When rock guitarist Maddox Kennerson (@rockstarmadman) visited the HARMAN Los Angeles Experience Center for a visit to chat, play some of his music and explore the HARMAN gear, you’d never guess he was just 12 years old.
This multi-talented rocker, who also plays bass, drums and is starting to sing, is still years away from high school when most teenagers are just discovering music and even fewer are starting to play it. A love for creating music started much earlier for Kennerson. “I’ve been playing guitar ever since I could hold a guitar in my Dad’s lap. I wanted to start playing because my Dad played guitar and I started taking formal lessons when I was about seven.”
Fast forward to 2018, Kennerson proved he could not only play guitar but create and record his own music as well, releasing a downloadable single, “Better Things.”
Kennerson’s passion for playing has already gotten him live performance gigs at several LA clubs, including House of Blues and the Whisky a Go-Go where he even got the chance to open for LA Guns.
When asked about which musicians and songs he most enjoys playing their music, Motley Crue currently tops the list. “I am really enjoying learning Motley Crue songs like Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.) and Take Me To the Top.” Kennerson’s interest in Motley Crue goes further than just learning their songs. “If there is one person I could get a chance to collaborate with, it would be Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue, he’s my biggest influence.”
During his visit to the HARMAN Center, Kennerson shared that while TTM guitars are his favorite, he also likes playing Schecter, Fender and Gibson as well. When we turned him loose to go explore and play with the gear showcased throughout the Center, he was most interested in the JBL Eon One Pro All-In One Rechargeable PA and AKG K872 Master Reference Closed-Back Headphones. “I really loved the JBL speaker system – it was super clear and the bass was great. The AKG headphones were also my favorite – they were very, very clear and I really liked the way the bass sounds.”
When Kennerson isn’t practicing and playing guitar or doing other things that keep most 12 year olds busy, he also finds time to chronicle his young career on social media, including Instagram where he’s already amassed over 25,000 followers. When we asked him what he likes best about sharing on social media, his response echoed his already mature-for-his-age music career, “My social media channels help me advance my music and career goals by letting me get my music out there and show what I’m all about. What I like most is being able to express myself as being different. I’ve been made fun of before for being different but I look at it like if everyone was the same, it would be boring.”
Kennerson’s feelings on expressing himself may also stem from an opportunity he was given to meet and ask questions of guitarist DJ Ashba of Guns ‘N Roses, Sixx:AM and other bands in the HARMAN Booth at the Winter NAMM 2019 show. “The best advice I have ever received from a musician was from DJ Ashba who told me ‘there are always people along the way that are going to try and get in your way, just ignore them and keep going. Keep chasing your dreams and never give up.'”
We look forward to following our young rocking pal Maddox, the Rockstar Madman, as he continues growing his already very accomplished musical career. With his abundance of natural talent and a truly positive attitude and outlook on life, we know even greater things are waiting for him in the future.