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A chat with Manora

Charismatic and melodic, without sacrificing the perfect edge, Manora is Dutch Symphonic Metal at its finest. Drawing comparisons to Epica and Delain, they deliver powerful and intelligent songs that captivate the senses. Recently, they released their first full-length album, ‘Brave the Storm.’  Their star is on the rise, and we were fortunate enough to ask them a few questions…ya know…before they make the big time.

 Welcome to Metal Digest!

  • Congratulations on ‘Brave the Storm.’ I have been enjoying it and sharing it with friends. Your sound is reminiscent of other bands, but I also hear several subtle differences (intangibles, if you will.) How do you stand apart in the music world? How do you see your sound evolving in the coming years?

Mirte: I think our strength is that we try to write good music without making it sound too complicated. We want it to be catchy, make the melodies stick in your head and I think “Brave The Storm” is a good representation of how we want our music to sound. We all have a different preference in music, and I think you can hear those influences in our music as well. In the future I think it would be nice to experiment a bit more with those influences of other styles, but still sticking to the typical symphonic metal sound.

  • The video for “Wired To Obey,”  the first single from the new album, has some intriguing visuals and an even more intriguing message. Please tell us about this song. Also, what were some of the other ideas for the video…or was this the vision from the start?

Mirte: In the rehearsal room it already became clear that this song stood out for us, and we wanted to make this the first single of our album. I wrote the lyrics as a commentary on how it seems like we all live according to a sort of pattern, an expectation designed by society. You’re supposed to get a “normal” education, a “normal” job, get married, and have kids before 30… It seems like these are sometimes more the choices society makes for us than that we make these choices for ourselves. It’s really hard to escape from these expectations as well, because many people will find it weird. The idea behind the video is also based on this. You see the guys with the cables around their arms and in the end they break free of “society’s expectations”. This has been the basic idea from the start, but some of the other ideas we had at first were to include fragments of videos of a more industrial setting, like images of a factory and more Matrix-like images. 

  • The song “Dreamscapes” appears on both your debut of the same name and on ‘Brave the Storm.’ Clearly, several elements have been reworked, but why did you choose this song to be included on both releases?

Mirte: Our EP was recorded when we had just been together as a band for less than a year. Ivo did all the mixing and mastering himself, which was a great learning experience and we’re still proud of the final result, but it didn’t have the professional sound we wanted for the album. That’s why for the album we collaborated with Roelof Klop for the mixing and mastering. When we heard the final result of his work on Wired To Obey, we were absolutely blown away by the quality and started wondering how our old EP would sound had it been mixed and mastered by Roelof. That’s why we decided to re-record, re-mix and re-master our two favorite songs of the EP: Dreamshapes and Endgame.

  • What key events have occurred since ‘Dreamshapes’? How have they changed the shape of the band and you as individuals?

Mirte: After the release of Dreamshapes we started doing gigs in the Netherlands, and we saw that many people liked our music a lot. Those gigs have helped us gain a lot of confidence as a band but also as individuals. We’ve grown more comfortable on stage and all the support of our fans helped us gain the courage to actually start our crowdfunding campaign for funding our album.

  • For Mirte: Who are some of your vocalist influences? One day, when you are headlining your own festival, who would like to join you on stage? What Manora song would you choose?

Mirte: For me it all started when I heard a Within Temptation song on the radio, so I think my earliest influence would be Sharon den Adel from WT. But nowadays, my biggest idol is Floor Jansen, because I think she has the most amazing, versatile voice I have ever heard. So she is definitely a big influence. I would also very much like to sing a duet with her one day. Maybe she could sing with me on “the heavens”.

  • From your debut ‘Dreamshapes,’ there is a spoken word passage on “Beacon of Hope.”

              Time will reveal, truth will be clear as day

              Faith shall be sealed, so come to see what may

              Minds are soiled, by greed and spoil, blind to see

              All be burned, for times will turn

              If you could only see, only see

             Can you expound on this? Also, what were some of the specific items that inspired this song?

Mirte: It’s difficult for me to answer this question because the lyrics weren’t written by me but by the previous singer. But to me this song feels like it’s about someone who’s feeling very burdened by all that’s wrong with the world and is suffering mentally because of it. It’s basically a plea, a wish to finally be able to see something positive in the world.

  • A good friend recently traveled to The Netherlands, and she had nothing, but good things to say. What is the absolute best thing about your country?

Mirte: It’s interesting, because Dutch people usually love to complain about their own country. But I feel very lucky to have grown up and be living in a country that allows people to be who they want to be (mostly). I would say the best thing is that everything is so close. Travelling to the other side of the country takes only a few hours and I can be in Amsterdam in less than an hour. I don’t have to drive for an eternity until I reach the nearest city and I like it very much that way.

  • We thank you for your time and wish you all the best. Personally, I look forward to (hopefully) seeing you here in the United States. Any parting words for our readers?

Mirte: Thank you so much! I would absolutely love to come to the US someday. We’d like to thank our fans for their ongoing support; it means the world to us! Also follow us on our social media if you want to keep up to date on everything we do.

Manora is:

Mirte van der Ham – Vocals

Ivo Visser – Guitars and orchestrations

Arthur Stok – Keyboards and orchestrations

Tomasz Kisielewicz – Bass

Tijn Scholtze – Drums


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Metal Digest is an online music magazine specializing in rock and metal. It is aimed at the mobile market, who can get their fix whilst on the go. Whether you walk, drive, fly, sail or teleport make sure you do it with Metal Digest, bitesize heavy metal rock and metal news, reviews and interviews for when you’re on the go.

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