Mad Margritt – Raging On The Sunset Strip
Mad Margritt is a dynamic hard rock/heavy metal collective from Atlanta, Georgia that recently made their way to the Los Angeles area – unleashing a mighty sonic explosion at the legendary Viper Room on a Saturday night. Their latest album Love, Hate and Deception was recently released on Perris Records, showing the long running band at the very height of their hard rocking madness. Prior to their standout 2017 Pre-Grammy Rockfest performance at The Viper Room, we caught up with Mad Margritt’s wickedly charismatic front man Eddie Smith to find out more about this underground sensation raging onto the wilds of the Sunset Strip at last! Read on…
Give us a little background on Mad Margritt. When did it all begin?
I started the band back in early 90’s. So we are veterans, we’ve been around for awhile now.
What are you looking forward to the most about your show here at The Viper Room tonight?
You know, just being a fan of rock and music history, there is just so much history out here in LA. And The Viper Room is just a legendary place. So just to be out here and being able to play, to me, this is the best music city in the world. It’s exciting. So we’re hyped up about it.
When was the last time you played here in Hollywood?
I have never played in LA. I’ve played as far as Las Vegas a million times. We were booked at The Whisky before and some things happened and we had to cancel out. So it’s been a long time coming.
What’s the overall concept or story behind Love, Hate and Deception?
When I was writing, I didn’t originally have a concept to it. We were just writing the songs. As I got near the end, I noticed they all had a common theme to them. They either dealt with betrayal or liars. That’s the name of the first cut (Liar), but there’s several songs that deal with deception and stuff. I just know that every song kind of had that same theme. So that’s actually where the title came from.
Select two songs and what inspired the lyrics for you?
I’ll go with Liar, I was just really getting angry that there was a lot of people I was dealing with that were just feeding me a bunch of BS. And it was building and building. And one night I just came home and I had a bad day with someone giving me a bunch of BS and I went on the internet and someone had put an ad out, and they said a band looking for guitar player and drummer. And they were using our pictures. And I was like, that was like the final straw. So this band was trying to make people think that it was us looking, because then they would get more auditions. That was it! I just wrote Liar that night. Just words came flowing out…
Another one, The One You Love To Hate is one of my favorite songs on the CD. And it just kind of deals with people that – you ever had people in your lives that they don’t want to see you succeed, or they get like angry if you’re doing well? And it’s almost like if you fail they get happy about it. And there’s just a few people I know like that. And that was just another thing I just decided. This album was kind of like therapy for me. And I never do that. I never write about personal feelings or experiences – I always take more of a story teller type approach. But on this CD, I really just let things out this time. Things that were bothering me or things I was witnessing. So it was like the most personal album I’ve ever written. Just about every song was something that had a lot of meaning behind it.
What was it like opening for KISS, did you get to meet or hang out with them at all?
That was one of the few bands that we didn’t get to meet when we opened for them. Usually we get to meet them, a lot of time we get to hang with the bands. Sometimes we share a dressing room with them. I guess KISS, because they’re such a big and iconic band, things are a little different for them. The backstage area there were areas we weren’t allowed to go. So I never did get to see them. The only time that’s ever happened was with Poison, but we did actually get to meet them because C.C. (DeVille) came out and was walking around and stuff, and I met Bret (Michaels). We’ve opened for Bret solo before, I’ve met him prior to that. KISS was one of the few times where we just weren’t able – to me KISS would have been so cool but we just didn’t get the opportunity that day. It was only one show. We only played with them once.
If you could open for any band either now or in the past, who and why?
Oh wow. A bunch of them. I guess I would say just because what they meant to me when I first started, like Led Zeppelin. Just because when I was a kid and I first got into music, they were one of the first bands, and that would have been awesome to be able to open up for them.
I noticed the older Mad Margritt albums are selling for a pretty penny on EBay. What do you think of that, and will they ever be re-released by your current label Perris Records?
I don’t know. I’ve talked to them about that, would you ever want to re-release them? It seems like there’s a demand for them because they do go so high. It’s a little shocking to me, I’ve seen them up for $200-300. I’ve got like, 20 of them in my drawer here [laughs]. But, I don’t want to part with the last few I have. So, yeah – people call me up or write me all the time and tell me, I saw it on EBay for $200, $250. I’m like, wow. I wish I could get a cut of that. [laughs]
When you look back on that first release Cold Sweat, what do you think of it now?
It’s one of my favorites, actually, because it came in the mid-90s when the whole grunge thing was happening. I loved just straight heavy rock. There was nothing going on and it was almost like I wanted to put out the most 80s hair metal in your face looking sound type thing I could do. So, that’s what we did. I teased my hair up and put on the most glammed out clothes I could for the photo shot. The songs are very 80s glam – our sound has changed a lot since then but it was just something I wanted to kind of do, like a big FU to the grunge scene. So that’s what that album meant to me.
If the music of Mad Margritt was a donut, what kind would it be and why?
A donut? I was gonna say glazed, [laughs] but we can go all sorts of places with that. We’ll just leave it like that. [laughs]
What’s up next for Mad Margritt after this show?
We stay busy. We play just about every week, so we have a bunch of shows lined up, but as far as promoting this CD we have a new video we’re going to shoot probably in about a month. We’re debating on the song, we have it narrowed down to like – two songs. Then we’re looking at doing – we normally play in the Southeast, but with the CD out we want to spread out again, get back up North like New York and try and get on some of those summer festivals. That’s the plan for this year. We used to tour nonstop all over the country. I don’t know if we want to get in a van again and just stay out on the road like we used to, but we do want to get out a little bit and get away from the Southeast and branch out, now that we have the CD out.
Any messages for Mad Margritt fans that are reading this right now?
Man, we’ve been around a long time. There’s people who’ve stuck with us for years and years and supported us. There’s always new people coming along and we appreciate it, because we put our hearts into this. It’s our whole lives and anyone that appreciates what we’re doing and compliments us and supports us, man it just means the world to us. We just want to thank everybody. New fans and old fans.
(Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Joe Schaeffer)
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