Tag Archives: on the road

On The Road//Project Mayhem 2018

Project Mayhem is a three-day music festival; the music ranges from modern bluegrass to death metal. As they say: “If its good music we want it.”

This grassroots festival was started by two lifelong friends who have helped it grow into what it is today. It began as a punk & metal show, but over the years they have reached out to other genres of music as well. This started as a premier showcase for regional bands focusing on Wisconsin bands, all located in the Northwoods for Rhinelander, Wisconsin!

Upon arriving at the grounds of Project Mayhem, you could already feel the lively spirit of this music paradise wash over you. I spoke with Chris Craig (one of the hosts for PM) before I left for the weekend. My conversation with him was a heartwarming reminder of why those of us who work in the music scene love what we do. He brought a tear to my eye as he spoke with sincerity about the history of the grounds; explaining to me how he and his punk band “back in the day” just hung up some lights, threw down a piece of plywood and rocked out all night. “Really,” he said,” I’m just thrilled that everyone wants to come to hang out in the woods with me and listen to music.”


Photo (Left- Mitchel Fulcer, Right- Jake Schultz)

So much thought goes into every single detail of the fest, from the lights to the stage, all the work doesn’t go unnoticed. There is just nothing out there that I have ever experienced that was like Project Mayhem. It was like I dreamed it. There’s fire, there are two stages, and there were even Go-Go dancers. Then, all your friends and family are there, and you’re left thinking: ‘Whoa…is this real!?’ and the best part is, YES!


Photo (Left- Meláni Khandroma, Right-Michelle Braun)

The first night of Project Mayhem took place on Thursday, August 9th. Unfortunately, our team was not able to get there until Friday, August 10th, but there was still plenty to experience!

Thursday night lineup:
Mutilated By Zombies
Corey Medina & Brothers
Dig Deep
The Central
20 Watt Tombstone
Cheap Seats
Phyl & Friends
Scott Kirby
Chris Skinner

We arrived Friday, August 10th, right in time to catch Ave Imperator. We had planned to arrive earlier, but there were, of course, delays beyond our control. You know, the typical road trip stuff. We set up camp as quickly as possible and made our way to the grounds. As mentioned above, it was like something we had never seen before, and we were excited to be there! Below is our video footage introduction of Project Mayhem! Check it out here:

Squidhammer Metal were the headliners that night, and they brought the party to life with their killer performance! They brought the attitude, force, and the fire (literally)! Every time I see these dudes I am blown away by them! My life was forever changed the day I met The Squids, and I know yours will too! For more on them check out our special feature for their album ‘Power Removal Service’ HERE


Photo- Squidhammer Metal

Friday night lineup:
Squidhammer Metal -Live video performance HERE
All Out Mutiny – Live video performance HERE
Reggie’s Revenge
Ultrea – Live video performance HERE
Ave Imperator
Unnecessary Gunpoint Lecturer (Not featured)
Wrath of the Girth (Not Featured)
Elms (Not Featured)


Photo- Jake Hiller keeping it metal!

Saturday morning we all crawled out of bed and gathered around our fires to cook breakfast in the great Northwoods. Band members, fans, and other members of the music community socialized and caught up on the grounds. Nearby was Lake George, where many people took the time to cool off before the festivities began. With only one incident from the previous night’s shenanigans, all seemed to be going pretty well. The camp was in high spirits and ready to party on! Check our video footage of Saturday night below!

The headliner of Saturday night was Thrasher! Their energy was unreal, and the pit for that show was wild! Don Niesen fought through it to get us some killer shots of their performance. They played cover tunes of our favorite metal legends that have inspired all of us, including hits from The Big Four! This band was a great way to sum up our weekend!


Photo- Thrasher

Saturday night lineup:
H1Z1- Live video performance HERE
40oz Fist
Of The Earth – Live video performance HERE
All Kings Fall- Live video performance HERE
Vermillion- Live video performance HERE
Bitter Cold- Live video performance HERE
Forcefield- Live video performance HERE
Sanctus – Live video performance HERE
Circle of Willis
Beetlegork – Live video performance HERE

Project Mayhem is a unique experience from beginning to end! If you haven’t been there, GET THERE! It was our absolute pleasure to be a part of this event! Thank you to all who put days and weeks of hard work into bringing everything together so we could all party down in the Northwoods. This is what the Wisconsin music scene is all about; It’s about being in the company of friends who become family. We can’t wait until next year!



The 2018 edition of  Project Mayhem was brought to you by Music Maehem team members Ian Gray, Mitchel Fulcer, Don Niesen and Emily Mae.

Words by- Emily Mae

Photos by Emily Mae and Don Niesen

Video shot by: Ian Gray, Don Niesen, and Mitchel Fulcer

Video Edited by: Emily Mae 

Article Edited by: Samantha Crocker 

Friday Gallery
(for complete photo release click HERE)


Saturday Gallery



I’ve had August 2nd crossed off on my calendar for a while, as I found out that a band I had been following for a while was going to be coming to Wisconsin. Lynsey is in a band called Misunderstood, and they are native to Indiana, and when she asked me where they should go for a gig here in Wisconsin, I thought that the Wisco would be a cool place for a Thursday night punk gig. I told her as much, and she asked who they should play with, as they had never been to Wisconsin and aren’t familiar with who are in our scene. I suggested Coasting (Madison), The Red Flags (Janesville), and Audiophilia (Madison), as I thought all their music would gel together nicely. I also extended to Lynsey that I would be interested in doing an interview for Music Maehem– I was super excited when I saw the event was made on Facebook that she took my suggestions and made it happen, as well as agreed to be featured!

Unfortunately, Audiophilia lost their drummer prior to this show and had to drop from the lineup. And just as unfortunate, Lynsey informed me that there had occurred an emergency a couple hours before the show, and they were not able to play that night either.

As the old saying goes, shit happens.

But! The show must go on!


Ian (host of our show Powerslide) and I arrived at the Wisco just as Coasting was setting up. This was still a show worth being at to me even with two bands dropping, because not only do I enjoy the music of Coasting and The Red Flags, but I recently picked up photography as a hobby and this was going to be my first gig to be shooting at for Music Maehem.

Coasting is a pop-punk band based out of Madison. I’d seen these guys play one or two times before and was pumped to see them again. Their music reminds me distinctly of Dude Ranch era Blink-182, which is my favorite album by that band (frankly, the only album by them that I enjoy all the way through as it is way more punk and less pop than their other albums). These guys always have a good laugh or two shoved into their performance, and their tunes are catchy as hell and enough to get you bouncing on the dance floor.

Below are some of the shots I managed to capture of Coasting. As I said, this is my first photo gig at a concert-like setting. The Wisco is not known for its great lighting situation, so I did what I could…I’m definitely still a newbie. I definitely commend our spearhead Emily Mae for her amazing photographer abilities–concert pictures are not an easy task!

After a short-but-sweet half-hour set from Coasting, The Red Flags were up next. Anyone who has been following Music Maehem knows how much we love this band. They are high energy maniacs, and their music reflects in the same fashion and I personally cannot get enough of their unique and refreshing upbeat and fast-paced hip-hop-meets-rock-and-roll sound. They kept me on my feet vibing to their groove all throughout their set (which ended up being about an hour).

I’d like to say that their performance went off without a hitch, but Jonah, the madman sitting behind the drumkit, doesn’t like to play nice with his cymbals. What I mean by that is a) a chair flew over his kit at one point, b) one of the cymbals came crashing down to the floor, on more than one occasion, and c) somewhere towards the end I noticed there was blood dripping from Jonah’s cheek (warning: there is a picture below).

I imagine that happened sometime during when he…well, started hitting the cymbal with his…face.

That may sound strange, but just take it as Jonah just gets really into his performance!

Despite the other two bands dropping from the bill, this was still a show worth going to, and I had a great time and the crowd loved the performances too. It’s rare that I have a bad time out at the Wisco!

Coasting has three shows coming up the rest of this month at the Art In and Bos Meadery, and you can find the details here.

If we have any fans of late 90’s/early 2000’s punk bands in the house, I strongly recommend going and catching these guys next time they’re out of the town.

The Red Flags also have a show coming up in DeKalb, Illinois on August 10th, and are running some more shows in Milwaukee, Janesville, Appleton and Madison through the end of September. Details on those shows are at their events page on facebook here.

-Cat Sullivan

Photo cred: Cat Sullivan