Manifest Destiny’s Child delivers perfect mix of sugar and spice

Manifest Destiny’s Child delivers perfect mix of sugar and spice

Manifest Destiny’s Child delivers perfect mix of sugar and spice
August 06
11:00 2018

Being part of a band is a serious commitment. Rehearsals, gigs, writing music and even simply agreeing on all of those things is a considerable investment of time.

For Carol Gonzalez and Sabrina Tionloc of Manifest Destiny’s Child, these things come naturally, and they have their years-long friendship to thank for it. That friendship is the foundation of the band and is the force that helps keep it going.

Frisco natives Gonzalez and Tionloc, both 19, met in elementary school but became close friends during their freshman year of high school. As their friendship grew, music entered the equation.

“I started playing guitar, and I really liked it,” Gonzalez said. “Then I got Sabrina to start playing the guitar.”

The duo approach music not as something serious and regimented, but rather as something fun that was made even more enjoyable doing together. For the most part, they don’t have scheduled practice times and instead choose to play by ear.

“We definitely always practice the day of a show,” Gonzalez said. “The morning before, we always practice that morning. And then usually maybe a couple days before, something like that.”

Though they are the core of Manifest Destiny’s Child, Gonzalez and Tionloc also include a rotating lineup of drummers.

“We have a lot of different friends and people we know that play the drums, and they know our situation, so they’ll just offer themselves to play drums,” Gonzalez said. “We want to play with as many drummers we can. Everyone plays a little differently, so it is cool to see them play our songs differently. It spices things up.”

One of those drummers is recent UNT graduate Kaylin Martinez, 22. Martinez, a drummer for about 12 years, is inspired by the band’s performances whether she is on stage with them or in the crowd.

“I finally got to see them play without playing with them this past week,” Martinez said. “As a friend, it was such a proud feeling. Playing with them, it is like we are one unit. We mesh really well together — we know where each person is going to go next. There is this trust that occurs when we play together, which is really special.”

Martinez describes their style as eclectic and mature, admiring the talent they have at their young ages.

“When Carol plays, she goes to another place,” Martinez said. “They are both so sweet, but then they just elevate to [these] whole different people when they perform, and it’s really cool. Their performance style is very powerful.”

Manifest Destiny’s Child after their show at Dan’s Silver Leaf in Denton. Jacob Ostermann

Finding an identity

Some say a ground rule for bands is that they must have an interesting name. If not, they risk being forgotten or mistaken for another band. But “Manifest Destiny’s Child” is one that stays in your head.

The girls’ quirky moniker is courtesy of a mixture of Tionloc’s cousin and chance.

“My cousin had this list of band names and they’re [all] comedic,” Tionloc said. “I was scrolling through it and he had one that said, ‘Manifest Destiny’s Child.’ I just thought it was really funny, so we used it as a filler name for a bit but then ended up sticking to it. It grew on us.”

The essence of the band’s name complements its musical style as well. Initially influenced by bands, such as Warpaint and Deerhoof, Manifest Destiny’s Child’s sound expanded during its formative years and is now inspired by a variety of different bands.

“We don’t really aim for a genre,” Tionloc said. “People like to describe us as punk, girly, riot girl.”

Manifest Destiny’s Child’s 2016 EP “Raspberry Kamikaze” features songs that show off the frantic energy and mellow grooves the members have used to cultivate their own unique sound and a solid following.

Jade Owens, 26, is a fan and friend of the band who is drawn to those very things.

“My favorite thing about their band is their musical style,” Owens said. “It is pretty and unhinged.”

Owens met the members of Manifest Destiny’s Child through the Denton music scene and has seen them perform a few times over the three years she has known them.

“Their performances are deranged in the most elegant way,” Owens said. “One moment they are playing something thin and graceful, then suddenly they are screaming at the top of their lungs at you.”

Creating dynamic songs is a process that occurs organically for the two. An idea for a new song may come about while Gonzalez and Tionloc are just hanging out.

“Sometimes I will write something and bring it to Sabrina, or Sabrina will write something and bring it to me,” Gonzalez said. “We will just build off of each other like that. She will write the verse and then tell me to write the guitar part for the verse — it just kind of changes.”

Manifest Destiny’s Child’s songs are heavily instrumental, which helps make each one a journey sonically.

“Lyrics are actually always the last thing we write — it is the last thing we focus on,” Gonzalez said. “We always focus on the music more than we do on vocals because we don’t really have a singer — we just sing between us. Our instruments are more important than vocals are.”

As a result, the band’s lyrics serve as more of an enhancement to the songs, and the content can vary.

“Sometimes they will just be jams, and then we will shout random things,” Tionloc said. “In the end, we are conveying something, but the way we go about it can be not very organized.”

Carol Gonzalez (left) and Sabrina Tionloc (right) of Manifest Destiny’s Child. Jacob Ostermann

Girl power

Manifest Destiny’s Child is one of the few local bands comprised of two main female members. Being a female presence in any male-dominated scene has the potential for adversity, but Gonzalez and Tionloc have experienced an atmosphere of equality in Denton.

“Everyone was accepting about it,” Tionloc said. “Denton is cool — everyone is chill like that.”

Having all female members has helped characterize the band but it has never been used as a mandated part of their identity.

“When we first started out, our other band member was a girl, too, so that was kind of our thing — we kind of played on that,” Gonzalez said. “Everyone loved it.”

Tionloc said being an all-girl group wasn’t something that was forced.

“It was never something that we had to have [or] something we had to do — it just happened that way,” Tionloc said.

The band has not encountered the usual conflict that comes with working so closely with another person. Besides some apprehension from parents when they first started out, things have been smooth sailing for Manifest Destiny’s Child.

“We have been on the same page,” Tionloc said. “It is just a level of understanding. The importance of the relationship aside from the band helps.”

Tionloc and Gonzalez are optimistic about the bands’ future, which includes playing shows in Austin due to Gonzalez’s transfer to the University of Texas at Austin. But even though they will be slightly separated between cities, Manifest Destiny’s Child will continue because of the strength of their friendship.

“We are just best friends doing what we love together,” Gonzalez said.

Featured Image: Manifest Destiny’s Child during their set at Dan’s Silver Leaf in Denton, Texas. The band’s lineup consisted of Carol Gonzalez (left), Lucas Martins (middle) and Sabrina Tionloc (right). Jacob Ostermann

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Nikki Johnson-Bolden

Nikki Johnson-Bolden

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