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Articles Home » Interviews » DeMont - 2001 Interview with Terry Mandryk
DeMont - 2001 Interview with Terry Mandryk
In The Spotlight - DeMont
Interview with Terry Mandryk
Written by: Gdazegod (July 2001)

We speak with the guitarist from the band De Mont Terry Mandryk, who answers a few questions as to the origins, and eventual happenings of this mysterious outfit from Sydney Australia. The other members of the band comprised of Craig Morrison - vocals; Peter James - keyboards; Grant Byrne - bass; and Rod Willner - drums. After an exhaustive search across the Internet, and a timely email from Terry, this was all that was needed for Editor Gdazegod to fire up an interview, and a flashback session..

Hello Terry, and a big welcome from across the ditch in Kiwi Land. You might be chuckling a bit being quizzed in this fashion about a band which not many people know about, that being your former outfit De Mont.. What do you recall most about De Mont's earliest beginnings?
Thanks. Well the early memories for me were playing to 27,000 screaming fans supporting John Farnham at an open air concert on the Central Coast one hour north of Sydney. We were an unsigned band and through luck and who you know, we got the gig. Six months later we were the first band of our kind to sign a major recording deal. When it all first began we were called Shy Boy and the record company and us came up with De Mont.

De Mont live - supporting Noiseworks at Twin Towns - Queensland
Terry, Grant, Rodney (obscured), and Peter

Were you all local Sydney-siders then?
Yes, mainly. Rod, Grant, Craig and Peter lived in Sydney, I still lived on the Central Coast, but with touring and recording commitments I eventually moved to the suburb of Surry Hills. The other guys were at Parramatta, Bankstown, Cameray, and Lakemba.

The gig circuit was very good in Sydney. Plenty of venues like Salinas and the various Leagues Clubs to play at. Was there a slot for De Mont to play at these venues?
De Mont played many a regular gig, but the ones that stood out were the Parramatta Leagues Club and the Kardomah Cafe in Kings Cross.. just to name two.

I recall during the late eighties that many visiting bands turning up to play in Sydney. Bon Jovi played a few gigs but Roxus were their support on more than one occasion. Did De Mont ever get to play support for any notable bands?
The band secured the support gigs for Motley Crue, Skid Row, Joe Walsh (with the Party Boys), Ian Moss, James Reyne, the Divinyls, Noiseworks, Johnny Diesel, Little River Band, Dragon, Martha Davis, Pseudo Echo, The Angels, Angry Anderson, the Choirboys, the Radiators, Roxus and even Suzie Quatro. I know there's more but can't think of them right now.

De Mont, backstage with Motley Crue, Sydney Entertainment Centre

Did you think that De Mont had anything in common with that time honored 'Australian sound' made famous by other famous Aussie acts? Many people I've spoken to regard De Mont's sound as being closer to European melodic rock bands of that same era..
We definitely had influence from Europe and the U.S, but we had our own sound also, and we are Australian..

De Mont, from left to right Grant, Craig, Terry, Peter, Rod

Tell us about De Mont's deal with Giant Records? A label better known down under as being the home to that other Aussie institution Air Supply..
Yes, Giant was the label, Albert's were the Record Company and Sony were the distributors. Peter Dawkins signed us, he was responsible for bands like Mi-Sex, Dragon, Australian Crawl, and Pseudo Echo. He has been in the biz for twenty years, so he knows a thing or two.

The 'Body Language' album released in 1990 (and reviewed on the site), is a very smooth piece of melodic rock, and is quite highly revered in the melodic rock community by collectors. Was the band happy with the final product?
As you say, the 'Body Language' album was well produced, smooth to touch and listen to. One of the original producers for the album was Kevin 'the caveman' Shirley who went on to do Silverchair's first album 'Frog Stomp', but the record company eventually went with David Hemming, who was responsible for 1927's album 'ish'.

'Body Language' album cover 1990

In terms of the song structures, were they based primarily around your guitar lines or more Peter James' keyboard arrangements?
The songs were based around guitar lines. Mostly Pete and I would work well with that. 'Strange World' is a good example I think.

Some of those songs were absolute corkers. 'Strange World', 'Close To The Edge' and the ballad 'So Easy' in particular stand out for me. What about for you?
Definitely those songs but some others I like are 'In My Dreams', 'Shake It Up, and 'Wild Boy'.

Craig Morrison's singing style reminds me a great deal of another local singer .. Craig Csongrady (BB Steal, Boss). He seems to have a lot of presence and energy as a front-man?
Craig was an outstanding front-man. He reads the audience well and gave 110% I reckon he gets a lot of it from his old man Lucky Starr.

Terry and Craig - live at Banjo's

What sort of follow-up was conducted after the album release in terms of promotion, gigs, tours etc?
When the album was released we basically toured heavily throughout Australia supporting all the top Australian artists. We were hopping from tour to tour and there were a lot of in-store promotions in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

There was another album which the band released called 'R.I.P.P.E.D' which was more a mish mash of tracks, part studio and part live if I recall. What do you remember of this album?
'R.I.P.P.E.D' was a low budget album which cost $10,000 to make and that was half an album really. Our management (called Mighty Management) decided on the live stuff and it wasn't all that good quality performance wise. 'Wild Fire' and 'Get Funken' were good songs though they were produced by Steve Balbi the bassist from Noiseworks.

Terry and Grant - live at Parramatta Leagues Club

So, the $64,000 question. What happened with the band after their brief moment in the sun?
What happened was we were going to be signed to Mushroom Records with Michael Kadinsky. We were advised to leave one to go to another but the deal fell through so when we arrived the door was closed so we were a band without a record label. So we went back to writing and there was talk of going to Europe to play some pub gigs but the band fell apart at the seams, and De Mont was no more.

Personally I am as big a fan of melodic rock coming out of Australia. How do you feel about the current state of play regarding melodic rock or pop acts coming out from 'down under'?
I think that Australia and New Zealand has some fantastic bands who are world class. It's a different time now than ten years ago, but every now and then I'm inspired.

De Mont - promo photo

To really put you on the spot, how about rating some of your local Aussie peers, with a quick statement about each of them for us then? Taxiride; Invertigo; Savage Garden; Rick Price
Taxi Ride: These guys are brilliant. I love their work, especially the harmonies. Invertigo: I've only really heard one of their songs and I liked the edge to it. Savage Garden: On record brilliant, on stage not as exciting I thought for me. Rick Price: Rick has been around for yonks. I saw him at a music expo, just him and an acoustic guitar. I think he is a very underrated vocalist.

I managed to track you down via your new outfit Good People. Quite a vastly different approach to De Mont. How have you found the change of styles?
Good People have been a project band, basically writing all the time and some live performances as well but with a lot of studio time. Angela's a great talent and I enjoy working with her and David. (www.goodpeople.com.au)

Finally Terry, what does the future hold in store you personally?
Well the future is out there and I'm on my way to meet it. But you can bet I'll take my guitar with me.

Thanks very much for giving us your time Terry. I'm sure now, that many people will feel a little bit enlightened about the brief history of the band that was De Mont. A big thanks from the guys at HEART of the ROCK!
Thanks for the memories - Terry S Mandryk.

A special thanks goes to Terry Mandryk for giving us permission to put up these photos of De Mont.

Related Articles
De Mont - 1989 Body Language
De Mont - 2001 Interview with Terry Mandryk

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#1 | 241 on March 08 2006 01:06:45

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