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Columbia, Missouri, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | SELF

Columbia, Missouri, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2016
Band Rock Funk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Local Band Mangosteen Plays Like a Pro"

Before every show, band members of Mangosteen like to take a swig from a bottle of the similarly named juice, Snapple’s Peach Mangosteen.
No, they don’t have an advertising deal with Snapple. They are by no means big enough for that.

But they will be.

The alternative soul band played Thursday night at The Social Room, Columbia’s underground music venue, along with Grapevine Fires and Soul Glo. From the time the first notes hit, the audience was jamming to a young band with a complicated style and soul beyond their years.

Vocalist and drummer Spencer Westphalen says that the band’s intense sound comes from the players’ shared roots in jazz. Keyboard player Michael Miller, guitarist Colby Johnson, bassist Grant Flakne and Westphalen met at MU’s School of Music.
“All of it has a very common root in jazz,” Westphalen says of Mangosteen. “We all come from very different backgrounds, but overall it’s groovy, it’s funky, it’s very lively.”
Mangosteen’s sound is smooth and transcendental, reminiscent of Pink Floyd or Hall and Oates. Mangosteen covered the latter band’s “I Can’t Go For That” expertly. Crowd members were drawn from the bar, attracted to the stage to join in the dancing and swaying Mangosteen generated.

At times, audience members were standing on benches to get a better view of Miller and Johnson, ripping extraordinary solos on the keyboard and guitar.
Although Thursday night’s emphasis was on headliner Mangosteen, the theme of local music was upheld by the first two bands, Soul Glo and Grapevine Fires.
For Grapevine Fires band member Damon Mitchell, the most important aspect of their intimate and acoustic performance is the songwriting.
“We would like to bring back the craftsmanship the music from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s had,” Mitchell says.
That step back in time to borrow old beats and styles in order to create a new sound is what made the show great. It’s what excellent musicians have been doing since the beginning of music, and will continue to do as different trends develop.
At the brim of an incredible music trend is Mangosteen, and Columbia residents would be smart to get in on it before it’s too cool.

“I imagine one day, if we ever make it far enough, that some future 40-year-old is gonna be telling his son, ‘Yeah, man, I saw ‘The Steen’ back in the day,’” Westphalen says.
Mangosteen’s first single “She’s a Lady” will be released on Spotify and iTunes May 6.

Edited by Katie Rosso | - MOVE Magazine

"Columbia Band Mangosteen is a Creative Madhouse"

Budding alternative-funk and soul band Mangosteen is a child of the MU jazz program. Mangosteen’s four members — Colby Johnson, guitar; Michael Miller, piano; Grant Flakne, bass; and Spencer Westphalen, drums and vocal — easily transitioned into forming a band in August 2015 after playing together in various university jazz groups.

The band has performed at venues such as Rose Music Hall and The Social Room and plans to do a mini-tour with the band Ray Wild at the end of the month. The band released its first single, “She’s a Lady,” which can be found on SoundCloud and CD Baby’s websites.

As a band, Mangosteen tries not to fit into one category; Westphalen describes their music as funk that makes the audience want to move and groove. Members agreed that their practice space needed boundless color. Johnson says he draws his mojo from the “voodoo” of the room, and Westphalen says the color helps the group bring extra flavor to the band’s already off-the-wall sound. “It’s concentrated energy,” Westphalen says.

The canvas Westphalen and friends stopped at The Home Depot before last year’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts festival in Manchester, Tennessee, in an effort to create a practical piece of art. The group used the resulting canvas to create shade at the notoriously hot and sunny festival. Westphalen describes the artistic backdrop as “collected creativity.”

The pedestal This Greek-style stand was mostly chosen for its sturdiness, as band members feel fully confident setting equipment on it. But like anything in Mangosteen’s nook, the stand needed extra flair. Now, band members praise the pillar’s Christmas-like aesthetic.

The bandana chain Westphalen loves the bandanas that cover his drum set. Some are tattered, and some are new, but each has a different story. Westphalen says one was a Bonnaroo essential last year and held a bag of ice he and his friends used to cool down. Another was tied on the handle of a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon carried five miles through downtown Austin, Texas, to a secret show from Twin Peaks, a band favorite. The funky face crate Band manager Lindsey Ralls painted three artsy crates as a gift for Westphalen’s 21st birthday last December. Two other crates painted with similar faces make a set. Reggie the sock monkey Meet Reggie, the real talent behind the drum kit. Reggie was a gift to Westphalen from his dad, who is a sock monkey aficionado. The band claims Reggie is the hardest drinker of the group. He’s also infamous for causing mischief in his Bonnaroo bandana. “(Sock monkeys) remind me of myself,” Westphalen says. “They’re kind of goofy, but they just kind of hang.”

Jacob Steimer | May 26, 2016 - Vox Magazine

"Hometown Sound: Mangosteen"

Members: Grant Flakne — bass, vocals; Michael Miller — keyboards; Colby Johnson — guitar; Spencer Westphalen — drums, lead vocals

Performing since: Mangosteen has been a unit for a year this month, but all four members played in University of Missouri jazz combos and performed together in a variety of contexts and combinations.

Discography: “She’s a Lady” single (2016); the band is preparing to record more material next month.

Recommended if you like: Mayer Hawthorne, Nick Waterhouse, Snarky Puppy, Tom Jones

What’s in a name? As the band considered what to call itself, they reviewed a list of prospective names Miller compiled, settling on Mangosteen.

“It’s definitely a word you don’t come across very often, and I believe the look, structure and phonetics all come together to describe our sound,” Westphalen said. “During the process, we said it aloud multiple times in a variety of different ways and wrote it out, pen to paper, to test the aesthetic.”

‘Desert island’ records: Flakne — Anton Dvorak, “New World” Symphony; Miller — Kamasi Washington, “The Epic”; Johnson — Streetlight Manifesto, “Keasbey Nights”; Westphalen — Windy City, “Love Record.”

Most memorable show: July 26 at Rose Music Hall, opening for Saint Motel.

“It was very special for myself and Miller because we had the opportunity to see them perform at Bonnaroo in front of thousands of festivalgoers, and now to have been able to open for them in our home city of Columbia was a tremendous honor,” Westphalen said. “In addition, the crowd at Rose that night was electric, which allowed us to feed off their energy and, in turn, we gave it right back to them.”

Next local show: Thursday at Rose Music Hall with Dusted Groove, Dumpster Kitty and Catdaddy’s Funky Fuzz Bunker. 9 p.m.; $5.


Aarik Danielson | August 25, 2016 - Columbia Tribune


Still working on that hot first release.



Bloomed from the heart of the country in Columbia, Mangosteen formed in January 2016 when four jazz musicians met to pursue an original sound they could call their own. Each bringing their own flavor of funk, rock, soul, blues, and jazz- they embark on a mission to spread this sound to the world. The eccentric showman, Spencer Westphalen, brings a sultry voice and a hot rhythm on the kit- proving that frontmen aren’t reserved for the front. With a magical mystique, Michael Miller layers intricate solos with fast fingers on the keys. Grant Flakne keeps it cool with a bluesy-groovy bass, while Colby Johnson shreds signature riffs and melodies. Together they create a future funk style, laced with catchy pop hooks and veins of rock n roll that make for an unforgettable live performance. Mangosteen has been proud to support notable artists such as Saint Motel, MUNA, Illphonics, Stone Sugar Shakedown, and Brother Moses in 2016.

Band Members