A new release is among a young band’s best benchmarks, and Post Punk provocateurs Mad Anthony are in a celebratory mood with the imminent release of their excellent debut full-length on Phratry Records, I Spent All My Money on Speed Metal.
But even as Mad Anthony prepares to reveal Speed Metal at this Saturday’s release show at the Southgate House and gets ready for a string of hometown and regional dates this fall, there is a somber undercurrent.
With final tracking done and the mixing process beginning this past March, Mad Anthony was devastated by the news that their acclaimed drummer and dear friend Tony Bryant had taken his own life. It was a nearly insurmountable heart punch.
“There were times when we were like, ‘This is it, we get this record out, it’s done,’ ” Mad Anthony vocalist/guitarist Ringo Jones says over drinks at a Northside bar. “Initially, no one wanted to play. We hit bottom.”
“It was a surreal experience,” guitarist Adam Flaig concurs. “I’ve never experienced anything like it, and I hope I never do again.”
In the hours, days and weeks following Bryant’s funeral, Jones, Flaig and bassist Dave Markey dealt with conflicting and overwhelming emotions about the band’s future. Encouraged to continue by loyal fans and Bryant’s family, the trio ultimately realized that maintaining the band was the only logical way to honor Bryant. Speed Metal stands as a testament to the drummer’s powerful presence in Mad Anthony (he also drummed with The Strongest Proof) and to his enduring memory.
Mad Anthony plays the Southgate House Saturday. Go here for show and venue details.