Cincinnati trio Mad Anthony is now 21-songs deep into its Mad Anthology project, for which the group is releasing a song a week for an entire year, with today’s release of “Bad Apples.” (Check out our cover story about the group here for more on the project.)
The Mad Anthology songs released so far have included numerous collaborations with other artists, many from the Cincinnati area — last week’s song “Hard Times” featured Jason Snell of Ohio Knife, while Max Fender of Alone at 3am and Alex Nauth of The Skulx and Foxy Shazam are among the other local collaborators. “Bad Apples” features guest vocalist Shane Johnson, known locally for previous bands like NoGood Heroes and Caterpillar Tracks, who is currently based out of Columbia, Mo. and plays with New Tongues.
Here’s what Johnson has to say about his vocal/lyrical contribution to the new track, which you can listen to below:
When the Mad Anthony guys contacted me about the project and told me that I have complete artistic control of the lyrical content, my first response was "are you sure?" Ringo said "absolutely.” Living in Missouri and seeing the Ferguson riots where a highly militarized police state used every weapon at it's disposal to shoot, maim, and destroy black youths, shifted everything. The seemingly endless list of names of unarmed black men dying at the hands of police terror forced many within the Black Lives Matter movement to challenge the role of police in society. Around November of 2015, shortly before recording, the MU football team went on strike over a series of systematic failures to address racist acts on campus. The struggle against racism was now on the offensive as several University administrators were forced to resign. The lyrics are written from the perspective of one that many of us know: your co-worker, your uncle, your mom's Facebook posting, your boss, or your neighbor. They're the one's that maintains a death grip on the notion that there is no systematic problem with police… just a few bad apples. I seemed to be having these conversations daily and I wrote the lyrics the morning of the recording. The chorus is a summary rejection of that idea calling back that "bad apples are the bunch.”
Johnson’s New Tongues come to town this Saturday for a free show with Mad Anthony and Ampline at Northside Tavern.