“We just want to play loud blues rock forever, really”


“We just want to play loud blues rock forever, really.” The guys from Mandalorian have simple goals when it comes to music, but the Birmingham band’s small targets are not stopping them from aiming high.

Since starting out as mere members of a Rock Society at university just over three years ago, they became a regular band and have worked hard since 2015 to create their sound and chase their dreams.

The band have had highs and lows since, but are now set to launch a new film score-inspired EP this summer.



Mandalorian consists of four members – Cillian Breathnach (lead guitar), Ben Price (guitar and lead vocals), Alex Hanrott (bass guitar and backing vocals) and James Jackson (drums and backing vocals), who all started their musical journey on different paths.

Ben said: “I had a chance encounter with a Led Zeppelin CD just as I was beginning to get into music and I was blown away by their mixture of power, groove and melody.

“I’ve been hooked on rock and metal ever since.”

It was a similar story of being inspired for guitarist Cillian.

“Incredible cliché,” he said. “But there was a Best of Black Sabbath album in the car when I was a kid, and it blew me away.

“Playing guitar along to Tony Iommi on those tracks was how I learnt to play the way I do.”

James added: “I was always drawn to drums for their primal energy and their pulsating rhythms that to me are at the heart of what makes rock music exciting.”

Alex’s journey was not forged in quite the same way, with a very different musical beginning.

“As a young lad of seven I was convinced by my parents to join a church choir,” he explained. “But honestly that was one of the best things that happened to me.

“Over time, my love for music turned away from singing about Jesus and instead towards songs about various acts of carnage, featuring distorted guitars and insanely energetic live shows.

“But I’ll always love the camaraderie of being in a music group, guys just coming together to make something exciting and fun to listen to.”

Changes to the line-up

The band have had different drummers over the years and even had a harmonica player at one point.

But the band are now a settled group and Cillian admits they’ve already created some good memories.

Cillian said: “We supported Azeem Ward, the flute player. He was just this random American music student whose final recital went viral after loads of British students clicked ‘attending’ as a joke.

“It went viral enough to launch him into famous meme-status and warrant a UK tour with a DJ as Azeem x Underbelly, and we opened for them when they played in Birmingham.

“It was a very odd gig, but great fun. We still have the poster.”

Although they have enjoyed success since their early days, Cillian said it had not all been plain sailing.

“Our biggest regret was probably not taking James on sooner,” he said. “When we were in between drummers he covered for us a couple of times and it was perfect, he just gelled with the rest of us so well.

“We continued to float between drummers, but since he officially joined a year ago we’ve just got better and better live.

“He’s also a music graduate, so he brings a certain drive and rigour to our song writing and performing that we perhaps lacked beforehand.”

Mandalorian’s set list has moved from covering other tracks to creating their own original material.

Their latest work has been inspired by film scores from the likes of Star Wars and Godzilla – culminating in a song about a giant lizard with a sword!

But, as Cillian explained, fans will have to be patient to catch them performing it live.

“We’ve been focusing on recording our EP right now so shows are few and far between,” he said. “But the launch of the EP we’re recording will be happening this summer, so look out for that on our various social media things.”


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