“A couple of years ago. I wouldn’t have spoken up in the way I do now. I love what I do too much not to.”
Maggie Lindemann has had quite the year, all culminating in the release of her debut full-length ‘SUCKERPUNCH’ last month.
A combination of the things that sounds she was raised on, the life she has lived and the lessons she has learned, it is an incredible collection of songs that fit as perfectly into the modern day as they would in the mid-00s. They show off Maggie at her most comfortable, confessional and confident, taking us from her darkest moments to the realisation that the only person she truly needs in this world is herself.
To find out a bit more about the journey she has been on and what it has meant, we sat down for a lovely little chat….
Where did the life of this record start for you? What sort of place were you personally as you figured out what you wanted to do with it?
“I started the album quickly after ‘Paranoia’ came out, like a few days later. I had so much going on in my life that it found me writing a lot. I was going through a bunch of stuff personally, life stuff, but I also had a lot of energy. I was super confident in my writing process, so it felt like I was really in it and good to go. It was a bit harder to piece together than ‘Paranoia’ was, just because there were way more songs coming out of me. I found the order to present it, and the actual things I was trying to say that bit harder. I knew what it needed to be with’ Paranoia’ because all the songs were about that feeling. But this album covers so many more things, so it proved harder to pinpoint what it was all about. But there was something about ‘SUCKERPUNCH’ that felt right. Everything started to make a little bit more sense from there.”
It’s a record that almost feels chronological in the way it is presented, and you are a different person at the end from where it started. Is that something that you feel when you listen and consider the things you have been through and compare them to how you are feeling now?
“At the beginning of the writing process, which you can hear at the beginning of the album, I struggled with uncertainty. I felt lost and alone in my life and trapped. Right now, I feel like life is so good. I feel really confident and super happy with everything. And how I feel now is so different from how the album feels as well. I felt more of a relief when we wrapped the album up, but I was still trying to figure out my life simultaneously. Musically, I felt great about everything, but personally, there were still things I felt confused about. And whilst I’m looking at music again, I’m approaching it was such a different outlet. It’s crazy just how it changes.”
When you look at some of the specifics of this record, what would you say are the biggest things that you learned about yourself whilst putting them together?
“I sometimes think when I’m writing, I’m going through therapy. It’s my way of talking about these things with myself. So I put something down and read it back and go, ‘Oh, I guess that thing did bother me more than I thought it did’, or ‘Oh, maybe I’m not okay with that’. I feel like I realised the stuff like that, the things that I may have pushed down that little bit deeper than I initially thought I did, but then it all comes down at once. Also, positively though, I do shock myself and think, ‘Oh, I didn’t know I had that in me’. Having both of those opposites exist feels really important. Like ‘self-sabotage’ as a song, I’m really proud to have been able to write that but also listening made me realise just how much I needed to hear it. One of those moments where the thing you needed to hear was yourself.”
It feels like you are also utilising the sounds and styles you were brought up on to get your message across. How does it feel to be able to pay tribute to the bands and artists that helped you in such a way?
“One thing that I always struggled with was always being put into this very specific box. I love so many different types of music and love so many different types too. One day I might want to go into the studio and want to make a full metal song. Another, I want to make a poppy acoustic, stripped-down love song. You’re not always in the mood for one thing, so you want to do as much as you want. You’re not always in the mood to go hard and fast all the way whilst making music. Sometimes you might want to slow it down and go softer. I just really embraced that feeling, because when I don’t allow myself to do that, I get bored quickly. And I think you can tell in the music that I then make that I am bored as well. Having so many influences – Lana Del Rey, Flyleaf, Avril Lavigne, Paramore, Evanescence, Gwen Stefani – I want to celebrate and do all of that.”
And when people put you in that box, you want to use every opportunity you have to prove them wrong. Having the time, space, and tools to do that, you’ll make every second count…
“A couple of years ago, I was in a place where I felt a lot of fear and was definitely a bit afraid to be myself and say all of the things that I wanted to say. I just wanted to be able to say, ‘Fuck you’ to anybody who made me feel that way. People do a weird thing when they see somebody that is pretty or looks a certain way and assume that they have the worst music taste because of that. I remember in High School wearing a Sublime shirt, and everyone had something to say about it and coming for me about it. My Dad raised me on that band. It’s so weird, and it takes its toll on you. But right now, I’m in a place where I know who I am, what I am about, what I want to say, and what I listen to. And if anyone says anything now, I really don’t care. But that’s a new thing. A couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have spoken up in the way I do now. I love what I do too much not to.”
People see through the bullshit and can tell when someone means it. And when you’re feeling yourself, showing off how proud you are of your roots and not letting anyone get in the way of that, you are unstoppable…
“Definitely. There are still moments when I still feel insecure and read what someone thinks, and for a second think maybe I’m not doing the right thing. But for the most part, I am so confident in this. I am proud of my music and feel good about what it represents. I’ve had so many people I have looked up to and like reach out to me and want to work together, which is the stamp of approval that I’m doing something right.”
One such person is Kellin Quinn. What was it like working alongside someone you have admired for so many years?
“That was pretty crazy. Sleeping With Sirens have been my favourite band since 8th grade. For me, it was really surreal. I sent the song to him, and he said that he loved it and would love to be a part of it, and even hearing that was the best because I think he is an insane writer. It was a real full circle moment, but for it to be someone I have looked up to for so many years makes it even more special.”
As you look to the future now, what is it that excites you about what is still to come and where you can go?
“I just want to keep going on. I want to keep on writing as much as possible, and I’m writing all by myself for the first time. That’s a new thing for me. I’ve always worked alongside a producer before, so I’m enjoying the challenge of being just me and hope that over the next couple of years, that becomes the norm for me. I want to be touring as much as possible. I want to be respected for my music. But most of all, I want to be happy and healthy and still do what I’m doing. If I’m there, then I am all good.”
Maggie Lindemann is going to be playing Slam Dunk Festival next Summer alongside the likes of Enter Shikari, The Offspring, Underøath and LOADS more.
You can pick up tickets for both North and South right HERE