Don't let the performance get boring. That's the philosophy of Madder Rose guitarist Billy Cote'.
"It's important for the creative process," the soft-spoken string man said during a telephone interview from New York. "If we played the exact same set for every show, we'd get burned out. So we try to change it to do it right for the fans. It really shows if the band is bored."Madder Rose will play with Buffalo Tom at the Bar & Grill, Tuesday, May 31.
Cote' said a lot has happened to the band that formed in a Greenwich Village apartment in 1991.
"I had a bunch of songs written and wanted to work with a female singer," he said. "I was informed Mary was looking for a project and we were introduced by a mutual friend."
When Cote' heard Mary Lor-son's vocals, he knew she was the one.
Cote' and Lorson formed Madder Rose with bassist Matt Verta-Ray and drummer Johnny Kick, Cote' said. "We had our first gig a few months later. Then, after distributing countless singles, we signed with Atlantic (Records) the next year."
The band's debut "Bring It Down" was released in 1993. Critics praised Madder Rose's unique style of chiming, grinding arrangements and haunting vocals. The band sealed its name with the alternative music scene after a main stage appearance at the 1993 Reading Festival in England.
Shortly after, the band regrouped and began the sessions that would produce its second album, "Panic On."
"Technically, `Panic' was an easy album to record," Cote' said. "We had just come off the road from the tour and had only 10 days to prepare for the recording sessions. We were still tight and able to connect right away. Needless to say, the session went smoothly."
Cote' said the new album reflects the ongoing evolution of Madder Rose.
"Our sound changes constantly," he said. "The music is really dynamic, and we create it together as a band. Mary or I will write a song and play it for the others on an acoustic guitar. From there, everyone will have a chance to add their part and make suggestions. We always have some kind of melody that's either surrounded by loud noisy feed-back, or pretty stuff. It just depends on what the mood calls for."
In addition to signing with a major record label, Madder Rose has experienced one other major change since the band went professional - the departure of Verta-Ray. "Matt left after we completed `Panic' and we had five weeks to find a new bassist," said Cote'. "We chose Chris Giammalvo from the band Eve's Plumb."
Giammalvo wasted no time getting involved with Madder Rose, Cote' said. "We gave Chris a tape with 40 or so songs to learn and at the next rehearsal he was on top of it all. We are fortunate to have found him. He fits right in, everything down to his influences."
Cote' said the band's major influences have been Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, Rolling Stones, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Joni Mitchell and lately some "old gospel blues" of the Rev. Gary Davis. "We really want to be open minded about trying new stuff out," he said.
That open-mindedness carries over to the live shows. "Our songs seem to center on sadness with a ray of hope - so we experiment with different sounds," Cote' said. The band also plays cover songs "and try to keep it interesting for us as well as the audience. It all proves for a better show."