|Photos: Pete Nema|
Failure has managed to turn her experiences with bouts of rehab and misfortune into heavy and addictively poignant pop rock songs with messages. The upcoming sophomore release takes a small departure from previous work to include a batch of songs about recent headline news stories.
There’s a song about the polygamy ladies, a song called “Locking Elizabeth” about the Austrian man who locked his daughter in a basement and fathered her children (as well a less covered American woman of the same name who went through the same experience) and one closer to home called “the Intruder” about the recent rape and assault of her roommate while Failure was away recording.
“I got an email from my maintenance guy, he lives beside us, saying hey the police are over at your apartment asking me questions, what’s going on. I got paranoid of course so I called around and they said it’s your roommate,” Failure said.
This is all she knows, which is a lot more than I knew for someone who doesn’t live too far from there. She mentions the incident on stage while performing at the FU Awards where Die Mannequin was nominated for Hardest Working Band and Best Live Band, though unfortunately did not win either.
“Apparently we’re identical twins. We both work the same so it’s crazy. The first time I worked with him he was like ‘I’ve felt like I’ve worked with your forever.’ He’s done Macy Gray, he does light stuff too,” Failure said.
“Next time we go up, we got this offer to do the Biggie soundtrack for the Biggie movie. It’s us, Linkin Park and My Chemical Romance. And we got called first, like what the fuck happened! So we’re going to do a Biggie song, I’m going back to Cali, we’re going to get Matt Hyde to do it again because I love him,” she said.
Some of Die Mannequin’s successes and failures were documented in the Bruce McDonald documentary The Rawside of Die Mannequin, part of the Rawside of series that aired on IFC late last year. The crew followed them over an extended period of time documenting tours and traveling between the States, their hometowns and their apartment downtown Toronto.
The documentary provided a greater insight into Die Mannequin, especially Failure and her relationships with her fellow band mates. It explored her past, her five-year relationship with bassist and boyfriend Anthony Bleed, the passion the band has, the skills of drummer Pat Ghostwolf and the bond that holds them all together. It showed them at their highest and at their lowest, one point being when Failure and Bleed’s dog Milo suddenly passed away on their living room floor causing terrible upset and a delay in filming.
The experience overall was incredible for the band. They loved working with McDonald so much they recruited him to direct their video for “Saved By Strangers” and may possibly be working with him on projects in the future.
For now, the band is going to finish recording the vocals in LA, add some affects such as hand claps and gun shots to the tracks, then hit the road, possibly to Europe. “When the record comes out we’re going to tour the fuck out of it,” Failure said.
Toronto Music Scene