Tino Troy - Lead guitar/vocals
Chris Troy - Bass guitar/vocals
Andy Burgess - Lead guitar/vocals
John 'Jaycee' Cuijpers - Vocals
Hans in 't Zandt - Drums/percussion/vocals
So, tell me a bit about yourself...
I love playing, recording and writing music but have many other interests.I love cooking and run a street food business which can regularly be found at food festivals, markets and events all over the UK. I also love cars and motorsport and help restore classic American cars and trucks at a friend's garage. In 2015, I completely restored a classic Citroen HY van for use with my food business. My favourite colour is blue and have been a diehard Chelsea fan since the age of 8. I feel I'm an easy going kind of guy but I'm passionate about whatever I do and when focused, can achieve whatever I want. I was born on the 9th January in South London, making me a Capricorn.
How did you get into music?
I started playing guitar around the age of 10. My mother was a great classical guitar player and pianist and she inspired me to take up the guitar! My first influences were mainly bands like Thin Lizzy and Van Halen but then later on I listened a lot to players like Jeff Beck, Larry Carlton and Steve Lukather. I also play keyboards but only to a level where I can write and record the parts I hear in my head!
Tell me about your favourite gigs.
I have so many favourite gigs but the ones that stand out are seeing Van Halen at the Rainbow back in 1980 and Thin Lizzy at Hammersmith Odeon, so so many times!! I also loved the big festivals such as Reading Rock around the same time then the Donningtons of the mid 80s. More recently watching Aerosmith at Arrow Rock from the side of the stage and seeing Toto with Tino from the sound desk was an experience to remember. My favourite Mantis gigs would be any of the Japan tours but also the Aero Rock Stars gig in Bulgaria was an event to remember!
What’s the best thing about being in Praying Mantis?
The best thing about being in Mantis is the friendship we all share and the lack of any ego issues between us but also the professionalism of my band mates and the feeling we all get when writing and playing. We always enjoy ourselves whenever we are recording or on tour and we all love what we do, especially meeting our fans.
What’s the worst thing about being in the music industry?
I find the way recorded music is treated these days is truly frustrating. Music seems to be a free commodity that can be shared worldwide without the permission or knowledge of the artist!
What other bands have you been in?
Through my early years of playing I experienced live performance and recording with several bands but my first big break came when I was asked by Laurence Archer (Stampede, Magnum, Huey Lewis, and Phil Lynott’s Grand Slam) to join his band R.I.R. where I gained great experience of touring, playing at large venues and a hint of celebrity status! In 1991, I joined the legendary Paddy Goes to Holyhead, playing at venues all over the UK and Europe and we still play regularly.
What do you still want to achieve?
I still have big ambitions in the music business and feel my writing and producing skills are areas I would love to develop. I would also love to tour America, Australia, South America and China with the mighty Mantis!
What would you like to say to your fans?
I'd like to say a big thank you to every faithful Mantis fan from all around the world who make what we do so worthwhile and please all 'watch this space' as we have exciting things happening in 2016 and beyond!