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Trivia / Manilla Road

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  • Creator Backlash: Shelton has said of both Invasion and Metal that “we didn't know what we were doing then”, and referred to Crystal Logic as the band's first truly great album (though they did continue to play “Cage of Mirrors” and “Queen of the Black Coast” from Metal regularly, and even “The Empire” from Invasion got an occasional live play). He also wasn't fond of “Feeling Free Again”, particularly the lyrics.
    I mean, I actually wrote “Hey, baby” in a song. I still can’t believe I did that! Are you kidding me? It’s like my worst nightmare as an artistic musician to have my gravestone read, “Here lies Mark Shelton, the guy who wrote ‘Hey baby’ in a song.” I just totally detest that.
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  • Doing It for the Art: Their whole career. Manilla Road was the very first heavy metal band from the Wichita area, and faced resistance from local audiences early on because of it. Their sui generis style made them difficult to market and lacking in mainstream appeal, and the fact that they spent most of their career on poorly distributed independent labels didn't help. The fact that they were based out of Wichita, and never moved to one of the coasts to shoot for a major label deal, made touring in major markets logistically difficult (despite being well-received in Europe, they never had the resources to tour over there until the new millennium). They never reached a wider audience until their reunion and the Internet made their records more widely available. And yet they kept going for forty years despite multiple setbacks and a total lack of commercial success, all for the love of the music.
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  • Executive Meddling: The song “Feeling Free Again” on Crystal Logic marked one of the only times the band worked with an outside producer, Mark Mazur, who pushed them into an atypically radio-friendly hard rock style for that song. This is also how The Circus Maximus ended up as part of the Manilla Road discography.
  • Fan Community Nickname: Since 2011, “Brethren of the Hammer”, after the song of the same name from Playground of the Damned.
  • Missing Episode: Mark of the Beast, for a long time. Originally meant to be their follow-up to Invasion, and entitled Dreams of Eschaton (a name later used for a song title on Crystal Logic), it ended up being scrapped because the band wasn't happy with how it turned out. The album would circulate as a bootleg under its original title for years, but ultimately saw an official release as Mark of the Beast on Monster Records in 2002.
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  • Promoted Fanboy: Neudi, who had been a longtime fan and a good friend of Shelton, and ran Manilla Road's former official website, before becoming the band's drummer in 2011.
  • What Could Have Been: After contributing the song “Flaming Metal Systems” to the Shrapnel Records compilation US Metal Vol. III, Manilla Road was given an opportunity to sign to the label, which could potentially have given them much more exposure. However, the label's head Mike Varney wanted them to scrap Crystal Logic, which at that point was already written and recorded, and make a new album more in keeping with the neoclassical shred-guitar-centric style for which Shrapnel was famous. Shelton didn't like that idea and turned him down.
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