Morningstar | Brat Fest
Memorial Day Weekend: Madison WI


Friday, May 24 | Rock | MYPAF Island Stage | 1:10pm-1:50pm

Website: Morningstar

Morningstar is a hard rock/metal band from Madison, WI, drawing influences from thrash metal, classic and modern hard rock, creating a unique and powerful theatrical symphonic melodic metal sound that is distinctly their own.

While it has been said Morningstar’s sound “defies categorization,” the band delivers their own powerful brand of Progressive emotional Rock, backed by a high-energy, authentic live performance that audiences are eager to connect with. While initially told they were “too heavy” for Rock shows, and “Too light” for Metal shows, through pure will and perseverance, as the great ones always do, Morningstar eventually carved a niche all their own, defining their own piece of Hard Rock real estate on stages all across the Midwest.

Performing at venues and festivals across the Midwest, including Wisconsin’s record breaking sausage celebration “Brat Fest”, Northwoods Rock Rally, and Rock-2-Stop, an annual festival for a local charitable Veteran’s organization, Morningstar has spread their wings, and message, far and wide

In 2022, Morningstar released their long-awaited debut album, Between Your World and Mine, which was  named the Hard Rock/Metal Album of the year at the 2023 Madison Area Music Awards, and brought the band to a new level, as they became a Midwest staple, and a go-to direct support for touring acts including Saul, Smile Empty Soul, Bobaflex, Gemini Syndrome, Royal Bliss, The Black Moods, September Mourning, Stitched Up Heart, Otherwise, KrashKarma, and more.

The earliest origins of the band can be traced to rural Wisconsin, where vocalist Amber Swenor, a self-taught vocalist who, at 10 years old, had stumbled into Metal through an abandoned Metallica tape in a park, responded to a newspaper ad for a band seeking a vocalist. The rest, as they say, is history. That fateful call led through the evolution of several iterations of original hard rock and metal bands with Amber and Brandon at the core, until 2017, when they unlocked their final form, Morningstar, which originally included Amber’s younger brother David, who she had told to “learn how to play drums so we can start a band someday and tour the World together.” And he did.

Shortly after forming, the band released their first single, “Bittersweet Lullaby,” a powerful song, with an even more powerful message.

Says vocalist Amber, “The song was really written with the intention of creating a conversation that would reduce the stigma around Mental health, and conversations about it. For too long it has been something people just “don’t talk about”, and we had hoped we could change that, even just a little bit.”

After several lineup changes, and slimming down to a power trio, in 2023 it came time for Dave to depart the band to focus on his growing family, but the band quickly recruited Zack Walton, and long-time friend Ricky Staley joining on bass.

The band also recruited the assistance of legendary veteran manager, producer, and label marketing and A&R executive Thom Hazaert of THC: Music (Taproot, Motorhead, Chimaira, Simon Says), who has agreed to help guide the band into 2024 and beyond, as Morningstar continues to connect with fans, release new music, touring, and continuing to expand their fanbase, with more shows, and music forthcoming.

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