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MANE flower med res copy

The enigmatic chanteuse, MANE released her new single, Bitter on June 10, accompanied by a fast-paced, abstract video directed by Benjamin Lancaster Powell. Bitter is the first taste of MANE’s debut EP House of Horror, a bluesy exploration of darkness, set for release on June 24. MANE will be hitting the road to celebrate the release in July, kicking off in Adelaide at The Bluebee Room on July 15, moving through Whole Lotta Love in Melbourne on July 24, and wrapping up in Sydney at The Newsagency on July 29. She also took the time to do a little Q&A with us.

What was your first gig?
My first gig was in my home town of Port Pirie in South Australia, at a place called the Portside Tavern. I got offered it two days before hand – it was a 4hr cover gig – I knew about 20 songs on guitar and I had NO PA system but of course I said yes! After spending quite a bit of money, later that day I had myself a PAsystem, a tiny little Behringer mixing desk and two very heavy Yamaha speakers. The entire day leading up to the gig I spent working out the sound system in my parents front lounge room, unfortunately my mixing desk didn’t have effects, which meant I had to make do without my good friend’s reverb. It was my very first gig, so of course I had all my friends and family there. From memory I played a lot of 4 chord songs, but they’re usually the pub favourites anyway!

What microphone do you use on stage generally?
I own a Shure Beta 58A Microphone. It’s a great one for live performances and picks out your vocal really clearly without picking up any surrounding room sound. It’s definitely worth the extra money if you’re looking for a good quality vocal mic to perform live with.

Is it the same for recording?
I’m by no means super educated on recording mics however In the studio recording the House Of Horror EP we used a Neumann TL 103 cardoid condenser mic. It captured the vocals really smoothly and was great for studio use.

 What’s your latest recording and when will you be back in the studio?
The latest single is ‘Bitter’ and the EP House Of Horror that follows is my latest recording. I’m really keen to get it out and into people’s ears. I’m not 100% sure when I will be back in the studio again but I imagine it won’t be too far away. I’m working on some other musical friends projects coming up and it will be really great to work in a different environment on someone else’s songs.

What gigs have you been playing lately?
The gig front has been a little quiet recently in preparation for the release and tour, however throughout April I had a really sweet little residency at a venue in Adelaide called the Exeter. Every Monday of the month we put on a cosy intimate show and had a local original artist support, it was a lot of fun and it was nice to be able to perform the new songs that are being released more stripped back to some beautiful listeners.

Most memorable gig?
I played a really big music festival held in SA called Handpicked Festival. It was super awesome to get to play on a huge stage, with amazing sound to thousands of people. It’s a really humbling, exciting and fulfilling experience. Not to mention being on the same bill as some of Australia’s most exciting bands/musos such as Birds of Tokyo and Dan Sultan. Definitely one to remember!

Worst stage nightmare?
I’ve had a few unfortunate situations. I’ve played my fair share of pub gigs, which is great because I can make money from playing music without having to do something else to fund my original music endeavours. However it’s not always fun and can sometimes be a little soul destroying. I played a really tiny town at a local pub once. Just about the whole town was there, drunk. It felt like 90% of the punters were male and I had a lot of distasteful comments thrown at me from the crowd and in my breaks, which disappointingly is something female musicians do have to deal with. It got to the point of the night where everyone had a few too many and was dancing/staggering around right near me and my equipment. People were spilling their beverages over my leads and foldbacks as well as trying to grab the mic off of my stand whilst I was singing. I even got a little blood lip from it all. What was most disappointing was that the security and venue workers watched it all happen and didn’t do a thing about it to control the situation. As a musician your equipment is really important to you not to mention expensive! Personally, I think some live music venues need to update their protocols and be a little more accommodating to artist in regards to ensuring equipment and personal safety.

What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
The House Of Horror tour will be hitting the road soon, I can’t wait!
July 15th – The Bluebee Room, Adelaide

July 24th – Whole Lotta Love, Melbourne

July 29th – The Newsagency, Sydney

A vocal tip for the kids?
I think it’s important to keep your own voice, don’t sacrifice your tone for power.

Check out Mane’s Facebook page here

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