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Calgary, Alberta, Canada | INDIE

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | INDIE
Band Rock Punk


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Prairie-raised punk rock, served rare"

The Mad Cow Boys have only been living under the same roof for a year, but they finish each other’s sentences like they’re straight out of some conservative’s nightmare of a polygamous gay marriage. Bound together by a love for good old-fashioned punk rock, featuring the traditional mix of relationships, partying and awareness, The Mad Cow Boys may not have a huge political agenda, but it is there.
"Who the fuck are we?" asks guitarist-vocalist Mike McLeod. "We don’t have any credentials whatsoever. We want to make change, but you have to start small, with a solid foundation." So despite some utopian socialist undertones, they say their main maxim is to have fun, which often means playing benefit shows, even if they get paid in complimentary drinks or not at all.
"We try not to talk too much political shit while we’re onstage," he says. "When we’re playing live, we want everyone to have a good time."
"But you can do that while saying something meaningful," says bassist Dave Sowsun. "You’re the center of attention for 100 people, so it’s a good opportunity to voice your opinion about something that matters more than girls or skateboarding," he says, though they all agree these things are important, too.
The band members (including drummer Lyndon Strandquist) are all in their early to mid 20s, but their music is reminiscent of the all-ages shows they saw in their teenage years.
"If you’ve liked any punk from the last 20 years, you’ll probably like at least one of our songs," says vocalist-guitarist McLeod. At the same time he adds, "I’d like to think that we’re branching out a little bit from what’s been done."
The members may be self-professed shit-talkers, but they would rather say something than nothing at all. The angst-fuelled idealism of classic punk has become increasingly rare and McLeod describes the band’s straightforward, no-bullshit lyrics as politics for the layman.
Take for example "Who are we to assume that we're at the top of the chain? To lock up and slaughter countless living beings because we can." These lyrics successfully challenge conventional assumptions without being pretentious, not surprising given the band’s down-to-earth nature.
"I think you have to be idealistic," says McLeod. "It’s the only way you’re gonna make sense out of this world."
"You do, but you have to be open. Idealism is useless if you’re not looking at it from both sides," Sowsun adds. "We’re backing it up. A band like Anti Flag just dumbs it down so it marginalizes the music."
Listeners will have the chance to judge for themselves when The Mad Cow Boys release their debut CD Fist Full of Dirty Dollars. Playing on the name of the famous Clint Eastwood film, this 10-song CD is only the first in a series of albums that will be named after such classic westerns as A Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Though they describe this first album as old school, they do anticipate an evolution in their musical style.
"If Mike ever turned screamo, we wouldn’t be the Mad Cow Boys, but a band has to always be evolving," says Strandquist. Considering the band cites Tom Waits and Nina Simone as influences alongside punks like Flogging Molly and Propagandhi, that evolution could be interesting, indeed. In the meantime, as they evolve, Strandquist would like to see how the rest of Canada receives their music. The band members, who will be celebrating their two-year anniversary in April, may have decided to move in together under one roof so they could have more time for jamming, but that has other advantages when it comes to their bigger musical plans.
"We gotta get outta here, maybe try living in Van or Toronto for six months," says Strandquist. "We didn’t sign the lease again, so we can do the midnight F-you."
- FFWD Magazine

"The Madcowboys / A Fist Full of Dirty Dollars"

Calgary's own The Madcowboys gallop out of
the studio with ten tracks of solid punk rock.
The Madcowboys have left you, the listen-
er, with both lyrics to every song in the album in
addition to explanatory paragraphs on the muse's
behind their songs. These range from the openi\ing
track "Never Drink Again", the "oath we all take
the morning after drinking too much", to political
songs such as "DIY" where the Cowboys attack
"the mainstream music industry", and the Alberta
specific "Propaganda" which is simply an ode to
Ralph". Environmental issues, school stress, and
relationship themes also abound in the
album. Musically, almost every song is straight up
4/4 punk rock. The song range in length from
slightly over a minute at the shortest to slightly
over three minutes at the longest with A Fist Full
of Dirty Dollars clocking in at a reasonable 21
minutes for ten songs.
In terms of other influences this reminds me
equally of early Propagandhi circa-Where
quantity is Job#1, I-Spy and fellow Calgarians
Knucklehead. Or if you prefer non-Canadian
bands, think Lookout! Records in the early '90s. A Fist Full of Dirty Dollars is a good first
record for a relatively new Calgary punk band.
The album is punk rock in the truest sense from
its DIY appearance, packaging to its musical and
lyrical content. Lastly and more importantly, its
also fun.

- Spencer Brown
- Beat Route Magazine

"MadCowboys - A Fistful of Dirty Dollars"

Remember what punk rock sounded like before the "commercialization wave" of bands like Simple Plan or Good Charlotte? It sounded like the Mad fuckin' Cowboys. Yes folks, this is what indie DIY punk should sound like. Three piece, straight ahead, in your face, politically charged punk rock fuelled by booze and pot. The way it should be.

I had the pleasure of seeing MadCowboys open for SNFU at a recent concert in their home base of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I had yet to hear the full release "A Fistful of Dirty Dollars" , and I, along with the rest of the punkers in attendance were in for a treat. They sailed through many of the songs featured on this album, and did it with furious energy, speed and emotion. It was quite evident that these guys played the music from their hearts, not for the perks or cash (cash?), but for sheer enjoyment of the style they grew up listening to, and respecting.

Back to the album. "A Fistful of Dirty Dollars" kicks off at breakneck speed with "Never Drink Again", a tune which reflects a message which we have all sworn by after a night or many nights of heavy partying. "D.I.Y." summarizes the Cowboy's attitude towards the aforementioned commercial punk bands, "...the only ones who get through to the mainstream are the valueless dorks like bands like Simple Plan who can all go suck my fuckin' nuts...". I love this line, and it reflects my musical system of values exactly. The next track is a political commentary, critical of the values (or lack thereof) of Ralph Klein, the man behind the curtain in Alberta. Environmental, as well as political conciousness, also shines through on track 5, "The People and the Earth". My personal favourite song on the album would have to be track 9, "Rejecting Democracy". Super fast, super tight, great lyrics and great message. Check it out.

Any fan of actual music, as opposed to music as a commodity, will appreciate what these guys are doing. On their own - and extremely well. Their stlye could be compared to a combination of Propagandhi, Screeching Weasel and Bigwig. Call it whatever you will, I call it good listening. You should too.

Check out the MadCowboy's website to hear a selection of songs, and learn more about one of few bands true to the original spirit of punk rock music. Oh, and decriminalize weed.
- Some Internet Zine

"2009 s/t review"

CD:Self Titled Artist: Mad Cowboys
Label:The New Black Rating: 3.5/5
Best Song:Overanalysis Reviewer: Cole Faulkner
There’s something to be said about bands that play for the simple love of music. They’re the type of bands that aren’t out to change the world, but to enjoy it, and help others enjoy themselves should they be passing through. Their music might not be innovative, but it’s sure easy to get into. In the case of Calgary’s Madcowboys, from the second I fired up their self-titled debut, I knew I was listening to one of those bands.

The entire outing screams of energy, enthusiasm, and just plain fun. The album features a refreshingly rough, scratchy production quality and everything from sloppy, Swing’n Utters-style pop-punk, to slow, abstract post-punk instrumentals. The band is at its most accessible during tracks like “Chewin’ Cud” and “Overanalysis” where lead vocalist “Madmike” fires off lines a mile a minute, sounding a little reminiscent of ska-punk acts like The Salads.

Speaking of ska, other styles periodically pop-up throughout the albuma well. The band sneaks in a few trumpet blasts here and there, with a first appearance taking place three tracks in on “Girls in Shackles.” Although uncommon, they fit the album’s general feel since the band integrates a healthy dose of upstrokes into the mix. Towards the end of the album the band even flirts with a little dance-punk in the minute long track “Get Out.” The track still feels rough and raw, but is incredibly uplifting – stylistically it’s almost comparable to Against Me’s little dance number, “Stop.”

Unfortunately though, for all the fun the band has doing things their own way, their disregard for convention really hurt’s the album’s pacing. For example, twenty seconds of near silence linger between “Into the Black” and “Instrumental,” and “American Idol” concludes with a good twenty seconds of the same. Although the silence provides some cool down time between tempo changes, it really fractures the first half of the album. Still, I applaud the band for experimenting and taking risks – even if the purpose isn’t immediately apparent.

Overall though, Madcowboys demonstrate a commitment to themselves while still sounding pretty solid in the process. Sure, they still have to iron out exactly what works and what doesn’t, and how far to push their inside jokes – the final track, “Zzzzzz,” features a full minute of snoring – but otherwise the band offers an undeniably fun and energetic debut.

"2009 interview"

The Madcowboys
Posted on October 01, 2009 at 3:00 am by Luke

The Madcowboys
Calgary, Alberta’s The Madcowboys rolled into Ottawa last week while supporting their latest self-titled album. Before their set I got a chance to sit down inside their van with all three members and talk about the music industry, touring Canada, and what it’s like to be a band in Calgary, plus lots of other interesting things. So here’s our chat from one September evening at the side of the street near downtown Ottawa. Enjoy.

WayTooLoud!: What influenced you guys into music?

Mike McLeod: Lots of old punk rock, the ‘90’s, the Fat [Wreck Chords] wave was very influential for me. Dillinger Four was very influential for me and lots of countless punk bands, but we brought in other influences as well. We used to have this old drummer a long time ago with straight ahead, just skate-punk beats all the way, then we got Will a couple years later and he’s a lot more rock influenced and all over the board, bluegrass as well… I don’t wanna speak for you though. We kind of been mashing in influences from the beginning, from all over the place. I like lots of different kinds of music, we all do, we listen to a lot more then just punk rock.

Will Schatz: I grew up in the music industry, so I don’t have a choice to do anything else.

Mike: Will’s mom used to be a touring bluegrass artist, Leslie Schatz, so he grew up touring Europe.

Dave Sowsun: I’d say that Propagandhi got me into music and punk rock ‘cuz I grew up in Winnipeg and I discovered them when I was like fourteen or fifteen and it blew my mind that some guys from Winnipeg were so well known and so influential. Then I moved to Calgary and met Mike, and I picked up the bass and he taught me how to play, and the rest is history.

WTL!: Your new self-titled album recently came out this past summer, did you have any goals in mind when writing and recording it?

Will: Just to get it out! It was a pretty quick process when we got picked up by The New Black [Label], we immediately went in to write the album then we went on tour and played a bunch of the songs, then we came back and recorded it, so it was a very fast process.

Dave: There was like a month in between the tour and recording, we went out for all of August, come back in September and found out that this label wants to work with us, then by October first we were in the studio, it was pretty cool!

Mike: Our last album came off a little bit more polished in some ways than we wanted, so we wanted to bring more of our live style to the studio, ‘cuz we’re fast and energetic live usually more then when recording so we tried to amalgamate that into the studio process. It’s kind of hard to capture that in the studio when you’re doing track by track by track, dissecting every fucking song, playing them way too many times, but I think that we got some of that in there this time, people tend to say so!

WTL!: How’d you hook up with The New Black, is this your first label?

Will: We all know those guys from around Calgary, they’re good dudes, and I think you (points to Mike) were playing Virgin Fest with Chixdiggit when Jay [Sinclair] first talked to us. Jay is one of the guys from the label, he used to play in Belvedere.

Mike: They have a rehearsal space in Calgary, kind of a joint that they put on shows, a rehearsal space and studio and all that kind of shit, and they wanted to get the label aspect of it going, they have their own band, Colin Decker Free Fall, and they’re putting out their records and they approached us and said that they dug our tunes and we’re one of the bands that tour and it just went really fast. It’s awesome ‘cuz we’re really distrusting of labels in general, we were DIY for a reason before that, we were really skeptical about jumping on with a label but we don’t regret it in the least, they’re really righteous guys, they’re transparent with everything they do and just a really good friendship and relationship to be working with people like that!

WTL!: I’ve read that The Madcowboys are all about the DIY approach, how come?

Will: More control over all the decisions

Dave: It’s not so much do-it-yourself, it’s more do-it-how-you-want. We don’t wanna be told what to do, we just wanna keep doing what we’re doing.

Will: Everyone has seen how many major label, and major indie casualties there are, they just sign you and rack up a huge recoup and you can’t ever get out of the hole, and you have to mold. So it’s better to do it within your means and not get to ahead of yourself.

Mike: Back when I was growing up there was a lot of bands that I used to listen to and they got picked up by majors, and whether it was the timing for each of the bands, it seemed like they became a little bit more diluted with the major label process. I think there’s a lot of reasons to be skeptical about it, just in music in general, there’s a lot of douchebaggery that goes on behind the scenes in music. We’re just tryna steer clear of all that and keep music what it should be, honest and personal.

WTL!: Why did you wait for your third album to name it self-titled?


Will: We keep saying the music is the strongest it’s been, or it all speaks for itself, I think we’re just too lazy to come up with a title!


Dave: Picking names suck! Self-titled is so much easier to go with just to get it out!

Mike: We talked about it a bit, about titles, but nobody came up with anything, so we called it self-titled. That’s the truth!


WTL!: Now you have to choose a title for the next album though!

Mike: True. “Self-titled the second”.

Will: “Madcowboys, part four”.

WTL!: Why’d you choose to go with Sir Ian Blurton again for production?

Dave: ‘Cuz he’s a rad dude! We were happy the first time.

Mike: I personally thought, we were happy with the first time but I thought that we could find more then what we had on “Baby Steps”. He’s super likeminded as far as everything goes musically, as far as ethics, just a really enjoyable process. He’s like a genius, working with him was awesome! He really helped us make our songs more concise, the preproduction that he did on our last album really stood out as quite special, so we were really confident in going with him again.

Dave: One thing too with the last album we only had five days and we didn’t really know Ian that well, Mike and I didn’t, and the second time we got to know him well and we had ten days to record with him, so it was a much more relaxed atmosphere, we’re all buddies, much better experience the second time around and I think it shows that in the album.

Mike: He puts in his two sense, but he’s also willing to listen to the bands point of view but he’s got where he’s coming from and willing to grind it out and have an amalgamation of the two working together as opposed to just some producer telling you what to do.

Dave: He’s not there for the paycheck!


Will: No, not from us!

WTL!: I’m interested in your writing process and everyone’s role in creating.

Will: Mike comes up with a song and we piece it together as a song.

Dave: I take care of the low frequencies.


Will: After Mike comes up with a song, he usually writes on his acoustic and puts lyrics to it, then it’s just some structure changes as a whole band. So he just brings something in and we turn it into a rock song.

WTL!: Does everyone pitch in with lyrics?

Will: No, just Mike.

Dave: I failed English.


Mike: I’ve been writing since junior high school, so it’s an easy process ‘cuz I do it anyways.

WTL!: What inspired the lyrics this time around?

Mike: Same shit as always; chicks, booze, music, that’s about it, politics. Stuck being a poor working man. Just a reason to bitch. I really try and not go back on things I’ve written, every song is just a capture of the mood I was in, irrational or hypocritical or whatever it might be, there’s a lot of influences. Mainly prevalent is chicks, musical ethics and partying. Typical punk rock.


WTL!: What’s everyone’s role beyond their instruments?

Will: Mike and Dave do a fuckload of driving ‘cuz I don’t have my license, and the previous tours until the last year or so Mike was doing most of the booking ‘cuz I toured as a sound man, working for Pride Tiger, so I was constantly on the road with them, then come back and go on the road with [The Madcowboys], but with the last few [tours] I did a lot of the booking and all the books and accounting, show advance and all that shit.

WTL!: What’s next for The Madcowboys?

Dave: Montréal!


Will: We have a split coming out in October with Trigger Effect from Montréal, we pick it up tonight actually ‘cuz we’re gonna go to Montréal and stay with them. So that’s exciting, it’s colored vinyl, I don’t even know what color it is or anything! I haven’t heard their songs, apparently they’re pretty kick ass! We have some time we got to use up so that might mean another split or a full 7-inch. Who knows what that’ll equate to.

Dave: [What’s next is] this tour and try and break even on the album, then try for another [tour].

Mike: I think what Dave was saying with a rather poignant comment is it’s always been a part of the band to take it one step at a time and see what comes up and not try and get too big for your britches, just be realistic about everything. Resonated very well there Dave!


WTL!: That’s actually what you meant to say!


Dave: This time last year we didn’t know what the fuck we were doing, and before that we didn’t know what the fuck we were doing, so it’s pretty chaotic. That’s why “Baby Steps” was called “Baby Steps”, just taking everything one step at a time.

Mike: I wanted to call the album “The Great Leap Forward”.


Will: I wanted to change the name of the band to “Madcowboys of the Apocalypse”.


WTL!: So if I asked if there was any goals for this band, it’d be to have fun and tour more?

Will: I think we all wanna go to new places. This time we’re going to St. John’s, Newfoundland, we haven’t been there, it’s about the only new place on the tour.

Dave: Sarnia!


Will: Yeah, Sarnia. We’ve never been to Olds before, and we’ve never played Kamloops.

Mike: I think mainly getting out of Canada.

Will: The US and Europe would be really nice to work towards.

WTL!: You haven’t been to the US yet?

Mike: No, not one single show, we were close this tour but couldn’t get it lined up in time.

Dave: And it’s expensive!

Mike: I know there’s a lot of bands out there that go and find a label down there, but I also know bands who get banned for five years, in this line of work you just can’t.

Will: If we go down [to the US] it’ll have to be legitimate.

Mike: That’s the next step!

WTL!: I like asking Canadian bands that have been to the States if they’ve ever tried White Castle. Have you?

Dave: It was a long time ago, but I’d give it a poor rating!

Mike: I’ve never tried White Castle, but the movie was pretty funny!


Will: I’m trying to think of where I tried White Castle, I think it was in Detroit.

Dave: Some motor-city White Castle!

Will: Detroit had pretty high security in their White Castle, the person giving you your shit was behind glass!

Dave: It’s safe to say that we won’t be going there when we go to the US.

WTL!: Touring seems to be a big part of this band, how come you guys tour so much?

Dave: Calgary sucks!


Mike: I think Calgary played a big part of it; we grew up in that scene and I think everybody tries to be the kings of that city, and they don’t concentrate on other cities and they don’t think outside the box. They get the biggest ego when they get to play the biggest bar in town, but there’s so many more people in bars out there! The way the music industry is these days that touring is the only way.

Will: Especially a band from Calgary, we’re not from Toronto or Vancouver or Montréal, we don’t get any attention like those scenes do, nobody really notices the Calgary scene. Partly because nobody really tours other then The Dudes, This is a Standoff and us.

Mike: It makes it a lot more realistic and puts it into perspective when you’re in a room playing for two people and you’re broke as shit, it takes away the glam fantasies of rock and roll that everybody has and shows you what it is, and if you can deal with that you can keep moving on.

Dave: If you pay your dues and keep doing it, shit pays off! A lot of bands expect success, “We’re good, why aren’t a hundred people here!?”, well it’s ‘cuz you’ve never been here before, that’s why, you gotta keep coming back!

Will: I’ve seen so many bands leave Calgary for one tour, they’re the king shit in Calgary, the big new thing, and decide to go on a tour and they break up in the end. That happens all the time.

Dave: “How was tour?”, “oh, it was hell, no one showed up at our shows!”. It’s the real world on the road.

Mike: With touring bands, everybody gets it.

WTL!: I know Calgary used to have a wicked punk scene a while back!

Dave: I remember going to multicultural shows there at Belvedere’s CD release and having 450 kids packed into a hall, and now you go to an all ages punk show and there’s like twenty-five.

Mike: I don’t think there’s 450 kids in Calgary anymore.


WTL!: You guys have toured with many Canadian punk greats, how have those experiences helped the band?

Mike: We’ve only really toured with Chixdiggit and Trigger Effect, and Carpenter, we’re played lots of shows with Propagandhi, Alexisonfire, D.O.A., so playing those shows were really good, those big stages will make you shit your pants, they made me shit my pants! It’s really awesome to play with a band like Propagandhi who I grew up listening to, blows your mind!

Will: It’s a learning experience for sure, those stages are hard to adjust to, it’s neat to see how those bands at a higher level do it every night and learn from that. Face To Face was a crazy one! The venue, this place the Calgary Flames zone, called Flames Central, Flames shit everywhere, it’s like a theatre style. It’s not as big as the biggest place ever, it’s like 1200 capacity, but the way it looks from the stage, the stage is so huge, it’s tiered and it raises so you just look forward and you see levels of people, that’s all you see, levels of people! Like a mini stadium! It’s cool to watch these bands and how they do their thing even right down to setup, just how they operate, you learn a lot.

Mike: Touring with Chixdiggit, as far as Madcowboys go it was good for us and we were still getting lots of people who haven’t seen us in three years since we toured with them. Me personally having toured with Chixdiggit was a great experience, those guys worked very, very hard at touring and definitely had their tour mode down. I learned a lot as a kid going out with them.

WTL!: Let’s talk about the scene back in Calgary, Alberta, and how it’s helped propel you to tour.

Dave: It’s where we started, so that’s a big thing, it also helped us leave, we wanted to get out of there and go to new crowds.

Mike: Also, I think the people of Calgary have suffered through enough really shitty Madcowboys sets.


Dave: We’ve been around for seven years!

Mike: Not that we’re a very good band right now, but we’re definitely better then what we used to be! It definitely helped us talk to the crowd and play to a live crowd.

Dave: Calgary is always good to us! People are starting to expect stuff from us when we play in Calgary now, a lot of people talk about us, we won a contest in town and I think we let people down sometimes who haven’t seen us before when we play our regular show. Mike doesn’t jump into the drums or something, people have come to expect that, or that we’re not completely shit-faced, people are let down that we’re not puking on stage, literally it’s become that!


It’s kind of weird, you don’t get that anywhere else in Canada, just Calgary, people know us the best.

Mike: It’s been good, we got some good ins having grown up in that scene, I don’t think we woulda got the label we got now if we weren’t from Calgary, we wouldn’t have had the chance to play with Propagandhi have we not lived in Calgary and had connections. We do good in Calgary now and people are supportive of us, and we thank them one hundred percent!

Will: The Calgary scene is getting better too, there’s finally a festival that caters to indie and punk and metal, it’s called Sled Island and it’s in year four, next year. This year we got to play with Tricky Woo, a reunion show, and the year before that we played with Fucked Up. A good festival and it’s inspiring a lot of younger bands to start trying to hit the road and play more and people to start bands and wanna do more then just sit around Calgary.

Mike: Calgary always goes through ways of almost becoming a big city, then it goes back to nothing basically. There’s a fuckload of bands in Calgary right now, hopefully some of them pick up vans and get out of the city!

Will: A lot of bands I talk to outside of Calgary think it’s just a crazy, hoser, drunken party town, and they’re kind of right, but they love going to it. It’s just a crazy drunk scene, but people love going there ‘cuz there’s nothing to do.

The Madcowboys “Drunk Talk“, from self-titled album

WTL!: Do you guys have anything else on the go, like other projects, bands or jobs?

Mike: We all work, Will’s got his sound career; Dave and I work in bars, and so does Will, I guess, technically.

Will: I put my sound career on hold to tour with us, but I got another band, a hobby band, just me and my friend getting drunk and playing shows. It’s called Hip City Blues Combo. We’ve played four shows in the last year, and haven’t rehearsed.

Mike: But it’s still rad every time, they don’t need to rehearse!


Will: We’re like best friends, we don’t need to practice, it’s just the two of us, he doesn’t even need to be in tune.

Mike: Other than that we don’t have much else going on except touring.

WTL!: What have you guys been listening to lately?

Will: Last night on our drive, we drove from the Burlington show to get past Toronto, we drove to Oshawa and passed out in the parking lot, we listened to Jawbreaker and I Spy on the way from Burlington. We have a pile of cassette tapes and a few iPod’s, and satellite radio, so it’s pretty rad.

Mike: A lot of Howard Stern! It’s great road radio to listen to, have some dude talking to you.

WTL!: Great for those Canadian fifteen hour drives!

Will: Yeah! You don’t have to talk to each other, you can listen to a dude that’s actually funny!


WTL!: Who would you like to tour with who’s both feasible and not obvious?

Dave: Not obvious… that’s tricky.

WTL!: Okay, how about the same question but you can pick anybody you want, any era, create your own festival and name it too if you want!

Mike: Queen! All the way! Fuck yeah! A Queen world tour!


Even if you don’t like the music that live show is insane, Freddie Mercury is running laps on the stage, singing!

Will: They have maybe four tolerable songs for me.

Dave: For me, the first tours of punk rock back in the early days, the early ‘80’s. That’s kind of what we’re doing but it’s not the same scene anymore, but I think we’d fit right in! They were the pioneers, they were laying the ground work for bands like us to do the exact same thing but it’s a lot easier for us now with the internet, and bars that actually have PA’s and all that.

Mike: It’s funny that twenty-seven years later and we’re still doing the same shit that punk bands were doing back then, playing for nobody!

Will: I think my favorite tour that I’ve been on, and I’ve been on a lot of tours, would be ours with Trigger Effect!

Dave: Yeah, we haven’t toured enough with them!

Will: It was so much fun and they’re such rad dudes that I just wanna keep touring with them! One of the best touring experiences I’ve ever had!

Mike: Another band that’d be good, but it’d be horrible as an opening band ‘cuz you could never ever come close to then, is the Monotonix from Israel, an insane live show, unlike any other band! Just to see what they could do night after night, whether it’s the same shit they do every night. They’re kind of a stoner rock band, they set up on the floor and let the crowd pretty much be a part of the band, and see where it goes.
Any punk band that we’re into we’d be happy if they wanted to bring us along on tour.

Dave: I’d like to tour with Propagandhi!

WTL!: Where in the world would you like to tour?

Will: Japan, I really wanna tour Japan. I’ve been to Europe, I don’t really care about going to Australia. I’d go but… I had to tour with an Australian band once, it turned me off. So I shouldn’t have that attitude, that attitude is wrong, just one bad experience. But I’d love to go to Japan!

Mike: Russia!

Will: Yeah, Russia, nice! I got to go there as a kid with my mom.

Mike: I think Eastern Europe would be really cool, seeing a totally different lifestyle.

Dave: Eastern Europe for sure! Scotland, Ireland.

Will: Everywhere.

Mike: I did a tour with Chixdiggit in Germany and it was amazing, the people were so nice, fridges full of beer, it’s like water there, fun shows. Love to go back to Germany.

Will: Anywhere, as long as it’s somewhere new. Israel.

Mike: Culture shock tours would be rad, anywhere that takes you out of your element.

Will: South Africa!

Dave: Iraq!


WTL!: Good luck on that.

Will: I don’t know how the venues are over there… the punk scene.

Dave: I remember reading a documentary, and like the one metal band over there.

Will: What about Poland?

Dave: Iceland.

Will: I think we gotta scrap our US/Europe plans and write down all these obscure places.

WTL!: Iceland, Moscow, Siberia, Israel, here label, make it work!

Dave: … what the fuck?!

WTL!: They’d be like, “How about Toronto, Montréal…”.


Dave: … you’ve heard of Olds right?

Mike: We love Canada, we love touring Canada, we’ve toured it like five or six times now.

Will: But until then, we’ll just keep doing this.

WTL!: For my last question, have you guys ever lied about your band name or what it means?

Mike: I don’t think we’ve ever lied about it.

Dave: We joked on stage that we were another band, what was it… Knucklehead?

Mike: I think we’ve been pretty honest with the dumb reason on why we named the band The Madcowboys.

Will: I had no part in that decision, for the record!


Mike: It’s a dumb story so there’s no reason to embellish it.

Dave: I called you up and said “Hey, what about Madcowboys?”, and you were like “yeah, that sounds alright”. Cool, we finally figured out our name after I don’t know how many weeks of talking about it!


Mike: We’ve debated a number of times about changing the band name.

WTL!: If you change the band name it’s like starting over again.

Mike: Yeah, exactly.

Dave: Formerly, Madcowboys. Why don’t we just be The Madcowboys.

Will: Have you checked out any other Mad Cowboys out there?

WTL!: No, is there?

Will: There’s a few, I found one in New Zealand, there’s one in Uruguay, there’s a couple in the US, one in Austin that’s just bad and there’s one with a bunch of YouTube videos of a bunch of old guys covering Johnny Cash, just bad. They’re all just bad!

Dave: None of them spell it as one word, and that’s what’s unique about us. Even though no one ever gets it.

WTL!: That’s all of my questions, thanks a bunch guys for this interview!

Dave: Thank you!

Mike: Yeah, thanks!

Will: Thanks!

Mike – vocals | Dave – bass | Will – drums

The Madcowboys at MySpace


"MadCowBoys - Baby Steps"

Calgary's MadCowBoys have really delivered the goods with their punk rock full-length Baby Steps. A spirited debut, this album raises the bar from their excellent live reviews and translates well in the studio atmosphere. Opening track Drunk Talk is catchy as a nasty cold and much more enjoyable. The video for this song (as featured on YouTube) shows the band hitting the booze in a hilarious shot-after-shot binge drunk, filmed on location at the Castle Pub, which is the perfect venue for such drunken punk rock debauchery. Ha!
The twelve songs featured here show mature, focused, self-reflective songwriting that would be a welcome addition to any label roster in the vein of Fat Wreck Chords. It's fun, it's catchy, and it's about time they get the coverage that they deserve. They've earned it the old-fashioned way, by playing exceptional live shows, and this album translates that energy very well.
Highlights include the lead off single Drunk Talk, the scene questioning rant What Happened? and the "it couldn't be more true" Basement Shows Forever, which shows that their heart is definitely in the right place.
The production and mixing talent of Toronto's resident genius Sir Ian Blurton shines through here, evidenced by the maximum audio quality of this release. The future of Calgary punk rock is in good hands with these guys and talk of more recording to come soon is good news for everyone. In the meantime, I'll be spinning the crap out of this disc.
-Jeff Airplane - Absolute Underground

"MadCowBoys takes Baby Steps"

Madcowboys takes Baby Steps

Sun Media
August 24, 2007

With song titles such as Drunk Talk and Basement Shows Forever, it seems clear Calgary’s Madcowboys are keeping it real.

Guitarist/vocalist Mike McLeod and bassist Dave Sowsun, two-thirds of the punk rock trio, have been playing together for the last seven years.

However, it wasn’t until they enlisted drummer/soundman Will Schatz that things really started rolling.

“Me and Dave met at a bowling alley in ’99,” explains McLeod, also a member of the beloved Chixdiggit.

“We started jamming and had a (crappy) band right after high school, but we abandoned that for something different.

“We started up this band in 2003 with Lyndon Strandquist on the drums. We parted ways with Lyndon in ’05 and picked up Willy (Money) Schatz, who had been doing sound for us most of the way. And now, here we are.”

The Madcowboys recently made the trip out to Toronto to record their new album Baby Steps with the infamous Ian Blurton.

The C’Mon front man is somewhat of a rock ’n’ roll institution in Canada, having produced albums for artists such as Tricky Woo, The Weakerthans and Amy Milan, and also playing in the influential Change Of Heart in the ’90s.

However, Schatz downplays the experience with a simple shrug.

“Me and Ian are drinking buddies,” he says. “We spent as much time in the Bovine Sex Club (a Toronto bar) as we did in the studio.”

“I hate recording, but I really enjoyed doing it with Ian and with Jay Sadlowski engineering it,” McLeod continues.

“They were both extremely laid back and knowledgeable beyond anything I could’ve imagined. Ian chopped ... some of our songs, and I think we lost a full minute off one of ’em. But they’re way better off because of it.”

So are there any overriding themes on Baby Steps?

“A whole lot of this album is about the music biz and the ... joke that it’s become,” explains McLeod.

“How there isn’t anybody just doing it for fun anymore. Of course, a few songs are also about girls, drinking, livin’ in the new world, and the confusion that comes along.”

The three-piece also has a reputation for their energetic and intense live show, which they hope has been maintained in the tracks of the new album.

“Ian had a few ideas that helped to keep up the oomph, like a crazy three amp guitar rig,” says McLeod.

“I was a little worried prior to going in that the recorded songs wouldn’t hold up, but all in all, I think this album’s got some balls.”

“It’s an Ian Blurton album, man,” says Schatz. “It’s loud ... and heavy.”
As of now, the group has no real plans to release the album through a label, and simply seem content to continue living the dream.

“We do this because we love to do this,” McLeod says.

“We want to do it our way, the whole way. But we’ll probably send off a couple copies to our favourite labels, just to see.”

The Madcowboys play their 18+ CD release show Saturday night (Aug. 25) at The HiFi Club, and have an all-ages gig set for Sept. 1 at The Underground.



LP- "A Fistful of Dirty Dollars"
2003 on BSEntertainers.
LP- "baby steps"
2007 on BSEntertainers.
EP - "7 inch"
2009 split with Colin Decker Free Fall on New Black
LP - "madcowboys"
2009 on New Black
EP - "Friendship Adventure Music" 2009 split with Trigger Effect on Turbo Machine



Started up in 2003, tightened up and began touring extensively in 2006. D.I.Y. to the bone since day one, keeping one hundred percent control over content, clarity, and objective. Cynicism and Satire a-plenty with stripped down, bare-boned intensity and energy.
Have done extensive touring across Canada, about 6 times all the way across in the last 3 years, and have shared the stage with the likes of D.O.A., Propagandhi, SNFU, Youth Brigade, Face To Face, AlexisonFire, St. Alvia Cartel, Ten Second Epic, The Arkells, Monotonix, Robin Black, St. Catherines, and many many more.
Have played the Warped Tour, CMW, NXNE, Halifax Pop Explosion, Montreal Pop, Sled Island, and won X92.9(Calgary) Exposure contest in 2009.
Presently supporting their 3rd Full Length, recorded once again by Sir Ian Blurton of Bionic/Blurtonia/C'mon infamy, released in 2009 on The New Black Label.
...Love music and being on the road more than their own mothers.