Madame Hooligan
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Madame Hooligan

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
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This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




This is wild and insane. Ever since we added Madame Hooligan a couple of weeks ago the response has been epic. People from around the globe have been requesting it leaving comments about the band. It’s been great. I have to join the bandwagon though. The song “ Freak the World” is so great. It’s fresh, different and the guitar playing is phenomenal. I think that’s what the people seem to like now in music. They want something fresh and different. I totally agree. That’s why I am so in support of iChannel. Because it’s different. Radio is in decline right now and something like iChannel can really bring it back up again. Madame Hooligan even gives us a shout out on their MySpace, so big ups to them. What a great band to really kick off our indie summer! I only wish they could play at iFest. Next time, Madame Hooligan…next time. Keep up the good work, Madame Hooligan and I can’t wait to hear more music from you real soon. It sounds like from the response, our audience can’t wait either. Until next time… Later! - IChannel FM


Category: Music



"It is impossible to imagine a more complete fusion with nature than that of the Gypsy."
Franz Liszt

"Be born anywhere, little embyro novelist, but do not be born under the shadow of a great creed, not under the burden of original sin, not under the doom of salvation. Go out and be born among the gypsies or thieves or among happy workaday people who live in the sun and do not think about their souls."
~ Pearl S. Buck

Madame Hooligan is a band on the move and a band of gypsies. They have discovered the stark drama of sculpted rock steeped in the dynamics of an irreverent outsider's observation. I believe they are thieves of a deeper tradition in music among the tepid borrowers at the top of the charts. In a perfect world, they would share the stage with Mars Volta and Gogol Bordello at a concert attended by John Masefield and Pearl S. Buck. The elements of these songs have as much detail and variety as "Yes," with the spirit of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Gypsy Kings and Charles Bukowski. There's more to the success of Madame Hooligan than meets the eye. They are the Carnival folk at the edge of town with special abilities and enough insight to burst the false bubble of common wisdom.

The music of MH feels to have been worked out on a gut string classical, Spanish, or Gypsy guitar filled with campfire smoke, scarred from the beating of a tambourine, played with the restless dramatic tension and street opera and sung urgently by a stranger in a strange land. The bass vibrates like telephone lines in a wind swept downpour, with a fuzz guitar that brings chaotic emotion without the Baroque filigree of impressive, fused, art-rock arpeggios. Acoustic and gut string rhythm, picked and plucked guitars fill the sound in quieter moments anticipating the distant thunder of a supportive drumkit coiled to deliver a stark explosive assault as the story builds from the heart to the an anthemic fist. Rhythms and melodies in common with a caravan, Kurt Weill, and klezmer infiltrate the Clash-stark fire circle of this band like fresh meat roasting over a bonfire. After dozens of spins, I'm finding a good helping of Tool in this mix. These guys know what they are after.

Point of clarification: All musicians are gypsies. I take that from Jimi Hendrix and years of tradition. Perhaps Romania spawned a tradition in music that we feel as Gypsy. Musicians and theater folk are all gypsies. I am one. You may be one too.

Hidden in the words to the songs on Antihero is the story of a boy in communist Romania who has come to explore the freedom of religion, the promise of democracy, and the joys and sorrows implicit in a life of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll in the City of Angeles. Antihero is the love song of the cynic, detailing the bitter truth behind the promise of each new freedom. Communism, religion, democracy, drugs, and the rock 'n' roll lifestyle have failed to live up to their promise. This Romanian boy sends a cryptic letter home letter home to Mom and Dad in the song Hooligan. In a deeper sense, MH has stayed true to the search for wisdom through all the disappointments of rockin' in the Free World. These songs affirm the dignity of life without unnecessary illusions. These men are up to something. In a world littered with the corpses of saviors, Madame Hooligan offers a fortune telling hoodlum and the active resistance contained in the concept of the antihero.

And the music kicks ass!


1. FREAK THE WORLD documents the disillusioning journey from first glimpse "in a crystal ball of a gypsy woman" of the place "where angels fled leaving only angel dust behind." The prescient fortune teller tells of a place where "women look pretty / Dream of movie stars while doing porn." That may not be in the brochure from the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce though it's true enough of the place where nobody's from but everybody goes.

This song is an anthem and a rallying cry similar in sound to a Red Hot Chili Pepper and weirdly reminiscent of the level of arrangement and catch phrase of a song from Yes:

FROM YES: "I've seen all good people turn their heads
Each day so satisfied I'm on my way."

FROM MH's Freak The World: "Hey beautiful fucked up people, can I join your train?
Hey beautiful are we ready to freak the world out another day? "

There's imagination in the arrangements of this starkly furnished album and this song is a great example. The short whistling accent is a hoot, and MH let's the train accelerate for excitement in that mad manner I remember from the electric Hassid on the Chabad House local LA marathon singing "Hava Nagila." There's a touch of madness in the choices here that keeps the alternative bent on rock 'n' roll. I'm not hit maker, but this song is off the hook.

2. I AM A COR - Billy's Bunker Reviews


So I’m about halfway through Madame Hooligan’s new album, anitheroes (cute guys, you’re even anti-capital letters), and the song “Hooligan” kicks in. Andrew’s tribal drumming rolls through the speakers, accompanied by Radu’s primal, iconic holler, his war cry if you will. A chant begins, part Eastern, part Western, all Hooligan. By the time Dave’s innovative, unpredictable guitar solo dances its way into my ears, I realize I’m listening to something incredibly new. The song is much cathartic wail as it is radio staple, and it’s perhaps a summation of everything they stand for as a group: “Moooother, I have become a Hooligan.”

The success of any band relies on a surface level contrast between its members with a strong undercurrent of similarity and like beliefs. Take the classic example of The Beatles. Each member had their own stamp or personality trait (the funny one, the handsome one, etc.), but what made them such a successful act was their apparent likeness of mind when making most of their best music. Even the turmoil and conflict within such a band might be driven by the unconscious similarities as opposed to the superficial differences. The same can be said for Madame Hooligan. These are three men who live differently, but think alike. Sometimes their personalities clash, more often they meld, and always it produces good, interesting music.

Radu, the lead singer, is the most “vocal” of the group, and he wears his passion for questioning authority on his sleeve (make that his sleeve, his shirt, his pants, his heart, and his mind). In the green room, he’s more likely to be reading philosophy than drinking a six pack, and the philosophy he’s reading will often make its way onstage--you’ll just have to look past the kilt and the menacing antics to see it. He’s a force lyrically, vocally, and personally.

To meet Radu, you feel compelled to tell this man to relax, but Radu’s too restless and productive to fully grasp the concept of leisure as a means to an end; he’s more likely to view it only as an end in itself. He’ll save the leisure for years down the road when he’s on his vineyard in Argentina, though he’ll still probably be hard at work on something, whether it’s making wine or finishing his symphony or raising his kids. For now, he’s focused on the evolution of his songwriting, and how to best relay a message of social unrest to an unsuspecting public that needs it (whether they know it or not). Personally, it’s a relief to see artists who still takes his job as an influential figure seriously. That said, at the end of the day, what matters most to Radu (and the band as a whole) is that you fall in love with the music.

If Radu’s message is overt, Dave’s is subdued. I know, the pictures on the album artwork make him look like someone who will crush your skull with his bare hands, but I swear the total opposite is true. No really, he’s harmless. If anything, Dave’s an easy-going guy who wears his zest for life on his sleeve and keeps his passions for Hooligana (if you will) solely in his heart. He is the guy who’ll be drinking the six-pack backstage, and then he’ll blow your mind anyway.

Dave is no less extreme or socially driven than his bandmates, but he’s more reliant on leading by example--maybe because he’s forced to express himself without words in the first place. Initially, his playing should inspire you to do nothing more than listen to more music or even pick up a guitar. Then, once you’re fully enamored by the sound, you can dig deeper and get to know the man. You’ll find the man is no less extraordinary than the music.

Then there’s Andrew. He’s the funny one. That’s right, the funny one. His mischievous, taciturn smile might confuse you, but he’s totally friendly and trustworthy, and he’s a surprisingly creative force. There’s a great story where during recording Andrew wanted a particular sound on the cymbal. To find it, he employed a toy drum kit (you know, the kind that monkey’s use) and a thumb tack. If you can picture this hulking mass of a man, crouched over this tiny drum kit with a tack in his hands, you can begin to understand where all the comedy resonates from. Upon seeing Andrew’s device, their producer shouted, “What, no clown suit?!”

Andrew might not be as vocal as the others when it comes to his discontent with authority, but were the revolution to go down he’d be the one on the front lines. If he weren’t in a band, he’d probably be hunting in the forests of Russia and catching fish with his bare hands. Naturally, he’d take the fish and slip it into a friend’s sleeping bag. I told you he was the funny one. Seriously though, like the others his soul is first and foremost in the music. He just wants to play and keep playing. One has to imagine that it’s Andrew who preserves the nomadic, primitive aura of the band, with his drumming as their pulse.

To listen to Madame Hooligan’s music is to hear the coalescence of these three distinct personalities. - Jacob Osborn


"Antiheroes": Debut album (2008)

Songs "Freak the World", "Antiheroes" and "Islands of Violet" still get regular airplay on various independent stations across the U.S.



Madame Hooligan was formed in Los Angeles CA, by Radu Almasan of the famous Romanian band "Bosquito" and American guitarist David Ballon. Together with Andrei Cebotari of the Moldavian powerhouse band "Zdob si Zdub", they established themselves as being one of L.A.'s most appreciated upcoming bands by both fans and industry.

The band was named " Band of the month" in L.A. twice by "The Deli Magazine" after winning the subsequent poll by a landslide. The band was afterwards featured twice on the cover of the magazine.
Their song "Freak the world" was a number 1 single two months in a row for the now-defunct iChannel Fm, the largest US network for indie music, breaking every record in network's history and continues to be played regularly on iChannel's successor: IN-DIO Fm. Their energetic live shows triggered the formation of a strong fan base, that lead Mhoo from playing ratholes around L.A. to headlining the famous House Of Blues on Sunset Strip, all in the span of one year. Now Madame Hooligan is ready to take Europe by storm with a summer festival tour in 2011.


Immediately after moving to L.A. the band drew the attention of Traa Daniels, the bassist for the band P.O.D. who offered to produce their first record.

Eventually the record was produced by Jeremy Rublino (Brett Michaels, Bruce Kulick) and spawned great feedback from key players in the music industry such as: Bob Ezrin, Rick Rubin (which they met at his house in Malibu), Fieldy of Korn and Jeremy of LIT.

Also Eva Gardner (bassist for Pink and original bass player for The Mars Volta) ,Richard Young (production manager Radiohead) and country-music sweetheart Taylor Swift complimented the band on their sound.

Kiefer Sutherland was interested in their song Antihero and attended their H.O.B. show, also band's anthem "Freak the World" was the subject of negotiation with popular HBO show "Entourage".

Grammy Awarded producer Bradley Spalter took an interest in the band after seeing their House Of Blues performance.

Film producer Sam Feuer (Hotel Rwanda, The First Grader) offered to manage the band for free after seeing them in concert at Viper Room and falling in love with "Freak the World".

The band was invited to play a song before the Cardinals-Cubs MLB game on September 15th 2010 at the Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO in front of cca. 40 000 people.

Detailed facts:

Madame Hooligan was formed in Los Angeles CA, by Radu Almasan of the famous Romanian band "Bosquito", David Ballon of "Dryver" and Andrei Cebotari of the Moldavian powerhouse band "Zdob si Zdub".

Bored with their lifestyle and musical direction, they decide to give up fame, success and money and in 2006 they relocate to Los Angeles, CA to endure hardships, humility and anonymity (please note a humorous accent although facts described are 100% accurate) so that they could experience a different lifestyle and try to leave a mark in a scene that's known as the toughest.

After a compelling story that could be written into a novel, the band takes on American guitarist David Ballon as a full member and bassist Andrew James as a collaborator and records its first album (Antiheroes) in 2008 with producer Jeremy Rubolino (Bret Michaels, Bruce Kulick, Michael Kamen) under the supervision of super-producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Kiss, Deftones, 30 Seconds to Mars).

Bass tracks were recorded by fretless-bass legend Tony Franklin (The Firm, Jimi Page, Whitesnake, Slash).

This is what happened next:

2008 - June voted "L.A.'s Artist of the month" in the Deli Magazine with more than 76 % out of all 8 candidates.

2008 June - Voted "Best new band" on Buzz Radio (Alternative-iTunes)

2008 June - No 1 band on the iChannel Network, the biggest exclusive-indie network in the U.S. That includes the most requested and voted band, iChannel DJ's favorite band, and the most requested song: "Islands of violet"

2008 August - "L.A. 's Artist of the month" in the Deli Magazine for the second time.

2008 November, after a string of successful concerts all around California in the summer & early fall, the band is invited to perform KROQ's Battle Of The Bands, to compete for the title of L.A.'s most promising band and wins its edition drawing cca. 500 ppl at the show.

As a consequence, promoters offer them a headlining slot at the famous House Of Blues on the Sunset Strip. The show took place on Jan. 2nd 2009 and was met with lots of enthusiasm. Mhoo was happy to see in the audience famous actors and industry people raging from Kiefer Sutherland, and members of the "Entourage" cast to Grammy-awarded producer Bradley Spalter.

2009 - March - band goes on a temporary touring hiatus due to health related issues but is expected to return on stage in September 2010 at the Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO where they should play "Freak The World" in the opening of the Cards-Cubs MLB game.

In the meantime they set up their publishing company "Hooliga