the mandate of heaven

the mandate of heaven

BandRockAlternative

Pre-Nirvana indie a la FUGAZI, BUILT TO SPILL, or AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD with refined vocals and psychedelic lyrics. Idiosyncratic songwriting that frequently veers into pop territory, with multiple nods to NEIL YOUNG and ROLLING STONES.

Biography

Mandate of Heaven is an all-original indie rock outfit from the Syracuse area, centered around music primarily written by multi-instrumentalist Greg Pier. Although "Mandate of Heaven" usually describes a 3-to-4-piece group, it is also the title Greg has used for his solo performances and recordings (still appropriate, however, since most recordings feature Pier playing every instrument).

There are ten full-length MofH LPs to date, all self released on Pier's imprint, Neon Witch. The MofH debut lp, ON NO EVIL STAR, has also been re-released on NOISEVILLE RECORDS, home to outsider and psychedelic artists such as CHROME, UNHOLY GRAVE, and HELIOS CREED.

Many different musicians have performed with Pier as part of Mandate of Heaven, at one point or another, since the band's inception in the late 90's, including:

THURSDAY keyboardist Andrew Everding

MATADOR RECORDS alumni Steve Cerio (Railroad Jerk, Dee Dee Ramone, The Residents).

The current lineup includes FLASHING ASTONISHER veterans Bob Kane and Chuck Gwynn.

Jason Randall, producer and manager of reggae blockbusters JOHN BROWN'S BODY, was added on second guitar in the fall of 2008.

Lyrics

When With Questions They Come From Far

Written By: Greg Pier

when with questions they come from far
I put the ashes in a jar
when for tribute they come to ask
I put the whiskey in a flask
I ride the poison down and leave
where the river meets the sea
I ride the poison down and leave
and when I come up for air
they say to me:

"you breathe
too deeply
you swim
too deeply"

like the water the well has found
I run myself into the ground
like the lightning that comes from blue
I only go to ground through you
like the rats and mice and fleas
we multiply in winter's teeth
like the sun we never see
there's reasons why you never see me
I ride the poison down and leave
where the river meets the sea
I ride the poison down and leave
and when I come up for air
they say to me:

"you breathe
too deeply
you swim
so deeply"

Tree of Bees

Written By: Greg Pier

tree of bees
maybe you should have told me
I was playing for free
before I drove to the show
three hours in both directions
no this truck don't run on questions
if you only knew
what I do
just to stay afloat
do you think that I haul
cause I like to pull the load
do you think I haul
just to wear a rut down in the road
do you think that I love it
deep down in my soul
no, you don't know
what I love
deep down in my soul

so the next time that you ask me
to come to your shitty city
let me lay it out for you
all mean and nitty gritty
you pay twice what you owe me
then you might get to see me
you say that that's greedy
I say no more so than breathing
and maybe noone hears me
maybe noone hears you
maybe it wouldn't be so if
there weren't so many of you
cause everyone's gone indie
now the herd
it needs some thinning
if that don't sit right with you
maybe you should stay at home

planet earth is heaven's ghetto

Written By: Greg Pier

planet earth is heaven's ghetto
and mary drives round
with her windows up
planet earth is heaven's ghetto
and mary drives round
with her doors locked
and the merry-go-round broke down
and so have you
just look at all the ghetto things
you say and do
like living in a house
with no lock upon your door
cause there's nothing inside worth
stealing anymore

except maybe your television
that only gets one station
the light and sound of God
programmed with the prayers of your heart

all the prayers of your heart
are on television
all the prayers of your heart
are on television

all the little boys and girls compete
to be the dirtiest fighter
on their street
we hope they keep their games
down to tooth and nail
but they'll be dropping bombs
when all else fails

and even in those clean bright homes
so warm and safe and pure
the angel of the lord passes by them
and leaves the mark of the ghetto
on their door

all the angels of the lord
will pass by your door
all the angels of the lord
will pass by your door

Empty Parking Lots

Written By: Greg Pier

yeah oh, I was a clipper ship sailing
high over the empty parking lots
to come to you when the daylight's fading
and make it to your room
before it's dark
and I couldn't take the bus
cause the bus it never comes
and I couldn't ride my bike
cause the bus will run me down
and I couldn't stay at home
with these strangers in my house
who leave their christman decorations
up all year round

oh, how they would weep
if I took them down
their tears they would freeze
before they hit the ground

oh, if we could get your car running
it would be so much fun
to drive it into the ground
and let it die in some
field by the highway
fifteen miles from the edge of town
and I'll tell you the one about
the People's Army
of the Independent Republic
of New York State
they spun a new savior out of cotton candy
and drowned the old one in the sacred lake

and noone was sure
that it was him anyway
but this time you can be sure
they won't make that same mistake

Version of a Life

Written By: Greg Pier

oh we have built a ship of war
one ship in a great fleet
we will cross the world
to lay the facts down at your feet
now press your ear down to the hull
and hear the wood beams creak
yes they sang the same song
when they were trees
swaying in the forest deep
and the last thing they saw
was the whites of our eyes
the last thing they heard
was a version of a lie
that everyone would be on your side
if you would only ask them inside

where it's wet and warm
that's where things are born
and where it's cold and dry
that's where they go to die
and everything that's ever lived
and everything that's ever died
will come back to life
as shadows and fire

and everything that's ever lived
and ever died
comes back in a version of a life
and everyone would be on your side
if you would only ask them inside

Red Wing Blackbird

Written By: Greg Pier

I am the red wing blackbird
and you might not want to hear
what I have to say
from high up where I am flying
it looks like you've thrown it all away

lived so long, hand to mouth
now put your mouth to my ear
and tell me that you still want me
tell me you're glad I'm here

yes I know a thing or two about you
yes I see you when noone is around
I see you in a place
where so many have lost their way
and I cannot follow you down

one winter lies behind us
one winter lies ahead
will you come to find me
or will you go south instead

Discography

All releases are full-length LPs. All releases are performed, recorded and mixed by Greg Pier at Neon Witch Studios unless otherwise noted.

1."On No Evil Star"
released 2000 on vinyl and cd
Re-Released in 2007 on NOISEVILLE RECORDS as NOISEVILLE #74
mastered by Doug White at Watchmen Studios

2."Real: Devil Music"
released 2001 on cd
engineered by Dave Hurwitz at Bus Stop Studio
mixed by Alex Smolinski at Frankensound

3."The Last Hair of the Dog"
released 2001 on cd
recorded by Andrew Everding at Balfour Audio Lab

4."Arisen Eye is Feudist Fiend"
released 2003 on cd
mixed and mastered by Jason Randall at More Sound

5."The Eight Talker Mouths: SSSuperhuman"
released 2003 on cd

6."We Need a Substance Now to Make Us Afraid"
released 2004 on cd
mastered at Coyote Sound, Brooklyn

7."The Next Valley Over"
released 2005 on cd

8."Fading Hectographs Were Their Fact Saws"
released 2005 on cd

9."Hun In The Sun"
released 2006 on cd
Featuring Bob Kane on drums and Gregg Johnson on bass
produced, mixed and mastered by Jason Randall at More Sound

10."The King Has No Sting"
released 2009

Set List

The band is capable of playing up to three hours of original material .