Birmingham, Alabama - 7 Stone Riot began the process of creating something different back in April just as everything began shutting down. The band decided it was time to create something unique that would speak their vision. Through their music, these perceptions, their "Manipulation" came together, and the main goal was solidified.
The recording process of "Manipulation" converged through a make-shift studio and drums provided by the Bates Brothers Recording. From there, the recordings were sent to producer Ken Lanyon over at Stone Mountain Georgia and completed. "Manipulation" is a song that clearly brings perceptive visions in the direction the band has sent it.
"The main point we’re trying to make with our new single "Manipulation" is every single person living is manipulated by something whether they want to believe it or not. I am the way I am because I was manipulated to believe the things I believe and if you lived my life with the same manipulations, you would have the same beliefs. Just like I would have totally different beliefs if I was manipulated like someone else." - 7 STONE RIOT
"When we first started the recording process for "Manipulation" it was back in April when everything was shut down. We had to do something completely different and do the entire recording process on our own since none of the studios were open at the time. Everything we recorded on this song was done in Reid’s (lead guitar) garage. We went and transformed his entire garage into a makeshift studio with a vocal booth made out of moving pads. We then went to a local studio owned by Eric Bates called Bates Brothers Recording, and recorded all the drum parts. Once we were satisfied with all of the recordings, we then sent it to our producer Ken Lanyon in Stone Mountain Georgia so he could mix it and put all his magic on it. In the end, we were more satisfied with the way this recording sounded than any other recording we’ve ever done in an actual studio.
When it came to the video, our main goal was for it to be super dark with sort of a phantom, or the opera, feel to it. We also wanted it to make the viewer feel a little confused - which is why you’ll see a lot of double vision and blurs throughout the video. This was the first video we’ve done where we’ve had a story to it so it was really cool putting that together. We all played a part in the acting: Whit played the plague doctor and everyone else in the band were the “demons.” The way I interpret the story we told is we all danced around blindly with our main manipulator. When the manipulator takes your blind fold off, they only allow you to see what they want you to see. That usually causes a lot of confusion and makes things seem super chaotic. When it’s time for them to start manipulating again, the blindfold goes back on and your back in the chair waiting on the dance to start all over."
- Whit Millsap of 7 Stone Riot