The Wanton Bishops

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The Wanton Bishops
OriginBeirut, Lebanon
GenresRock
Southern Blues Rock
Years active2011 (2011)–present
LabelsKeeward
Websitewww.thewantonbishops.com
MembersNader Mansour
Eddy Ghossein

The Wanton Bishops is a Lebanese rock band formed in Beirut, Lebanon in 2011. The group consists of Nader Mansour (vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards) and Eddy Ghossein (guitar, backing vocals, banjo). The duo began as an independent act founded after Mansour and Ghossein met outside a bar in Beirut and eventually bonded over their mutual appreciation for blues music. The Wanton Bishops was eventually formed and emerged among a second wave of popular garage rock revival and are considered today to be one of the leading bands in the Middle East.

After signing with young talent promoters Keeward, the group released its debut EP, Bad Rhyme (2012), which was recorded in Beirut. The record forged the group's raw blues rock sound and earned them a good standing amongst rock crowds in Lebanon. Over the next year, the Wanton Bishops built an underground fanbase through near-constant touring of small clubs, a viral presence on social media, media appearances, and extensive licensing of their songs. The international media eventually caught on to their soaring fame in countries such as France, Turkey and Sweden, and it wasn't long before the band started accumulating international date tours. Today, the band has just completed a tour in Turkey and is scheduled for tours in France, Dubai, and Scandinavia.

Early life[edit]

Nader Mansour (b. 1983) and Eddy Ghossein (b. 1984) were born and raised in Lebanon. The young men both graduated from Lebanese high schools and went on to pursue their degrees in economics and finance but maintained their presence in the music scene by playing in local bands and cultivating their passion for music. Mansour headed for Paris after high school and graduated from Paris School of Business (ESG Paris) with a degree in finance, at which point he decided to make a strong career shift and enroll in the Parisian CIM Ecole de Jazz, the first Parisian jazz and contemporary music school, to focus on his music. On the other hand, Ghossein stayed in Beirut and graduated from Saint Joseph University (USJ) with a degree in economics. Shortly after graduation, he worked in banking jobs and eventually decided to forsake his corporate attire after he met Mansour outside a famous blues bar 'Bar Louie' in Beirut while the former was embroiled in a fistfight. Having had Ghossein's back, Mansour and Ghossein built a friendship, which eventually culminated into a musical partnership that created The Wanton Bishops.

Career[edit]

Ghossein was first hired as the guitarist for Mansour's blues cover band Funky Nad, 'Nad' being short for Mansour's first name Nader, the covers included tracks originally by blues musicians Muddy Waters, Junior Kimbrough, and R. L. Burnside. For a year and a half, they played in local venues as a cover band, and eventually decided to take a year off to work on their songs. “I was writing stuff – mainly useless and meaningless,” Mansour said to Rolling Stone Magazine. “But when Eddy came along, I decided this was the dude. That’s when it took form.” [1] The duo thus started working on some of Mansour's original songs, which he had been writing during the time he spent in Paris, trying to find the common ground between Ghossein's English rock and Chicago Blues background and Mansour's stompy swamp blues and wailing harmonica. The year finished with a release of their first EP "Bad Rhyme."

The EP showed off the Wanton Bishops' solid blues rock revival sound, a middle ground between acoustic and electric sounds, between garage rock and the blues, which often draws comparisons to The Black Keys—sometimes as a derivative act—since both groups have two-piece lineups and bluesy sounds. Indeed, both Mansour and Ghossein count The Black Keys as an influence, as well as the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (BRMC).

The duo's fame caught like wildfire, and it was only a matter of time before their songs topped national radio charts, and they sold out concerts in the venues of Beirut.[2] Media in Jordan, France, Dubai and Turkey amongst others, started covering the act's footsteps and the Wanton Bishops started booking mini international tours.

By the end of 2012, the duo had added four tracks to their EP and released their LP Sleep with the Lights On, which is also the name of their most famous single to date. The album earned them a tour in Turkey in two different cities and three different venues in March 2013. The Turkish press called them "the best band you've never heard of"[3]

When asked what they write about, the duo says that they're "influenced by mostly inevitably clichéd stuff. Things like; love and the lack of it, money and the lack of it, or even loneliness and the abundance of it!” [4]

Although they admit that the Wanton Bishops is "just a name",[5] the Wanton Bishops state that their music is about seduction and surrender, heart and stomp, which should explain their viral success.

Band members[edit]

  • Nader Mansour;– vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards (2010–present)
  • Eddy Ghossein – guitar, backing vocals, banjo (2010–present)

Discography[edit]

Albums and EPs[edit]

  • Bad Rhyme - EP (2011) [1]
  1. "Sleep With the Lights On" [2]
  2. "Smith & Wesson" [3]
  3. "Whoopy Intro" [4]
  4. "Whoopy" [5]
  5. "Bad Rhyme" [6]
  6. "Time to Go" [7]
  • Sleep with the Lights On - Album (2012) [8]
  1. Sleep with the Lights On
  2. Bad Liver and a Broken heart
  3. Oh Wee
  4. Howl
  5. Smith and Wesson
  6. Time to Go
  7. Whoopy Intro
  8. Whoopy
  9. My Kinda Lovin'
  10. Bad Rhyme
  11. Bad Rhyme (Trash Inc. Rework)
  • Nowhere Everywhere - Album (2016) [9]
  1. Waslaha
  2. Hitman
  3. I Don't Dance
  4. Sailing Down
  5. The Kinda Pain I Love

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Wanton Bishops' Beirut Blues. (2013, February 7). In "Rolling Stone Middle East". Retrieved March 14, 2013.
  2. ^ The Wanton Bishops Sleep with the Lights On. (2013, January 19). In "Dedale Sonore". Retrieved March 14, 2013.
  3. ^ The Wanton Bishops. (2013, February 27). In "Hitt Müzik". Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  4. ^ Music Talk: The Wanton Bishops. (2013, January 17). In "Triple W". Retrieved March 14, 2013.
  5. ^ Who the Hell are the Wanton Bishops?. (2013, February 28). In "MTVIggy". Retrieved March 14, 2013.