With just a little over month left in the contest, the Ernie Ball PLAY competition is heating up! The next band we would like to introduce you to is Long Island punk rock quartet Bad Mary!
Currently in 3rd place, Bad Mary is keeping the punk lifestyle alive and fans are loving it! Get to know the band by checking out our exclusive interview below!
Infectious Magazine: What would it mean to you to perform at Warped Tour 2017?
Bad Mary: Oh wow…it would be an absolute dream come true to play the main stage at Warped this year. A few years back we were fortunate enough to play the Ernie Ball stage, it was easily one of the best days we’ve ever had as a band. We remember the night we found out we had made it, we sat up all night texting each other just to check to see if it was real. Being able to play a main stage would be insanity. Mike has fantasized about playing Warped since he was 10 years old, so we know for him it would be living his childhood dream. We know that it would be all sorts of fun, to play in front of that crowd, in the middle of July. The heat, the music, the connection. We couldn’t think of a better way to spend our summer.
IM: What is one thing you do that no other band does that makes you a unique choice for Warped?
BM: We kind of base our entire sound and live performance off of the Warped Tours past. We’re playing classic style punk rock. At this point we feel that our style a bit unique in that aspect. We’re doing what the originators of the tour set out to do. We want to bring the pure emotion and energy of good punk music to the masses of people who flock to the tour every year. We want to have fun, eat candy, drink caffeine, and get people dancing and screaming with delight.
IM: Looking back at past Warped Tour’s that you have attended, what’s a memory that stands out the most?
BM: The first and brightest memory would be performing on the Ernie Ball stage in 2015. You can’t top that at all. It was a magical day filled with great bands and a positive energy that carried us through the summer. Next would have to be 2004 when Bad Religion and NoFx headlined and played right after one another. Mike reminisces about that tour and was lucky enough to see so many great bands that day. Amanda walked to her first Warped Tour with a bunch of seasoned tour goers and was blown the hell away. That was a whirlwind, sun filled, awesome freaking day.
IM: If you could do a headlining tour with two of the bands on this year’s Warped Tour, who would those bands be and why?
BM: Wow….so many to choose from! Firstly cKy is easily one of the coolest and most different bands out there. We love to play with bands that are unique. cKy is fun, heavy, and has a rowdy crowd (we like that). Anti-Flag would be a blast and we can bury people in sweet punk rock sounds while they dance and sing, the amount of pure energy would be unparalleled. Or we could keep it old school and and learn from our roots with bands like The Dickies, TSOL, and the Adolescents…Especially if we can all do that Dickies Banana Split sing-along. Lastly we need to give major props to the Fantastic Plastics for booking the tour. Much love to our NYC brethren.
IM: The vibe of Warped Tour shifts and grows with each passing year. Last year they brought back a ton of older bands (ie Yellowcard, New Found Glory, Sum 41), and this year Kevin Lyman wanted to take the tour back to its roots. What’s the next Warped Tour trend you hope to see?
BM: While we’re super pumped that Kevin Lyman wants to take it back to its roots, it’s always good to expand a little too. We would love to see the roots of the tour represented and we think that it would be great for that to continue, but maybe some expansion into different realms of art. Also bring a travelling arcade filled with chiptune music.
IM: Each year, Warped Tour has the Think TEI workshops. If you could attend one of this year’s workshops, whose would it be? Also, if you had the opportunity to teach your own workshop, what would it be about?
BM: We think that the conversations about Touring would be incredibly beneficial for us. Learning how to live and create on the road. From what TEI has this year we’re most interested in Matty Mullins “Developing your Band” workshop, and Nikki Misery’s “Punk Rock Madness” workshop. Branding is incredibly important for a band and while we’ve done a good job, we think that Matty can definitely give us some ideas on how to expand it. Who doesn’t want to go to an event called Punk Rock Madness…we want to just strap in and see where that one takes us.
IM: The music industry is a fast-paced world with lots of changes happening all the time. If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be and why?
BM: We’d like to change a few things. Firstly, it would be great for there to be a bigger “middle class” of bands. Bands who can make music, tour, and make enough money to live fairly comfortably. It often feels like bands are either massively successful or begging for scraps. We think that it has to do with overall exposure as well. There is almost too much out there, while we don’t want people to stop creating, we want bands to be able to find their way into the playlists of people. After many of our shows people ask us “why haven’t I heard of you, yet” and while we love the appreciation, we’re upset by the lack of reach. It’s easy to get your music online, it’s hard to get it noticed. It would be great to have technology that actively pushes new music out into the world. Additionally, radio stations need to start playing new music. While we LOVE classic rock, it’s getting tiring to turn on the radio and hear the same 20 songs from 1969-1980 every day. There are a lot of great bands doing great things out there…throw them a bone!
IM: Final comments or important information you would like to pass along to our readers?
BM: Punk rock is not dead! But in all seriousness, do what you love. Bad Mary exists purely out of the love we have for our music and each other as a band. Don’t be afraid to take criticism or advice either. We can always grow and learn from one another. Warped is about loving live and expressing your energy in a positive way, embrace that attitude every day, even if it’s hard to do so. Also…pick up a friggin’ guitar and start writing some music.
Drawing influence from the likes of Blondie and The Ramones, Green Day and Paramore, Bad Mary has created their own strain of punk that takes you back to New York in the 70’s but with a modern vibe. Following on from their critically acclaimed debut, Better Days, released in 2013, the high octane four-piece group – led by powerhouse lead singer Amanda Mac, Mike Staub (bass/vocals), Bill Mac (drums) and David Henderson (guitar) – split their latest blasts of infectious, in your face songs into two driving EPs, Killing Dinosaurs (2015) and We Could Have Saved the World (2016).
The band makes their home on Long Island, New York and have played classic venues such as the Highline Ballroom, the Knitting Factory, Arlene’s Grocery, Bowery Electric, the Trash Bar. Bad Mary have played multiple festivals including Warped Tour at Jones Beach, Dewey Beach Music Conference, Liberty Music Festival and the Cabin Fever Music Festival. They have scored airplay on U.S., U.K. and Australian radio.
Bad Mary began as a cover band in 2009 at Hofstra University, where David is a professor, and Amanda and Mike were students. After they graduated, the band decided to continue playing music together. After a few line-up changes, they recruited Bill Mac (also a Hofstra alum!), Amanda’s dad, on drums and began to craft their own songs in 2012. Following the success of their self-produced and basement-recorded first release, their next two EPs were recorded and mixed by Matt Storm and Francisco Botero at Studio G in Brooklyn and mastered by Fred Kevorkian, who has previously mastered for The White Stripes, Iggy Pop and Debbie Harry. They are currently working on songs for their next EP, coming in summer 2017.
To vote for Bad Mary in the Ernie Ball PLAY contest, click here.