We had a lot of success on the record before [The Chase]. Sometimes you expect people to know about your next release…but it takes time to build something. It's an exciting time, we are going on radio, touring and it's connecting. It's reminding me that nothing happens over night.
You've been through a lot of things in your life. Is 'Fighter' a reflection of your life?
Yeah, for sure man. Just like I kind of turned the music upside down, so has my life. It's a reflection of everything I've gone through. More than a physical fight, it's the storms of life and the junk that happens everyday.
What's a message you can share for people "Fighting" in real life after Hurricane Sandy?
I was thinking about. We just have to enjoy everyday life and not take anything for granted…Never quit. I know, when I've been in those dark places you want to quit. That's why it's good to have inspirational materials around me. No matter how many times I've fallen down, I always got back up. I think New York is a great example of that because of 9/11 and everything surrounding that. America is a great example of just a country that has taken their hits and hasn't quit and is an inspiration to so many people around the world.
Your style has evolved over the years, was this intentional or did it happen?
When I look at the first EP I did, there was always a rock element and a singing element. I just think with the latest stuff, The Chase and Fighter, it's definitely more rock lenient, more singing. It's the music that connects with my fans the most. Still rhyming on some newer stuff though.
What sound do you consider yourself and how would you pitch your music to someone who doesn't know about you?
I always like to give a band comparison, a lot of people say, "We don't sound like anything else you've ever heard." You listen to it and it has a Beatles flare with a Pink Floyd mixture or whatever. You always sound like someone. My comparison I get the most is Linkin Park, P.O.D., Rage [Against the Machine], Beastie Boys, and Eminem growing up. I'm influenced by those guys for sure.
Can we ever expect to get a purely hip-hop album from Manafest?
Under the monicker of Manafest I won't do a hip-hop record but I would consider doing a side project of an all hip-hop record.
What's your favorite track off of 'Fighter' and what's the fans favorite track so far?
"Human" is my favorite track. I love the lyrics in there, the music and the hook, and the production for sure. That's definitely my favorite song. It's funny that sometimes radio and publicity can dictate what people hear the most you know what I mean because maybe some songs are connected on a mass basis so it's hard to say what the fans like. But I'd say the biggest song is going to be "Human" as well.
Tell a little about your up coming tour with Saving Abel and what are you most looking forward to?
We are just playing some markets and playing some places we never played before. It's going to be new fans and people, and even a band we've never gone out with. It will just be cool to expose the music to a group of new people. you don't want to expose yourself to the same people, you have to get the music to more places. Hopefully there will be places like, "Hey come back here again."
Who are your top 5 greatest emcee's dead or alive?
Eminem, Jay-Z, I think Q-Tip is pretty dope, KRS-One, and I'm going to say a group. They were one of my biggest influences when I got into rap, EPMD.
What's the best rhyme YOU ever wrote?
I'm really happy with the verses in "Everytime You Run." I think I really hit it, you know, they aren't really lyrically aggressive but I just feel like I really communicated a good message and came off really well and painted a good story. If I was going to compare with Eminem's story to "Stan" because he communicated a message to so many people. I feel like I did that in a similar vein.
Anything else you'd like to add?
We are shooting more music videos, touring, and I'm releasing my first book that I've been working on. It's going to come out next year telling my whole story. It's going to be a motivational biography plus tell all stories about the music industry and I think my fans are going to be stoked whether they are my fans or not.