|Genres||Alternative, rock, indie|
|Years active||2002 to present.|
|Labels||Warner, The Majestika Creative|
Mandy Kane was an Australian singer, songwriter, producer and remixer. He has been, although mostly unrecognised, on the Australian music scene for over 10 years.
- 1 Early "career"
- 2 Recording career with Warner
- 3 Independent "career"
- 4 Touring and live performances
- 5 Artist development, production and management
- 6 Discography
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Mandy Kane, who changed his name by deed poll at the age of 18, started playing in high school rock bands and soon discovered the importance of songwriting and production. Consequently, he worked part-time jobs to save enough money to buy a 4-track recorder and filled his bedroom with various home recording equipment and instruments. He says his songs are inspired by a variety of rock icons from bygone eras – from David Bowie and Gary Numan to The Beatles and Pink Floyd. Seeking other outlets to develop his musical and theatrical sensibilities, he joined local drama groups and rallied fellow outsiders Matty Ray (keys) and Nick Cunneen (drums) to play in his band. He cut his teeth on the live circuit with them, playing at local venues in Melbourne, Australia. After he had produced a substantial number of songs with his basic home recording setup, Kane started sending out demos to record companies and managers. Michael Newton of Roundhouse Entertainment can be credited with discovering Kane and taking on a management role in the early stages of his career. Newton's involvement resulted in a publishing deal with Mushroom Music after Michael Gudinski attended one of Kane's showcases at Revolver Upstairs. Extensive shopping locally and internationally occurred over several months following this, which eventually resulted in a 'bidding war' between The Big Four major recording companies. After multiple mark-ups and negotiations concerning the issue of creative control, a recording agreement with Warner Music Australasia was finally signed.
Recording career with Warner
Kane recorded in Los Angeles with producers Chris Vrenna and Joe Chiccarelli, who have both worked with some of the most successful artists in the world including NIN and Frank Zappa. Joey Waronker, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Roger Manning and members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra formed Kane's band of top shelf session players. However, Kane and the label both felt that the finished work had lost something in the re-recording process. They commissioned Tony Espie who had worked with The Avalanches, New Buffalo, Architecture in Helsinki and Christine Anu to mix Kane's original home demos in combination with some of the sessions from LA, which were then mastered at The Exchange in London. A late edition to the album was a collaboration between Kane and Björk producer/engineer Valgeir Sigurðsson titled "Apparition". Only five of the thirteen tracks on "Tragic Daydreams" were taken from the recordings made in Los Angeles. The album Tragic Daydreams was released on 5 April 2004.
Warner released three singles from the album. The first single titled Stab, which is both a statement against teen suicide and a reference to the 'stabbing' Numanesque synths featured throughout, made the Australian Top 20 singles in the second half of 2003. Billy Bones was the second single reaching number 36 in the ARIA charts. Billy Bones is a fictitious character, vaguely based on Kane's experimentation with home recording equipment as a teenager. The third single, Stupid Friday, was released in early March 2004 and made the Australian Top 40 on 8 March 2004. Mandy Kane's cover version of "Ordinary World" by Duran Duran features on the soundtrack to the Australian movie "One Perfect Day."
Kane toured extensively in support of "Tragic Daydreams". With the original line-up expanded to include Zakk Zedras (Roxus, Serpentine, Red Circle to name a few) on guitar & Rie Nakayama on bass, he played a showcase gig at the Australian premiere of the Matrix Revolutions before an audience including Keanu Reeves. This line-up also toured with Marilyn Manson, Machine Gun Fellatio and Pre Shrunk in the latter half of 2003, with Manson giving Kane a parting gift of a bowler hat.
Due to several reasons, including the fact that Warner Australia's management and Kane's A&R team changed hands at the time of its release, the album did not achieve the commercial success expected. Kane negotiated a favourable exit agreement with Warner and started his own label, Mummy's Boy Records (which he would later rename The Majestika Creative). The label was offered a distribution deal with Warner, which would remain in effect for a short time, covering the release of the EP 'Murder in the Daylight'. MGM Distribution subsequently offered an agreement which remains in effect today.
Despite initial scepticism from within the industry as to whether Kane's reported musical ability and talent as a performer were genuine, and an apparent disconnection with the Australian mainstream record buying public, "Tragic Daydreams" received significant critical acclaim and attention. Some stand out reviews include:
"..."Tragic Daydreams" manages to create and maintain a noir-ish fantasy theme through a fusion of rock and electronica..." -Mark Keppie (Jet Magazine)
"... Kane's debut is bursting with excitement ... his songs stand out like carpenter's thumbs on commercial radio." -Cameron Adams (Herald Sun)
"...a varied smorgasbord of aural landscapes, pop weaves and industrial stabs ... A pretty enthralling debut album." -Mark Fraser (Redbackrock.com)
"Undeniably talented and definitely unlike anything else in Australian music ..." -Lauren McMenemy (The Advertiser)
(UK) Hanky Panky
Although the height of his career was creating a blown out, overstated, and frankly embarrassing Wikipedia page about himself which contains almost no sources, Mandy Kane formed his own independent label, "Mummy's Boy Records" (which would later be renamed "The Majestika Creative"), through which he released his first independent single, (UK) Hanky Panky as a digital download. It features on the EP, "Murder in the Daylight", which was released on 8 April 2006.
(UK) Hanky Panky was the first single to be released in digital-only format within Australia.
"Murder in the Daylight EP"
A tour in Toronto followed after the acceptance of an invitation to play the prestigious North_By_Northeast festival, which garnered strong critical acclaim.
"...he delivered the songs with such passion and intensity that it transcended any musical trends." -Andrew Horan (Scene and Heard, CA)
Independently released on 10 April 2006. Also available as an mp3 download, with a cover of The Psychedelic Furs hit "Love My Way" as an iTunes exclusive track.
- "Murder in the Daylight" (2006)
- Murder in the Daylight
- Celebrity Roadkill
- Glitch (from the short film 'Elevate')
- (UK) Hanky Panky
- Murder in the Daylight (Van She Tech Vocal Remix)
- (UK) Hanky Panky (STD Remix)
"Far From Oblivion"
Released as a stand-alone digital single in May 2008, Kane also recorded an acoustic version to include as a B-side.
Released as a digital-only EP featuring the original single produced by Kane, as well as two remixes.
Kane commissioned Gary Numan and his producer Ade Fenton to provide a stunning remix, introducing a heavier and more synthetic aspect to the track. The remix received considerable rotation on radio and at clubs in Australia and abroad, with Numan himself praising Kane for his songwriting ability.
"This is sort of what I wish the new Depeche Mode would sound like." -prettymuchamazing.com
Touring and live performances
Mandy Kane spent his teenage years on the live circuit both as a solo performer and with various bands. After signing to Warner, he put together a live backing band which consisted of Rie Nakayama (bass), Matty Ray (keyboards), Zakk Zedras (lead guitar) and Nick Cunneen (drums/percussion). With this band, he has toured with Marilyn Manson and Machine Gun Fellatio, as well as his own headline tours. He performed at the Australasian premiere of "The Matrix Revolutions" at Sydney Opera House, in front of Keanu Reeves and the Wachowski Brothers.
In 2005, he put together a one-man electro show, playing at some of Melbourne's indie clubs, before being invited to showcase at NxNE in Toronto, 2006, where he received excellent reviews.
The demands of his production work necessitated a break in his live shows in 2007/2008, although he has performed the occasional acoustic show in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane during that time.
Other venues Kane has played have included:
Vodafone Arena, Royal Theatre, Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Pause, Revolver, Northcote Social Club, The Evelyn, Brown Alley, onesixone, Federation Square, Rob Roy, First Floor, Manchester Lane, Spy Bar, The Glasshouse, Veludo, The Corner, Candys Apartment, The Annandale, The Zoo, Fowlers Live, and many more.
Artist development, production and management
In addition to continuing to produce and release his own material, Kane has worked as a producer and manager for several other artists.
Soul / R&B artist Nathaniel Willemse worked under Kane's management, during which time he co-wrote and produced several songs which resulted in the release of a debut EP for the artist titled "Vertigo". The title track, a cover of the popular U2 single, was marketed as part of a Video Hits competition which gave the release four weeks of consecutive rotation on commercial television in Australia.
From 2009–2012, Kane assisted in developing and managing Australian act Dancing Heals. He mixed their debut EP "Out of This" and produced their debut album "Into The Night", which was recorded at Red Door Sounds.
Kane accompanied the band on a tour of North America in 2010, which saw the band play to sold out venues as well as establishing international fans and industry contacts. The album was well received by reviewers and the public alike, with the single "Diamonds" enjoying five weeks of repeated rotation on Australia's prime music video television program "Rage". International audiences also responded favourably, with "Into The Night" debuting in the Top 20 specialty radio charts in the US.
- Tragic Daydreams (2004) – No. 78 ARIA
- Murder in the Daylight EP (2006)
- "25 Seconds" (2009) Digital EP
- "Tragic Daydreams Reimagined" (2015)
- "Darkness & Divine" (2015)
- "Stab" (2003) CDS – No. 18 ARIA
- "Billy Bones" (2003) CDEP – No. 27 ARIA
- "Stupid Friday" (2004) CDS- No. 32 ARIA
- "(UK) Hanky Panky" (2005) Radio/TV/Download – No. 27 on Channel [V] What U Want
- "Murder in the Daylight" (2006) CDEP
- "Far From Oblivion" (2008) Digital single
- "25 Seconds" (2009) Digital EP
- Nathaniel Willemse "Vertigo" EP (2008) – Producer
- Bellusira "Closer To Me" Single – Remixer
- Dancing Heals "Out of This" EP (2010) – Mix Engineer
- Dancing Heals "Into The Night" (2012) – Producer
- "Interview, The Dwarf, May 2006". Thedwarf.com.au. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "The Age, May 2004". Theage.com.au. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "Tragic Daydreams". Factlookup.com. 4 April 2004. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "One Perfect Day – Original Soundtrack | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. 9 March 2004. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "Sun-Herald, November 2003". Smh.com.au. 2 November 2003. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "2003/09/15 Melbourne, Australia – The Marilyn Manson Wiki". Mansonwiki.com. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
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- Smith, Mitchell (15 March 2006). "March 2006". www.inthemix.com.au. Archived from the original on 16 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "Undercover – November 2008". Undercover.fm. 1 October 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "Nathaniel Willemse x Emerging Talent". Jrhlifestyle.wordpress.com. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "Dancing Heals | New Music And Songs". MTV. Retrieved 30 March 2014.