Mad Heads is one of Ukraine’s most famous and popular rock bands. The band’s successful career and history are really impressive: they’ve showed at more than 500 festivals in Ukraine and all over the world.
Mad Heads are well known in Europe, America and Canada. They’ve released 8 albums and 22 music videos, and for their foreign fans they’ve got a pretty big playlist in English.
The band is welcomed at various state festivals, promotion tours and special events and occasions. They are regularly invited to TV and radio shows as special guests.
Mad Heads’ mission is to energize people with the crazy Ukrainian folk drive and rock’em all
Mad Heads is the legend of Ukrainian rock music. The band was born in the same year Ukraine got its independence and it has been on the run ever since. Founded by its constant leader, the singer, the guitar player and the sole songwriter Vadym Krasnooky, the group went through many changes and transformations in line up and music style, reached many highlights over the years, gaining more success with each next step in the career.
The band has released 7 studio albums, filmed up to 30 music videos, scored numerous hit songs in the Ukrainian national radio charts including #1 position. The best album sold over 100 000 copies, the best ring tune sold about 1 000 000 installations. However, what Mad Heads have always been the best known for was live performance, full of energy, entertainment and fun. The band has played over 1 000 shows in 15 different countries, making the audience scream and dance every time… and it keeps on rocking!
Mad Heads have started as a psychobilly trio, mixing classic rock-n-roll with punk rock. Crazy haircuts, crazy clothes, slapping double bass instead of usual bass guitar… they’ve looked and sounded like a bunch of aliens to normal Ukrainian audience. Lyrics of the songs in English made them even harder to understand. However the band soon gathered a steady following of the fans, encouraged other bands to emerge and the whole scene to establish. It was not only constantly touring all over the country, but also breaking through with the media, making music videos, radio programs and interviews for magazines and newspapers. Mad Heads were the pioneers in the worldwide web, being the first Ukrainian rock group who registered the official web site in Yahoo catalogue. Meanwhile, the musicians were well accepted in Europe, where the listeners were much better prepared to their sound and image. First 3 albums were simultaneously released in Ukraine and in Germany. Actually, they were probably the first Ukrainian rockers to have a CD release. Some of their tracks could be found on compilations released in the USA and Japan. Mad Heads were supporting their records with regular concerts in Europe, and by the year 2002 were acknowledged to be the best psychobilly band from Eastern Europe. They were also touring Russia regularly and had a great following there.
Meanwhile, Mad Heads decided to pay more attention to their Ukrainian listeners. They signed a contract with Comp Music, local representative of EMI, and started to sing in Ukrainian. The musicians were also experimenting a lot with their style and sound, which brought them to the doubled line up, from trio to 6-piece with a powerful brass section. While the roots of punk and rockabilly were still there, the music combined a lot of influences from ska, reggae and even Ukrainian folk. To mark all those changes, the band has modified its name into Mad Heads XL, although later returned to the original name. In 2005 a song “Nadiya Yea” (the hope is here) from the album with the same name became a smashing hit on radio, on TV and in the hearts of people all over the country. From that time the band was playing a lot of big stages for audience numbered in up to 100 000, and all over Ukraine all crowds of people were singing “Nadiya” along with the musicians. Another single from that album, ska punk remake of Ukrainian folk song “Smereka” had a cartoon video which by now has over 1 000 000 views on YouTube. The album became the best seller for the band with over 10 000 copies sold.
In 2008 the album “Forever” was released to bring even a bigger success. It contained of so many hit tracks, that there were made 6 music videos and 8 radio singles, most of them reached top 40 of the Ukrainian airplay charts, while the song “A ya na mori” (I’m at the seaside) got on top of it, holding the #1 position during several hot summer weeks. This tune became one of the best-selling ringtones in Ukraine, with about 1 000 000 installations applied. The album “Forever” has become the best seller for Mad Heads, as it sold over 100 000 digital copies. Meanwhile, the band still knew how to please a crowd with the live performance and kept the reputation of being one of Ukraine’s most busy touring acts. While most of the recent concerts were played in Ukraine, there were some successful international appearances in Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and Hungary, where the band played at Sziget, one of the biggest festivals of Europe. And the most recently, Mad Heads played a few great concerts over Atlantic, headlining Ukrainian festivals in Canada and the USA (this last one even named “Nadiya Yea” by the famous song of the band).
In 2011 Mad Heads released an album “UkrainSKA”, a selection of Ukrainian folk songs played in ska punk. The new album was in plans for early 2014 but now the release is postponed due to the political and social situation in Ukraine. Mad Heads were among the most active supporters of Euro Maidan, playing regularly on the revolutionary stage. In spring 2014 the band filmed a video for their song “Ukraina tse my”(Ukraine is us) to support and promote the idea of the nation united.