Manic Drive has been widely known as a Canadian band who always delivers a great show, but over the past few years and project releases, they have added to their extensive touring of Canadian and US markets multiple Billboard Top 10 & 20 singles on CHR & Christian Rock Radio. Their previous three albums (Blue, Reason for Motion and Reset & Rewind) have revealed their creative growth and personal d...evelopment as well as laid the foundation on many levels for this new event called EPIC.
In the wake of their last project Blue, which helped set the stage for Manic Drive to gain key industry partnerships including management, major label national distribution through Provident-Integrity (a unit of SONY) and outreach partner Compassion International, the band made up of singer, guitarist and keyboardist Shawn Cavallo, drummer Keith Comer and lead guitarist Michael Cavallo joined creative forces with multi-platinum, award-winning producer/songwriter Rob Wells (Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Adam Lambert, Miranda Cosgrove, Nick Lachey, Backstreet Boys, & many more) to assemble their new release, EPIC.
EPIC is by far the band’s most daring project to date. A constant for them has been innovation, and with their compass set on breaking barriers they deliver a fresh pop/rock sound with the fingerprint of producer Wells incorporating musical textures from various genres. While Manic Drive blends various elements into their mix, make no mistake - the intense and aggressive focus of the band is alive and well. “The musical direction we are taking with EPIC explores different styles of music with energetic dynamics that hopefully keep things interesting and make people move by laying a primary foundation of rock and adding clear elements of pop, funk, dance and hip-hop,” says Shawn.
EPIC distinctly showcases Manic Drive as a high-energy three-piece band with a dynamic musical approach thanks in no little part to the involvement of producer Rob Wells. “Working with Rob has been extremely exciting. He expanded the creative boundaries of Manic Drive, pushing us to a whole new level! As an artist I appreciate his challenging us to improve ourselves artistically while at the same time keeping a direct message of faith in our music,” says Shawn. “We wanted this album to be groundbreaking by making a record that stands out artistically in a way that is musically relevant to those in and out of the church.”
“The main focus for Manic Drive from an artistic perspective is to challenge ourselves creatively pushing beyond our previous limitations, trying new ideas and ultimately landing on something that will be fun to experience live as well as on an iPod.” Shawn continues, “We hope every Manic Drive release will be refreshing to our fans as we continue to grow artistically as a band and we definitely hope our lyrics resonate with people, challenging them to take a stand in faith to impact the world around them.”
The underlying themes found on EPIC are lyrics that will encourage people to get up and make a move, both literally as well as in their faith. Songs such as "HALO" have a fun approach to challenging people to become radical and active. Other cuts like “SAVE A LIFE" are more relationally based on reaching out beyond our comfort level to impact another.
Regarding their live performances, Michael says, “Our shows are high energy and we like having fun with everyone there. We never take ourselves too seriously! But at the end of the day, we are on a mission that far exceeds entertainment; our driving force is our desire to reach those who don’t know Christ with His message of hope as well as to encourage believers to a closer and real-life walk with Christ.”
Another element Manic Drive greatly values is their partnership with Compassion International. Says Shawn, “It has allowed us to bring a greater world focus to our show which hopefully gives the fans an even deeper creative experience at our events.” Michael adds, “Our relationship with Compassion International has been both an honor and a blessing. Teaming up with Compassion has given Manic Drive a tangible way to live what we sing; it's given us a new and expanded purpose for touring. Spreading the awareness of children suffering, taking action on it and truly seeing lives changed has really put things in perspective for us as a band. We are thrilled to see our generation take action and volunteer to sponsor children at our shows. We have sponsored a child for years through Compassion International and are excited to now include our fans in what we do as a band.”
Manic Drive is clearly very intentional about reaching their generation and inspiring them to pursue a deeper walk with Christ and to get involved in changing the world they are inheriting. And they are uniquely equipped to do so. The band members, all in their early-mid twenties, have made sacrifices to pursue God’s call on their lives. Their life experience, spiritual maturity and ministry have opened doors to speak into the lives of their own generation and that is perhaps the most defining characteristic of this group of guys. They speak boldly about the issues facing their peers and do so in a relevant and compelling way because they are dealing with the same pressures and struggles with the same feelings and emotions their peers face everyday. Michael explains, “Ministry comes first as we strive to encourage each other especially in our walk with God. This is an unprecedented time in history and we are all tired of the stale and mindless. A genuine experience with God is paramount to walking out this life of faith. So many people feel useless or out of place, but we are here to say that we as a generation can shake the world in amazing ways... even through the smallest actions.”
“In our songwriting we talk about the issues of standing up for your faith and being bold in your walk with Christ,” says Shawn. “We are very personal and real when it comes to discussing hard relationships and the loss of loved ones. We cover a number of difficult issues, but we always remain hopeful knowing our faith is in Christ.”
Addressing hard issues with lyrical depth and poignancy, Manic Drive seeks to meet their generation where they are with real and lasting answers. Shawn explains, “Our mission as Christians is to boldly and radically share the message of Christ, to encourage young people in their faith and impact lives, not only through music, but in our daily lives and conversations with people. As music is our passion, our calling is to faithfully share the love of Christ.”
In addition to all the new exciting music, fresh creative relationships and a child poverty/relief focus, Manic Drive continues their long-standing partnership with label BEMA Media/Whiplash Records. “We are thrilled about these relationships and are excited about the days ahead,” says Shawn. “We continue to be humbled as we see so many key people and organizations coming together to work with us as we expand our sound and reach.”