See the interview below:
How are you feeling after playing your last show as Madina Lake?
“It's one of those emotions that doesn't affect you until it happens. I have the image of mateo and I hitting the last open drop D chord in me vs the world, which was the last strum we had as Madina and that choked me up. I'm a big denial guy, and have the added luxury of knowing we are releasing more music soon to temper the passing of ML. Regardless of the anecdotes that obscure the symptom, the loss is still there and it does hurt.”
How has the farewell tour been as a whole?
“I've been joyfully sharing that it has been one of the best tours in our career. If not the best, but I can't say that because we weren't with Dan. We were always one of those bands that felt that the chemistry between us was not negotiable and anything else wouldn't be Madina. When we were faced with the major challenge of his leaving the band after we went on sale (ticket sales), we made every effort to usurp his obstacles and accommodate his needs. In the end, it was a personal family issue that, in ML, always takes priority. As sorely as we missed Dan, Chris Mason, one of our very closest friends (SHFC drummer), offered to play…and he ignited the band in every way. So we were able to get another family member to seamlessly carry is through the finish line, in a big way.”
What made you decide to tour the UK as your Farewell tour?
“It's no secret that the UK has been our band's home. We've had success in Japan, Australia, EU, but overwhelmingly in the UK from day 1. The US market was blazing for a while before our big single got pulled because the label's staff was fired on add week. In the USA, the criteria to like a band, or to be safe liking a band, is heavily based on the tertiary components, like image, scene, clothes, hair…everything but the music. The UK market is not innocent of that, as it's all part and parcel with the gig, but much more focused on the music and the culture of what a band stands for. We represent suspended judgment, acceptance, and escapism. The British culture connected to that.”
What made this the right time for the band to end?
“We declared our objective of unveiling a mythology over three records from day one. Despite the unrealistic notion that any band will be fortunate enough to release 3 records, we managed to do it. We punctuated it with a book that actually delivered on every clue, message and expression we intended. That was deeply fulfilling. In 2010, I was injured and had to lay on a couch for a year to recover. Inertia alone is death in this lightning speed industry, but add to it that this year was proceeding 7 years of touring and neglecting our lives entirely. Suddenly the plug was pulled and the culture shock of facing 7 years’ worth of damage our absence caused has severe consequences.”
You are such a loved band especially over here in the UK, why do you think this is?
“Thank you, in the States, the concept of a support band isn't an agreed upon deal with the audience. The audiences see openers as an unworthy obstacle in the way of their band that they own. Since the image and cool factor means more in America, disparaging the support becomes an opportunity to demonstrate your allegiance to the headliner.
We had an early opportunity to go first of 4, opening for paramour. We were so grateful to play for 1,100 kids a night, instead of the 4 or 5 a night in the states, that we relished in the chance to stake our flag in the music community. We knew who we were, what we represent and what we wanted to procure. This philosophy was corroborated by every one of our actions that followed and trust was formed. We could have bought into our hype, turned into assholes and probably failed in the UK and blew up in the States.”
What do you think sets you apart from other live bands?
“After touring with 1,000s of bands, the vast majority just dial it in…go through the motions. They're lazy, complacent, palpably disinterested or disconnected from the music, and indifferent to the fans. We can truly say we are in our favourite band. Songs never got old or boring to play. Our self-imposed standards were high. These things cannot be faked when delivering them live. Consistency too. 1 or 1,000, give the same show. And we did that. We were not the most proficient musicians and I'm sure our expressiveness disrupted our playing at times, and that's a fair criticism, but it wasn't our objective. Our goal was to create a realm that the whole room could sink into. We did the confetti balloons, streamer cannons and visuals from day one, to try to achieve that.”
Out of all your releases what is your favourite?
“FTTUTY captured the honeymoon phase of the band's writing chemistry. Any who's been in a relationship knows that those endorphins don't keep flooding your heart forever. But life isn't about the high. It's about what is built. We grew deeper and deeper together as writers and as a band that I can't possibly pick a favourite. I'm thankful and proud to say that I love every song we've ever released. Well. Maybe not statistics.”
What will the last EP entail?
“We are decidedly having no discussions about it before hand, so as to stave off all the toxins that effect decisions. ie what worked before, what did fans like, what do we want it to sound like…none of that shit…scram!”
Both you and Nathan have a hand in writing books, do you have plans for any more?
“Writing is a passion of mine. I write every night. Most of it is so ridiculous I don't even know what the hell I could possibly have meant by it. So yes, I will always write, but I’m not sure it will be something I set free to see if it comes back and loves me.”
What do you think has been your greatest achievement as a band?
“A review of "Attics" said "the greatest thing about madina lake is also the reason they will never succeed. They’re impossible to define." We were one of those rare bands that never let anything define us but us. Also, we set out to unite people, incite enthusiasm and effect positive change. Our treasured audience have impressed upon us that we succeeded.”
Do you think you have achieved everything you set out to when you started Madina Lake?
“Yes. we vocalized, out of the gates, what our goal was. 3 cohesive records, completing a trilogy that would offer a perspective on life that we hoped would soothe people's journey. The challenge becomes that these targets move. And each member moves too. What starts as 4 people, 1 vision, creating one mechanism to hit one target becomes 4 people clinging to one another to create the mechanism to hit 4 moving targets. but impurities do that, experience, ego, successes, failures …do that. So now that we are through the voyage, we realize we did reach our destination.”
What will you miss most about Madina Lake?
“Creating and performing music with my favourite musicians.”
Can you give any in site to any future plans or projects you have?
“Music is in the future, so is a record label and something involving a camera. We have something that we will reveal at some point that I’m anxious for our dear RP to learn about…and all tourists too.”
Using 3 words how would you describe the whole journey of the band?
“magical, impossible, eternal”
Do you have any last comments for you fans?
“There will never be a last time you see us. And thank you so very much for coming with us.”