The Mandrake Theory
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The Mandrake Theory

Band Rock New Age


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Ross Arney, epitome of bass perfection"

“The headstock of my Hohner 6-string was broken in a car accident…I was actually more upset about my bass being broken than my car being totaled,” admitted Lassiter’s resident bass addict. This statement is a typical one for Ross Arney, who has been teaching himself to play for over five years. “[Teaching yourself] forces you to learn more about what you’re doing on the fretboard,” he claimed, explaining his choice to skip lessons.

On the other hand, he is more than willing to give lessons to the would-be bassists of Lassiter. When asked how he goes about teaching his own peers a craft which he originally taught to himself, he was thorough in his explanation: “I usually start the ‘future virtuoso’ where they want, but I make sure to teach the fundamentals, along with the cool techniques.” His main student is junior Bryan Carlton, who has been learning for almost a year. After seeing each of them perform at Open Mic Night, everyone there was impressed by both the musical abilities and enthusiastic attitudes which led them to play in front of potentially critical peers.

The passion that possesses Ross was evident when he was asked about why he gets such a high from playing his music. Lighting up at the mere mention of it, he said, “Bass is the way for me to release my musical expressions; I really enjoy writing and performing my music because I love the feeling of accomplishing something that makes people stand back, look at the big picture, and say ‘wow’.” Not only does he meet the criteria for inspiring music, he also holds his own as a third degree black belt at Starr’s Tae Kwon Do. “That is definitely not as important to me as playing bass though,” he admitted frankly.

Every aspiring musician holds an admiration for those incredible players who continually inspire him to improve his music. Ross cited Ryan Martinie of Mudvayne fame, along with Victor Lamonte Wooten, and two Lassiter students, Nick Jenkins and Joey Weigel. “Check them out,” encouraged Ross.

“I hope to become famous in a band one day, and later, after the band has ended, I would like to do some recording work for various artists, as well as release some solo CD’s,” he confirmed candidly. While his lofty goals may seem unrealistic to the common person, there is no doubt that Ross is driven, possessing both the grit and the essential skills necessary to fulfill every one of them.

Thinking that perhaps other hopeful musicians could pick up some tips from this determined guy, I asked him what advice he would give to others. Without flinching, he said, “Don’t play bass with a pick!” Moving on to a general piece of guidance, he said, “ Don’t settle for what’s easy to achieve… try to break away from what’s easy, and push yourself to become great.”
There’s no doubt that he’ll accomplish all that he strives for and blow mediocre musicians out of the water on the journey. - The Laureate, Volume 21, No. 7, April 2004

"The Mandrake Theory"

The Mandrake Theory is one of the tightest metal bands out there and one of the biggest drawing unsigned bands we at The Warehouse have seen (as a matter of fact I think they got signed just this week). They are completely energetic and brilliant song writers, a definite must see.
- Ponier Music weekly newsletter


--April 2005 - 5 Song Demo
--August 2005 - 8 Song EP
--Coming early 2006 - 5 Song EP, followed by 15-song album produced by Virtuo Productions, manufactured by Discmakers, Inc. (title yet to be determined)


Feeling a bit camera shy


"The Mandrake Theory began nearly five years ago as four best friends who had grown up together picked up instruments and began the music-writing process. All the many nuances that separate this group from their peers all go back to the very beginning days. When the band began years ago, it was simply four best friends. Within weeks, the band became their lives. By the time they were out of high school, they had gone through a few lineup changes. Jon and Ryan became the only original two members, and despite the loss of half the original 'band of brothers', the band soon became what they now consider, in a way, a supergroup.

With recent events and situations, the band has each individually realized that they cannot see themselves doing anything other than writing and playing the music that they love. And so becomes their always-present goal: to make a career with the music.

They don't write music to conform with everything else that is out on the airwaves. And all of them having such a vast musical background, they simply shake their heads at criticisms they receive from people or other bands who make music out to be competition. This is a band that are all strong believers in the fact that musicians should coexist to help each other, pick each other up, and benefit from each other, not put each other down. Another quality that defines The Mandrake Theory is that they understand that nothing great happens without hard work. The number of hours that each of them has spent individually and together writing and perfecting music is innumberable. As much as having fun is a big part of their lives, they understand that hours of hard work come before living the rock & roll lifestyle. The Mandrake Theory is a band that is strongly defined by not only their music, but their work ethic, morals, determination, and friendship.

Their diverse musical background helps to bring so much variety into the music they write. They have experiences from classical ensembles to jazz bands to metal bands. Ryan and Jon have years of musical experience being on the national stage in front of an audience of thousands. With the experience and knowledge that each individual brings to the table, this band grows stronger and their potential grows higher each day.

Currently, The Mandrake Theory is in Atlanta's Virtuo Studios recording a full length album, following up their highly successful and popular 8-song EP that was released in August. They are also currently busy writing new material and preparing a live show that will be so explosive and nearly flawless that it will guarantee a great concert for someone seeing the band for the first time. Quite recently, the band has been told on numerous occasions that their live show is better than their recordings. Ryan, guitar, says that'"that is the biggest compliment I think we could possibly get as a band as far as performance goes. We put hours of work into our CD, and we're all proud of it! But to sound better live when theres so much more room for error? Thats hard to fathom.' The fan base of this band continues to grow larger every day, and in the words of Joe, the promoter/manager from a venue the band commonly plays at, The Mandrake Theory is 'one of the biggest drawing unsigned bands we at The Warehouse have ever seen'. And the crowds grow larger with every show.

They have each said it and live strongly by the words, 'We will do it.' And in the words of Jon, 'In a way, we have already made it. We have a CD that people love, the shows are great, and we have the coolest fans a band could ask for.' But they continue to move forward with every passing day, and embrace those who embrace them and share in the music. And so defines The Mandrake Theory."

-Bio written by a close friend and supporter that wishes to remain anonymous who has followed the band for years-