Real Mad Decent
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Real Mad Decent

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Funk




"Collective effort works for Real Mad Decent (24 Hrs)"

This has been a good year for Real Mad Decent with their selection as one of the top-20 finalists in the annual CFOX Seeds contest. With a self-titled EP out that that blends rock, funk and hip-hop, Joe Leary spent 24 Seconds with singer Zac McMillan.

24: How did you arrive at the band name?

ZM: We had already been a band for a couple of months and after a few drinks one night we came up with 'Mad Decent.' It turned out to be the name of a popular record label so we threw 'Real' in front of it and called it a day. The name itself is fairly ambiguous, but we've grown into it. It's who our friends and fans have come to know us as.

24: Do you all have similar musical tastes and influences?

ZM: We've actually been playing music together from a fairly young age, having grown up together. Early on, we were heavily influence by our local hardcore and punk scene — though growing older, our musical tastes started to change and we began to explore jazz, funk, hip-hop, and good old fashioned rock ‘n roll. With that, we all found ourselves drawing inspiration from different places. We tried a few different arrangements, switched instruments a few times, and one day it just clicked. We knew that we had found the arrangement and dynamic we were looking for.

24: Is the term ‘rock’ an apt description?

ZM: This is always a tough question to answer. We’re a rock band, to put it simply. Lots of other styles and influences play a role our music, such as hip-hop and funk, but essentially we’d consider ourselves a hard rock band

24: Some have noted that you have a ‘grunge’ sound. Was that genre an influence on you?

ZM: Grunge was definitely a part of my life growing up in the ‘90s. There are quite a few grunge bands that still mean a lot to me. What I loved most during that era was the sense of raw talent, no bells and whistles, just artists giving it everything they had never holding back for anyone.

24: Did music figure in your life early on?

ZM: All four of us were lucky enough to have musical fathers, so we were all surrounded by music from a young age. Bass player Mitchell Santaga and I started a band together when we were 11 playing Green Day covers. Music has always been an important part of my life.

24: Is there a principle songwriter or all four of you involved?

ZM: As a band, our songwriting style is very collaborative and we all contribute. Sometimes Nik Dagsvik, our guitarist, might have an idea for a vocal melody or our drummer, Marco Di Spirito, might have a guitar part that he's been working on. We try to leave the process very open ended and work through songs together. We’re always listening to each other’s ideas and building off those ideas and hopefully, that's what helps make our sound unique.

24: What’s been the reaction to your live shows?

ZM: We always get a great reaction when we play gigs that are suited to a loud, high-energy crowd. There have definitely been times when our music wasn’t appropriate for the venue or atmosphere. Despite those gigs, we’re always trying to play for as many people as we can, and stay true to who we are — a high-energy band.

24: What do you foresee for the future?

ZM: Our plan is to keep writing, keep playing, keep recording, and never stop improving as musicians and as a collective band. We’re currently writing a new EP that we can’t wait to release — working really hard on having it reflect the musical progress we’ve made as a group. Overall, we’re just going to keep plugging away and having fun. - 24 Hrs Newspaper

"More than just 'Decent' - Fox Seeds Showcase Review"

The last night of the Fox Seeds week 1! Big thanks again to the FOX 99.3, Budweiser, and The Roxy for some great nights and more ahead! With only two bands on the bill for this night, it most likely meant that they were ending early for the "regular crowd," but what ever the reason, it was PACKED already at 9pm.

Real Mad Decent is, I think, the youngest band in the competition so far. Having a very tight surf, ska, bluesy rock sound, this is the kind of music you want to blast in your car when your driving down to wreck beach on a sunny day. Reminded me of Red Hot Chilli Peppers mixed with Funk Vigilante. This band had a fun, party-esque stage presence. The singer has a great range, grit to his voice and has some awesome vocal tones that really make the songs shine. Normally you hear a rapper who kind of sings or a singer who can kind of rap. This guy honestly nailed both. The band had such a great groove, thanks to the drummer and bassist who were locked in tight with some great funk rock beats. The guitarist really laid it down and filled out the sound. Armed with some great tunes and by the looks of things, great fans, this band should have a great career ahead of them! Keep rocking! - Hammer Records

"Real Mad Decent's gritty debut EP straddles a double-edged sword (The Georgia Straight)"

The Real Mad Decent EP (Independent)

Burnaby-based Real Mad Decent is straddling a double-edged sword. On one hand, its gritty debut EP can sound refreshingly purist in a digital landscape. On the other, its devotion to the past might jeopardize the band’s future.

The opening track, “Nothing To Prove”, sets the tone for the rest of the EP in stubborn stone: it’s compressed, catchy, and rudimentary. And although the band exhibits tight-knit musicianship that serves its rootsy, funk-inspired ethos well, the songs have a watered-down ’90s feel that’s more irksome than nostalgic.

Frontman Zac McMillan is undeniably charismatic, with that classic-rock rasp and unfailing swagger, but his Scott Weiland–esque posturing gets old fast. Besides the tiresome musical formula, the band’s real failing is its habit of building up and up to crescendos that never actually come, all its passion fizzling out like wet matches at the end of nearly every song.

Still, Real Mad Decent has some talent, along with an admirable amount of self-assuredness. But if these locals want to elevate their sound above decent, they’re going to have to bring something new and exciting to the table. - The Georgia Straight

"Everything is Louder with Real Mad Decent (Y57 Media)"

The young, local four-piece rock outfit known as Real Mad Decent were setting up to take the stage at 9:45PM on March 31, 2012, and the crowd at Joe’s Apartment already seemed riled up for some sort of emphatic aural assault to come off the stage. An in-house emcee took to the microphone and told the crowd that video cameras were set up to shoot a promotional video of the performance and went to explain the context of the curiously humorous blow-up dolls dressed in Bruins jerseys which were set to be launched off of the upper floor of the venue and into the crowd front.

The guys of Real Mad Decent, fresh-faced and all, finally struck their first guitar chord and proceeded to deliver their first song to the restless crowd. Five seconds into the song and the crowd seemed to react positively, headbanging and vigorously moving to the intensely heavy sounds coming off the stage. This was straight up hard rock with inflections of hip-hop undertones delivered by the band’s vocalist Zac McMillan who would frequently engage in “rapping” the lyrics over the backdrop of the heavy rock guitar of Nik Dagsvik, the funky, deep bass of Mitchell Santaga, and the sharp drum beats of Marco Di Spirito.

Several songs into the band’s performance and everything was still as full-sounding as it was from the kick-off. The most notable aspect of their performance is undoubtedly the energy brought to the set by the band who saw the stage as much more than a platform to stand on. All the members of the band physically mirrored the crowd’s excitement, moving frequently to the ultra-hyper sounds coming out of their instruments.

Real Mad Decent seems to have honed their sound when it comes to a live set and while a lot of the material may seem repetitive and only appeal to a certain type of crowd and hard rock enthusiast, credit should still be given to the energetic performance delivered.

You can find Real Mad Decent’s music over at Bandcamp and connect with them via Twitter and Facebook.

(Published on April 2nd, 2012 / Written by Sonia Sophia) - Y57 Media

"Real Mad Decent @ Joe's Apartment (Vancouver Weekly Magazine)"

Joe’s Apartment was bustling with some of Vancouver’s very own up-and-coming talent on Saturday night. Organized by Tall Poppy Presents, the evening started with Ben Parker’s ardent melodies followed by River, a Vancouver Island band known for their hard-hitting tunes and finally; as the last of the openers took to the stage, Hollow Strangers produced their edgy yet eccentric sound for a bustling and eager crowd of Vancouverites who by this point were eager for the irresistibly catchy Real Mad Decent.

These skilled musicians took the place by storm, proving to the audience that our local music scene is alive and kicking. Real Mad Decent is one of these new talents who are creating a buzz and contributing to the growth of Vancouver’s music industry. The band’s avid followers proved their support by rocking out to their infectious melodies.

Vocalist Zac McMillan’s charisma was evident in his performance as he belted out original songs from their newly released EP. His voice, reminiscent of a ‘grunge god’, was effortless.

Backed-up by Nik Dagsvik’s funk rock guitar licks, Mitchell Santega’s strong bass lines and Marco Di Spirito’s intricate drumbeats, Real Mad Decent was fun and enjoyable.

Releasing their debut EP on March 21st, Real Mad Decent has created six tracks that showed the world what the band is all about. It is no wonder that Real Mad Decent, with that prominent 90’s sound, mixed with a bit of funk, have been able to build out such a loyal fan base.

“Fine Tuned Presentable Magic Show” has its reasons for being the crowd pleaser. The song’s catchy intro will keep you engaged as it builds up with its fast, elaborate guitar riffs complete with McMillan’s rock growls.

“Roll up” a definite grunge anthem is another stand out song in their EP that was very well received by the crowd.

I have to say Real Mad Decent kept me entertained on stage. The band gave a dynamic performance and I definitely appreciate the nostalgia they brought to the table.

Although some people might find their sound to be a bit “done before”, I still found it appealing. Considering that these young talented guys are still developing their sound, Real Mad Decent is definitely a band to look out for in the future.

(Published March 31st, 2012 / Written by Gian Karla Limcangco) - Vancouver Weekly Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.



With just two years experience under their collective belts, Real Mad Decent are working hard to make waves in Vancouvers bustling music scene. Their sound - rock/funk with strong hip-hop influence - draws from such popular artists as The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Rage Against The Machine, & Audioslave. Embracing simplicity and showcasing their talents comes easy for this four piece - a fact that is undeniable when they take to the stage.

With Zac McMillian on vocals, Nik Dagsvik on guitar, Mitchell Santaga on bass and Marco Di Spirito on drums, the Real Mad Decent EP (recorded and released in spring 2012) shows the bands ability early on, while hinting at their immense potential moving forward. They're only scratching the surface at this point, and in time, they'll continue to evolve and progress, giving fans a taste of 90's rock with a level of attitude and confidence that isn't often heard from musicians at 20 & 21 years of age.

The band spent 2012 embracing every opportunity to play live in an effort to showcase their talents to crowds around Vancouver. These skilled musicians took the place by storm, proving to the audience that our local music scene is alive and kicking. Real Mad Decent is one of these new talents who are creating a buzz and contributing to the growth of Vancouvers music industry." - said Vancouver Weekly magazine after one of the bands first live shows at Joe's Apartment. Since then - the band has performed live at some of Vancouver's most notable live music venues, including: The Cobalt; The Railway Club; The Roxy; The Astoria; The Backstage Lounge; and more.

Summer 2013 saw the band secure a Top 20 spot in the Fox Vancouver Seeds Contest, a local radio competition that helped launch careers for Matthew Good Band, Bif Naked, Fields of Green, Daniel Wesley, and many more of Vancouver's heavy weights. Win or lose, the nod from 99.3 The Fox has added considerable fuel to the fire for these young Burnaby boys.

With tour dates & a new EP on the horizon - Real Mad Decent will continue to hone their skills & impress audiences across Canada and beyond.


Management & Booking:
Greg Dion | Loudmouth MGMT |