In the UK in the late 70s early 80s, there were a number of bands labeled the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and one of those bands was Praying Mantis. Last year, the band released the well-received album Legacy. Along with Praying Mantis, the band Lionheart will be playing featuring original Iron Maiden guitarist Dennis Stratton, who is also a past member of Praying Mantis. KS spoke with Mantis founding member Tino Troy to talk about the upcoming dates in Japan.
Praying Mantis has always had a strong fan base in Japan that will no doubt be looking forward to hearing some of the classic tracks plus newer material from Legacy. With a new album due towards the end of 2017 will there be any tracks planned for that release on the live set list?
Both Bands will play for one hour a piece plus a very special surprise encore. We will likely play a couple of songs from the Legacy album but the aim of the Mantis set on this occasion will be to capture the essence of the early 80’s, the NWOBHM era. So, we’ll be playing an ‘old school’ program incorporating much of our first album Time Tells No Lies.
Lionheart is also playing on the Japan dates. The band features guitarist Dennis Stratton who was a long time member of Praying Mantis. Both Dennis Stratton, with Iron Maiden, and yourselves, Praying Mantis, were at the forefront of the NWOBHM. How does it feel that the ‘New Wave’ is still alive and kicking?
It’s great to still be remembered that way but it is a great shame that Iron Maiden do not embrace that tag anymore. We have tried in the past to get on the bill for the odd one-off show (or two) which would have been extra special for the fans. Reliving those early days of the NWOBHM era would have made for some amazing shows. Nevertheless, there will be a special treat for the fans in Osaka and Tokyo this summer. Dennis will also be guesting with Mantis for some songs.
Is Japan a special place to play for Praying Mantis?
Most definitely. Our Japanese fans know the words to all our songs and have big hearts and loud voices. We look forward to this trip and hopefully again next year when there will be a new Praying Mantis album to promote. We send all our fans our warmest wishes and look forward to seeing them all in the summer.
NWOBHM double-bill concert • Club Quattro, Osaka • Rock • 7pm • ¥8,000 • Tel: 06-6311-8111