Freeman Manfree – we are honored to have our first interview published on M.I.R.P with you. Thank you for taking the time to sit down with us on the eve of 2013.
MIRP: Explain the name selection and spelling of Amerakin Overdose.
FM: The name was chosen based on the idea that America is an overdose of all cultures. Many different cultures have come to America looking to get a piece of the American dream over the past 200 years. Some have been successful in obtaining a little piece of it and others have not. in the 200 plus years we have been a nation we have used America as a place to express freedoms and taboos not accepted in other cultures but have become an everyday way of life for Americans. It appears that we have taken the good and bad of all cultures and shipped it back all over the world. The sad part is that this has all been done under a very self-righteous and ignorant system. So the name is misspelled on purpose to express the lack of proper education and guidance present in the last several generations.
MIRP: In 2012, you’ve added and lost members – how has the addition of IamtheHuman changed your sound? How has the loss of Pito and Andy as percussionist impacted the sound? Is the intention to add a percussionist back as soon as Pito is available?
FM: Adding” The Human” to the live act has been the best thing we have done to improve our live sound. The keyboards and samples just sound better when coming straight from the source rather than being played back through a mono sampler. We played shows that way for a long time and it never really felt like our full sound was coming across. So adding Human is like night and day compared to playing with a recording.
Losing Pito was devastating to the band personally and a huge loss to the live show. He was a very important member to the band and a very dear friend to all of us. It is still up in the air whether we will ever bring the percussions back but Pito will always be welcome back into the band as a secondary singer or whatever role he chooses to fill. He is still officially a member of Amerakin Overdose and always will be.
MIRP: You have a new song “Medicate.” What are you expectations for fan reception?
“Medicate” is the best song we have produced yet. I think that fans are going to very amazed and extremely happy with the direction we are going with the new songs. I know we are very excited about it and cannot wait to get it posted for our fans to download. I don’t want to give too much away but let’s just say it will be fun to dance too.
MIRP: I hear “Dead Girl” has been selected to be part of a score. How did that come about?
FM: I think someone on the production team is a fan of ours and suggested that the producers contact us. We are all huge pop culture geeks so of course we were all about being involved with a live action movie of the Hellsing series. The song is very fitting considering the context of the movie. Basically the storyline revolves around a family organization that hunts vampires, ghosts and ghouls. So I am sure there will be no shortage of dead girls in the film.
MIRP: AOD has a very different sound than most of the bands in town. For those that haven’t heard AOD, can you describe your sound?
FM: I think we have a very Industrial Metal based foundation but we do infuse a little dance and pop elements to the sound as well. We like to refer to it as Stripper Metal or Kinky Rock as Cody likes to call it.
MIRP: AOD is more than a band; it’s a brotherhood and a lifestyle it seems. What do you think that bond is that makes AOD so special?
FM: That is a hard question to answer. No one really ever knows what creates special bonds in people. We could say it’s the music or shock rock elements that attracted us in the first place or maybe the mutual appreciation of heavy music but it seems there is something larger in control something outside of our individual chemistry. We are all very dedicated to being dedicated that also helps to make us different than any other band I have ever been in before and I know the other guys feel the same way .
MIRP: Let’s talk about influences… who are your guitar heroes?
FM: I love Ace Frehley I think he is probably the biggest influence on me. I have always loved James Hetfield’s rhythm playing as well. I am a big fan of David Gilmour , Jeff Beck , Steve Vai , Jimi Hendrix ,Dave Mustaine, Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Gilbert, and Jason Becker. Actually Most of my influences musically have come from other sources such as alchemy and symbolism. I find a great deal of today’s art was borrowed from the cryptic ways information was processed prior to the modern age. Ace Frehley though is the man who I really look to for inspiration and influence.
MIRP: Each of the members of AOD have a style. Is it a planned cohesive style, or is it independent for each member?
FM: There is a definite planned style but we each embody a different element of social deprivation. The living dead persona and contrast of black and white is a running theme through most of our visual image but we try and do something different for each member within that theme that represents individual personality
MIRP: Looking back at your last demo, is there anything you wish you would have done differently?
FM: Maybe added a real bass and getting Pito on the aux vocal tracks. Other than that I am very proud of what we created.
MIRP: Often your live shows are messy – do you have a hard time with venues allowing you realize your true vision for the show?
FM: Yes it sucks that we cannot use a lot of the props we prefer to use , we understand the pain in the ass it is to clean up after us but at the same time we feel it is an important part of the show who doesn’t like a confetti storm or raw meat being thrown at you — the crowd loves it but the venues get really angry at us. It will be nice to get out on tour where there will be a little more room to mess around and not have to worry about pissing off promoters.
MIRP: As one of the most successful and hardworking bands in Portland, what advice do you have for new young bands wanting to get their music out?
FM: Don’t turn down any gig, play to one person like you are playing to a football stadium full of people, promote yourself at every chance you have. Make sure you have something to leave behind with people after you talk with them about your music, stickers , flyers, t-shirts demos, whatever you have at your disposal. Treat your craft professionally and act professional while performing or dealing with promoters, clubs , other bands etc. it is a long way to the top as they say and the more understanding and professional you are the more respect you will receive and more opportunities will be presented to you.
MIRP: You have fans around the world. How important is social media in today’s musical world?
FM: Social Media is the number one most important tool for all advertising currently. Nothing is more powerful at getting people’s attention than the little box we all keep glued to our hands now days. Facebook , Twitter, Bandcamp and even just the plain old goggle search engine allows for anybody to come up with an idea or a product and spread it over the entire globe in an instant. I think that it would have taken years of leg work like touring or reaching out to DJ and promoters the old fashioned way via phone or mail to get the same results without a major label or pr campaign.
MIRP: You guys are one of the best supporters of local music. I see members of AOD at local shows supporting other bands all the time. Do you feel like the local scene is getting better?
FM: I definitely think that the local scene is getting better. More and more bands are deciding to help support each other regardless of the genre they play or the styles of music they prefer. I think a lot of the local musicians are choosing to reward the hard work of other bands rather than create drama fight and argue. It’s nice to go to a fellow musicians show and support them in making their dreams come true and show respect for the hard work that we all know goes into making it happen. We love our scene and all of the talented men and women that help to create it.
MIRP: You’ve opened up for some sweet national acts such as: Korn, Chevelle, Powerman 5000, Five Finger Death Punch, Static X, Queensryche, Mushroom Head, American Head Charge, Hed(PE), Blue Felix, DJ Star Scream (Sid Wilson of Slipknot), 16 Volt, 36 Crazy Fist, American Me, Adema, Winds of Plague, Spineshank, Primer 55, Pig Hammer, Mary Magdalene, One Eye Doll, Straight Line Stitch, The Devastated, Motograter, Kyng, Genocide Syndrome, All That Remains, Davey Suicide, Cousin Cletus, Black Heart Vacancy, Wicked Wayz, Tenafly Viper, Young London, Hinder, The Browning, Eye Empire, Interim Divine…. What band(s) do you hope to support in 2013?
FM: I personally would love to open for Coal Chamber, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Die Antword, Ramstien, American Head Charge (Again), Slipknot. The list is very long but those are some of the ones I would really like to open for next year.
MIRP: What can fans expect from AOD for 2013?
FM: Next year will be a big year for us. We will be releasing multiple music videos for some old songs and a few new songs as well. We will also be touring for most of the year, starting with a West Coast tour in the spring and then possibly a National tour in the early fall. We will be releasing a lot of our well liked home videos for all of our hardcore fans that love laughing with us while we do incredibly stupid stuff on film. Basically we will continue to “Get Shit Done “
MIRP: Thank you Freeman for what you do. Please give our best wishes to Cody, Brick, Human, and Luke. Have a great show!
FM: Happy New Year! I hope the New Year brings everything you heart desires