Interview: Madame Mayhem talks about her upcoming album and European tour

Madame Mayhem’s latest single “All Around The World” has come out just before the eclectic singer and her eponymous hard rock band heads out on their first foreign tour. From Oct. 27 through Nov. 18, she will play 20 dates across the UK and Europe, with Fozzy and Hardcore Superstar

Last weekend, the New York City native finished an 18-date tour of the southeastern U.S. “It was so fun to meet the fans,” Madame Mayhem told a few hours after arriving home. “What I tend to do is, the second we are done with our set I’ll have the guys load all the gear out and I literally run from the stage straight to our merch booth, just so I can talk to everyone whether they are fans of ours or someone who has no idea who I am and just wants to talk music. We played a bunch of smaller clubs this time and that was cool because I was able to do that.”

It also gave the band a chance to play songs from their next album, Ready For Me, live. The 13-track album — her third — will be released Friday, October 20. Her earlier albums are Now You Know (2016) and White Noise (2012). 

“It’s really my entire life. Everyone gets to know everything I’m dealing with and how I’m feeling,” she said of Ready For Me, laughing. It was only when she listened to the album from start to finish that she realized how open she had been about her emotions, struggles, and life in general. “Hopefully people can relate if they’re big on lyrical content. It’s about messed up relationships, it’s about frustration. I mean, being in this music industry is always frustrating.”

Although she started to draw attention in the industry in the last few years — when rockers Buckcherry invited her to open for them at The Sands Casino in 2013 — Madame has an extensive background in music. She was a “musical theater kid” who did New York City and regional theater and studied opera on the weekends at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. “Then I went to the Frost School at the University of Miami for my Bachelor’s in Music, which was in everything from musical theater to composition to opera,” she said. “I mean, I learned it all over there.”

Her mother exposed her to grunge rock from the time she was a baby. “That was my first music. As I got older, my tastes got heavier and heavier on my own,” she explained, describing the various influences on her music. “But then at the same time, I was [also] brought up on musical theater and opera. And you can’t get away from mainstream radio, even if you try.”

The singer’s own genre is hard to pin down — and she likes it that way. “I think it’s high-energy, hard-hitting hard rock music with melody and harmonies, not screaming,” she said. “I know sometimes people put us in the metal category, sometimes in the rock category. And I think it’s kind of cool that there’s not one genre that we’re getting put into. It’s just music, and the fact that no one can put us in a box is the best thing I could’ve hoped for.”

Her parents, who are fans of older rock music are “very supportive, but they’re also very confused at the same time,” she said about her career. They came up with the name Madame Mayhem when she was in her teens, around the time she was first breaking into the music business. “It’s not an easy thing to do and things always go wrong. Mayhem tends to follow me whether I caused it — which sometimes I did, I will admit that — or even if I didn’t. So they started calling me that kind of as a joke and the name stuck.” 

After she completes her first European tour this fall, the 20-something singer looks forward to more work. “We’re in the process of figuring out new tour dates. I’m always writing, so if there ever is downtime — if we’re not on the road and you don’t see tour dates — that usually means I’ll be writing or recording. I’m always creating,” she said. “I just love it. I’m nonstop. My goal is just to be able to play and create music and be on the road for the rest of my life.”