Just before the taping of the second Pabandom iš Naujo heat, we got a chance to speak with Mantvydas Sabaitis, the vocalist for The PiXLS.

The PiXLS were a last minute addition to the Pabandom iš Naujo line-up, following Lina Štalytė’s disqualification on December 23rd. Outside of the national selection, the band is currently working on their own EP, where their PiN entry Šaukt originally came from. Their name is full of symbolism and meaning – but you’ll have to read below to find out why!

I’m excited to welcome The PiXLS to ESCUnited.com, thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with us! Why don’t you introduce yourself to our readers?

Hey hey, It’s a pleasure talking about our music and thank You for reaching out. So we are a band called THE PiXLS and let me introduce our band’s members really quick.

Vocals – Mantvydas Sabaitis

Electric Guitar – Kostas Balčiūnas

Bass Guitar – Martynas Garbačas

Drums – Sergej Makidon

How would you describe your musical style and sound to our readers? Are there any artists that influence your music?

The best way to listen to music is without the prejudice of genre’s. Then your mind is free from categorizing and more open to new music and I don’t really like sticking with one genre or one category because in the future our style might evolve to something different. However, currently we are focusing more Rock sound which we adore and love. 

Talking about the influences, in my point of view, we are all influenced by other artists. Some are more influenced than others, however, for me (Mantvydas) personally my biggest influence is a rock band Kings of Leon. Kostas biggest influence is one of the best – Queen. Martyna’s biggest influence is Tool and Sergej couldn’t make up his mind on one 😀 I mean, we have our influences, however, when you are creating your own music, first of all you have to be true to yourself and spread the message that you truly want to spread, instead of mimic other bands. That’s our philosophy on our music.

How did The PiXLS first come together as a band? Did you know each other prior to being bandmates?

We are all musicians here in Lithuania so we met having gigs. When you perform together, the chemistry it evolves and creates something magical – the bond, togetherness and goals. We have known each other for quite some time and I (Mantvydas) always dreamt about creating music with the band and spreading love, joy and just having fun on stage and there was no better time than 1st Corona wave, when the lockdown kicked in. So we called each other and said that this is it! This is the time when we are starting our band and creating music that we love. That’s how we started and even though we, as a band, are quite new, we do have quite a lot of potential songs in our bag which will be produced in the near future.

On a similar note how did you land on the band name PiXLS?

Band’s name – THE PiXLS. Well first of all, we imagine a song as a pixel. It represents your band, it represents your soul and it stands with you through all the time when you are creating and performing. When you add up all the band’s songs together, you can see it as a whole picture which is made of pixels. However, we went deeper than that and I will uncover it now.

THE – it’s basically there because Kostas wanted band name with “The”.

Pi – is a mathematical constant (3,14…) which goes to infinity. However, in this case, it means the freedom to create infinite variations of music and the freedom itself.

X – it represents the band members.

L – stands for “Lyrics”

S – stands for “Sound” 

So, as you can see, the name itself is basically mathematical formula to create our songs. It’s quite nerdy and complicated name that we came up with, but we are proud of it.

I love that you put so much thought into your name, thanks for sharing! And if you had the opportunity to collaborate with any artist or artists of your choosing for a new single, who would you choose to work with and why?

Honestly, we haven’t thought about collaborations, because we are working on our EP album right now, which will have 6 songs ( Šaukt is one of them) in it and we are working hard on it to produce the best songs that we can. After EP, we are planning eight song album which should be done and released till the end of the year, so we will have quite a busy year coming up and no collaborations planned. Well at least for now. If we would have the chance to collaborate with someone, I mean, there are tons of great artists that for us would be an honour to collaborate with but the most important thing for us is the end result – the song.

Now you were a very surprise addition to the Pabandom is Naujo line-up, as another artist was disqualified just before the holidays. What was your reaction when you got the news from LRT that you’d now be on the show?

We were really happy. As a young, no-name band participating in the Eurovision pre-selection, it’s a big step forward for us. We are really thankful for LRT committee for choosing us and hopefully, we will exceed all expectations.

From my understanding this year marks the first time the band will compete in the pre-selection. What made you decide that you wanted to enter the submission process this year? Is this the first time you’ve tried to compete?

Yes, this is the first time we, as a band, will be in Eurovision pre-selection. As I mentioned before, we are working on our EP, and there was this song sketch “Šaukt”, which was so catchy for us from the start that we knew that it must compete in Eurovision pre-selection this year. This will also be a test, how our songs resonate with larger scale of people and how they and the judges will react to it. On the other hand, every song is like a little experiment and you really don’t know how it will succeed, however, if you won’t try then you’ll never know, right?

Let’s talk about your song for PiN which is titled “Šaukt”. What was the songwriting process like for this entry, and what message do you hope it will convey to the viewing audience?

I (Mantvydas) created the sketch of this song maybe 1,5 years ago. The process of creating a sketch is quite quick, like 4-5 hours, however, the end result of the song is quite different from the first idea that was created, that’s why we share our Demo songs in our YouTube channel. We think that our listeners should have the opportunity to listen how the song evolved from sketch to final stage and we will share the “Šaukt” demo as well. 

Talking about the song itself, we wanted it to be simplistic and energetic. The song is about expression, freedom and feelings, hopefully these emotions will reflect in song and the viewers will feel it.

Now as you know the winner of the preselection will get to compete at Eurovision 2023. Do you consider yourselves to be big fans of the contest? Any favorite entries you’d like to share?

Well, for me, Eurovision is one of the bucket list things. It’s one of the biggest honours an artist can achieve representing his/hers/theirs country in the biggest musical competition in the world. Every year I watch our pre-selection and the whole Eurovision contest. There are so many talented people who are participating in this competition each that I just couldn’t pick just one. Also, every year our family try to guess a top 10 list of songs that will be ranked highest. It’s really fun and entertaining for us and makes watching the Eurovision even better.

For those who want to connect with you all ahead of or after the selection– where can they find you and your music?

We are on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify and other streamer platforms. I guess we are on “standard connection pack” 😀 In today’s world, social media plays big role in success of reaching the broader audiences, however, we are music band after all – not social media influencers. We want our energy to be directed into music and not into social media posts. If we have something to share – we will, if we don’t have anything to share – we won’t. I guess what I’m trying to say is that social media is full of content and our as band’s priority is not social media, but the music instead. 

 In closing, do you have a final message you’d like to share with the readers of ESCUnited?

Thank you for reaching out for the interview. It has been a pleasure talking about music as it always is. 

The final message would be that people should remember – music unites us all! It has no enemies, no problems it just tries to help you in your everyday world, so listen to it with no prejudice. Listen to it with your free mind like it was your last day on earth.

Lastly, SLAVA UKRAINI!

The PiXLs are set to compete in the second heat of Pabandom iš Naujo 2023 set for January 28th at 20:00 CET. The winner of the show will earn the right to represent Lithuania at the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool this coming May.

Are #YOU cheering for The PiXLs this weekend? Let us know on social media @ESCUnited, on our discord, or on our forum page

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