Bad Mary Are Here For A Good Time

The wind cries Mary, but nobody cries at a Bad Mary show, because when the Long Island-based punk rock foursome hit the stage the focus is on fun.

“You gotta fight for the good times,” vocalist Amanda Mac says, “If you forget about the fun, what are we doing, what are we here for?”

Bad Mary – which consists of Amanda Mac, her husband Mike on bass, her dad Bill on drums, and her former professor David on guitar – bring the fun with everything from a song about the floor being lava (“The Floor is Lava”), to a 33 minute punk rock space opera (The Return of Space Girl).

What they don’t have, however, is anyone named Mary.

“It’s turned into almost a stage alter-ego for me,” Amanda says of the Mary in the band’s name. “Mary … I don’t know exactly who she is, but it’s become part of me at this point.”

With a new single titled “It’s All Trash” due out in November, and with the band putting the finishing touches on a holiday EP, I caught up with Amanda to find out more about the Bad Mary story, including their embracing of good times, their popular weekly live streams, and how her former professor – and his Hello Kitty guitar – ended up in the band.

Earlier today, as I was getting ready for this interview, I was wondering if you were a Kris Kross fan, and one day we’ll have Amanda Mac, and Mac Amanda, like Daddy Mac, and Mac Daddy? 

You know what, that wasn’t in my ethos until now, but that will always be a part of my brain now, so I’m gonna put that out in the universe.

There are a lot of different types of punk rock. What made you want to embrace fun side of punk? 

Because that’s what we want to have. When we go out and perform, and when we write music, and when we’re working on music, it’s fun for us.

When we first started I don’t know if that’s what we had set out to do, but that’s just what naturally happened. The more we created, the more we wrote, the more we played out it just took on a snowball effect of – we’re gonna have fun, we’re gonna try to be a positive force. It’s just a great experience for us.

Some of our songs are a little heavier, or a little on the angrier side, but in performing them in a high energy, fun way it lets all of the emotions out, and it’s such a release for us in a positive way, that’s why we grabbed onto fun full force, and went with it.

Your concerts are basically a huge party. How has your live show grown over the years? 

I definitely throw a lot more things now than when we started. {laughs}

I will say since we first started playing up until now our energy has just gotten bigger.

When you first start out you spend a lot of time getting comfortable in your own voice, in your own space, in opening up and maybe sharing more with the audience. Over the years we’ve gotten very confident with stepping out on stage and being 100% ourselves right off the bat.

So it’s changed over the years in that we’ve just gotten more comfortable with the audience, and they’ve equally embraced us as ourselves.

When we first started playing we were also solely a cover band, so over the more than a decade we’ve been together the shows went from covers to our own music, which is a huge change, and has been an awesome journey.

How’d you end up with one of your professors in your band? 

He’s the start of it all, actually, so it’s, “How did he end up with me, and my family in his band!” {laughs}

We started out at Hofstra University. That’s where David (Henderson) was my professor. I was a student, Mike was a student, and we had a bit of a different lineup at the time.

There is a band on campus called David and the Hendersons. It’s essentially a party band for the theatre department, where I was a student, and David is a professor. Every year the lineup changes based on who’s there. We started out as a version of that.

Mike and I were both in that band. Mike was originally on rhythm guitar instead of bass, and we had a different drummer, and everybody in that grouping that year happened to be staying local after graduation. Usually people will move out of state – they’ll move home, they’ll go on a tour, they’ll be out of the picture doing their own thing. We had this moment of – do we keep doing this? This is a lot of fun.

From there we decided to keep doing it.

Our drummer at the time then got an internship in Florida, so she had to move out of state. Our bassist at the time also moved, and went on a tour. That’s when I was like, “Well, I know a guy who plays drums. I don’t know if he’d be interested, but I can definitely reach out.” That guy was my dad, and he was very excited from the beginning. We had worked together when I was younger on theatre projects. When I was born he was in a band. I came home in a onesie of his band at the time. So for him he was like, “Wait, I get to be in a band with you? This is cool.”

Mike and I were together at the time. We weren’t married then, so a lot has happened since we’ve started as a band, and we’ve adopted David into our family.

It’s funny, if I looked at my 18 year old self when he first started being my professor I never would have predicted this is where it would have gone, but I’m so happy it did.

Important follow up question, did you get an A in his class? 

I did not get an A in his class! He gave me a B-!

What the hell? 

He says I earned a B-, so we still talk about it all the time. It is very hard to get an A in David’s class, so to all current students, if you come upon this, if you get an A I will be mailing you a medal.

I hope that somewhere in the recesses of your mind there is a song called “I Shoulda’ Gotten Better Than a B-.” 

That should be … I will bring that up. We’re playing a show tonight, so I will bring that up when I see David.

Just write the whole song, and spring it on him, like, “Here’s your part …” 

{laughs} I like this plan.

Where did David get his epic Hello Kitty guitar? 

That was from one of his students.

Who probably got an A! 


The story goes – I may be getting some of the details incorrect – but it was something she had won in a raffle, and was really really cool, but she never ever played it. So she was hanging on to this really cool item, but was like, “I personally have no use for it. Is this something you would like?” He saw it, and was like, “Are you kidding??? This is awesome!!!”

So to keep with the Hofstra family, that was from one of David’s students, and is now featured in our music videos, and is the guitar he plays live.

It’s so much fun, and silly, why not?

Speaking of your videos, and performances, you do weekly live streams (Tuesday nights at 8 pm EST on Facebook, YouTube, Patreon, and Twitch). When did those live streams start, and in what ways have you seen them be advantageous for the band? 

We started streaming a long time ago, but only really to Facebook. We set up an iPhone, and would stream practices, or little sets from the studio in David’s house.

Over the course of the years since then we’ve definitely improved our set up, and we’ve definitely improved the fact that we can fully mix it into a soundboard now before it goes online.

So we were streaming for a handful of years before COVID happened, and (the pandemic) really made us reconsider what streaming can do for us, and how it is important, because we couldn’t play live anywhere, so it really really made us focus on improving our set up, and improving our interactions with our online audience. It’s totally different from playing a live show where I can look you in the eye, and speak back and forth, and have a conversation. Now we’re reading a screen that has comments, and you have to keep up with those while playing, but not hearing an audible response.

It is a different way to perform. It’s similar to the difference between playing a live set, and recording music. That’s a totally different process, too.

Over the past couple of years, when we’ve really hopped on to Twitch, and focused more on Twitch and YouTube rather than just Facebook, it’s been awesome – the growth that we as artists have had with it, the interaction with the audience, and watching them talk to each other even. It’s very cool to be able to be in the same room as people from California, people from Japan, people from the UK, and people from Long Island all listening at the same time, and talking to each other in all these different time zones. It’s a wild thing when that takes off. Then you get a train of comments going, and people throwing emotes at you. It’s the closest thing to a live show that we can do in our own house, and that’s what we’ve got it to now.

Playing with what’s possible has been a lot of fun, and we just keep trying to make it better, and keep trying to reach new people, and it’s been awesome.

Finally, you have a new single coming out in November. Tell everyone about it. 

Yes! I’m so excited for this one, the song is called “It’s All Trash,” and that will be off our EP coming out next year called Trash and Glamour.

“The Floor is Lava” was our most recent single, so that embraced our fun element a lot. “It’s All Trash” is a little bit on the heavier side. It’s cool to play around with that other dynamic. Between those two singles, that is a good big picture of what the EP is gonna be collectively. There’s gonna be a video coming out for that, as well.

You gotta find a way to get Oscar the Grouch involved in the video. 

If we can call his rep, and have him be part of it, I would be over the moon. I’m a big Oscar fan. I would be down to collab with Oscar the Grouch.

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