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Madge's New EP Is "At The Intersection of Horror & Humor"

Multi-talented DIY artist, Madge, emphasizes the importance of experimental expression as she emulates feeling and devotion through her music. For those unfamiliar with Madge, she’s a classically-trained pop musician based in Los Angeles, California. Hailing from a small town in Utah, her goal is to emphasize the importance of middle ground feelings—“the intersection between horror and humor.” With a new EP Fight or Flight Club dropping today, Madge hopes to express a message of freedom from judgement and self-loathing, and a commitment to living in the moment. Check out our full chat with the Lo-fi DIY pop artist Madge, and listen to Fight or Flight Club below.

Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from and how has music influenced your upbringing?

I am originally from a small town in Utah. I grew up doing music really seriously. I was a classical pianist and I did it competitively, so music shaped me at a really young age. I started doing piano when I was four, and I’ve been lucky that it has been the foundation for my ability to produce and I am beyond grateful for that. It was kind of traumatizing and it did set this standard for intensity and perfectionism in what I do. My family is Mormon and that had this effect on my spirituality as an individual. It has definitely brought some emotional issues like shame, and self loathing that I use music to process.

How do you describe your musical background and style?

I feel like I identify most strongly with Lo-fi DIY Pop. I love a lot of different genres and I think that I incorporate a few genres in what I dobut I’m still figuring it out. This is my debut EP and this EP is a collection of my brain vomit and learning how to be a producer in this last year. I love pop music. I want my music to be catchy.

Do you collaborate with other artists when you’re making music? Or do you mostly write and compose your music yourself?

I am mostly totally DIY. So a lot of what you hear is written, produced, recorded, mix and mastered by me. On a few tracks, I did work with others outside of Fight Club. I featured my friend on the violin and on quite a few of my tracks my friend Christopher, who help works in the studio, played guitar. But in general, I’m totally DIY.  

Tell me a little about your new EP, Fight or Flight Club—how does the record represent you as an individual?

A lot of the songs I worked on, I specifically tried to not emulate a specific song. I don’t listen to a lot of music. I love music, but I don’t listen to a ton of music. I tried to make this EP a really clear expression of myself as an individual. I utilize this time to experiment with what exactly that is. I think I am still figuring that out honestly—I’m a work in progress.

Music is the universal language that evokes so many different kinds of emotions. What do you want your audience to seek while listening to your music?

If I had to label some feelings, I feel like ADHD is one of the many. It is the inability to focus on exactly one thing. My music is kind of all over the place, and I think there’s a lot of rage and anger, but I also think it’s done in a way that’s kind of cute. I think humor is a lens that I practice a lot of my feelings through. I don’t want people to portray my music so seriously, and having it processed by humor is a really important thing. It’s like the intersection between horror and humor, and I love that. I love that weird, middle ground of something really serious, mixed with something so absurd, lighthearted, and meaningless.

How has growing up in a Mormon, conservative family affected your music style?

On one hand, it’s quite positive. I think I am open to the idea that there are a lot of things we can’t understand in this world and spirituality is the only way to explain it. I don’t really believe in anything, but I do believe that I don’t know everything. Rationality can’t explain everything. On the other hand, there is this negative side of the shame, self-loathing, and feelings that are programed into my brain that I can’t ever get rid of. I react to myself all the time involuntarily with judgement, confusion as I question exactly what I’m doing.

Is anyone else in your family in the music industry?

My parents are pretty musical but no one has been in the industry at all. I think they are still removed from the idea of it being a profession for me.

Why “Fight or Flight Club?”

I feel like my life is this funny, indecisive, adrenaline fuel and space in which I live in. I can’t really recite who I am or what I’m doing, and it’s this tug of war that I’m beating myself up over, but I think that’s just how it is in our generation. If you’re trying to pursue something creative, it’s this compulsive state of limbo, but somehow it works. It’s this adrenaline rush—what am I doing? I feel like I get this identity crisis every two months questioning that. I think it’s all about living in the moment and that’s all we can do with all the various political and economic climates in our generation. It’s all about the instant moment and what’s happening right now.

What’s your favorite song on the EP and why?

I think that if I had to choose one, it would probably be “Red James”. It’s the first track I did (start to finish, all me) in the studio. It’s this super raw and weird track. A lot of people like it and some people don’t really get it. It’s kind of my little pet that I can listen to and hear so many things wrong with it because it’s this first attempt on doing everything myself. It’s special to me.

Images courtesy of Kobe Wagstaff

Stay tuned to Milk for more musicians on the rise. 

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