Madina Lake: Gaining Hearts and Minds
School of Rock - South Hackensack, NJ, United States June 8, 2007
Powerhouse rifts and passionate lyrics are not all that separate the musicians of Madina Lake from the pack of fellow punk rock bands. Their keen sense and respect for the music industry helps them realize that music takes two kinds of people to make it magical. There are the musicians and then there are the fans. However, Madina Lake has proclaimed that they have fans but prefer to consider them as friends. During their performance, they make their appreciation known by grasping concert goers and pulling them into their world of music. It is not hard to do so with the addictive mystery the band created around their debut album named "From Them, Through Us, to You" on Road Runner Records. Madina Lake is a fictitious town centered in the 1950s when the town's socialite Adalia ends up missing. The album does not necessarily hold the answer to the disappearance, but contains many anthems and themes of life. The album's unusual and unique theme is why the musicians gained hundreds of new 'friends' within months. Even their well thought answers to my questions are a sign that Madina Lake are on the right track to years of musical success.
Interview conducted by Kristin Biskup:
How important is your live show to your music and promoting your music?
Nathan Leone (Lead Singer): It'd funny because sometimes there are a million bands and each band has a million different songs and a million different records and there are a million different labels so when people are checking out new bands they usually listen to one or two songs tops and make a judgment on it. We like to consider, hopefully, our record is diverse which you know has a lot of different kinds of [sounds.] We have songs with no guitars, some are heavier, and some that are not. It is really difficult to image being judged on one or two songs. When we play live, we get to play at least seven or eight different songs and anyone at the live show can get a better perspective of what we are going for musically.
Matthew Leone (Bass player): The difference between good and bad music is honesty, like whether it was written with honesty or not. I think when you perform live, that is your opportunity to express the honesty. Playing live is an integral part of that because you get to convey that you mean what you are doing and that you mean what you are saying.
Express in words what your show is like to someone who has never seen you live before.
Nathan: I remember going to shows as a kid and everyone had these insecurities and whatever when they go out. I especially did and I always loved the bands, loved the music and went nuts and everything, but I was always kind of aware of what was going on around me. I personally think the goal for our shows is for everybody to temporarily forget who they are, who they are with, what is cool or trendy or whatever the fuck. Forget everything and just really kind of release at that show. No insecurities, no concerns about anything but that moment.
So it is kind of like the psychology term flow?
Group: Sure! Yeah having flow, we will take it!
It is like have intense concentration that you forget everything around you and you focus on one thing and that thing would be like the music.
Matthew: Yeah like people do that in their cars by themselves but then they will go to shows and just stand there because they don't want to look weird to everyone else, but if you can get it to the point where your doing that everyone else wants to do that and everyone does it together and it is beautiful.
I see you interact a lot with fans which is something that other bands are lacking. How do you try to incorporate fan interaction into your live performance and how important is it to your set?
Nathan: My whole feeling is this. If you are a band and you create music or write songs and people relate to them and become a fan of you band. It is because you have something in common and it is because you can relate on a certain level to something. I will never in a million years understand why bands would ever separate them from the people that get there music. It is like you have a kinship. You have a connection. For us it is like when there is a barrier and then bands come and play and then disappear in the back or their bus or whatever I will never understand that person because what an opportunity to introduce yourself to as many people who you can possibly relate to as there are.
Mathew: When performing live, I think a lot of bands will not look at the crowd, or not look at your face or look over the crowd or they will turn around and face the drums. We kind of look everyone in the eye and try to let everyone know that we are appreciating them. I mean I even whisper thank you to people who are singing the words. We want to show people that we really are grateful for what they are doing.