It has been five years since Toronto hard-rocker Die Mannequin has put out a full-length album.
Lead singer Caroline “Care Failure” Kawa recorded most of the latest album, Neon Zero, herself and with it comes change and a fresh perspective.
“There’s a whole new cast of characters,” Kawa said.
She and the rest of the newly-revamped Die Mannequin will be joining Marylin Manson on tour when he makes his stop in Penticton on March 28 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The new band is comprised of entirely new members.
New to the name Die Mannequin, that is, but mostly familiar faces Kawa has worked with before or seen around the music scene.
This tour marks the first time Kawa will play live with the new band members, having recorded almost all of the instrumental and vocal tracks on the new album herself.
A technical “catastrophe” during the recording of Neon Zero forced Kawa to re-record the album in a much shorter time frame, eight days.
“It was a mad dash,” Kawa said. “It was the most flawed recording experience that I’ve had. In terms of like every step seemed to have problems along the way.”
“I had to have an experience like that. I’ve been to spoiled in the past with everything cushy and comfy and having stuff work out my way. So for once I was on my toes.”
The new album is cheekily described as EDM (Evil Dance Metal) and Neon Zero marks a change in Die Mannequin’s sound.
A band with any lasting power has to develop new sounds over time according to Kawa.
“All the bands that I like I guess, that you get to grow old with, Radiohead etc., they kind of change album to album a lot and you can grow and evolve and change with them,” Kawa said.
“This record is a bigger step forward just because the amount of time in between albums is longer. The change in sound is always a little bit more extreme depending on how many years it’s been.”
Neon Zero explores the mix of guitar riffs with pop and dance sounds, akin to the Brooklyn noise pop duo Sleigh Bells.
“It’s kind of always been that, but this time it was a lot more obvious. Trying to marry heavy dance sensibilities without just being beats. So instead of like a drum beat being extremely dance-y, I fill in more synth and piano than anything else,” Kawa said.
Rock and EDM aren’t the easiest genres to combine, according to Kawa.
“For me and other music nerds sometimes it’s more fun to have stuff be challenging,” Kawa said.
The Hell Not Hallelujah tour won’t be the first time Kawa has travelled with Marylin Manson. She joined him on the road in 2010 and was able to meet the man who was one of the music idols from her youth.
“It’s kind of trippy because we’ve done it before under different circumstances, but it’s great. You don’t usually get a second chance with anything … in life,” said Kawa, who has toured with the likes of Buckcherry and Sum 41.
“It’s kind of like meeting a Dave Grohl or whomever. He’s everything you could want in a rock star I would say. I don’t know him very personally, but from what I gathered last time he’s a really cool guy.”