Motherhive

An interview with singer Michael Kerwin
by Mike Huberty
April 2016

Motherhive of Madison, Wisconsin

Motherhive of Madison, Wisconsin

With a performance coming up at Maximum Ink’s 20th Anniversary Celebration, Bomblastica, Madison’s MOTHERHIVE is bringing classic heavy metal thunder and aggression magnified through a funky lens to the party. If you get down to FAITH NO MORE, TOOL, or LED ZEPPELIN, then your head will bang to MOTHERHIVE. After several years of blasting their way around the Madison area in the first decade of this century as THE MOTHERHIVE SYNDICATE, guitarist Sven Hansen and singer Michael Kerwin found a new rhythm section in drummer Scott Chazan and bassist Matt Acker. With the new lineup, they re-christened themselves to simply MOTHERHIVE. We talked with Kerwin about what their music is all about and what they’ve got planned for the big show at the Frequency on April 16th.

MI: Why did you guys lose the Syndicate part of the name? And does the name MOTHERHIVE have a special significance for you guys?
MK:
Sven and I were part of the original MOTHERHIVE SYNDICATE, and obviously a lot of that influence carries forward to this band, but we wanted to convey that while similar, this is a new band, with new songs, with a new feel. And just to simplify it into something more memorable. “Motherhive” has been used in a few fictional contexts, but our version implies a tight-knit group fighting for the same cause or outcome.

MI: How did this formation of the band get together?
MK:
Sven Hansen and I have been musical partners in crime for a long time. Musician’s networking brought in Matt Acker and Scott Chazan. Not to mention they each only paid $14.99 for the introductory member offer, so that was a good incentive. And they were so good, we wound up refunding them a portion of that anyway, so a win/win for all.

MI: You guys have been around for a little while, so how do you think you’ve changed musically over the past decade? From where you started to where you are?
MK:
Hard to say really, we didn’t set out to be a certain type of band. Some songs are heavy stoner riffs, some songs are more funk-rock influenced, some even have elements of lounge. We don’t like to box ourselves in… I guess that makes us progressive, but heavy and funky were always the mantra from the start.

MI: If someone wants to dive into the MOTHERHIVE, what’s the track that they should start with?
MK:
The songs all have a different flavor, but probably “Belly Full of Sharks”, as it’s attention-grabbing and heavy, yet still enjoyable over a nice cup of tea. Plus, we have a video of us performing it on our Facebook page and audio recordings coming soon.

MI: Okay, with a name like that, there has to be a story behind it…
MK:
One night Sven ate too much chicken, and his belly almost exploded… how could you not write about that?? But Matt Acker’s good looks helped too—beauty and gluttony are both great vehicles for writing.

MI: This is Max Ink’s 20th anniversary - do you guys have any particularly good memories of the magazine or previous Bomblasticas?
MK:
The past shows with Last Crack are always a highlight. The 15th anniversary party was also a blast. Our previous band, THE MOTHERHIVE SYNDICATE played the gig, paying tribute to BLACK SABBATH.

MI: Bombastica is always a crazy party, are you guys going to be planning anything new or different for the show?
MK:
I would say it will be eerily similar to nothing you’ve ever seen before. Oh, and Sven should be sportin’ a pink mohawk.

MI: What are you guys planning for the future?
MK:
We have a solid list of originals that we’re dying to record, so that should be happening this summer. Ultimately, the songs together will form a concept album about monsters, happy and sad ones.

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