Editor’s Note: On a personal note, Messer is very quickly becoming one of my favorite bands to listen to because their songs are so positive and uplifting, and they just flat out rock. The cool thing about this band is that when they have a day off they would rather find a stage and play, and that’s exactly what they did as they invited a few local Iowa bands to play and play in front of some Iowa folk at a dive bar called Spicoli’s in Waterloo, Iowa. Quick question for Spicoli’s, why did you get rid of most of your games?!?! Anyways, Messer has been flying on the charts with their hit rock single “Simple Man” and just coming across amazing opportunities that the band can only manage to get. Messer sat down with Madness To Creation inside their RV and discussed a lot of cool things such as mental health awareness, the success of “Simple Man”, getting to share the stage with Scott Stapp, and so much more. Fans can find MESSER at the following locations:
(after we discussed the local bands) Madness To Creation: I’m going to put your memory to the test. Seeing if you remember chatting in Des Moines when you all were opening for Red and Lacey Sturm.
Maddox: Yeah man! It was about a year ago, it was at Wooly’s in Des Moines. I think we went to a Fender place in downtown Des Moines.
Madness To Creation: Take us on a quick timeline from then to now, like top three favorite memories.
Maddox: The Red tour.
Dereak: The album came out right around that time, it was 18 months ago.
Madness To Creation: It’s a kick ass album by the way!
Dereak: Thanks man, we appreciate it!
Maddox: From the album release to the Red tour to some of the festivals that we’ve been on, seeing your name on the festival shirts was surreal, we even saw a bootleg festival shirt with our name on it, I have never seen a bootleg shirt with our name on it, that was in Florida.
Dereak: That was the Earthday Birthday Festival in Orlando.
Maddox: We played The Fillmore in Detroit, and the album came on April 4/20 of that year, we played the one year anniversary of it at The Fillmore with Pop Evil.
Dereak: You ever been to Detroit?
Madness To Creation: I haven’t been. I basically travel Iowa, Minnesota and on occasion Kansas City.
Maddox: We just had a show last night there.
Dereak: The BBQ there is just amazing! What’s that one area that we like to get BBQ?
Kenny: What’s that gas station that’s famous for their BBQ?
Madness To Creation: It’s funny you said that cause I ate there a couple years ago with my cousin, but I can’t think the name of it.
Dereak: It’s a famous place, but it’s in an old gas station, you would never think of getting BBQ there.
Kenny: Joe’s Kansas City BBQ.
Maddox: Apparently, that’s the original location, it blew up cause their food is so amazing in Kansas City, Kansas.
Madness To Creation: Joe’s BBQ has blown up and Messer is blowing up so to speak, your videos have hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube and I hear “Simple Man” on the radio almost every day, whether I’m driving to run errands or going to work on Rock 108!
Dereak: That is awesome to hear man, love those guys, we just talked to them earlier today!
Maddox: I think that people are connecting with our messages and the music, we got a great response to the first single “Make This Life”, along with “Save Myself”, and now with “Simple Man”. People are finally starting to realize that we’re not going anywhere.
Dereak: We also just try to put on a great show every night with high energy and bring the best of that song to life to that particular crowd.
Maddox: We leave it all on that stage.
Madness To Creation: I noticed that when you guys opened for Red at Wooly’s, first the crowd was unsure, I mean naturally it’s a new band, and by the end you guys got a pretty damn good ovation.
Dereak: That is all that we try for, we try to get a feel of how many people have heard of us, it’s starting to grow now, at first, it might be a few people here and there, but now they’re going crazy.
Maddox: That’s what we try for on the Scott Stapp tour, at first we get a feel, but now a lot of the times through the set, we’ve won the whole place over.
Dereak: They’re just going crazy, it’s just what we try to do every night, get as many new fans out of that crowd that we can.
Madness To Creation: Take us into the Scott Stapp tour, any funny stories or what can fans expect from it?
Dereak: Nothing really funny quite yet because it’s just kind of started, we’re just a few shows in.
Maddox: We’re just trying to get in the groove of things, but we’ve already established a really great family, a sense of camaraderie between the package and everybody is just getting along great. The shows have been, from show to show to show, everybody is getting really ramped up and for Scott Stapp, those guys haven’t really been touring for the past couple of years, so they’re just getting back into it again and to see them getting their show together, it’s been really cool from a professional standpoint, tweaking their set, and you can tell that Scott Stapp is having just a great time, and I tell you what, he sounds and looks better than ever, their band is just playing incredible. I’m excited to see what this whole package looks and sounds like come midway through or towards the end of it in Florida. That is going to be incredible, the crowds and reviews have been great. The reviews have been nothing short of incredibly gracious of us. It’s just been incredible.
Madness To Creation: As a support act, what are some of the nuances that you look for from a headliner in order to build your live show?
Maddox: We like to tour with bands that understand the importance of a good opener and respect that, but at the same time we always look to learn something from them because we want to be where they are, so anybody that has achieved headlining status at theaters or at stadiums or anything like that, they’re doing something that you want to learn, and we go into every single one of those with our eyes open.
Dereak: It’s kind of true with Scott Stapp, the guy has sold almost 55 million albums, he’s won Grammys, he’s done it, and whatever we can learn from him and his career every night, we try.
Madness To Creation: Is he not one of the comeback stories as well?
Dereak: He really is! We were all honestly a little skeptical at first because we were wondering what it was going to be like and are people going to welcome him again…
Maddox: You hear all of the rumors and all of that and everything has been not true. Him and his wife have been incredible.
Dereak: The rumors have been lies. He’s been very humble and very nice, he gives us shoutouts each and every night, he’s just a tender guy.
Maddox: He’s promoting a great charity, so he’s using his platform to really do some good out there, so I think the time is right for Scott.
Madness To Creation: Speaking of charities and avenues that he’s pursued, what is important to the Messer camp?
Kenny: One charity that we help out with every year is one that we do back home for a local radio station that has been supporting us through the years with their afternoon DJ Russ Martin, and their show has been big fans of ours, and he’s got a charity called the Russ Martin Listener’s Foundation, and last Christmas, this will be the annual Christmas, we’re doing our hometown show called “A Very Messer Christmas”, and we have other bands on the show with us to help raise money to help with the Russ Martin Listener’s Foundation, it goes directly to support the families of fallen firefighters and police officers, it helps get them immediate money, in an unfortunate event of a tragedy, that foundation writes like $40,000 checks to the families to help cover costs and whatever they need, so getting behind and supporting our police and firefighters is important to us.
Madness To Creation: Did this start when you guys were a local band from Texas or just something that Messer has recently picked up on?
Maddox: It actually started with Kenny, Kenny was driving an Uber car when we were not on tour, and his Uber car just happened to be a really kick ass retired police car, so Russ Martin is a Batman aficionado, he literally has a Batmobile, a General Lee and he has a bunch of cars, but he always wanted to be a police officer, it was kind of a fantasy of his, he looks up to police officers as heroes, and he was talking about Kenny’s car and him driving it
Kenny: So it got back to the program director and they re-read an article and with the guy from The Dallas Observer on the air, Russ Martin and The Observer have always kind of battled together, so re-reading the article actually brought about a truce, so they started checking out the music
Maddox: So because of the cop car, he matched Kenny’s tips and started donating.
Kenny: It was like $100 a month then another $100, it was almost $1,000 one year, so they were like “oh my god, who is this guy that is donating his tips”, it definitely launched from a different angle, then they started playing our stuff.
Dereak: It’s so funny too because live on radio he’s said, “all other local bands out there, do not call me, I will not play your music, so don’t even try”, but they were playing us.
Madness To Creation: It’s so cool how the universe works and I know that Maddox and I discussed the Law of Attraction last time, is there any other cool stories that have happened pertaining to that lately?
Maddox: We have them all the time! We broke down and some guy that was a fan was happy to see us on the highway.
Kenny: He happened to have a trailer and he knew a company right away to send out help for us. We took them out to dinner after they fixed us up and that was the payment.
Dereak: We just try to stay positive and bring that positive energy.
Maddox: We got this new Messer shirt for “Simple Man”, it’s got sacred geometry on it that was designed by myself and this artist friend of ours, it’s designed to bring positive energy to whoever sees it, we really try to keep close connections with the Laws of Attraction, it’s weird it happens every day. Kenny ran into his buddy the other day.
Kenny: We were on tour and they hit a deer, there was a Knuckleheads Van out to pick them up three hours away to take them back to the club, and it turns out that it was my neighbor back in Dallas, he saw the back of the trailer and it was my neighbor.
Dereak: It was just like running into Joyous Wolf the other night.
Maddox: That was crazy! We’re all good buddies and we toured together.
Dereak: We were somewhere and we kept drinking and kept hanging out, and we just kept extending our time.
Maddox: We were just looking for a place to eat. We could go here or there, and we chose our third choice, which was this truck stop, and we’re pulling in and it’s 2:30 to 3:00 in the morning.
Dereak: We were getting ready to go and our merch kid just happened to be walking towards the truck stop and they recognized him, and they just happened to see him out of nowhere, and they happened to have chose this gas station out of the blue too.
Maddox: They’re out on tour with Buckcherry and they were on their way to Joplin, they were going south and we were going north and just happened to pass, and we were like, “what are the odds” running into your buddies at the gas station in the middle of nowhere. It’s crazy even getting hooked up with this tour with Scott Stapp, our music, our messages our everything just works in harmony, their light and their LED used to be the same lighting for Hellyeah, and we were getting ready with the guys in Hellyeah. At one point in time, Vinnie’s bus had caught fire and they had four or five shows in Texas, and I knew the TM and they asked if I wanted to drive Hellyeah around this tour, and I said “Hell yeah”, we had the whole band minus Vinnie, he drove his own car, everybody bunked up in all of the bunks with their crew, and their LD was bitching the whole time, but he’s a nice guy but it’s a small world and it’s cool.
Madness To Creation: Since you talked about Vinnie Paul, what’s your favorite memory of him?
Dereak: Dude, there’s so many! He was the greatest guy man. One of the great ones I have was I was at a party at his house one night, and we jumped on his golf cart on top of this hill that winds down, we wanted to jump this car drunk, flying down his driveway all the way down to Dimebag’s yard and f****** doing doughnuts until Dimebag came out, that was pretty great.
Maddox: He lived down the street and was like “come on, let’s go”.
Madness To Creation: What’s big plans for Messer after this tour?
Maddox: Well we are on tour with Scott Stapp for the rest of this year, 50 dates. We’re supposed to be doing a run in October with Smash Into Pieces, we have 25 dates in October with those guys, we’re excited about that one.
Madness To Creation: One cover song that you guys want to do and people are like “why in the hell are you covering that song”?
Dereak: It’s funny that you ask that cause we’re doing it right now, on our acoustic VIP sets we are doing the song “Ocean Eyes” by Billie Eilish, it is such a great song and we actually want to cover that song. Ours is way darker, I’m picturing the song “Ocean Eyes” looking at her through a jar, a much darker version.
Maddox: Yeah, we’ve been toying around with a different version of “With Arms Wide Open” by Creed.
Dereak: We also do a killer version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman” acoustically.
Maddox: It’s cool to add to our VIP experience that you can’t get at a regular show, some of those things you can only get at the VIP Experience.
Madness To Creation: Most awkward or fun VIP Experience moment.
Maddox: We haven’t been totally weirded out yet, I guess when people act starstruck, we’re just regular people.
Dereak: Or it’s like when they practically hide behind a bush and not want to come talk to you.
Maddox: It’s weird but it’s humbling, we’re just regular people, come talk to us, we put our pants on two legs at a time. *laughs*
And there you have it! Check out Messer on tour with Scott Stapp!
Thu. 8/8- Cannery Ballroom in Nashville, Tennessee
Fri. 8/23- Perham Hall in Zillah, Washington
Sun. 8/25- Revolution Hall in Portland, Oregon
Tue. 8/27- The Triple Door in Seattle, Washington
Thu. 8/29- Riverfront Park in Spokane, Washington
Tue. 9/3- Sunshine Studios Live in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Thu. 9/12- Full Circle Olympic, in Fresno, California(w/Sunflower Dead) (no Scott Stapp)
Fri. 9/13- The Cave in Big Bear Lake, California
Sat. 9/14- The Canyon in Aguora Hills, California
Thu. 9/19- The Paramount Theatre in Rutland, Vermont
Sat. 9/21- Strand Center for the Arts in Plattsburgh, New York
Tue. 9/24- Bogart’s in Cincinnati, Ohio
Wed. 9/25- High Dive in Gainesville, Florida(w/Sunflower Dead) (no Scott Stapp)
Thu. 9/26- Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre in Clearwater, Florida
Fri. 9/27- Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Sat. 9/28- The Ranch Concert Hall & Saloon in Fort Myers, Florida
Thu. 10/3- The Florida Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida
Fri. 10/4- Hard Rock Live in Orlando, Florida
For tickets and further information on any of the shows listed above, click here.