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A Rock Star Revolution

An up-and-coming band proves rock music isn’t just for liberals.


From Townhall Magazine's EXCLUSIVE April Townhall of Fame feature by Katie Pavlich:


These days it’s hard to find a rock star who doesn’t support President Barack Obama. With bands like Bon Jovi, Foo Fighters and more showing public support for liberal policies, you’d think being a rock star is reserved only for progressives.

Think again. Meet Madison Rising, a conservative rock band making waves not only on the Right but in the music industry, too. Its five members are proud to be Americans, an idea foreign to many in the world of music. They were founded on the principles of independence, freedom, personal responsibility and limited government. The band is made up of five members: frontman Dave Bray, guitarist Christopher Schreiner, guitarist Alex Bodnar, bassist Steve Padelski and drummer Sam Fishman.

But how did these musicians find each other in a sea of liberal entertainers?

“We started out a lot like other bands, like-minded people wanting to promote something that was American and something that was pro-patriotic, and Madison Rising is basically what you see today and that’s how we came together,” Bray, a veteran of the Navy, tells Townhall. “We as a group of guys got really, really lucky, and we found an artistic group of people that care enough about common sense and pro-American conservatism and patriotism to do something about it.”

“The message really spoke to me, being a patriot, getting people behind America and this great country and realizing what a great nation we are, because I think people have forgotten,” Fishman says in an interview posted on the band’s website.

Although a conservative rock band may seem out of step with the mainstream, these guys run in the same circles as mainstream artists and are working with Grammy award-winning mix engineer Ron Saint Germain to get their message out. Guitarist Bodnar has worked with some of the biggest names in music throughout his career, including Creed frontman Scott Stapp, before he joined Madison Rising. He has also performed for thousands of American troops all over the world. Schreiner was a finalist in the 2008 Guitar Player Magazine’s Superstar Competition and has worked as a producer for major record label ESC. He graduated from the famous Berklee College of Music. Frontman Bray was part of two bands before joining Madison Rising.

Hard rock is their style, but mainstream music politics are not.

“It’s all dance music now. The most popular music is dance music and what Madison Rising wants to do is to bring great, hard rock and roll back into the mainstream,” Fishman says.

Madison Rising is on to something. Popular culture is continually upstream from politics, which makes getting conservatism into the entertainment industry even more important.

“The young people need entertainment, that’s the thing that speaks to them, so music, art, poetry, literature and things like that really attract the youth and can teach them something, and right now the options they have are Lady Gaga and stuff like that—not quite a lot to learn there. It’s good for the dance floor and good for the club, but we’re trying to give them something a little deeper, something for the soul. So hopefully we can do that,” Bodnar tells Townhall. ...


Read more about Madison Rising in the April isssue of Townhall Magazine.

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