An interview with Madison punk band, HellMuff
by Mike Huberty
April 2018



HellMuff calls their music “songs in the key of truth”and it’s a straight ahead classic punk rock assault. Forming in 2016 with singer Blythe Gamble, guitarist Shannon Calloway, drummer Michael Pann, and bassist, they’ve been playing venues like The Frequency, and Bus Meadery. They’ll be performing at Bomblastica 2018 on April 28th at The Frequency with Madison classic power trio UNCLE EDDIE as well as bass and drum duo MHOS & OHMS. We talked with the whole band about their music and the show.

MI: What attracted you guys to punk rock in the first place?
BG: Probably that feeling and confidence you get hearing that song that really gets it out of you, touches that spot inside your mind, or helps you release and deal with the problems and issues we all face in today’s world. For a lot of us, it came at the time we were growing up and the realizations of the world you have to face at that time. Anthem songs and real stuff that helps get you through tough times when you listen to it.

SC: For me it’s always been the type of energy it creates. High energy is always a good release of stress and such. When ever I was down I never put on sad bastard music to help me get through the toughest shit cause it would only bring me further down. The heavier fast shit made me feel like I could beat it.

EM: It was always a voice of reason. When you felt lost as a teenager, it guided you. It helped through breakups, tough times at home, and the mean kids at school. When you felt like you didn’t have a place anywhere on this earth, it gave you a place to call home.

MP: The thing that has struck me the most about this particular genre is how it has been largely misunderstood over the years. At the end of the day, hard rock and punk is a healthy outlet for some heavy issues and emotions that would otherwise manifest itself in some other unhealthy behavior potentially.

MI: What would you recommend as the song to listen to for people who are listening to HellMuff for the first time?
BG: “Our Daily Flesh” is the first one we wrote, but it’s hard to choose. “Pocket Full Of Sand” tells a story, “Underwear” is funny and serious at the same time. “Feelings” really makes you wanna bounce… The inspiration for this music is mostly about what everyone’s journey is on this planet and how we have to relate to each other to exist on it. “Our Daily Flesh” is inspired by being a powerful person and needing more from the world, not understanding why people can’t understand half of life really is sorrow, but it’s understood. It’s real.

MI: You guys are obviously not afraid to be political with tracks like “PussyGrabber” Is there any theme that brings your music together?
MP: There isn’t one specific theme here, but a lot of our songs deal with real life issues and problems. Life is full of a vast array of emotions, uncertainties, triumphs and tragedy…we’re not a bumble gum pop punk band at all, our music is derived from something much deeper.

EM: Unity. No matter the situation, we find unity is always our theme. Divided we are weak, together we are strong.

CS: I think it’s just plain and simple theme….life. We range on topics because life throws it all at you. Relationships, hardships, political bullshit, emotions…and I think we will range even further in the future.

BG: The music in itself will not really be political in nature, and “PussyGrabber” isn’t really about any certain person….LOL. The CIA is watching…always watching. We aren’t really trying to follow any theme or genre really, all the musicians in HellMuff are artists and have been involved in lots of musical projects etc. We just want to make great music that means something and brings something tangible to our fans, and then in turn,to  us as well!

MI: Any plans for a full album coming up?
BG: We are currently recording a 9 song LP that will be available really soon!

MP: We just got done tracking drums and vocals….  Guitars and bass will be tracked this week as well.

EM: Our full album is underway! We hope to have it released to the public by Bomblastica.
MI: What do you find inspiring about the Madison music scene?
BG: It’s tough here actually.  You have to totally make yourself, promote yourself, book yourself, and make it happen on your own.  In bigger cities there tends to be more music investors and retired band members etc looking to find people and promote and develop them as bands or singers. If you even get a fan base here and have people at your shows it’s quite a feat in Madison.  It means the band is good and also they have been working hard to make sure people know.  That’s inspiring because it ain’t easy man.

CS: It’s constantly evolving and growing and dammit, we can too!

EM: Everything about the Madison music scene is inspiring. We love that there are so many different genres working together to keep the bustling scene alive. We also love that the scene is inspiring the younger generation to learn an instrument and keep the music going!
MP: I absolutely love everything about the music scene here in Madison.  My introduction into our music scene happened by chance.  I was walking to the Wisco one night and was approached by someone I didn’t know at the time and it was Rökker. He said “Hey man, you have a great voice for radio, do you have any interest in being a DJ?”  I was certainly intrigued to say the least and went inside for a live broadcast of the Jimmy K show. From there, I met Jimmy K and the rest of the crew and eventually had my own radio show on Max Ink Radio in which I showcased all local artists.  

MI: Any last words?
EM: We want to say thank you to everyone who has supported us thus far. We love all our HellMuffins!!


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