On a dark foggy night, a large tour bus drove passed me, and as the bus slowly came to a halt; the fog suddenly cleared. That was the night when L.A. Rockers Madlife pulled into the Babylon Club in Fresno CA. Thanks to Mr. Brent Rendino and his wife Linda of Syryc Productions, and Madlife’s Management, I was able to drink some brews with the crew and ask a few questions for Spiffy Cats Magazine. As the crew was getting their game faces on for the show, they asked if we can talk business in their bus, which we did, and let me tell you; it was impressive. Angry Phil gave me the tour and told me stories, both good and bad about their many, many journeys together on this fine vessel.
Prior to setting the course and musical direction that would make Madlife the powerhouse it is today, Angry Phil researched popular commercial bands and found commonalties among pop arrangements. By adding volatile, aggressive elements from heavy music and incorporating it into mainstream scores, Angry Phil paved the direction that caused Madlife to break out of the “norm” and catch the eyes and ears of major industry professionals. The end result is an electric mix of rock, pop, dizzying guitar riffs and a powerful, heavy industrialized sound. Heavy while sociable enough that people from all ages can appreciate; Madlife is clearly on the cutting edge of modern music.
Madlife’s members are:
Phil Oliveira (Angry Phil) = Lead Vocals
Isaiah Faklner (Steve McQueen or the Angry Cheetah) = Guitar
Kyle Cunningham (Kilo or Kyleo or Ky) = Drums
Jim Gould (Cousin It or Jimmy Mintch) = bass
Drinking beers while relaxing on luxurious, plush couches, Angry Phil explained how Madlife became the powerhouse it is today.
Rob: How did Madlife come to life?
AP: It started in 2005. It merged from a pop rock band which ended. Then a few members wanted to go heavier after a year or two.
Rob: How did you pick the name?
AP: We used to have a DJ with our set. One time he was scratching on the record and the words “Mad Life” repeated over and over. We named it after that incident.
Rob: What record label are you signed to?
AP: We are signed to Fontana/Universal Records. The deal was secured at a hockey game. I networked with other parents on my child’s hockey team and through those contacts is how the connection was made. We had to make sure it was a good fit for both parties and in the end, it turned out to be the best thing that could ever happen.
Rob: Who is your management company?
AP: Kendra Helms Media. She’s a workhorse! She does everything for us! She’s from the east coast and we’ll get calls from her at 3AM (LA Time) Pacific Standard time and mind you she’s on the east coast and she’s on the phone closing deals on their behalf. She’s a pit bull and makes shit happen!
Rob: This is one beautiful bus. What kind is it?
AP: This is a Prevost XL Mirage which we own and rebuilt ourselves. One of the biggest rules on the bus is no one drops a smash! Meaning no one takes a dump in the bus toilet.
Rob: Do you have any endorsements?
AP: Endorsements include Jagermeister, J.H Audio (custom in ear monitors), Meinl Cymbals, Regal Tips drums sticks, In Tune guitar picks, and we’re also working with a condom company; more to cum on that later!
Rob: It looks like this is going to turn into a great night. What’s going on with the setup on stage?
AP: We back lined our equipment so the opening locals can use it. We understand how it is being a local band since we used to be one. At that time we didn’t have adequate equipment. Now that all of their equipment is pro gear, we have no problem letting the locals play through it.
Rob: Do you have any stories you would like to share with our readers while you were touring?
AP: Yes, here’s a crazy story. Somewhere back east, don’t remember the city or state but we stopped the bus in the middle of the road and out of now where, Kyle jumps off the bus wearing his flip flops. Well Kyle didn’t see the cops! He ran into this fast food restaurant barefooted since his flip-flops fell off, he was holding them in one hand while he held his ass with the other. Apparently he had to go to the bathroom really, really bad! When he came out of the restaurant, the cops just stood there and looked at him. Kyle looked back at the cops and just smiled. Another time, Kyle got so shit faced that he couldn’t find the bus in this small parking lot. It was funny too because our bus took up the majority of the parking spaces and he still got lost! And there was that time when Jim walked through a fast-food drive through, with only his shoes!
Rob: Any horror stories you’d care to share?
AP: One time, our GPS landed us in an empty field rather than a Walmart. The kicker was when we woke up and the bus was flooded; 22 gallons of water to be exact! We were back east and it was below freezing. That was bad. Also, when the bus breaks down, it breaks down. And regardless of what people think, they all fucken break down! And its not a matter of if, but a matter of when!
Rob: What’s in store for Madlife’s future?
AP: We are working on our next album, then another tour. This time we’ll be in Florida playing with Korn.
Rob: What are the names of your current albums?
AP: “Madlife”, “Music as harsh as the World We Live In” and “Angry Sonnets for the soul.”
Rob: How can listeners follow you?
Rob: For my last question, I need an answer from each one of the band members. If there’s one thing you’d like to say to your followers, what would it be?
Jim: Go fast, take risks and always push a little further then you should.
Kyle: Play every note as if it was your last night to St. Peter.
Phil (Drummer) – Support original music! Go to a local show! Buy a shirt! Buy a CD!
Angry Phil (AP): Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do anything.
Well there you have it folks, an insight to the mad world of Madlife. They are currently touring and performing with Korn, 5FDP, Queensryche and Chevelle to name a few. They have broken the ground in modern music and are giving the people what they’ve been missing! So what are you waiting for? Check them out today and tell’em Robdog sent you!