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Interview with Mike McManamon - TNA


Ryan's Dad & Doug

Interviewed by Mark Balogh
Date: January 2008

Mark Balogh: So Mike, In between the time the band split in the early 90's up until the release of the "Finger on the Trigger" CD in 2001 did you remain active in music?

Mike McManamon: Yes, right after I left TNA I went to Los Angeles, which was a mistake. As soon as I got there, I realized two things... #1 – the scene was dying and #2 – I am an East Coast guy and L.A. is not for me. It was about the same time that the whole music scene was changing and I started to think that I was changing too. I came back to New York after about two months and started a much heavier band; I really fell in love with the sound that we were creating. That band was called FUEL. Ryan's Dad We got signed to Winston Simone Management and also received a spec deal from Tim Gillis with Big Blue Meanie Studios. Winston Simone manages SALIVA and a few other bands; problem was we didn’t have a (record) deal, so it kind of fizzled out without any money to back us. Tim has produced some major albums and is probably one of the hardest working people behind the scenes in music. We played a bunch of shows and even warmed-up for STABBING WESTWARD and THE MIGHTY, MIGHTY BOSSTONES. What else? Oh yeah, we won a Fox TV contest for unsigned bands back in 1994. The host for the show was Kelly Rippa. All that can be seen on myspace under Fuelnyc and We have a video called “Sink” that did well. Please look it up. As a matter of fact, we have been talking to indie labels about recording an album for FUEL under a new name. And yes, we were around way before the FUEL from Pennsylvania. We both used to fight over the name. I also did some acting and was in a regional production of PINK FLOYD’s “The Wall”, which toured the east coast. I was also asked to try out for Rent. I made it to the final cut. In the end, it wasn’t for me at all. I currently do studio work and jingles for a small voice-over company owned by my wife, Stacey.

Mark Balogh: Can you tell us about some of your influences musically and vocally?

Mike McManamon: I grew up on metal... PRIEST, MAIDEN, DIO, MOTORHEAD… but I also liked PETER GABRIEL, U2, THE POUGES... just a real mix, which is why people always say they have a hard time putting me in a category. (That’s) fine with me... let’s keep them guessing!

Mark Balogh: How'd it feel getting back out on stage with the band after all these years?

Ryan's Dad Mike McManamon: GREAT, FANTASTIC, And AWESOME! It was a real memorable night and it was the crowd that made the whole night. I could never have believed we would get the response we did after all these years.

Mark Balogh: Can you tell us about some of your favorite tracks off the "Finger on the Trigger" and "Branded" albums?

Mike McManamon: From) “Finger”... “Rung on the Ladder”, “Let Me Down Easy”... “Bittersweet” is great... I also have been listening to “Falling Down” a lot. On “Branded”... WOW, (There’s) so many… “Scream” really sticks out, as well as “The Sound”.

Mark Balogh: Has rehearsing and playing live got the creative juices flowing in the band again and do you think it might lead to work on some new material?

Mike McManamon: YES, YES & YES!

Mark Balogh: Do you have plans for any more TNA shows in the future?

Sean Tarr: I’ll tell you what… if people want to see the band we will be there. In other words, LET US KNOW AND DON’T BE SHY!

Mark Balogh: I asked Dan this question and so I'd like to ask it to you also. Since your first show back in all these years was at L'amour, do you have any memories of the original club in Brooklyn that you'd like to share? Are there any shows that you played or moments that stand out for you?

Mike McManamon: Oh God...Yeah... (Opening for) WINGER, KIX, EXTREME, KINGS X. The time we won Best New Band; that was awesome. The only other band that won was TRIXTER (we had fun with those guys… hey Gus!!! How is it hanging?). Also one night... no name mentioned… we were warming up for a band that gave us a real hard time. They threatened us if we drank their beer that they were gonna kick ass. We pissed all over the beer. Funny watching them all drink it later on. Don’t f*** with

Mark Balogh: So furthering what we talked about earlier are you guys looking at getting back together as a unit and maybe recording new material?

Mike McManamon: You know something? Doing this show has kind of opened up a can of excitement and enthusiasm. We’ve had some really good rehearsal sessions and we’re having a lot of fun. So we would love to go do some more shows and we’d love to go and do another studio album. We’re definitely open to it.

Mark Balogh: OK, last question… We’re here at the new L’amour in Staten Island tonight. Do you guys have any memories of the original L’amour back in Brooklyn? Maybe any special show that stands out?

Mike McManamon: It was such a big part of our history. We played with WINGER at L’amour, we played with KINGS X, and KIX. And we played with TRIXTER at L’amour too. I believe from what they told us we were one of only four bands that won the L’amour “Battle of the Bands” contest and I think we were the only one at that time that were not signed because TRIXTER won, WHITE LION won and I believe TYKETTO won. So yeah, we have a lot of memories and it was a great, great time.

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