Mothers of Mayhem: Four Ogden Moms Form a Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Band

As their children grew more independent, four Ogden Valley moms used their newfound free time to team together and start a hard rock and heavy metal band.


Photo Courtesy of Mothers of Mayhem by Virginia Ruth Photography.

OGDEN – As their children grew more independent, four Ogden Valley moms used their newfound free time to team together and stretch their talents.

But their combined end product surprised even themselves.

Nikki Ashton earned a college degree in piano performance. Victoria Green trained in playing the bass, Jessica Groom sang in the church choir and played several instruments, then minored in music in college, and Jami Taylor earned a college degree in music.

In 2017, their love for all things melodic led Ashton, Green, Groom and Taylor to form an all-girl band. While they could have stuck to softer sounds, her bandmates suspected that Groom possessed untapped vocal power.  

And soon they were busting through stereotypes to perform hard rock and heavy metal – all while wearing 1950s-style house dresses to add to the cultural dissonance.

“When we first got together, it was like ‘what music are we going to play?’ Half of us were like, ‘girl music, something soft,’” Green said. “We didn’t know that Jessica was a huge metal head. Jami’s husband suggested that we play hard rock and we all said yes! It sounded so fun – and I guess unpredictable.”

So by day these ladies fix boo-boos, drive carpool, attend parent-teacher conferences, cook dinner – you know, all the mom things. But at night they rock the house with Green thumping the bass, Groom belting out vocals, Ashton pounding the drums and Taylor blasting guitar chords. 

With combined broods that total 19 children, this dedicated foursome is not yet ready to hit the road for a full-on tour. But they have dazzled audiences at several music festivals and hot spots throughout Utah, including Funk ‘n Dive in downtown Ogden, Snowbasin Ski Resort and the Utah Arts Festival.

“We really do take the band seriously and every effort we put into it we try to do 100 percent. But we can’t let it take from our families,” Green said. “So we limit what we do … we really try to keep a good balance.”

So for now, they focus on “things we can do,” Green said. That includes writing more songs – and recording them.

Mothers of Mayhem released their latest video this March, just in time for Women’s History Month. And “Elijah Jones” not only entertains, it also tells a stirring story of polygamy and domestic violence in the wild west.

Filmed in Kanab, Elijah Jones is a fictional outlaw in the late 1800s who brings home four women, one by one. While they basically cook, clean and slave at home, Jones enjoys strutting around town, drinking large quantities of alcohol and then returning home to inflict pain on whoever’s handy.

But Elijah Jones doesn’t get the last word in this fiery ballad.

This talented quartet also enjoys playing covers of well-known songs, putting their distinctive stamp on the Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby, Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics, and more.

While Elijah Jones might make some people uncomfortable, Moms of Mayhem suggest that it should – it deals with difficult issues that some women still struggle to overcome.

Photo Courtesy of Mothers of Mayhem by Sam Crump.

“I hope it awakens a spirit of strength and power – whether that be to overcome your own personal Elijah or to just finally take the steps to go out and live your best life and follow your dreams,” Groom said. 

Green – who prepares for on-stage performances by calming herself with music from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir – said she never dreamed of playing heavy metal and hard rock, or for that matter, being in a band and “putting myself out there. “

But the experience has proved to be something all the Moms of Mayhem savor.

“As a mother, your world gets kind of small in a lot of ways and you only interact with the people that your life overlaps with – other moms,” Green said. “The band gives us these experiences where we interact with all sorts of people. It is so cool to meet them and get to know them.”

You can view their videos here.

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