In any industry, the competition can be brutal. But it’s especially ferocious in the music industry. Millions of bands and artists are vying to get their work heard. Sleeping With Sirens frontman Kellin Quinn has made it his prerogative to help up-and-coming acts with his mentorship program, Dreamer Development Group. What initially started out as bands inundating Quinn’s Instagram inbox with demos soon became a full-time gig. He’s taken a couple of artists under his wing, the most recent being Oregon-based punk band Roseburg and Manic.
AltPress has partnered with Dreamer and Manic. to exclusively release the band’s new single, “gone.” AP also spoke with Nicholas Banos, the man behind Manic., about the recording process with Quinn.
Originating from New Orleans, Banos, otherwise known as Bedhead, is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and writer for his alternative pop-rock band. While living in Colorado, he played at a handful of locals venues to get his music out to the masses. He caught Quinn’s attention at a SWS show in Denver during their 2015 We Like It Quiet acoustic tour.
“During their set, Kellin heard me singing from the front row, and he invited me up onstage to sing ‘Go Go Go’ with them,” he shares. “Last May, I sent him the demo for ‘gone’ about an hour after I finished it. It didn’t even have a bridge yet.” But Quinn responded, asking to set up a phone call. “We talked for about an hour, and he shared his vision for Dreamer, and he was really stoked about what I was making.”
Quinn proved to be Banos’ saving grace for “gone.” He was close to giving up on the song until the SWS frontman reached out.
“I had fallen into a pretty intense depression and was not feeling very confident about anything I was making,” he says. “First and foremost, Kellin believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. Right out the gate, he had high hopes for me. His involvement in the project has changed my life in a lot of ways.”
When he’s not dropping release date teasers for “gone” on his Instagram, Banos gives his followers an inside look into the recording process. He posted a video of him with Quinn capturing the exuberant “hey” heard in the beginning of the song.
While Banos serves as the face Manic., his band’s logo is a lotus flower. It’s a symbol that he has a deeply personal connection to.
“Forming Manic. was a rebirth for me,” Banos says. “Throughout the process of writing the lyrics and finding my sound, I have been traveling and learning a lot about myself and stepping away from the person I was expected to be while stepping toward the person I want to be. In many cultures, the lotus represents rebirth and enlightenment. They emerge out of darkness and face toward the sun.”
Quinn and Banos’ partnership has certainly proven to be fruitful, as the two worked together to create Manic.’s catchy “gone.” Boasting an addictive beat and catchy lyrics, Banos reminds listeners that everyone deserves to be loved.
Banos says during the writing process, Quinn was a guiding hand who didn’t overpower his creativity.
“He also constantly reminds me to simplify what I’m doing,” he says. “I tend to overthink things and throw a million noodles at the wall waiting for five of them to stick.”Banos admits that since meeting producers through Quinn, the quality of the recording for “gone” is much stronger than if he had made it in his bedroom. Most importantly, Banos wanted to convey a message of transparency and freedom of expression.
“In a more literal sense, the song is about demanding more for yourself and knowing your worth,” he says. “I have been on both sides of my fair share of toxic relationships, and I’ve witnessed a lot of people I care about being changed by the apathy, the passive aggression, the inconsistency, the gaslighting and the hurt. There’s a point when you need to take back your life and stop wasting energy on those that don’t reciprocate it.”
Listen to Manic.’s “gone” below.
You can head here for more information on Quinn’s Dreamer Development Group.