Thursday, September 17, 2009

Claim to fame

Failure: "I was a big cutter and was bleeding
from the arms down."
Die Mannequin's crazy and charismatic frontwoman, Care Failure, has the wit of Courtney Love and the talent of Kurt Cobain. She speaks with a tongue sharp as David Lee Roth's and is as sultry and sadistic as Bif Naked.

At only 22, Failure has the rock scars to back a claim to fame. Plucked off the streets and out of the depths of drug addiction five years ago by Michael McCarty, former president of EMI Publishing Canada, Failure is a self-admitted "mess."

When McCarty and EMI vice-president Barb Sedun first went to see the then-16-year-old play, Failure says she was too fucked up to realize anyone of importance was even in the rehearsal studio, let alone there to scout her.

"I remember the first time Barb and Mike came to a practice of mine," she reflects. "I was a big cutter and was bleeding from the arms down. I don't think I really understood the magnitude of what was going on, I just knew these two characters were coming to watch, and I think I scared them shitless."

Two months later, however, McCarty and Sedun signed Failure. Recognizing the talent that lay under the veil of blood and drugs, the two pulled her from the streets, started paying her rent and, in a move all too rare nowadays, awarded her years to properly age as an artist.

Failure likens the industry infrastructure provided by the team at EMI to that afforded musicians like Bruce Springsteen and R.E.M., thanking her label and the aforementioned players in particular for understanding the value of natural growth.

"It's about finding time to become more bullet-proof and dangerous, as a prisoner, as an artist, as a songwriter. It's vital," she says. "There are few people who understand the importance of development, especially since you don't have that time and grace [to record] these days."

Only now, a half-decade into her career, is Failure promoting her debut LP, Fino+Bleed. The debut attests to the fact that artist development breeds successful albums. A mean mash of grunge, punk and metal, it is primeval in nature, and leaves no question as to why Die Mannequin is touring with Marilyn Manson.

Remi L. Roy
Ottawa XPress

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