Guelph-based progressive metal band Mandroid Echostar is bassist Adam Richards, guitarist Sam Pattison, drummer Matt H-K, guitarist/keyboardist James Krul, guitarist Stephen Richards and vocalist Michael Ciccia. The band released Coral Throne, their third record (and second full-length) on January 15, 2016. A month or so after the new record became available, Michael Ciccia spared Hellbound some time, answering a few questions and allowing us some insight into the guys behind the sound.
Welcome to the latest entry in our ongoing archive of Canadian Metal You Don’t Wanna Miss.
What was the catalyst for Adam, Sam and Matt forming the band Mandroid Echostar?
Michael Ciccia: The catalyst for the initial formation was actually another local band in Guelph called Time The Destroyer. At the time Matt was trying out for that band on drums and needed a ride into the city because he lives in the middle of no where. So Adam being the good friend he is, said he would help him out and drive him in for practice. Sam was filling in on guitar for the band at the time and the three of them became good friends and decided they wanted to start a new band together, which became Mandroid Echostar. The rest, as they say, is history.
How did the addition of James, Stephen and Michael change what the band was or might be?
Before James, Stephen and myself joined, the guys were much more focused on the heavier side of metal. They had tried out a few screamers before I joined and after realizing that screaming wasn’t what they wanted for the band they sought me out. The addition of Steve and James brought more of a rock/pop element to the project, at which point we had a clearer vision of the kind of band we wanted to be.
What is each member’s role in the band beyond the instruments you play? Does someone act as ‘peace broker’ or ‘voice of reason’? Comic relief? Tech wizard? Risk taker? …
We pretty much treat the band as a family and everyone has their roles. Being the oldest I take on the “Dad” role and deal with all of the business stuff, make phone calls and deal with all the day to day happenings. Matt is the “Mom”, he keeps me sane, helps with the business side of things and does all the artwork and writes the lyrics. Sam is the “older brother” and takes care of all the technical stuff. He deals with our live rigs, takes care of recording our pre production songs, and he knows all the latest gear trends and helps us buy all our gear. The rest of the guys are the “younger brothers” of the family. They are all major contributors in the song writing, have great musical knowledge and drink the most beer. They are the loose canons of the band and need to be wrangled every once in a while. Our dynamic works for us and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
How is Mandroid Echostar like other music we might be familiar with?
People always feel the need to compare bands to other bands. Everyone does it, I am guilty of it myself. We have some shredding guitars, clean, sometimes poppy vocals, wicked drumming and a bass player with a moustache that draws no comparisons. I will leave it up to the people listening to decide who or what we sound like.
How is your music or performance different?
Regarding our performance, compared to most bands of our ilk we are very high energy on stage. A lot of progressive bands can’t help but stand still on stage to pull of their technical music, but we make a point to be able to play our parts with accuracy while having as much fun as possible on stage. You’ll always see a smile on our faces while we play.
How is Coral Throne like but also different from the music you’ve released before?
As most bands proclaim, our new album goes to further extremes than our previous efforts.
We stretch the boundaries a little further with each musical offering and we feel that we’ve continued to do so with this record.
What’s been your proudest band moment so far? – an achievement, a goal reached, a challenge overcome…?
It’s a three way tie between opening for Megadeth, touring across Canada with Protest the Hero, and releasing our first full length record. These have all been achievements, goals and challenges for us and we are proud of each of them.
In your time together as Mandroid Echostar, what one thing has surprised you most?
That we haven’t killed each other yet! We’ve been through some shit together and somehow still enjoy each other’s company inside and out of the band.
What are your immediate goals for the band? What are you hoping to accomplish in the near future now that the record is out?
Our immediate goals consist mainly of touring as much as possible in support of Coral Throne. We want to take this record to as much of the world as possible before it’s time for us to make the next one!
What’s your favourite thing to do as a band that’s not about music?
Eating, talking about eating and anything that involves food.
Can you name six essential Mandroid Echostar songs our readers have to hear?
Kingdom and the Crown, Haunted Vows, Hypnos, Zelos, Violet Skies, The Sleeper.
What other music do you recommend? Can you suggest six heavy and six not-so-heavy songs, albums or artists we should be checking out?
Native Construct – Quiet World
Destrage – Are you kidding me? No.
Intronaut – Direction of Last Things
Dillinger Escape Plan – Ire Works
Protest the Hero – Pacific Myth (Especially the song Cataract, because I’m on it! – protestthehero.bandcamp.com/album/cataract)
Stray From the Path – Rising Sun
Prince – Purple Rain
The Internet – Ego Death
Bedlight for Blue eyes – The Dawn
Kimbra – Vows
Foxy Shazam – Self Titled
Ta-Ku – Songs to Make up to
Keep up with Mandroid Echostar or check out their back catalogue: