Man Ray

Biography by

The Seattle band Man Ray were never given the opportunity to embrace the mainstream success their peers feasted on. By the time Man Ray released their debut album, Casual Thinking, music fans had already…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

The Seattle band Man Ray were never given the opportunity to embrace the mainstream success their peers feasted on. By the time Man Ray released their debut album, Casual Thinking, music fans had already overdosed on grunge. Praised by critics and fans for their fiery live performances, Man Ray combined loud, snarling guitars with the throbbing basslines and despondent lyrics of goth rock. Josh White (vocals, guitar, Moog, keyboards) flirted with goth in Man Ray's previous incarnation, Marble, releasing a self-titled CD in 1995. Marble was virtually ignored by the Seattle press, but when White, Mark Plampin (guitar), Jon Witney (bass), and Duf Drew (drums) toughened Marble's gloomy sound as Man Ray in the city's clubs in 1996, writers started labeling them as The Next Big Thing. It never happened. Man Ray were signed to Mercury Records, and although their first album Casual Thinking received advance hype, the label offered it little promotion when it was released in 1997. Radio airplay was scarce. While dark, angry rock was alternative radio's most popular flavor in the early '90s, by 1997 Man Ray's ominous lyrics ("Cause when you resist it makes me/tear out my insides for you") and brooding guitars fell on deaf ears. Although some of the other tracks on Casual Thinking also displayed a taste for guitar pop, the album was a commercial failure, and the band was dropped from Mercury. In 1998, Man Ray went on hiatus. White briefly joined members of Seattle's Super Deluxe in Medicate, eschewing his goth and new wave influences for heavy metal. Medicate had frequent gigs in Seattle, but never produced an album. Man Ray broke up in 1999, and White released a solo album in 2000.