Manoo Halati. of
"World Class Songwriting."
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST:-
I recently had the privilege of reviewing the latest CD by Exile Kings entitled Shine. Shine is a impressive musical production from top to bottom. The music is clean, goes down smooth, & the messages are passionate & are sung from a deeply honest perspective. It’s strong suit – the amazing creative genius of Manoo Halati. He possess enough musical talent & songwriting prowess to be dangerous. The musicianship is first rate, the songs are short and sweet musical experiences. Each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Lastly - the playing, writing, and singing abilities of Manoo Halati.& his band are amazing. Manoo Halati has clearly proven himself with this release, & is worthy of attention, spotlight, & praise. I guess could go on and on all night about Exile Kings, you simply have got to get your hands on some of their music. You should start with “Shine" to see what I am talking about. It's pretty much amazing!
IMD How would classify the music of Exile Kings?EXILE KINGS We are an indie rock band that plays emotional and honest music. Sometimes its fast and grooving and sometimes soft but its always from the heart and honest. We don’t really follow a formula and the sound is still growing and changing. When I recorded the album it was just me but now we are a band. Dan, Paul and Hommy have all really added to the sound. All three are amazing players and musicians. Exile Kings now has a lot more raw rock energy than what you hear on the album. People always mention that after they see our shows.
IMD Who are some of your top 5 musical influences as far as bands & composers go? Starting with the most influential?
EXILE KINGS I would say John Frusciante is the artist who inspires me the most. He has made some of my favorite albums both as a solo artist and with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. There is something so raw yet insanely beautiful about his music and playing. I am also influenced by a lot of the British pop/rock bands. Bands like The Verve, Oasis, Richard Ashcroft, Coldplay, and Travis. Each of those bands are different from one another but the commonality is that they all have beautiful melodies, explosive and passionate choruses, simple guitar hooks and they aren’t afraid to wear their hearts on their sleeves. There is an energy and passion in that type of music that I definitely connect with. There are so many more influences but it would take too long to mention them all.
IMD I hear a bit of Oasis, & Social Distortion in your music, am I off the mark there?
EXILE KINGS Well I take that as a huge compliment even though I never intentionally tried to sound like either of them . My college roommate used to play Social Distortion so I think it must have stuck with me. And as far as Oasis goes, “(What’s the story) Morning Glory” and “Definitely Maybe” are two phenomenal seminal rock albums. I think your comparison is also due to my voice which has a bit of that scratchy monotonic quality found in both those bands.
IMD What inspired you to start writing & composing music in the first place?
EXILE KINGS It is just something that feels right and natural. I try not to think about why I do it. I just know that if I had all the money in the world and never had to lift a finger I would still write, perform and listen to music all the time. To me music is one of the most beautiful things about being alive and being human.
IMD What is the best concert you have been to over the years?
EXILE KINGS I recently saw Band of Horses at the Williamsburg Waterfront. For some reason that show moved me a lot. It was an amazing summer night… the music sounded incredible and there was a beautiful sunset shining over the east river. After that show I haven’t been able to stop listening to Band of Horses. That’s when you can tell you have seen a good show. When it makes you want to listen to the music even more.
"To me music is one of the most beautiful things about being alive
and being human ."
IMD I especially enjoyed the piece ‘Learning to Breathe” can you tell us about that particular piece, what inspired that one?
EXILE KINGS Lyrically the song is about letting go of unhealthy relationships that we are dependent on. I don’t mean relationships that purely suck but the ones that have some good aspects and thus may be hard to break. For me personally it had to do with issues I was dealing with my family but there are a lot of relationships that fall in that category. For example It could be a parent that is holding their kids back from being or doing want they truly want.
IMD How about “Dust in your eyes” could you tell us more about that piece of music?
EXILE KINGS Dust in your eyes is a song that was inspired by the events that took place in Iran last sum, right after the fraudulent elections . I was very moved by images of the government cracking down on the protesters. And I was inspired by the bravery of the Iranian people. As an Iranian-American I felt very touched by what was going there. Had my parents not left when I was a child I too would have been living under a theocratic dictatorship that denies its people human rights and freedoms. This was my way of expressing my love and my solidarity to the Iranian youth.
IMD What’s next for Exile Kings?
EXILE KINGS The band has been busy playing shows mostly in NYC and Brooklyn. We hope to play bigger shows and festivals soon. I am also working on an acoustic EP. I hope to record that this fall.
interview conducted by Cyrus Rhodes. Property of Indie Music Media LLC.
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