Canadian guitarist CORY MANAHAN dies aged 27 – “Such a talented musician left too early”
BraveWords has received the sad news that Keswick, Ont. Based guitarist / singer Cory Manahan has passed away at just 27 years old. The cause of death has not been made public. BraveWords sends its deepest condolences to Cory’s family and friends.
Cory was a freelance artist who first caught the attention of BraveWords in January 2011 and has been featured on the site from time to time since. His catalog includes many covers and original compositions, and he was considered a great guitarist by many in the industry. He released his album Begins in 2010, working under the name Manahan as a three-piece group. It’s available through Spotify here.
Check out Cory’s official YouTube channel here.
Here’s an excerpt from an April 2011 interview with Cory by BraveWords scribe Carl Begai.
“I got my first guitar for Christmas when I was 10 or 11 and started playing Zeppelin and Sabbath early. When I was around 14 I started to get into more extreme metal. , and I’ve listened to everything ever since. And playing and training. The first two years, that’s all I did, 12 hours a day. I’m such a nerd (laughs).
This nerd also has no problem putting himself under public watch, being very comfortable on stage. In addition to low-key gigs at clubs in and around Toronto, Cory can also claim shows supporting God Forbid, Kittie, and self-proclaimed uber-nerd Devin Townsend.
“He’s the nicest guy I’ve ever met in my life,” says Manahan, who supported the Devin Townsend Project in Toronto last November. “Devin is the funniest guy too. I’m a huge Strapping Young Lad fan, and the place was packed. It was an awesome show.”
“I’ve been doing concerts since I was about 13,” he continues. “I was in a cover band until I was about 15, then I started writing my own music. I have always been very diverse in my playing, and when I started writing music was based on what I heard. If I heard a Slipknot song, I wanted to write a Slipknot song. When I heard Opeth live, I wanted to be like them (laughs). After a while I tried to be more original and incorporate all of my favorite bands into my writing, while keeping it as my own sound.
Manahan’s list of guitar influences is long and loaded, as expected, with metal royalty …
“Zakk Wylde, Dimebag, Tony Iommi, Randy Rhoads, Slash… I’ve been listening to them since I was 13 and it hasn’t changed. The first people you hear are the ones who will influence you. James Hetfield is the master of the rhythm game. Pick that shit up and try singing it; it’s impossible (laughs). When I was 14 I tried to play ‘Blackened’ as fast as possible – while downpicking – and sing it at the same time. Forget it (laughs).
He attributes the parental support to the group continuing to move forward on bigger and better things. That, and its own efforts to stay on top of the industry game.
“My parents are amazing; my father does everything for me (laughs). He is the co-manager of the group and he has helped me from the start. He works everyday for the group, so we always work together. In fact, we have taught each other things. I learned about publishing, how much money you can make with your music, how much money some labels might take you. It’s a little confusing, but I have to learn it for the future. I really studied the music business last year, so people think I don’t know what I do (laughs). Nowadays you have to have the whole package.
“It’s funny, my dad is more metal than me,” he adds. “I’ll put Aerosmith in the car, he’ll take it out and put Lamb Of God on (laughs).”
Below is one of Manahan’s last recordings – a cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” – uploaded to YouTube on January 27, 2021.
Photo taken on Cory Manahan’s Facebook page.