Mace Ballard
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Mace Ballard

Band Pop Punk


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"Maced by Pop Punk"

Pittsburgh pop-punk band Mace Ballard formed in April and already has its EP ready for release, with a show Friday night at Games N' At on the South Side.

Mace Ballard is made up of two former members of Kid Durango (frontman Chris Daley and drummer Mike Duncan), plus guitarist Joe Janicki (Heroes Against Villains) and bassist Dan Maldonado. Daley says he learned some lessons from his last experience.

"I wanted to take a band on stage that had great songs, with people who are dedicated to making our music, not just music in general," Daley says of Mace Ballard. "I think that old cliche about a chain is only as good as its weakest link is especially true in bands -- you have to be all in."

With peppy rockers like "Go Means Go" and emo ballads like "Double Negative," Daley says, "We like to describe ourselves as pop punk with a dash of hardcore. Pop punk is certainly our foundation though. We like to keep it catchy and fun but not without a certain edge."


"Our hardcore influence comes in the use of some of its elements such as screaming and in the way our drummer uses his kick drum, and to some degree our preference for breakdowns."

The show is at 7 p.m. For more, go to

Read more: - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Stepping Up their Game"

Are you a fan of pop-punk? What about pop-punk with hardcore tendencies, double bass drumming and screams? If so, then local act Mace Ballard may be for you.

Growing up listening to the likes of Metallica, Jack Johnson and Weezer, Mace Ballard works all of their varying influences into this pop-punk/hardcore powerhouse.

"We do three part vocal harmonies in some of our songs with Chris and Dan singing, with my screaming as an additional layer," drummer Mike Duncan said.

"[The harmonies are] a 7-layer dip, minus 4 layers, but just as delicious," Duncan said.

The group effort that goes into songwriting is just another aspect of Mace Ballard's cohesiveness. While lead singer/guitarist Chris Daley sticks to writing lyrics, guitarist Joe Janicki typically writes the flowing guitar licks. Bassist Dan Maldonado and Duncan work on putting the song together as a whole.

Forming from the ashes of many high-school bands and many different musical styles, Mace Ballard have meshed all of their influences for an original, down-to-earth sound. Having met through mutual friends, Mace Ballard said their chemistry as friends is very important to their cohesiveness as a band.

Mace Ballard's style is similar to New Found Glory, Brand New and Set Your Goals, which also happen to be some of the band's favorites. Their sound has the catchiness of pop-punk and the ferocity of hardcore music, but also includes indie aspects. Songs such as "Guilty Pleasure" and "Go Means Go" take a faster, melodic approach, while "Goodbye Waves" is a soft, ballad-esque acoustic jam.

Although the band often makes jokes off stage, they take their music very seriously. Daley said he incorporates his own life experiences into writing music. He said his songs are usually about "taking advantage of the moment you're in [regardless of] what else is going on around you."

Those types of songs make up their debut EP Can't Build Something with Monologues, which was recorded this summer with Larry Luther, a producer from the Pittsburgh area.

"Larry was good at noticing what we like as a band, what works and then making the track pop," said Daley.

The EP currently streams for free on their MySpace page and physical copies will be available at shows and through their online store.

Being from the Steel City is another fringe benefit for Mace Ballard.

"The scene here in Pittsburgh is great. We've been lucky enough to get support from some cool production companies and venues, and, most importantly, friends and fans that are interested in hearing us play," Daley said.

Mace Ballard explained that Pittsburgh's music venues are an essential part to aspiring local acts. Garfield Artworks, Games N' At and The Smiling Moose are just a few of Mace Ballard's favorite places to play, but they said Diesel reigns supreme.

"The stage and lighting is top notch and the sound crew really knows what they are doing," said Daley.

Duquesne students won't need to visit to any of these venues to see Mace Ballard. On Oct. 30, they will perform at the Nite Spot. Mace Ballard promised that the show will be "high energy," and that they'll be "schooling people on Hoop Set" after the show. - The Duquesne Duke

"MP3 Monday: Mace Ballard"

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JANUARY 25, 2010

MP3 MONDAY: Mace Ballard


Pop punk, with its serrated guitar hooks, sunny melodies and periodic gang vocals, has a strong presence in the Pittsburgh area -- groups like Punchline, The Berlin Project, Transition, and more recently, Chalk Dinosaur. One of the newest groups to tap that legacy is Mace Ballard. Last fall, the band released its five-song debut, Can't Build Something with Monologues. "We're not messing around this time / This is not a test," sings vocalist and guitarist Chris Daley on the opening track. - The Pittsburgh City Paper

"Mace Ballard - new genre"

Hey blog-reading public! It's Monday, and time for an MP3. It's gonna work a little differently this time, though. Last week, local pop-punkers Mace Ballard released a new EP, The Time It Takes To Rewind. It's already available for free online -- the whole thing. So it would be a little silly for me to bother posting a track on our website, see, when you'd already be able to get it from theirs. Follow my logic? Yeah.
So, here's my advice: if you're into catchy post-emo pop punk with occasional screamo breakdowns, point your mouseclicker toward Mace Ballard's website and download the whole EP. It's worth noting that the band's just off a gig playing at the Pittsburgh marathon; I know my share of runners who would definitely dig running to the sounds Mace Ballard puts together -- mostly uptempo, positive, fun hooks. Runningcore? Perhaps. Check it. Thanks! - The Pittsburgh City Paper


EP - Can't Build Something with Monolgoues
Single - Go Means Go

EP - The Time it Takes to Rewind
Single - Goodbye Waves

Entire EP is streaming at, other tracks are streaming at Go Means Go is getting college radio play around the Pittsburgh area and also MP3 Monday from the Pittsburgh City Paper and WXDX online streaming.



Mace Ballard’s take on pop-punk combines melody with grit, intelligent lyrics with contagious hooks. Formed in 2009, the band is already on their second EP, receiving media exposure, and playing venues from Ohio to NYC. While each member was no stranger to the Pittsburgh music scene, frontman Chris Daley and drummer/vocalist Michael Duncan joined forces with guitarist Brandon Lehman and bassist TJ Angelo. Built on a solid foundation of original songs, MB immediately took their sound to the studio with esteemed producer Larry Luther, who has worked on tracks for a variety of successful artists, from Anti-Flag to the Black Eyed Peas.

With chops and charm, the guys of Mace Ballard keep the energy high and the music fresh, both in the studio and on the stage. This spring they released their follow up EP, The Time It Takes to Rewind, for free on their site

Now it’s your turn to introduce yourself to us…