By Noah Hubbell
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Tom Murphy
By Noah Hubbell
By Alex Distefano
By Darryl Smyers
By Jon Solomon
By Britt Chester
During one fateful blizzard in Columbus, Ohio, when a band that was scheduled to play a party got stranded, brothers Gil and Donny Mantera (aka Ultimate Donny) valiantly stepped on stage and improvised some sort of drunken experiment that involved the two "acting like the biggest idiots." The crowd was smitten, and the brothers' dalliance eventually transformed into Gil Mantera's Party Dream. Despite a penchant for penning bouncing odes to water slides, the joke isn't so much in the music anymore. Ultimate Donny talked to us recently about being in a band with his brother and how the Dream has changed.
Westword: What's changed since you first started making music?
Ultimate Donny: Our live shows were crazier six years ago. We were doing stuff on the family keyboard. People always use the term "pre-programmed beats," but we really did have pre-programmed beats. Back then, we were just trying to make each other bleed and be retarded. It was dangerous. What changed between now and then is that we upgraded our equipment and started writing actual songs. Doing absolute crap got boring.
What's it like to tour with your brother?
Last tour, we actually broke up. We were in Orlando for the second time in three days. During the show, there were some technical difficulties, and we quit after two and a half songs. Gil stormed off, and I stayed on stage and said really bad things about him. He put on his bar clothes and went to the bar down the street. Then we saw each other later and everything was fine.
Do you still rock the spandex and crazy outfits on stage?
We used to just try to look like idiots, but now there's more of a science to it -- it's darker and less outrageous. Like apocalyptic cowboys or Grandmaster Flash, we want to look spectacular but still like cool rock stars. It's a high-energy show. I just get up there and talk shit. None of it is scripted, so you never know what's going to happen. Sometimes it's a case of the golden tongue, and sometimes it's dog shit.