Meet the Bastards

His notes are clean and precise, but his inflections channel a fiery angst that comes straight from his passionate gut. The music of Johnny Manchild will keep listeners on their toes.
— Evan Jarvicks, Cellar Door Music Blog


Johnny Manchild & the Poor Bastards hear one phrase at every gig: “That’s a lot of bastards!” Yes, several musical Bastards endeavoring to spread their tunes across the globe. The seven-piece alt-rock group draws inspiration from multiple genres including rock, funk, jazz, blues, and ska, featuring a unique mixture of the typical rock band drums, bass, guitar, and vocals, as well as keys and brass- namely sax and trumpet with the occasional trombone, flute, and strings. The brass brings on the jazzy, yet ska-laced feel, dependent on the song, while keys, vocals, guitars, and drums adapt to fit the different feel each song delivers. “It’s like if you took angsty 2000s punk rock (think like Anthony Raneri from Bayside) and put it in a blender with Ben Folds style piano melodies, threw in some jazz, added in some smooth orchestral elements, and sprinkled in a little Rufus Wainwright for good measure,” according to OK Sessions. Going from wildly upbeat songs that make the audience dance around uncontrollably (namely “Gestapo,” “Deserve,” and “That Doesn’t Happen,”) the Bastards are never lacking when it’s time to take it down a notch for the slow dance with songs like “Lightning,” “Annie,” and “Lucky to Have You.”

Hailing from the Oklahoma City metro, the band formed in 2016, including band leader Johnny Manchild (vocals, keys), and co-founding members: Ethan Neel (drums), Ben Wood (trumpet), and James Thompson (bass). Danny McGinn (trumpet), Chris Lashley (guitar, vocals), and Logan From (saxophone) joined the lineup to complete the Poor Bastards as we know them today. Former members include Jamey Levy (guitar), and Taylor Doak (trumpet).

Having built up a strong familiarity among the Oklahoma local scene, the band is now interested in moving outward to explore the rest of the US, delivering songs from the EP Valencia, the band’s first release, the recently released LP, Insomnia, and even more recently released singles (one for each month of 2019). They are currently in alliance with Aorta Music Management/Aorta Booking, and remain unsigned to a record label, reliant upon the popularity of their songs catching the attention of the general public. Valencia and Insomnia was recorded and mastered by Manchild himself, while the newest 2019 singles were and are being recorded at Lunar Manor with Taylor Johnson. Newest release “All In My Mind” and soon to be released, “Stay Awake” were mastered by Kevin Lively and Voyager Mastering, respectively.

Of course it is hard to say what the future will hold for the seven-piece group, and seven members is a lot to keep together, but the momentum continues to increase. Each band and crew member have dedicated time, patience, and networking in order to maintain or excel this momentum and it doesn’t seem that will end any time soon. For now, the Bastards will start with weekend and shorter runs, working up to being a full-time touring band in the next year.


Bastards & Co

Johnny Manchild
Piano, Lead Vocals, Problems


Chris Lashley
Guitar, Vocals, Sex Appeal


James Thompson
Bass, Million Dollar Smile


Ethan Neel
Drums, Heart-Throb Eyes


Danny McGinn
Trumpet, Flugel Specialist

Ben Wood
Trumpet, Hugs


Logan From
Saxophone, Jawline

Nathan Deutsch
Memorabilia Technician, Bastard Bus Operator

Johnny Manchild and the Poor Bastards definitely get my vote as one of the more bold bands to emerge out of Oklahoma City in years.
— Nathan Poppe, The Oklahoman/Blogger
This guy sounds like he drinks craft beer. I bet he wears sunglasses indoors.
— Jason Ellis, Faction on Sirius XM