Mannequin interview

Mannequin band logo

Originally published in ‘zine issue #30, 2004

A brief introduction to Mannequin. No, not the movie, not the doll in the window, but the band. You know, the smelly one with the split with Transistor Transistor on Robotic Empire Records, and the CD EP called Mannequin Warps Yr Head on Reptilian Records. (It’s to come out on 10” on FuckItTapes as well.) The band is well on the way to becoming road dogs, playing every club and basement into which they can get their equipment.


“How do you answer a question like this?”


Mannequin Warps Yr Head is a very dirty and very much with a punk attitude release, with hard driving songs and a bleak lyrical outlook. According to the band, the direction of the music is going to change, however, for their next recording, a full length for Robotic Empire.

Mike Widman, one of the guitarists, begins. “It’s gonna be a lot better.”

“Oh god, it’s gonna be one of these interviews,” laughs guitarist Mike Taylor.

“It’ll be Mannequin, that’s all. How do you answer a question like this?” Widman laughs.

Mannequin performing live

“I think it’ll probably get a little bit more mean” with the addition of their new drummer, Jake Cregger (who interestingly comes from a grindcore background), says Taylor. “A little more noise rock [pause] It’ll probably be all over the place.”

A mix of a little Dinosaur Jr., a little Ramones, a little Nirvana, and hopefully Jesus Lizard, says Taylor, is what the new material will sound like, along with sounding tighter and more aggressive.

“Every single time we sit and write a whole group of new songs, they always sound different than the last time we sat and wrote a whole group, and I think it’ll always do that a little bit. We were writing some extremely poppy stuff before [former drummer Johnny] Otter left. Stuff that sounded like FYP or something.”

The band will record with Steve Albini for the full length. Something the band does live that it won’t do in the studio is play its 12-minute-long noise rock dirge, with which they end some of their sets and which really has nothing to do with the rest of the band’s current sound. Their motivation?

“I do it ‘cause it’s amazing,” states Widman.

“Every band I’m in, it ends up writing a song that goes on for a long time and we get to make noise. You know I love that.”

“The song [itself] is actually about a minute long,” reveals Widman. “It’s a party, man.”

Mannequin performing live

“Man, these days all I enjoy mostly about Mannequin sets for a while was us doing all the feedback and the noise, ‘cause it really doesn’t have to be good; it just has to be in your face and harsh,” explains Taylor.

“I just love the party that comes with every time we play it,” deadpans Widman. Much of his sense of humor is in the form of deadpan. “That’s basically what it all comes down to, is making a ton of noise and annoying people.”

www.mannequinsmokes.com  ■

Photos: Mannequin performing (courtesy Jason Hornick)


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