Dallas band Messer is trying to revolutionize live music. The band takes an unreal amount of gear and production equipment on the road with them and they do their best to make their live show sound like a fully-produced record every night when they play. Alternative Addiction got to talk with bassist Maddox Messer about the band’s formation and what exactly the band does live to set themselves apart from other acts.
“Derek and Javier had gotten together messing around with the idea of getting a band going,
said Maddox about how the band started. “They met up with Kenny and those three got together. Then, I was running a business, doing hair. I had met Derrick through a chance meeting. He came in for a hair cut and we got talking. One thing turned into another, I had given up music, going through the day-to-day of life and playing with those guys came up. We started playing around and then we met Chad Gendason and we hatched the whole idea of building a band from the ground up. It’s been about five years in the making.”
As for what the band does in the live setting, it’s interesting. Maddox went through some of the details of what they do to be the best band they can be when they’re on stage.
“We’re meticulous. We leave nothing up to chance to the venue. We’re handling all our signal flow coming in. We plug in two channels and we’re doing everything on our end. One of the things we do to clean up a mix is to automate mics to be on or off. If you have a backing vocal – we’re not singing those all the time – rather than having those microphones on picking up excess noise, they’re automated to not even be on right before we sing our part. With the main vocal, we have different compression settings and different plugins and we’re able to do all those things live too. With midi automation we’re able to tell a computer where, when, and how much we’re wanting to of everything. A stage producer wouldn’t be able to do that. You don’t have access to those types of things on a standard mixing console. Every night we’re basically putting together a full, live album that’s essentially ready to be sold,” added the bassist.
Why did they decide to do what they’re doing live the way they are? It was an early decision that the band made but something they’re happy with.
“We didn’t want anybody’s abilities hold us back from what we wanted the album to be. It’s not about the individual parts as much as it’s about the sum of the parts. It made us all learn to play tighter. We’re all listening to a click track when we’re playing live. We’re doing that, so we know where at a given time with a higher level of accuracy. By playing separately, we play tighter than we’ve ever played together before. That took us some time to be able to do. When you’re playing in such high definition, there’s nowhere to hide, we’re trying to play to 98% accuracy every single night.”
What’s the plan for MESSER? That’s an easy one. Following up dates in 2018 that they’ve played with Lacey Sturm, Red, and Shallow Side, they’ll be doing some festivals this summer.
“We just want to keep pushing and promoting the album and our live show. We’ve got dates coming up in June and July and we want to be on the road as much as possible spreading our word to the masses.” – aa.