Call & Response: Wax Mannequin

Call & Response: Wax Mannequin

Enigmatic singer/songwriter Chris Adeney (aka Wax Mannequin) could be Hamilton's answer to Hawksley Workman. His vocal stylings are very comparable to Hawksley's, and they both seem to inhabit the same head space in terms of melody and lyrical sensibilities.

Refusing to be pigeon-holed, Wax Mannequin has just released his fourth full-length album Orchard and Ire (Infinite Heat/Sonic Unyon) and is currently on a cross-Canadian tour in support of it. He plays the Cameron House tomorrow night and it is PWYC before 10:30pm.

Why Wax Mannequin? What's so good about Hamilton? Why does he not mind this shitty summer we're having?

Keep reading for the complete interview.

blogTO: Why are you called Wax Mannequin?

I'm not really sure. Sometimes I think it has something to do with how sweaty I get under the lights.

How would you describe your sound using only a noun?


Do you have a backing band or do you always perform solo?

Often I have a band. Often I have machines that act as my band. On Saturday I might be playing with Aidan Campbell. He plays drums on my recordings these days. He's a band unto himself.

Who are your biggest influences?

This changes all the time, but for now I'll say The Residents, Bruce Springsteen, Gordon Lightfoot, Ween, Frank Zappa.

Your new record, like your last, is much more "rock" than your first two records. Why did you move your sound into more aggressive territory?

The new one is a pretty even split between crazy rock songs and quiet brooding things. The loud stuff partly has to do with the ability to record louder things. In my bedroom I can whisper into microphones and strum my classical guitar. In the studio I can yell and get sweaty. Granted, the record that I am finishing now is more acoustic-based. For me, a perfect record would take the listener through a wide range of volumes and timbres in an aesthetically logical -- almost narrative -- way.

You just started a cross-Canadian tour. What are your favourite cities to play in? What do you like best and least about being on the road?

Halifax, Saint John (New Brunswick) and St. John's (Newfoundland) are my favorites. I like the messy scramble of travel. I like that I have to keep a firm grip on the pieces of my identity to keep from misplacing them. I also have some hermetic urges and like spending long hours on my own.

Do you still live in Hamilton? What do you like best about living there?

It's the same scrambly, identity thing. It's nice to carve out a little nook in the mess of this town. I feel very safe here.

What do you like best about visiting Toronto?

I like the food and I like the music venues.

I've been asking bands lately about where they prefer to enjoy the sunshine but since this summer has been kind of shit - what do you like doing most when it rains?

I dunno. People are really down on this summer. I like the rain. I like that it's not too hot. I'm not a big swimmer anyway. When it rains I usually leave my windows open and play video games or read the news.

Wax Mannequin w/ Tripping Hazard, Richard Laviolette
Saturday, July 26
The Cameron House
408 Queen Street West
$10 cover or PWYC before 10:30pm

Call & Response is a series of weekly Q&A's with artists from or playing in Toronto. Photo: Stephanie Bell.

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