Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Madina Lake interview

From Them, Through Me, To You - The Madina Lake Interview

I have been working on this interview since January and I am so excited to finally bring it to you guys. I was fortunate enough to have a quick chat with all four members of Madina Lake at Bamboozle and discuss their album, "From Them, Through Us, To You."

I first wanted to discuss the idea behind the debut album. As some of you are aware it revolves around the disappearance of Adalia, a socialite-type character from Madina Lake, a location that is reminiscent of a sleepy town from the 1950's. I'm not good at figuring out clues so I was interested in knowing the best way to follow the story as hints and messages are revealed. Matthew Leone, bassist and visionary for the story, explained that there are currently "webisodes" on their website at These offer background information and prepare you for the remainder of the story. Additionally, they will soon be releasing a series of stories that will introduce characters, locations and plot lines to further fill out details of the story. This will make following along and ultimately solving the mystery of Adalia's disappearance more cohesive. Singer and twin brother to Matthew, Nathan Leone, continues that there will be two more albums to finish out the story and that at the end, "A HUGE message" will be revealed.

Seeing them live was a first for me and I let them know that I thought they were better live than on the album. It's an odd compliment but to me means they have actual talent rather than a gift for pro-tooling. Their live show completely envelops you and I was interested in knowing what got them hyped before a show and what kept them interested in consistently putting on such an amazing performance. Matthew was quick to mention yoga and Red Bull to which Nathan added that on a less, "cliché" note, the shows were so good because the music is part of who they are and that they take a deep interest in every performance. They created it and the feelings behind the songs are an extension from them, to you (anyone catch some of that in the album title?).

Nathan continued by mentioning that a lot of bands get onstage and seem completely uninterested in what they are doing. That they give off an apathetic vibe and that performing is a burden for them. They aspire to never be that way because it's the fans that they perform for and who they're interested in keeping entertained.

They begin discussing something that is a common theme from their shows: they are not interested in being part of a "scene." They don't want kids to listen to their album because it's something their friends are doing or because they feel like it would be the cool thing to do. I add in that I am 25 so I am no longer subjected to "peer pressure" but corroborate with them by saying that I can go from Manson to Amy Winehouse to Madina Lake and not flinch to which they all say in unison, "Exactly!." At a Madina Lake show everyone is friends. There is no drama; there is no "being better" than someone else. Everyone is there for the same reason – great music and a bit of camaraderie.

I close out the interview by asking them what they think is the best reason for someone to buy their album and take a chance on a band they may be unfamiliar with. Matthew thought for a second and said that the answer for this question would be too long for a short interview since the band is so multi-faceted but was able to consolidate it into a more general answer. He stated that he wanted people to check out the band on their own and decide for themselves if they were into it rather than following the crowd. That Madina is a band about not fitting into a specific scene and being comfortable with following your own path. A message they hope rings true through their music.

Madina Lake collectively have this incredible ability to involve everyone in the show. They can turn even the greatest cynics into believers after seeing them live simply because you can't look away. Whether it's diving into the crowd or flailing instruments, it's a sight to behold and it keeps your attention to the last note. They were amazingly nice and I think them for the opportunity and the time they took to meet with me.

p.s. Whilst re-telling my account with Madina to my hetero life partner he responded to the "big message" statement with, "I hope it's a bigger message than the 'We're actually Christians' ICP came out with and lost 3/4ths of their fan base." We're a match made in asshole heaven.

No comments: