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Sleep-deprived songwriting with Wax Mannequin

By in Culture

Nexus (Camosun College)

Hamilton, Ontario's Chris Adeney, better known as Wax Mannequin
VICTORIA (CUP) — The best way Hamilton-based indie singer/songwriter Chris Adeney can capture the strange stories of his tours as Wax Mannequin may be through sleep deprivation.

“Sleep is really sporadic,” he says from on the road. “I’ve reached the hallucinatory stage of the tour. I find it hard napping when there are big weird people sitting next to me.”

Adeney is taking Greyhound buses for part of his current tour in support of Hear Some Evil, an EP written and performed with Canadian indie band The Burning Hell. Adeney says the bus is actually a great opportunity for him to delve into his stories of being on the road before he forgets them.

“My memory is a bit spotty so I want to get a lot of these stories written down,” he says. “It’s been a very productive project so far, and at the very least it’s given me a jumpstart to my songwriting as well. What I’m lacking in sleep I’m making up for in lucid-delusional rambling writing.”

Time spent alone also allows Adeney to reflect on towns he visits and the stories surrounding them. He feels that whenever he returns to a town, he’s continuing a life that he’s spread out through a number of years.

“I revisit people that I’ve met and fallen in love with,” he says. “Other musicians and friends of mine, we kind of pick up where we’ve left off like no time has passed.”

But the biggest challenge for Adeney on this tour isn’t the lack of sleep or a spotty memory — it’s spending such a prolonged amount of time away from his 10-month-old son.

“I’m having a great time at the shows and with the people but it’s emotionally taxing being away from my little guy for so long,” says Adeney. “I Skype; I see him on the Internet every day and he’s learning new stuff and changing while I’m not there, so I feel I’m missing a bit of it.”

Despite the emotional taxation, Adeney is glad to be out on the road with his music and is excited about his life as a father. Wax Mannequin has come a long way since back in his younger years, when Adeney toured across Canada in a 1991 Honda Civic with a wooden window.

“I had to smash it right before a gig to get my drum machine out,” says Adeney. “I had locked it inside with my keys. I constructed a wooden window the next day and drove home with it. It was a terrible blind spot but it stopped the winter cold from freezing me all the way home.”

image: supplied

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