Interview: Die Mannequin – A Colourful, New Journey


If you were to believe the headlines of late, you would think that Marilyn Manson went out of his Die-Mannequin-2015way to raise a ruckus at a Denny’s in Alberta. But to Care Failure of Die Mannequin, “he’s been lovely.”

You see, Die Mannequin just returned from another tour with Manson. This time, he allegedly motivated a fellow diner to punch him in the face at a place known for its Grand Slam breakfasts.

“We were at the Denny’s before [the incident] and we were at the Denny’s after…but not during,” replies Failure when asked by if she witnessed the much-speculated throw down. “I am not even sure what really happened, because [Manson] looked amazing the next day.”

What’s been amazing for Failure of late has been Die Mannequin. The band’s latest album Neon Zero is Failure at her most creatively ambitious, as after years of drizzling dance music influence sparingly into her songs, she has now opted to let all the beats drop.

Although the easy preconception is that Die Mannequin has drastically jumped from an aggressive, hook-friendly hard rock band to one that wants to cash-in on EDM’s surging popularity, the truth is that Failure has always had an interest in shaking ass.

“It’s always been there,” says Failure of the influence dance music has had on her. “When I was under 12-years-old, it was a weird time and you had to pick a side. You had to pick a rock side, or you picked a dance side. I was on the rock side with Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., and the Melvins. Once I turned 15, I realized that I liked hip-hop and other music. Now, as long as something’s good, I’m into it.”

Getting here for Failure was tricky, though. During our conversation, she notes that being able to push forward with such a sonic evolution isn’t easy in the music business. For a long time, there were walls in place that kept her from switching gears as drastically as she did with Neon Zero.

“It’s about getting older, more ballsy and confident in yourself,” offers Failure. “I’m in my 20s, but I feel like an old woman in this industry, having been in it so long and having been signed so young. I [decided] to make music that I liked and wanted to listen to, instead of being stuck in my rock box…maybe by the labels or other people I was with that wouldn’t let me do what I wanted to do. I feel like I’m getting closer to actually, truly, finding my sound.”

She continues: “People these days, we’re all into so many different kinds of music. I think it’s becoming a lot harder to generalize and put your sound in a box. To me, I like to push things further – it helps [us] evolve.”

The “us” that is now Die Mannequin includes J.C. Sandoval (guitar), Keith Heppler (drums), and Kevvy Mental (bass), three guys Failure has known for years, but were just announced as official new band mates earlier this year.

In December, roughly two months after the release of Neon Zero, Failure’s long-time band mate, Anthony Bleed, exited the band. The two had broken up after a decade-long romance a few months prior to the announcement being made.

“At first, it was completely frightening,” recalls Failure of the lineup shuffle. “Tony and I had been a couple for probably 10 years. When we broke up eight months ago, I still did want him in the band die-mannequin-bathroom– I was actually still that cool for some reason {laughs.} But, he smartly and wisely – because who would want to tour with their ex-girlfriend – left. At first it was terrifying to think about re-building the band.

“But, then I got to re-build the band exactly how I wanted to…I built my dream band,” she adds. “Everyone is an amazing player and performer. So instead of having just two of us go crazy, now everyone is a dangerous, bulletproof player and performer.”

For Failure, she hopes this lineup sticks. After many incarnations of Die Mannequin existing over the years, all she wants is the consistency of sticking with the same people – this helps the happiness factor.

“It’s really great to have them,” says Failure appreciatively of her new band. “They’ve really made my life so much more fun and I feel happy for the first time in a long time…as cheesy as that is.”

-Adam Grant
-Main Photo by: Dwayne Larson

View all of Die Mannequin’s current tour dates here.

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