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A Splendid Talk with... Dog Drive Mantis | First Contact

L-R: Mike Papaloni, Neil Miranda, Carmen Haines, Derek Serbin

Artist: Dog Drive Mantis

Location: Mississauga, ON, Canada

Peanut Gallery: Sound


Hello hello! We have been well-acquainted recently, but for the good people of Splendid Industries, who is Dog Drive Mantis (DDM)?

Dog Drive Mantis is Carmen Haines (Bass), Derek Serbin (Sax, Clarinet, EWI), Neil Miranda (Drums), and Mike Papaloni (Guitar). We like turtles.

Where did the band name come from? Three different things that sounds oddly unusual yet fits right together.

It took about a year and a half for us to come up with a band name at all. Back in 2015, we would throw our own house parties and play (early versions of what would later become the tracks on How Did We Get Here? [HDWGH?]) for our friends as an untitled band, hoping that one of them would come up with an epic name for us or something. We had some good suggestions, but nothing that stuck.

One day Carmen tells us at a practice that he always keeps a notepad by his bed, and the night prior he woke up and wrote “DOG DRIVE MANTIS” and has no idea what it means. “Band name?” We had a good laugh and then forgot about it… Until it came up again in band name pitches six months later. At this point, somehow, it seemed to be more humorous and even more promising than anything we came up with before.

How would you describe your music? I hear some proggy goodness coursing through your musical veins!

We have no idea where we fit. We’ve taken a stab at it though, throwing around the genres of “horn-fronted mathy jazz fusion” or “prog-jazz” but when in doubt, “indie”. Our sound comes from a blend of influences from surrounding genres, but none of us really listen to music like ours so we’re not too sure what to compare it to or what we’re emulating.

What are each of your musical influences? Do you guys share love together for a particular artist?

Carmen : Broken Social Scene and The Beatles.

Mike: Toe, Julian Lage and Khruangbin.

Neil: Tool, Tony Williams, Vinnie Colaiuta.

Derek: Supertramp, Streetlight Manifesto, Chris Potter and Donald Fagen (Steely Dan)