Mad Noise enlivens downtown market

BERKELEY, Calif. — Primarily known for its organic, sustainable food, and upbeat atmosphere, Berkeley’s Ecology Center Farmers’ Market has been a hot spot for vendors, locals, tourists and musicians since 1987.  Walking through the market, various types of performers line the streets showing off their unique talents.   One particular band that caught the attention of  many walking through was a group composed of Berkeley alumni: Mad Noise.

Mad Noise

Mad Noise performing at Berkeley’s farmers market.
Photo by Holly Warendorf

The group identifies their music under the category of punk blues with a touch of acoustic neo soul street funk.  Currently playing at local venues such as Yoshi’s, Great American Music Hall, and weddings; this 3-year-old band aspires to make it big in the music industry.

“We’re so popular, we have stalkers,” bass player Chris Weir said.

The market is a great opportunity for the band to practice in front of a live audience.  The group members rely heavily on the income they receive there to cover the costs of daily necessities.  They hope their upcoming album, dropping in early October, rakes in the big bucks.

“I depend on this market money a lot.  Hopefully when our album drops, money won’t be so tight,” cello player Marica Petrey said.

The band attracted all different types of people. MadNoise has a growing fan base, which they plan to expand on their upcoming West Coast tour. The band will make appearances in many different states, including Colorado, Oregon and California. One of the bands’ local followers, 30-year bass player Rob Wenig, was among the crowd on a recent Saturday afternoon.

“I think it’s [the band's music]  killer,” Wenig said.

The band takes pride in its original music and lyrics written by member Khalil Sullivan.  The group incorporats instruments such as a didgeridoo and  harmonica to create its unique sound.  Critics have also taken notice;  the group has been awarded Best Band in the Bay two years in a row.

“Whenever I see original stuff, I’m happy,” Wenig said.