Superheroes wear masks to protect their identity from the world. With local band Man-Cat, the group wears masks to represent its music under one identity.
It's not every day that you hear about artists wearing masks for the sake of removing identity. Sure, artists like Slipknot, Mushroomhead and GWAR all hide their faces on stage, but their identities are known and occasionally they're seen unmasked.
The mystery to Man-Cat is the anonymity of who exactly these four guys are. Three of the members and I met in the parking lot of Zia Records in Tempe, and even during the interview, they wore their signature feline masks. The band has seen how putting a name to a face is so popular in different forms of entertainment.
"Our whole thing that we repeat over and over is that identity is irrelevant. It's not a new thing that pop music's centered around identity more than the actual content, the songs," one of the Man-Cat members says. "With a lot of pop figures, people are clinging on to music because of the identity it represents."
With the music Man-Cat puts out, they want to be known as one collective being, rather than individuals. Man-Cat explains how many pop artists are known for their music, but don't write it themselves. The band twists this notion by sampling well-known songs and distorting them into something completely new.
"It's important for people to know where music comes from. You know, with a lot of pop artists there's a face, and it's really manufactured, and they're not the ones creating the art," another member of Man-Cat says. "It's marketed to you in such a way that this person is writing the songs and composing all the music. So we kind of want to bring awareness to that."
Man-Cat is now set to unleash new music with their first album, which will be a step up from their EP Hunt, Catch, & Kill. The band has additional members, a better understanding of the songs, and fine tuned everything during the recording process.
"With the inclusion of more members, our sound has fleshed out. It's thicker, louder, noisier and thoroughly grating," Man-Cat says via email. "This new batch of songs were written over the past two years and meticulously recorded and mixed over the past six months. We have spent the past two years taste-testing and refining these songs at live shows. They are battle-scarred and worn down and honed in."
Man-Cat's new album comes with promises of new antics like last year's popular Pussy Cola and Taylor Swift ones. For the album release show tonight at The Trunk Space, the band doesn't look to go to the extremes like that just yet; however, they are offering free posters to those in attendance. But there is sort of a fee, requiring Man-Cat to kiss them. There was no mention of whether it has to be on the lips, but that's probably a given.
If you plan to attend, Man-Cat says there's plenty in store for the night. "Both parties can expect sweat, dancing, maximum performance commitment, blown out eardrums, invitations to interact, consumable pop art for the masses, and a freshly brainwashed perspective at the end of it all."
The set and message that Man-Cat wants people to think about comes back to their music in an interesting way. If you needed more proof that the band "steals" music to make it their own, their website states, "We are thieves of intellectual property. We are the garbage disposals of pop. We will regurgitate infinitely."
At the end of the day, Man-Cat's goal for people is to invest themselves in the music first, not worry about who the person is.
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