Hailing from Albuquerque, Manias/Salé Sangre play brutal death metal with an aggressive rhythm section, wailing guitars, and both low- and high-end vocals. The band’s new full-length CD is titled Blood Covered. Mastermind Drew Ruiz spoke to Take Five about Manias, as well as his passion for making jewelry for the metal community.
Give me a brief history of the band and why you have acquired the second name of Salé Sangre.
Drew Ruiz: “Manias was incepted around 1993. In 1995, while we were in Guadalajara, Mexico, we decided at that time to come up with a moniker that the Mexican audience could relate to. Out of respect, we came up with Salé Sangre (‘Blood Flows’). I am Manias, the band is my ‘blood flow.’ It works if you put it into perspective that way.”
Tell me about your latest release, Blood Covered. What can fans expect to hear? And where can they get their hands on a copy?
Drew Ruiz: “CDs are available through mail or our shows. Blood Covered was a long time coming . . . some tracks date back to 2007. So as far as a CD that was planned, this one wasn’t really. We planned on doing some splits with bands we have played with and enjoyed, but those never ever seemed to come to fruition.
“With that being said, this album is diverse! Manias have always been a variety of extremes. I/we write songs that can be easily categorized into corporate definitions of genre. But when a band writes in the key of many genres, labels and fans can’t categorize the WHOLE, the band itself, so as far as what you can expect to hear, I personally think there is something for every musical taste in there, as long as your taste is of the extreme. After all, the songs were recorded in segments and can be related to what our tastes were during the three-year jamming session.”
Explain how the band composes a song. Be as technical as you like.
Drew Ruiz: “Basically I write most of the riffs. If another in the band has an idea for a song appropriate for Manias/Salé Sangre, I review the riffs/song. If I need to, I arrange the riffs to suit Manias/Salé Sangre’s style, which is in your face and to the point! In other words, riffs need to be ‘Manias-ized.’ I have been writing now for 20 years and haven’t slowed down or looked back. I write for three bands and 90% [of the material consists] of my blood and sweat.
“The songs I record are songs that play in my head all day at work, home, or play. So as far as learning how to compose, I’ve never taken a course. I hear what I play, and if something sounds off, I fix it. I am self-taught on every aspect of my life, whether it be guitar, smithing, drawing, etc. ‘Self-taught’ is the mantra of the poor man with ambition.”
How has living in New Mexico influenced your musical approach?
Drew Ruiz: “I feel our personal experiences influence a writing style. New Mexico is/was a hard place to grow up for me personally. It’s this struggle and fight to survive I’ve endured from a young age that has molded the angst and influenced my musical style. If I had grown up in an environment of affluence, I truly feel my music would reflect that—maybe be a little more listenable than aggressive.
“I run into people who try out for Manias, and it seems like they have had a lot of support, both familial and monetary, Needless to say, they feel entitled to whatever they get, I have had to fight and work finger-to-bone to get even a little of what others take for granted. New Mexico itself I think is incidental, I would have had my life wherever I was born and raised. That being said, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
I understand that you also make jewelry for the metal scene. Please describe the types of jewelry and if it will ever be made available to the public.
Drew Ruiz: “Jewelry is another avenue of creativity for me. I am very cathartic and prolific. I am constantly looking for the satisfaction of completion. My jewelry varies with my mood—I can sit down to make a pair of earrings and finish with a bracelet, ring, or sculpture! I started making my jewelry available to the public with service in mind. I, being of modest upbringing, know the value of handmade wares.
“I make jewelry that I can afford, hence making it easier for the metal community to obtain quality/high-dollar jewelry for affordable prices. I do not make a profit for most of my dealings. The jewelry for the metal community consists of spike/punk/gothic styles. A lot of people who are into esoteric/otherworldly practices can also order pieces endemic to their crafts. Check out a Manias/Salé Sangre show and ask if you don’t see, or check out www.myspace/drewmanias for a preview. I make jewelry for a lot of famous persons, also too many to mention [Like Glen Benton of Deicide–ed.].