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Written by Slone Fox

The Mants
Photo by Sara Hembree

Peel your ears, torso-tossers, and brace yourself for the earth-imploding, garage-rock sounds of the Mants. Originally hailing from the deepest confines of the cosmic abyss, the Mants were spit out as slimy, gross larvae somewhere near Victoria, B.C. decades ago and proceeded to split into three separate half-man/half-ant entities who could miraculously play instruments. The garage-rock trio solidified them as the world's greatest ant-band, who released their saucy new record, Bug Rock Invasion, earlier this year.

“It’s a lot of the same old ant-man meets girl, girl meets exterminator, ant-man meets his end kinda stuff you hear on the radio all the time," says frontman Andy Mant. "Plus songs about burgers and bugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Our minds are like big ol' meat grinders fed with a constant supply of b-movies, 50's sci-fi, poop jokes and a heaping helping of dumb.”

It’s this lethally good combination that leads to the band’s very simple yet effective creative process: “Garbage in, garbage out!”

The Mants have a way of coming into the sanctity of your home, whether figuratively or literally, and disrupting your comfort. They crawl up your pant legs and force you to listen before punching you in the face and then smooching it better with their gross little mandibles. Sweet and sour. Sugar and salt. Man and ant. Like any good space-beings, they also have a deliciously complex story behind their attention-demanding outfits:

“The original masks were generic insect masks from a local hobby shop that we painted black to look more ant-like and added coat hangers for antennae. They'd start to rot and fall apart after being subjected to our toxic sweat for a couple of shows,” he says. “Six months in and those masks were discontinued, so we really had to figure something else out. My buddy Al connected me with a guy he knew named Dave Trainor who does special effects for T.V. and movies- he created a mold that we use to pour our own latex masks that look way cooler and are somehow toxic sweat resistant. We still can't see or hear shit with those things on though!”

Without the masks, the Mants are just baked beans without the can, a whoopee cushion with no air, a magazine with a crease down the best part of the centerfold. The latex heads are golden crowns among the rock scene, and a handy barrier protecting the crowd from the sludge that spews out of their every pore.

“There's no shortage of shitty garage bands in the world, but it's tough to come up with a long list of shitty garage bands with rubber ant heads,” says Andy. “If you can come up with a long list of shitty garage bands with rubber ant heads, you need to get out of your parents' basement and go outside. Right. Now. No more Discogs for you.”

Whether they were sent here to create chaos or music, the Mants have undoubtedly succeeded in both. Bug Rock Invasion! is an ideal soundtrack for all things rambunctious, and is now exclusively available on a pedestal in the depths of your local hidden temple, easily acquired by switching the album out with an equally weighted bag of sand. Alternatively, it is available on Bandcamp and at the Mants’ website for all of your mind-melting listening needs.

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