra albums, it definitely has to do with spending quite some time on my favourite island of Tinos, also the sea is anyway something I am immensely attracted to since I was very young. I dream of spending my third age by the sea.
‘Se Ti Rivedro’ is another triumphant moment in which you perform in Spanish, with the distinctive sound of George Avramidis’ trumpet. Which was the main influence for this gem?
It is Italian, not Spanish, I decided to sing a song in my mother tongue since I am half Italian and was born there. Ideally I would write more in Italian, but I actually found it quite difficult on many levels. It was a great honour to have both George Avramidis and James Whilie playing horns on it. The influence is quite a sad story of someone I loved dearly that had fallen into depression, and ended up being destroyed by it, but I wanted to make a hopeful song out of it, a sort of exorcism or a light in the darkness if you will, for my own sake.
What do you think Neil Hannon (aka Divine Comedy) would say if he ever was lucky enough to listen to ‘In This Century’?
I have heard of them, but don’t actually know their music much. Funnily enough, I was listening to the radio the other day while driving and this amazing song came on and it was ‘The Certainty Of Chance‘ by The Divine Comedy. I assume you refer to the almost orchestral passage on ‘In This Century‘, something The Divine Comedy seem to be into, well, if he gets to hear it I just hope he likes it..
Did you expect this critical acclaim from both Greek & international press (& web) writing rave reviews about you ? Feeling already the pressure for the 3rd one, or you just don’t care?
I really didn’t know what to expect with this album’s release, so I was quite happily surprised by all the positive feedback. But I don’t worry too much about a next album yet, I know I want to make a next one, but I am in no hurry, am quite slow at writing, but I already have half of it as sketches. The only difficulty is really finding the time frame to concentrate on it, as I am now quite busy writing music for two dance theatre pieces and also producing records…
What’s next for The Man From Managra project, but also any other Coti K. projects in general?
The Man from Managra is going to do some more selected gigs here in Greece, but not too many, also I would love to find the time to work on the next album, but as I said before, I am not in a hurry, maybe that’s what I learned as a parent, that there is a time for everything you really want to do. I sort of have put all my more experimental music on halt, until I feel interested in doing it again, on the other hand I use my knowledge as a sound designer and audio artist on projects like installations and theatre music.
Last words belong you… A message to our readers form The Man From Managra?
Let’s hope springtime comes soon!