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INTERVIEW - Maneli Jamal - The Lamaj Movement - Version française

Maneli Jamal - Us Against Them

How long have you been playing guitar? What made you start playing ?

I have been playing guitar since 2001 after my dad saw my interest in playing and bought me one for my 16th birthday. I also grew up with live music around me my whole life and played violin for 5 years before pursuing the guitar. My 3 older brothers all played guitar at one point in their lives before me and it seemed like it was the natural step for me to take. Another catalyst is that a lot of my friends were playing too and I wanted to join in on the fun. I'm really glad I did!

What made you chose guitar instead of anything else?

I like to think the guitar chose me because of my exposure to it through my friends and brothers. I was a teenager and needed something more to express myself besides drawing which was my main outlet before guitar. I was really into fast and loud playing. The guitar offered that to me with no problems to express what I wanted.

Can you tell us what kind of gear do you use in studio ? In concert?

My live setup sound is very simple. I use a Cole Clark Angel acoustic guitar. It has a 3 way pickup system already built into the guitar which means I can simplify my pedal setup. I currently use a tuner pedal, BBE stomp box and a holy grail reverb pedal. For my studio recordings I like to experiment a lot but the last CD "The Lamaj Movement" was recorded at McGill university in Montreal with some high end gear and 3 mics (2 stereo, 1 mono).

Your last album « The Lamaj Movement » is absolutely amazing. Can you elaborate on the artistic process of your album?

The album took 3 years in the making. Every song is a memory of my upbringing from 5 different countries my family has lived in. I like the idea of concept albums and this one in particular is more of a autobiography with written commentary from me in the physical CD. I went through countless revision to settle on what is now on the album although when I play them live today it will sound slightly different to keep them interesting for me to play (and hopefully for the listener too!).

Your music is inspired by your past, your story. Did you grow closer to your roots since your music is better known in the guitar' sphere?

Definitely. I wasn't able to fully accept some of the experiences if it weren't for dedicating a piece of music to it. You see, guitar is my therapist. It listens very well and when I play my stories through it everything becomes more clear. A sigh of relief and accepting what is done is done. My next goal is to play my music back in my home country of Iran. That would just be awesome as that's where it all started for my family.

Movement IV - Allevation is, in my opinion, one of the best compositions of the album, can you tell me more about it?

That song was inspired by us finally making it to a safe country we can all call home. It's the last movement piece of The Lamaj Movement but it's really where my journey just began with life as it's also in memory of when we came to Germany. It's truly a joy to play and be reminded of what my parent had to go through to overcome such hardship.

How would you describe your play? Even if we are just talking about fingerstyle, you possess a unique touch which makes you recognizable.

The way I like to describe my style is progressive fingerstyle as a lot of my songs don't follow popular progressions. I like to experiment with the techniques that can be applied to the guitar and I'm always evolving as a musician because of it. I grew up in a very musical and artistic family and traditional Persian music was constantly being played. This really helped me have a better understanding of Persian harmony and its phrasing. I try to use some of these elements in my composing. is website mostly dedicated to the craftsmanship of guitar. Have you had the opportunity to play on luthiers' instruments? If yes, on luthiers' guitar?

I haven't played on too many luthiers guitars but one that really stands out is Schwartz Guitars. Amazing craftsmanship, attention to detail, and perfect tone. These instruments sound absolutely unreal. It was a real treat to play such a fine instrument.

Any juicy insight about you or your future productions? Can we hope to attend soon one of your tour in France?

I don't have any plans to play in France yet as I don't have many connections there but I really hope to soon. I am currently working on my 3rd LP now which will be released next year. At this rate I seem to be releasing a new CD every three years. Interesting fact In case you're wondering.

One last word before we are done?

Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.

Charles-Henri GOUGEROT-DUVOISIN - 2014 October 25th -

Maneli Jamal - Adapt and Accept Part 2 (2012)
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Maneli Jamal
The Lamaj Movement
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