chatting with maidsen ward + the mama bear


Last week I had a chance to speak with the up-and-coming musical duo, Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear. I love their sound and admire how it’s a mother and son creating that sound together. You don’t hear that everyday! They’ll be at Wooly’s on September 19th and you can find all the ticket info here. Note: this interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Ruth, most folks are slowing down at sixty-six, but you're just rolling along! Did you ever envision this being what you'd be doing in your sixties?

Ruth: As my husband says "You can't script this". I’m happy to play for others as long as I can. It's an incredible adventure and I’m just getting started.

One of my favorite bands is Johnnyswim because it's a family affair - the two members are husband and wife. With that in mind, do you feel there's a certain magic that comes with creating art alongside of family?

Ruth: Everyone is different, but I know with family comes more depth in the music, and with us it's all about the music.

Madisen: I'm not sure if I would say it's magical, necessarily. I think creating music with family is definitely sincere, and honest; and almost quicker in some sense, because we're not worried about hurting each other's feelings. So that's pretty special.

How’s the tour so far? Is life on the road fun or just exhausting?

Ruth: It's awesome — laughter all the time! We're comfortable with each other and have a lot of respect for each other. Lots of memories!

Madisen: Life on the road is definitely a good time. As long we get good sleep it's never too exhausting. End of the Road festival in England was a fun memory. No real hotels for miles, so we stayed at a bed n' breakfast in the middle of nowhere. The man who ran it was an ex-hostage negotiator. It was a good time. 

You recently released a new EP.  Talk about that a bit.  How does it fit into the musical journey of the band as a whole? What was the writing and recording process like? Was that any different than what you had done in the past? 

Ruth: Madisen is the main writer along with co writers this time. The EP is an extension of who we are {and how we are} constantly growing and improving on our sound. I’m very proud of it.

Madisen: The new EP is an evolution of our sound, but without sacrificing who we are. It was my first time working with co-writers, and I enjoyed it. The recording process was much different than the first record. On the first record we recorded most of the music live, without click tracks and such; on the new EP, we tracked everything separately. {The co-writers} truly allowed me to establish a vision, and refrained from any overbearing impulses. They wanted to highlight, not high jack, and ultimately it was a rewarding experience.