Molded by the road

Chris Adeney talks quirky merchandise strategies

Musician Chris Adeney, who performs as Wax Mannequin, says seeing Canada while touring is his biggest inspiration for writing.
Musician Chris Adeney, who performs as Wax Mannequin, says seeing Canada while touring is his biggest inspiration for writing.
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Who wants a boring band T-shirt from a merchtable when you can get a candle shaped like the musician’s head?

Hamilton artist Chris Adeney, who performs under the stage name Wax Mannequin, has discovered the future of musician merchandising.

“I put out a line of candles recently — they’re shaped like my head and my discography is inside on them,” he said.

Adeney has been writing and touring across Canada recently, with a return performance set for the Mansion on Saturday. For fans of Iron and Wine and Tom Waits, the show won’t be one to miss.

Adeney said his latest album, No Safe Home, is one of the most sombre albums he’s

put out. The sixth album is a lot “darker and folk-like,” he said.

“I always have some dark songs on every record, but No Safe Home is the first in a long line that’s mellower.”

Despite the darker nature of the album, Adeney said he always makes sure to bring along a more positive, energetic attitude to the live shows.

“My shows are a one-man show spectacle on tour, so I make sure it’s never just me playing guitar,” he said. “I’m always interested in having my live performances and albums stand alone and bring out different vibes.” With tour life being the tougher part of his job, Adeney says it’s his main inspiration for writing the foundations for his music.

“I get a lot of inspiration from writing bizarre stream of consciousness poems and from traveling,” he said.

By his sixth album, Adeney has done his fair share of touring. He recalls his early years of touring by Greyhound, playing sets and then travelling at night to the next destination.

“The process was difficult and tiring, but it made my dreams interesting thinking about each travellers boarding, departing or snuggling up against me.”

Wax Mannequin plays The Mansion Saturday night at 10 p.m.

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