Madame Mayhem is certainly a commanding and unforgettable figure – all you have to do for proof is check out the video for the song “Monster.” But dig a bit deeper, and you will discover that some of rock and metal’s most renowned and respected names played a part in her full-length album, Now You Know.
A powerhouse team of rock talent including Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, Winery Dogs) – who produced and played on the album – Ray Luzier (KoRn, KXM), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (formerly of Guns N’ Roses), Russ Parrish (“Satchel” from Steel Panther), and Corey Lowery (Saint Asonia, Stuck Mojo) all appear on the fourteen-track recording.
Sneaking in to her busy schedule, Rock Confidential caught up with Madame Mayhem to talk about the new record and her budding career.
Thanks for taking time out for this! How are things going?
Thanks for having me! Things are great! Love it when I am busy with all things “Mayhem.”
You’ve said before that you always knew you wanted to be a performer. A lot of people have that same dream but never see it realized. What did you do to make it happen?
Determination and training. I always knew I wanted to do this but I am also always willing to put the work in to get better, and I think that’s what helps. I also don’t like it when people say “No, it cant happen”. I take it as a challenge, and try to turn it into a “yes”.
Has it been easy to stay motivated as you’ve grown your music career? What inspires you as an artist?
This is what I have always wanted to do, my entire life, and it’s what I always will want to do, and what I will continue to do. So it’s easy to stay motivated and inspired. My drive to succeed and work in this industry is always intense.
You’ve been classically trained since you were very young. Does that influence how you write material as Madame Mayhem?
I think it helps. It brings an additional element and skill into the process.
When you started writing material for Now You Know, did a certain song set the tone for the record?
It started with the songs, and then I noticed a tone and message was developing. Now You Know is sort of a reintroduction of who I am as an artist, musician, and writer.
Do you write music around lyrics, does the music inspire lyrics – or a little of both?
It depends on the song. It doesn’t happen the same way each time, which I think is one of the many factors that makes songwriting such a cool process.
Billy Sheehan and Corey Lowery helped co-write the record. How did they approach songwriting that might have been different to you?
They both allowed me to be comfortable enough to express myself creatively and helped me make the type of music I have always wanted to create. I have grown so much as a writer in music and lyrics, and hope to continue to do so, as well as continue to collaborate with both of them.
Billy Sheehan produced Now You Know. Besides his obvious talent and experience, what’s the coolest thing he brought to the table while working on your record?
It was so cool being able to write with him and create this entire project as a whole with him. He is a true living legend and an incredible talent, person and musician. Getting to witness that every day we worked on this record was pretty cool!
You have a wide range of influences. How long did it take to capture the sound you wanted for Madame Mayhem?
I am always trying to incorporate new influences as I grow, and will continue to do so throughout my career.
The videos for “Monster” and “Left For Dead” are perfect visual representations for Madame Mayhem. How involved were you in developing the storylines and details for each one?
Thanks! I hope everyone has fun watching them. I had so much fun making them. I was very involved. I spoke with the brothers of Industrialism films – who are awesome – sent them the music, lyrics, and explained what they were about, gave my concept ideas and collaborated from there. They were great in helping bring to life visually what was in my head for these music videos.
Reading your comments on Facebook I can tell you love being on the road. Who are some bands you’ve shared the stage with?
Yep, I LOVE it! Mushroomhead most recently, Doro, and Buchcherry, to name a few.
Do you have a favorite road story you’d like to share?
What happens on the road, stays on the road…for now!
What are your thoughts on how new music is promoted now?
Every day I learn new things about this ever-changing industry, including promotion.
What has been the most exciting part about your career so far?
Just being able to have a career in music is exciting. But no matter what, performing on stage makes every up or down, worth it and is probably the best, most exciting part.
What do you hope people take away from your music? As you’ve been on the road and promoting the record are you finding people have made connections to your music?
I’m really proud of this album. I spilled my guts out writing the music for this album and told true stories, and expressed real frustrations. I am sure I am not the only one who has gone through something, whatever it is. I hope people love the music and also can connect with it on some level as well. On the road I have been finding people who have made connections to my music, some for the first time that night, and when we talk about it it’s an instant bond, and I love that.
You have some cool musicians on Now You Know – Billy Sheehan, Ray Luzier, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, Russ Parrish, Corey Lowery. You’ve also collaborated with a lot of other artists through the years. Please tell us who all you’ve worked with and in what capacity.
It’s always a pleasure to collaborate on music! I have been fortunate enough to work with some really cool artists over the years, especially the guys on Now You Know. Billy Sheehan has been a mentor of mine for a while. I am so thrilled he believes in me and liked my voice enough to co-write almost all the songs on this record with me as well as produce it. Corey Lowery wrote three songs on this record with me, including the single “Monster.” And of course the additional special guest artists Ray Luzier playing such cool drums on this album, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal bringing in awesome solos and Russ Parrish nailing guitar parts. I am a true fan of all of them and am beyond thankful and happy they played on Now You Know.
What does your schedule look like this summer?
I love being busy, especially when it’s being busy playing shows every night! I will keep busy this summer for sure. Whether its performing, writing, or creating. Stay tuned for specifics on MadameMayhem.com and track me on Bandsintown.com.
Thanks again Mayhem! What would you like to say to wrap things up?
Thank YOU. If they don’t have it yet, people can grab the new album Now You Know on sites like Amazon, and iTunes. Be sure to keep up with the “Mayhem” by checking out MadameMayhem.com and on all the official Madame Mayhem social media accounts, which I do run. Let The Mayhem Continue…