Amy Mantis & The Space Between Gives the Details on New EP's, Backstory and More!

Rock n' roll band AMY MANTIS AND THE SPACE BETWEEN have been around since 2016. They have released three EP's thus far, with two all new EP's expected out soon. For now though, the band gives us the details about their history, namesake, and what they have next for everyone!

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

You got a minute? Haha. There’s a lot to tell here. Finding the right line-up has been the most challenging aspect of making this band. In a lot of ways, A Place to Land is a celebration of finding the right line-up, even if only momentarily.

I’ve been working toward this, playing guitar and writing songs, for almost 17 years. After seeing School of Rock, I didn’t want a guitar - I needed a guitar. Lo and behold, a sunburst Silvertone Revolver appeared in my living room on Christmas morning, 2003, and once I started I just didn’t stop. That was actually the inspiration for our song “I Don’t Know How To Stop.” Playing music is, in many ways, my natural state.

It took me nearly a year to write a song that I thought had some legs. I called up a friend who also played guitar and I played it for her over the phone. She wasn’t as impressed as I was! But I’d written a song, an actual song with two verses, a chorus, a bridge, and a snappy guitar solo! Once I had one, I knew I could write another, and another, and another.

I went to Berklee (Go Jazz Cats!), where I put together my first gigging band. That was where I learned how to be in a band and how to lead a band. Being in that environment helped me discover my talents and how to best put them to use. The earliest iteration of this project, Canary, named after the fake band name I used to hide my own work in my iTunes, made it all the way to SXSW, but came back without a singer. That’s really where Amy Mantis & the Space Between begins; I didn’t want to end up in that position again.

Not long after, my former songwriting partner and I responded to an ad from a drummer looking to put together a band, and that’s how we met Eric Marshall. Eric had just finished his MFA in fiction at Emerson, and was looking to get back into music after like a decade of not playing. He grew up playing in punk and hardcore and skacore bands in his hometown of New Bedford, MA. He and I are currently the only full-time members of the band.

From there, we tinkered with the line-up quite a bit, including auditioning a bassist who straight-up looked through my trash at the end of his audition. Like my outside trash. He didn’t even try to hide it. We were in the middle of a conversation. It was bizarre. This was when we were looking for bassists for our 2017 EP A Good Hurt, which we recorded with Wells Albritton and Jeff Fogleman. Wells left the band to pursue solo ventures after that EP, and the lineup you hear on A Place To Land is the power-trio version of Amy Mantis & the Space Between: Amy, Jeff, & Eric.

Since recording A Place To Land, Jeff has left the band, and Eric and I will carry on as a songwriting duo with plans to release two EPs of new material over the next year. Once live music resumes, we’ll start looking for members to flesh out our live band.

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

Despite the band’s first release being 100% a solo project, I was averse to using my own name in my work. I became a singer out of necessity and had a hard time wrestling with what that meant as far as taking ownership of my work. I had always been in a band where someone else sang my songs, and my dream was to be like Keith Richards or Pete Townshend - write the songs, lead the band, have someone else sing them.

But my singers kept quitting and so I took up the mantle. And I’m glad I did, even if there have been times where I felt otherwise along this journey. These days you’d have to wrestle the mic out of my hands.

The original name for the band was just “Space Between.” It came to me as I was flying back from LA after recording the Where the Mountain Should Be EP. That was my first time recording as the singer of my own songs. I was thinking about what to name that EP and had come up with the title The Space Between New And Old, as that’s where I felt like my music lived. And then I thought, “Why don’t I call the EP The Space Between? No. Why don’t I call the band The Space Between? It was a revelatory moment.

I also thought it sounded like a band that should already exist, and I liked that. I still don’t know how there wasn’t a band that popped up in like 1974 called The Space Between. It totally should have happened!

Eventually we dropped the “the” and started gigging as “Space Between.” Then after our keyboard player/my songwriting partner moved to LA, I thought, “I’m singing and writing all the songs now, and my name is highly Googleable - I think it should go in front of the band name.” So I proposed this idea to Eric and Jeff. They were supportive, and now here we are.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

We're from Boston, Massachusetts where there is no shortage of local artists and bands, we just wish we could see all our friends and fans at the shows! 

Some artists we love are Julia Mark, Lyle Brewer, Slow Dress, Ghost Box Orchestra, Vundabar, Pile, and Mini-Dresses. And our favorite venue in Boston is definitely the Midway. It’s kind of our home base, our stomping ground. We’ve never had a bad night there. We miss that place deeply right now.

4. How would you describe your style?

We’re a rock band. It sounds so simple, but that’s what we are. We draw on a wide range of influences, and I think that shows in the nuance and dynamics of our songs, but I always come back to saying, “We're a rock band.”

I think we also each bring something unique to the band in terms of background, style, or taste. My background is firmly entrenched in the classics, the golden age of rock, but Jeff’s interests are more toward prog and experimental music, while Eric finds ways to inform our sound with his punk and hardcore background.

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

In total, we’ve released three EPs -- Where the Mountain Should Be, A Good Hurt, and No Place To Land -- and two singles -- “You Shouldn’t Have To Ask” and “I Don’t Know How To Stop.”

You can expect lyrics that have questions but not answers, thoughtful and dynamic arrangements, and non-gratuitous guitar solos. 

People call us “the jam band for people who hate jam bands,” because our music gears toward that classic rock, rhythm ‘n blues sound and approach, but we’re very economical and audience-conscious. We also make an effort to push our writing and arrangements into new territory on each record.

On A Place To Land, we really tried to capture the essence of our live show, and while there are overdubs, we use them sparingly compared to most contemporary modern rock records. All the songs were recorded live in the studio with very few comps. We challenged ourselves to have the material down to a T so that we could get the sound we were looking for. 

We’ve also been lucky to work with really great producers at some jaw-dropping studios. Previously, we worked with Brian Packer at Kingsize Soundlabs in LA, which has an incredible old Neve board. Right now, we’re recording with Sean Mclaughlin, who’s worked with everyone from Marilyn Manson to Elliott Smith, at 37’ Productions in Rockland, MA, which is, for our money, the best studio in the region. Sean is a pleasure to work with, too. Just a great vibe. He’ll be playing bass on our upcoming EPs as well.

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

Yes! We’re heading into the studio in October and November to record material for two new EPs. We’re wicked excited about these songs and how they’ve come together so far. It’s the most collaborative effort we’ve done to date as far as songwriting goes, and we think this approach has given us an even more focused and robust sound.

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

Given the times we’re currently going through, touring and live performances are pretty much off the table. We played our last show on March 1st. We’d love to do some live streams, like a lot of other bands are right now, but with no live bassist, an album dropping, and two upcoming recording sessions, we’ve got plenty to do in the meantime.

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

Keep writing, keep recording, keep releasing music. I feel like we’re really hitting our stride with the songs we’ve been working on, and I have no intentions of stopping that momentum. I also find that going into the studio gets the wheels turning for me as far as writing goes. And as soon as it’s safe for us to play shows again, we’ll be making up for lost time. Our live show packs a punch that we miss throwing.

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

Anywhere and everywhere music can be found both now and in the future. But for now, Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube - you know, the usual places. For direct purchases, you can find our album on Bandcamp -

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

What a great question. Music shaped my world in more ways than I can count. I remember sitting up bolt upright in bed after hearing “Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin for the first time and thinking, “Music can do THIS!?” I’ve cried at more concerts than not, and I think I’d like a listener to remember that they’re not alone, that they have a companion in all this. Life is messy and complex and riddled with ups and downs, and I think if we can be the reason you’re singing along at the top of your lungs or air-guitaring or drumming on your steering wheel on the way home from a hard day at work, then that’s pretty good. If we can make you sit bolt upright in bed and think, “Music can do THIS?” that’s even better.

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