We caught up with Cincinnati based band Mad Anthony on the eve of their next show here in Louisville to ask them about recording 52 new songs last year, their favorite pizza in Louisville, and lots more. You can check them out below, and catch them live at The Cure Lounge on Saturday, August 5.
Never Nervous: You guys have an interesting name. I lived in Cincinnati for a few years, so I think I have a good idea where it came from, but share with all of the Louisvillians where you got it/how you came up with it.
Mad Anthony: Mad Anthony Wayne was a brigadier general in the American Revolutionary War. He earned the nickname Mad Anthony because his war tactics and ferocity were kind of crazy. I once heard he contracted syphilis and the infection ending up working it’s way to his brain and he went bonkers, but I have no facts to back that up.
Anyway, his military exploits were mostly in the Ohio Valley area so we have cities, counties and streets named after him all over the place up here (Fort Wayne, Wayne County, etc.). One such street is in my neighborhood of Cincinnati – Northside. It was pretty close to the Gypsy Club (now Northside Yacht Club), the bar we used to hang out at before starting the band. We adopted it because we couldn’t think of anything better and now we’re stuck with it!
NN: You recently finished up a full year of releasing a new song every week. Tell us a little about that project. Were there any favorite collaborations or interesting stories trying to get those out every week?
MA: That project was exhausting. It nearly fell apart almost every week in the second half. The concept was to release a song every week for year. We were tired of the typical cycle of write, record, promote, release, tour so we wanted to try something new and outside the box. We thought having new music every week would be super engaging for our fans but they might also get tired of hearing the three of us every week, so we invited friends to collaborate on songs too.
It ended up being one of the most challenging musical experiences of our lives but also the most rewarding. Creating new music is always fun, but to hand over your baby songs or unpolished ideas to someone else and say “go make this great” is humbling! At first, we were nervous but every song our friends brought back was better and different than we could have ever imagined on our own.
One song in particular that really took us by surprise was “Bad Apples” featuring our friend Shane Johnson of New Tongues. We knew Shane from his previous band, Caterpillar Tracks and when we wrote the music for the song we imagined Shane singing it in Caterpillar Tracks style. He had other plans. Shane deliberately wanted to shake things up and came to the studio with this rambling uncle character and turned the song into critique piece on police violence and black lives matter. It ended up being so much more powerful than we had ever conceived. We ended up making a split 7-inch out of it too.
Mad Anthony featuring Shane Johnson of New Tongues
NN: You all are playing August 5 at The Cure Lounge with New Tongues. For anyone who hasn’t heard you or caught a show before, what do you want them to know/see/hear?
MA: Mad Anthony is so much more than punk rock or even hard rock. We always do our best to take our listeners through a variety of emotions and sounds. There’s times when it feels like the kick drum is punching you in the chest but other times you’ll be on the edge of tears before wiping it away and smiling at some witty ear worm. We do our best to be more than one genre band.
…but yeah, we love big loud drums and arena rock guitars.
NN: You had/have Louisville on the schedule a few times this year, including one of my favorites, PRFBBQ later this month. Do you have any spots in Louisville that you like to check out while you’re here? Food, drinks, stores?
MA: Ya know, my favorite food was always at Rudyard Kipling when they had that sunflower dough pizza. SO GOOD! But honestly, I need some good pizza. If any Louis-villains have any pizza suggestion hit us up on social media @madanthonyband.
NN: You’re touring right now with your upcoming album Mad Anthology Volume One, what are you listing to in the van while you’re on the road? Favorite albums, artists, podcasts?
MA: We have a DVD player in the new van so we’ve been watching a lot of movies (Tim Burton’s Batman, Anchorman, Minority Report). Marc had not heard Serial, so we spent a good long weekend catching him up on that, and I’m a big fan of You Are Not So Smart podcasts (but I think it puts my bandmates to sleep.)
Most recently we’ve been digging the stuff our friends have been putting out. Vibrolas have a brand new EP, Kid Stardust, Calumet, and to be completely honest, I’ve been listening to a lot of the old Quiet Hollers record (not sucking up, just snuck back into the CD player one day).
Watch the video for “Wookie Slows It Down” below: