Heavy Metal Resource: Thanks John! It's been a long while since we talked. I read your recent forum posting at the Celtus website and was pleased to see that you are still working in music. For those who may have missed that post can you just give us a brief summary on what you have been doing since the untimely demise of Celtus?
John McManus: I've been writing film & TV music for a UK Production Music Co. called Noise Pump Music - and I'm told it's doing very well in the US and Australia. The album is called 'Unload & Show Clear' & has 6 vocals tracks with unknown female singers and 6 instrumental tracks. I did this along with Dan Axtell (Celtus's keyboard player) and it's licensed to FirstCom music in the States. (FirstCom was owned by Zomba and now bought out by BMG) Sadly, you'll not be able to get this album in the shops. But, if the music continues to grow through TV & film, then a commercial release, would be possible. It has been talked about alot. With all the huge changes in the
music industry, who knows?
I like what I'm doing, as I'm allowed to write in all sorts of musical areas. Some of it's great and some of it's bollocks. But, it's all music
and has been good fun working with Dan and the girl singers.
HMR: What do you think would have made a difference in the overall picture to help Celtus establish higher success? I think that Celtus was much better than any of the bands I heard playing that particular style of music and it’s a crying shame that more attention wasn’t paid in the market.
J.M. : It would have made a difference if UK radio were a little more supportive - and more liberal with their strict formats and playlists.
HMR: Can you divulge to us maybe which movie music you may have done so we can check it out?
J.M. : Most of the time I don't know where the music gets used. I just know it's doing well, particularly with a track called 'Money' sung by a girl called Emma. And, I've just started a movie soundtrack, but the title has yet to be decided, as it's early days.
HMR: Do you have any future plans related to either Celtus or Mama’s Boys. I only ask this because the fan base will be curious and wonder why I didn’t. Also because I would be happy to be able to get my hands on more great music.
J.M. : No current plans related to Celtus. Mama's Boys maybe, if Tommy was still with us, and with the recent resurgence in rock, I think it would have definitely happened. I saw on some CD website that a compilation called 'Mama's Boys - The Collection' sold 80,000 copies. With that kind of interest still in the band, after all these years, I know we would have probably done something. (I would have been up for it)
HMR: I know the fans would absolutely dig that idea! There's still a large interest in the Mama's Boys albums and I know that is why 'The Collection' was that successful. I guess there is no new word concerning the Arista titles of the Mama’s Boys albums? About possible reissues. Also is there any pursuit at this point to get Celtus titles into the states that aren’t already here? (I still think the music is timeless and would have appeal as fresh now as when they were released)
J.M. : a) On the Mama's Boys material the masters remain with the record company Jive/Arista forever. There are possibly a few re-issues, but we don't get informed. b) The whole idea behind Celtus from the beginning, was to work it in
America. Having toured there with Mama's Boys alot, we were aware that there was always huge demand for Celtic rock. Which we were inclined to insert into the Mama's Boys set, and they loved it. But, with record company policy, if you don't achieve a No. 1 single in your own territory, you don't get to go anywhere else.. Sad really, but that's the way it is. Very different from how it was in the 80's. But, you can get all Celtus CD's from a website which is: www.townsend-records.co.uk/celtus.htm
HMR: Have you thought about what your future holds musically? I really hate to see you do anything else as I feel that the McManus family has extraordinary musical talent.
J.M. : No, not really. I find looking into the future a bit of a waste of time. So it's one day at a time for me. I'm hoping what I'm doing at
present continues to grow, as I'm loving it.
HMR: Well, Thanks for giving me a few moments to update everyone. We'll check in again in the future and see what's going on at that time!
J.M. : Thanks Dave!
For additional notes on a personal history with Mama's Boys as well as John's New music, Click here. *Photo of John used by permission from Folking.com. Thanks Guys!