|Genres||Stoner rock, Stoner metal|
|Years active||1999–2009 (on hold)|
|Labels||Spinefarm Records, Bull's Eye Records|
|Past members||Mikko Pietinen
Mannhai is a Finnish stoner rock / stoner metal band from Helsinki. The band was formed in the end of 1999 by bass player Olli-Pekka "Oppu" Laine and guitarist Ilkka "Ile" Laaksomaa. Soon they were accompanied by a young drummer Mikko "Junior" Pietinen and the following year by lead singer Jani "Joãnitor" Muurinen.
In 2004 singer Jani Muurinen left the band after three albums. In 2005 Mannhai got Pasi Koskinen persuated to replace Muurinen as a vocalist. Koskinen is best known for being the lead singer of Amorphis during the years 1996–2004.
Band's name Mannhai comes from an Indian belief. In the countrysite of the state of Uttar Pradesh in India, people in villages thought an evil disguised spirit called "the Mannhai" snatched their children when night falls.
Olli-Pekka Laine, Ilkka Laaksomaa and Mikko Pietinen recorded three instrumental songs for a starters. With this demo tape they tried and lured their old friend Jani Muurinen as their singer. Till the end of the year 2000 another three song demo tape came out and was introduced to Spinefarm Records which led into signing a recording contract. Without a single live gig Mannhai started to record their first album.
Their debut album The Sons of Yesterday's Black Grouse in 2001 got people interested in the new band. Mannhai started intense touring until the August 2002. Then it was time to get back in the studio for their second record. With this second album Evil under the Sun Mannhai topped its predecessor. The record includes the classic Mannhai song "Spiritraiser" as well as the video, directed by Tuukka Temonen (former bass player of the Finnish Punk/Hard Core group Apulanta).
In 2004 the third album saw the daylight. The Exploder is a lot more experimental than the other albums by Mannhai. The third album has influences significantly from progressive metal and from the seventies heavy metal, but even from blues with Maria Hänninen singing the backing vocals on some of the tracks, and Esa Kuloniemi from Honey B and the T-bones playing slide guitar on some others. The record being something else than its predecessors it is also more complicated and scattered, including only few straightforward rock and roll songs. The progressive sound has a lot to do with keyboards, played by Kasper Mårtenson (ex-Amoprhis). When The Exploder came out Mannhai made a practical joke: The web address www.mattivanhanen.com directed websurfers not to the web pages of then Prime Minister of Finland Matti Vanhanen but to the website of Mannhai.
In November 2004 in Tavastia Club, a popular rock venue in Helsinki, Muurinen did his last gig as a member of Mannhai. Muurinen quit the band as to pursue his artistic studies. All this time Muurinen had lived and studied in Turku as the rest of the band had always kept their headquarters and rehearsals in Helsinki.
In the spring of 2005 Mannhai got a new lead singer, Trond Skog, who had been the vocalist for a Norwegian stoner rock band Honcho. Mannhai hit the road for a three-week Central European tour. However, in the middle of the tour the other Mannhai-guys had no choice other than release Skog from the singing duties for good. That being for the reasons not related to the rest of the band. And there they were, in the middle of Europe, playing couple of instrumental gigs and trying to figure out what to do. Laine, in despair, called his old band mate Pasi Koskinen from Amorphis years up. As to his surprise Koskinen accepted the vocal challenge, and he flew over to Berlin and stepped into the boots of the frontman. The tour went fine with Koskinen and after the tour he officially joined the band.
With this brand new line-up Mannhai started to work on a new album. They got the creative process nicely going with plenty of new material, with Koskinen taking care most of the lyrics writing. The fourth album Hellroad Caravan came out in the beginning of 2006 and the audience liked the new stuff: The third track of the album "Spaceball" went to the top of the Single list on the Official Finnish Charts. The new album was very compact and straightforward, groovy stoner rock. Most of the digressing that filled the Exploder was cut off. The role of the keyboards stayed much behind the rumbling bass heavy guitar sound, with only a hint of psychedelia. There's a visiting star Henri Sorvali in keyboards, best known for his work in folk/pagan metal band Moonsorrow.
Mannhai's song "Spiritraiser" is often featured on the Finnish television show, The Dudesons as well as being heard on their feature length movie.
In the fall 2006 the drummer Junior Pietinen left Mannhai to work full-time in his other groups Bleak and Happiness. For the forthcoming Mannhai tour in Europe Mannhai took Nalle Österman as a sideman for drums. Nalle Österman has worked with Oppu Laine in death metal band Chaosbreed as well.
After drummer Pietinen departed the band, Mannhai has been doing only a few gigs per year, most of them abroad in festivals like Ragnarock Open Air Festival. No new music has been composed or published as a band since 2007. While Mannhai not being active Olli-Pekka Laine aimed his musical focus to a new band, Barren Earth, with an old Mannhai and Amorphis band mate Kasper Mårtenson being the keyboardist. The 5th of February 2009 Mannhai officially announced on their website that they are on undefined hiatus for the time being.
Mannhai was formed by Oppu Laine and Ile Laaksomaa. Oppu Laine has played bass guitar in bands like Amorphis and Chaosbreed. Original vocalist Jani Muurinen (a.k.a. "Joãnitor" or "Janitor") used to be a singer in Xysma before Mannhai. Janitor's successor Pasi Koskinen, a former Amorphis member as well, has vocal duties in his other bands Shape of Despair and Ajattara. Mikko Pietinen ("Junior") moved on to play with his other bands Bleak (disbanded 2009) and Happiness. Tour drummer Nalle Österman has been in bands like Chaosbreed, Gandalf and Lullacry and is a drummer of Sonic Roots.
- Olli-Pekka "Oppu" Laine – bass guitar 1999-
- Ilkka "Ile" Laaksomaa – guitar 1999-
- Pasi Koskinen – vocals 2005-
- Nalle Österman – tour drummer 2006–
- Mikko "Junior" Pietinen – drums 1999–2006
- Jani "Joãnitor" Muurinen – vocals 2000–2004
- Kasper Mårtenson – keyboards 2003–2004
- The Sons of Yesterday's Black Grouse (2001)
- Evil Under the Sun (2002)
- The Exploder (2004)
- Hellroad Caravan (2006)
- Spiritraiser / A new day yesterday (Jethro Tull -cover) (2003)
- Rock to the top / Slave to the Flame / Live Wire (Mötley Crüe -cover) (2004)
- Spaceball / Rocketeer (2005)
- Under the sign of the wolf (split single with Reverend Bizarre) "Forever My Queen" (Pentagram -cover) (2006)
- Spiritraiser – from the album "Evil Under the Sun"
- Rock to the top – from the album "The Exploder"
- Spaceball – from the album "Hellroad Caravan"