Mad Anthony is quite easily the nicest band in Cincinnati. In a city where everyone knows each other in a roundabout way, never once has a negative word ever been muttered about the band. On top of being the nicest band, they are one of the most hardworking, and just plain ROCK.
Mad Anthony is playing MidPoint Music Festival on Saturday, September 23rd. We jumped at the chance to chat with our friend, Ringo about being MPMF alumni, what is next for the band, and <GASP> the new MPMF format.
I may be wrong, but I do believe that Mad Anthony is the only local band to play MPMF 5+ times (I lost count after 5…). What does that mean to the band to be recognized to play so many times at such a coveted festival?
I can't believe it's that many times! All we've ever wanted to do was play rock n' roll to as many people as possible, somehow that mission has landed us a few super prestigious festivals or gigs. BUT Midpoint is special to us because it's our hometown. We take great pride in Cincinnati, and when someone, who has never seen us, asks where we're from after a show, it's fun to say "We're from here! This is our hometown!" and maybe they'll come out to more local shows.
I think the importance of including local acts on festivals like Midpoint or Bunbury is to re-invigorate the local music scene. Big names draw big crowds and if a local act can hold their own in front of another artist's audience it gives validation to what we're doing here. I'm more excited to see our friends from Cincinnati crush it in front of a big crowd than I am the big names. It's mesmerizing to see your friends transform into rockstars on the big stage. I hope all the Cincinnati acts make it difficult for the international acts to follow them, one-upsmanship always makes for a better show.
What do you think are the advantages of the new format of MPMF?
I think the number one benefit of the new format of MPMF is inclusiveness. The shows are all-ages, the spaces are bigger (no lines waiting to get in), the overall footprint is smaller (you can feasibly hit more shows) and more spaces are handicap friendly. Don't get me wrong, I loved the old format, big bands on small stages in packed venues can make for some awesome memories, but I love the new format too. Cincinnati is lucky to have such an ambitious group of professionals who are passionate about making these things happen.
Who are you looking forward to seeing/playing alongside/networking with at MPMF?
I'm really excited for Kid Stardust, Blossom Hall, Ampline and Brat Curse. Kid Stardust has been working really hard the last couple years and they have such a powerful and emotional set, I think it's time for them to shine on the big stage.
I saw Blossom Hall a month back at MOTR Pub and was instantly hooked by their quirkiness. They have great stage chemistry and they're just FUN!
Ampline has been a favorite of ours for about a decade now. These dudes are like brothers to us and their mentorship of younger bands keeps the wheels of the Cincinnati music community turning. Plus, they're all extraordinary musicians and songwriters!
Brat Curse are friends from the past (ex-Astro Fang). If there were a sound that defined Ohio Rock n' Roll I think these guys found it somewhere between art and rebellion. It's the lovechild of Devo, Brainiac, Guided By Voices and Afghan Whigs - but that's just my opinion.
I do believe that if there was a CEA for “Most Liked Band by Peers”, it would be Mad Anthony. Tell me how you manage to develop and maintain relationships with the - yes, I’m saying it - fickle scene in Cincinnati…
That may be the nicest thing anyone has ever said to us! I'm blushing. But honestly, I have no idea why people like us but I suspect someone is paying them.
Short answer: We treat other bands the way we like to be treated.
Long answer: I admire bands with longevity, consistency, integrity, who work hard and uphold what we call "band ethics". It's usually simple things like: watching the other bands' sets or giving the best time slot to the band that traveled the furthest. It's about respect, and I don't have to like your music to respect your music. Those are the values we try to uphold as a band and hopefully our peers recognize that and that's probably why we've built the friendships we have.
Mad Anthony had quite a year with 52 songs in 52 weeks. That was amazing. What was the inspiration behind that?
We had done the write, record, release, tour routine a few times and wanted to share a new experience with our fans, something more inventive. I was studying social media and thought what if we don't make any album? What if we just released a ton of singles? The challenge of releasing a song every week was added to idea and it just started rolling.
We decided nobody would want to hear 52 songs with me singing every week so we started asking our friends to collaborate with us and it just kept snowballing. By the end, we were able to introduce our fans to all of friends' bands (and vice versa) but also completely shatter any preconceived genre pigeon-holing we were experiencing.
I guess there was also a part of me that wanted to change our legacy. We had been pretty successful as a local/regional band but it felt like there was this cloud of "is that the band that nearly died in that car accident?" hanging over us. We flipped the script, we're not the "accident" band anymore, we're "those crazy, song-a-week" guys now. And it feels great! We have a lot of sad songs (pun intended) but we're not mopey guys, we're actually fun-loving, silly dudes. Mad Anthology is more a testament to our personality and philosophy than anything else we've ever created.
What is next for Mad Anthony?
We're releasing Mad Anthology: Volume One this fall with some accompanying tour dates, and if all goes well Volume Two isn't far behind.
We have some big plans for our next release, something just as crazy as 52 songs in a year but also completely different.
BUT we're also looking to relax. We've been a band for almost ten years now and our touring/recording schedule takes up almost all of our free time. We're going to take a moment to work on some personal projects, Adam and Marc both have solo material they've been writing/performing, while I (Ringo) plan to focus more on producing other people's music, but I'll always have some project of my own going too.