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27th May 2017

Q: Tino, good to catch up. How are you?

TT: Yeah really really good thanks how are you?


Q: Excellent – really looking forward to the shows here. How was the Heavy Sound Festival in Belgium?

 TT: Belgium was brilliant! We had a good little show at a very friendly festival that's a sort of camping field down there on the outside of town in a beautiful old barn. There’s a lot of history steeped in the place with the trench warfare that went on in that area and all of the bands stayed together in a hostel! We all had a big party after the show downstairs in the kitchen area and they had gardens outside where a few of the fans camping so yeah, it was really good. A good old friendly homely atmosphere.


Q: A lot of people here have commented that the current line-up is one of your best and reports of your recent Spanish shows and the one in Belgium seem to concur. What have they brought to the band?

 TT: Well John the singer has a powerful voice and a strong identity which gives in turn gives the band a stronger identity. He's out there and he can command the audience whereas Mike before was a great singer but he just didn't have it live. John’s a big figure on stage and actually a big guy as well with masses of curly hair so he's quite a presence. I told him grizzly. (laughs)


Q: They seem to have slotted straight into the Mantis vibe and sense of humour.

 TT: Oh it didn't take long! They speak excellent English as well so they understand all of the nonsense. (laughs) Nonsense? Did I say nonsense? We’re a serious band! Yeah I couldn't believe we were such a laugh and come out with such serious songs. John writes great lyrics as well and he's offered his own pen to the band which is what you need - some enthusiasm which never came before. We were just writing songs for the other people.


Q: The Legacy album certainly bears testament to there being a lot more for Praying Mantis to do. Will there be another album?

TT: Oh definitely! We are just in the throes of it at the moment. We were hoping to release it the early part of the year but it might be a little bit later now because we had a few holdbacks with studios and stuff like that and I had a shoulder operation so I got the writing bug again whilst I was sitting down indoors. I wrote you a load of tunes and I can definitely say it's going to be a good album.


Q: So are you strong and stable now as our current Prime Minister would say?

TT: Yes! (adopts posh English accent) I’d say so! This will be Hans and JC’s second album with his and we will look forward to doing a few more as well.


Q: Let’s get to the shows. Lionheart on the same bill: great idea, how did it come about?

TT: Lionheart reformed and we're trying to get their name about. Dennis called me and ask me about our promoter in Japan so I gave him all the details and then the promoter came back to us all saying that Lionheart wouldn't be enough on their own to sell the tickets and suggested the two band lineup. Although Praying Mantis haven't got a new album out until next year they said let's do it as a double header. We’ll play an hour each and what we are going to do he's more of a retro set like a lot of the Time Tells No Lies album. Then there will be a special surprise when Dennis comes on and maybe Steve Mann will stay on as well and play keyboards and we'll do a couple of Maiden tracks as well and get then all going.


Q: Dennis was a member of Mantis for a considerable time…

TT: Yeah Dennis was with us for 15 years.


Q: …and was in Iron Maiden when you toured the UK with them in June 1980. Was that where you first met him?

TT: Yes it was.


Q: Steve produced Nowhere To Hide in 2000; where did you first meet him?

TT: I was doing some songwriting together with Dennis and we went out to his mom's house in Leighton Buzzard. We put some demos down on a Fostex 8 track thing. It was great to have him do the album - he mastered that when he was working at Channel 4. (laughs)


Q: Is this the first time you’ve been billed together? Even back in the old days?

 TT: yeah it will be the first time. I think we're all going to enjoy it they have the second album now and I'm looking forward to hearing that stuff. Dennis gave me a listen to it the other day and it's really good. It sounds very Mantis –y (laughs); we taught him well! It is very rocky, a bit of Mantis, a bit of Maiden a good mixture. It’s important that at this juncture in our lives to hang on to that NWOBHM tag whereas bands like Maiden, Leppard and Saxon seem to have lost it and moved on but for us, we’ve got a bit older now so I don’t think we’re going to establish ourselves as something different. (laughs)


Q: Many of the bands of the NWOBHM era have lost their popularity - even in Japan. To what do you accredit Praying Mantis’s consistent popularity here and the UK and Europe where I believe it’s growing?

TT: It does seem to be getting better and better in Europe. We're doing a few more shows now and we've got a good singer with a lot of confidence and we go out there and hit them with a running set. It has a different element about it. We can go on stage and relax now without worrying about Mike will lose his voice or something. Even though our songs are serious we do have a laugh on stage. I’d rather sacrifice a triplet note here or there and jump up in the air instead hoping to land on my feet and not on me arse! (laughs)


Q: Well that’d be fun to watch as well! Tino, thanks very much for this and see you in a few weeks.

TT: Alright dude. Lovely to talk to you and look forward to seeing you soon.

Friday 30th June Osaka Club Quatro

Saturday 1st July Tokyo Toyosu PIT


Praying Mantis

Tino Troy (G) Chris Troy (B) Andy Burgess (G) John Cuijpers (Vo) Hans in't Zandt (Dr)


Lee Small (Vo) Dennis Stratton (G) Steve Mann (G/Kb) Rocky Newton (B) Clive Edwards (Dr)













Q:アルバム『The Legacy』には、確かにこれまでのマンティス以上のパワーがあるね。またアルバムを作るつもり?







TT:ライオンハートが再結成したから、僕たちは彼らとやってみたいって思ったのさ。デニスが僕のところに電話してきて、日本のプロモーターのことを訊いてきたんだ。詳しく伝えてやったら、そのプロモーターが僕たちに、ライオンハートだけじゃチケットが完売しないから、僕たちも出ないかと言ってきたんだ。来年にはまだニュー・アルバムが出ていないかもしれないんだけど、ダブルビルで是非ともやってくれと言うからね。僕たちはおのおの1時間ずつ演奏する。『Time Tells No Lies』みたいな往年のセットになるだろうね。デニスが僕たちに加わるというサプライズもあるよ。スティーヴ・マンもキーボードで加わるんじゃないかな。メイデンのナンバーを何曲かやるよ。さて、どうなるかな。








Q:スティーヴは2000年に『Nowhere To Hide』をプロデュースした。彼とはどこで初めて会ったの?











6月30日(金)7時 大阪:梅田クラブクアトロ (スタンディング)

7月 1日(土)6時 東京:豊洲 PIT (指定席)

プレイング・マンティスのメンバー :

Tino Troy (G) Chris Troy (B) Andy Burgess (G) John Cuijpers (Vo) Hans in't Zandt (Dr)

ライオンハートのメンバー :

Lee Small (Vo) Dennis Stratton (G) Steve Mann (G/Kb) Rocky Newton (B) Clive Edwards (Dr)

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