|Origin||New York City|
|Labels||Seed Records, Atlantic Records|
|Members||Mary Lorson, Billy Cote, Johnny Kick, Matt Verta-Ray|
Madder Rose was a New York City-based alternative rock band who recorded in the 1990s. The band was fronted by Mary Lorson, who shared songwriting duties with guitarist Billy Coté. The two singer/songwriters continued their collaboration, Cote as guest producer on Lorson's three discs with Saint Low, Lorson as guest vocalist on Cote's Jazz Cannon disc. Lorson and Cote have also created the original scores to several films, notably HBO's documentary of Sally Mann) and in 2008 released a disc with Kathy Ziegler as The Piano Creeps. The name Madder Rose came from the herb-based paint rose madder. Many of their songs, including "Panic On" and "Car Song", were featured in John Peel's end-of-year round-up, the Festive Fifty, major feature films, and television shows. The band released three albums on Atlantic Records, and one on Cooking Vinyl, before breaking up in 1999.
The band was formed in 1991 in a Greenwich Village apartment, after Billy Cote, the band's songwriter, was informed, after he had written a bunch of songs, that a woman named Mary Lorson was looking for a project by a mutual friend. They released their debut album, Bring it Down, in 1993 on Atlantic Records' quasi-independent label Seed Records, followed by the Swim EP later that year on the same label. Originally Atlantic had asked to sign them, but Lorson turned them down. In an interview with the The Miscellany News, she said she did so because she was "just too intimidated." The band's ascent to relative fame was secured when they landed a main stage appearance at the 1993 Reading Festival, and by the critical acclaim Bring it Down received shortly after its release, including reviews in the Chicago Tribune and being ranked as one of the top 10 albums of the year by the College Media Journal. Panic On was released on Atlantic Records in 1994.
Their music has been described as suggesting druggy languor, which inspired the British music press to trumpet Madder Rose as the second coming of the Velvet Underground. A 1994 review in Rolling Stone characterized their sound as an "alloy" of grunge and "the buttercup sighs of The Cranberries". Their sound progressed from indie pop rock, not unlike peers Velocity Girl, Lush, Helium and Juliana Hatfield, to shoegaze and trip-hop. After the breakup, Coté released an album and 2 twelve inch singles as The Jazz Cannon with vocalist Don Greene. Lorson founded the alt-folk outfit Saint Low. Madder Rose members included Billy Cote (guitar), Mary Lorson (vocal, guitar), Matt Verta-Ray (bass, vocal), Rick Kubic aka Johnny Kick (drums, vocal) and Chris Giammalvo (bass).
Coté, Lorson and multi-instrumentalist Kathy Zeigler released an album as the Piano Creeps in 2008. It was called "Future Blues (For Me and You)" and was released on The Kora Records.
Currently, Madder Rose founder Billy Coté works occasionally with Johnny Dowd. He has guested on guitar on each of Dowd's last two records. Together they have contributed the song "Bound For Hell" to a Love and Rockets' tribute album, New Tales to Tell, and another, "Constant Waiting", to We Are Only Riders, a Jeffrey Lee Pierce tribute collection. Billy Coté has also featured on moog and guitars with Evi Vine on her second album, due out in late 2013.
Singles & EPs
- (1993): Beautiful John (single)
- (1993): Swim EP
- (1994): Car Song EP
- (1995): The Love You Save EP
- Iwasaki, Scott (27 May 1994). "madder rose will show s.l. that not being boring matters". Deseret News. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- Testa, Jim; Sprague, David. "Madder Rose". Trouser Press. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- Delson, William (22 April 1994). "Chatting with Madder Rose". The Miscellany News. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- Reading Festival Directory: M
- "Madder Rose". TrouserPress.com. Retrieved 2012-12-16.
- Manning, Kara (30 June 1994). "Panic On Review". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 17 May 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- "The Piano Creeps". Kora Records. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 342. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.