Die Mannequin gets darker and warns of Toronto rapist

Live Pic of Die Mannequin By: Sheena Lyonnais
Photos: Pete Nema
February 11, 2009

In the midst of finishing up recording vocals on Die Mannequin’s sophomore release, Care Failure sat down to talk touring, love, life and loss.  Having arrived back from LA earlier that day, she speaks with a tired tone that indicates she’s lived a lot for a girl in her early 20s, but adds just enough mystery to leave you in suspense. 

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. 

Care Failure of Die Mannequin“A man charged through the door and attacked her and assaulted her sexually, and with a knife, choked her and robber her.  She had her rent money; she thought it was our landlord coming for the rent.  He’s in the area running loose.  He’s done it to three other people in Madison and Brunswick near Bloor. He’s an Arab dude, kind of attractive, in his late 20s, early 30s, less than 6 feet tall.”

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. 

Though Care Failure herself seems deceptively tragic, she is actually an incredibly intelligent woman who is beginning to garner a lot of attention for her smart lyrics and atypical style.  The names of producers on Die Mannequin’s records keep getting bigger.  Matt Hyde, best known for his work with heavier bands such as Slayer and Hatebreed, is producing the current work.

Die Mannequin Live Sound Acadamy“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.

“They [the film crew] were amazing, but you feel totally naked,” Failure said.  “You think you have an idea of how other people see you and I think I’m vulnerable about it, tragic possibly, but honest and down to earth.  I think if you have a low self-esteem it helps you become humble.  I think it’s a blessing in disguise.  I think that’s what’s going to keep my head on straight.”

Toronto Band Die MannequinThe 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. 

In the meantime you can check them out at  www.myspace.com/diemannequin and listen to some new songs at www.diemannequin.com.

 Photos courtesy of www.petenema.com

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