Uproar Records’ newest band breaks out with original sound

Hugh Knight, Erik Williams, Zac Flowers and Mike Stanley, collectively Manifest Music Company, rock out to their unique progressive pop sound. Photo by Margaret Alba
Hugh Knight, Erik Williams, Zac Flowers and Mike Stanley, collectively Manifest Music Company, rock out to their unique progressive pop sound.
Photo by Margaret Alba
By Haley Davis

Other popular boy bands are no match for Uproar Records’ newest band. This semester, Manifest Music Company steps out with a unique edge on pop music.

The band, which formed in spring 2012, includes Montgomery, N. J., junior Mike Stanley on bass, Abilene senior Hugh Knight on piano, and Baylor alumnus Zac Flowers from Houston on guitar and Erik Williams from Colorado Springs, Colo., on drums.

The name comes from two ideas. Manifest came from a book Flowers read in high school. The second, Flowers and a friend were at a concert and were joking about the “Co.” in the band’s name.

“It stared as a joke, but then we actually liked it and changed it to Company,” Flowers said.

Each member has had different musical training and different musical influences. Stanley is versed trained in jazz music, which is where he gets most of his influence. He started playing music about 10 years ago.

Knight is classically trained with jazz influence from his mother and has studied piano since he was five years old.

Flowers taught himself to play guitar, mainly to impress the ladies, but ended up enjoying it. He said his main influence is pop and indie music.

Williams has a medal, screamo music influence and started playing the drums nine years ago. He said he really enjoys making music with a good rhythm.

Flowers started writing songs a couple of years ago, but he said he wanted to start playing with people and decided to start a band.

“It is really hard to play several instruments at once,” Flowers said.

Stanley, Flowers and Williams all ran on the Baylor cross-country team. Stanley and Flowers decided to form a band. The played a couple of small concerts at friends houses.

The group realized they needed more members to get the sound they wanted, and they soon recruited Williams to join.

While playing their favorite original song, “Dance,” the band came to the conclusion that it needed someone who could play the piano.

“I ran into a friend who used to be in our band and was discussing how we needed to find a piano player, and he introduced us to Hugh,” Flowers said.

The boys play around with their different backgrounds to create a unique sound. They said their sound is pop, jazz and rock.

“We call our sound ‘Prog Pop,’ as in progressive pop,” Stanley said. “ We try to make music that applies to a lot of people because of our different musical backgrounds.”

The creative progress in writing their songs is a group effort. Flowers comes with an idea and words then all the members add their own style to the songs.

The band has a single coming out this semester and plan to have an EP out this spring. The single will be the song “Dance,” which is their favorite to perform because of its upbeat rhythm.

“I have a theory on music,” Flowers said. “I want to make people dance and think at the same time.”

Around the time Flowers wrote the song, he had several friends dealing with depression, and wanted to find a way to help them. While looking around on the Internet, he came across a blog that said the best way to give someone with depression immediate help is to dance. He then wrote the song, to get people of their couches and dancing.

Manifest Music Company will be playing at the homecoming parade and potentially at a tailgating event. They also have shows coming up at World Hunger Relief Farm Day and Oktoberfest.

“We want to do this with our lives,” Flowers said. “We are busy people so we are doing this for a purpose.”

However, the group hopes to one day enjoy some of the perks that come with being in a band.

“I really just want us to have a tour bus in the future, and if we can make enough money to put gas in it and get food, I would be happy,” Knight said.