Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mary Magdalan - Queen Of The Underground

“Underground” is a loosely used term when referring to music. Most people use the word when trying to describe what type of music they listen to. Unfortunately though, these people have missed the mark completely with their description. Most people think that “underground” is music that they know about and no one else has heard of. You could almost lump the term underground with the overused “alternative” genre that every band from the mid ‘90’s was labeled. An alternative to Janet Jackson would be Alan Jackson in almost every case. Okay, I’m starting to go off on a tangent that drives me nuts about classifying music. Underground should be used to denote music and musicians who have held up a very dignified middle finger to record companies and corporations that take advantage of hard working artists! One artist that shares in the values of true underground and could be considered its spokeswoman is Mary Magdalan.
    Mary has worked hard to stay away from record companies and the hassle that comes with being signed to a major label. She has claimed that she is 100% Do-It-Yourself when it comes to her music, merchandising, booking, art and design. She does things her way and makes her own rules when it comes to being an artist.
    I wanted to find out more about how she is able to survive in the corporate dominated radio world. We also talked about her new album and present tour.

Greg: Thank you Mary for taking some time from your tour to talk with me. How have the first few weeks been?
Mary: It has been amazing. Just getting back on the road and getting to meet fans face to face is what this is all about for me. So its definitely a beautiful experience for us.

Greg: When you prepare for a tour, how do you keep Yourself and Gzus motivated when you travel?
Mary: We travel with a four pound Chihuahua so no matter how pissed or annoyed we get, the dog keeps us grounded. With us, we have been through so much over the last six months that the small stuff just rolls off anymore.

Greg: How are you able to keep a national tour going without the funding of a major record label?
Mary: It is not the easiest thing to do but since day one the only thing that we have focused on is our fans. We have never gotten into anything but that said, its always love on the road.

Greg: What can someone expect who has never been to a Mary Magdalan show before?
Mary: We like to refer to it as an experience. Its somewhere between losing your virginity and being hit by a car. We provide something that is not being done by the band coming on before us or the band coming on after us. It always has a way of being its own original performance.

Greg:  How are you able to translate your real life experiences in to your music and lyrics?
Mary: I have done a lot of self healing through making music. For me its going into what I call 'my little box' where I keep all those monsters. When a song feels good to me I open up that little box and pour some of that emotion out.

Greg: Out of all your fans, who is crazier, the guys or girls?
Mary: Definitely the girls! I did a show one night and I had this girl mosh pit. During the beginning of the set these two girls were making out. By the end of the set they had broke up. This was only one show. I wouldn't call my girls crazier than the boys but they are definitely more entertaining.

Greg: A while back you gave away digital copies of  “Pity Girl”, and you have given away limited runs of the new album “DIGI.N3RV”. How are you able to do this as an independent artist without significant loss on merchandise sales?
Mary: I do this to spread my music around to as many people as I possibly can. If this was about money I would have signed a deal a long time ago. This is art to me, not entertainment. That's why I'm doing another free mixed tape. It gives my fans that are broke access to free music and it gives me another platform in which I can do the thing I love with no boundaries.

Greg: What artists do you listen to on a regular basis?
Mary: Lately I've been listening to Adele. She's got a great sound. I like all kinds of music and can appreciate the art in everyone’s music but most of the time I am in the studio making music so I don't hear a lot of other artists music. So I guess my answer is I listen to Mary Magdalan the most. Lol

Greg: How has your music on “DIGI.N3RV” progressed from "Pity Girl"?
Mary: With my previous two albums I was able to release a lot of demons. With my new album DIGI.N3RV I was able to make music that didn't come from that dark place. It came from me as a person but it didn't involve forcing out some painful experience. It was just me, sitting on a beach writing songs that I wanted to hear & perform. I don't have the pain anymore so I can now just be me.

Greg: I always try and ask one question that doesn’t have much to do with music. If a gun is not available, what would your weapon of choice be?
Mary: A needle. Its the silent killer.

There is info available on Mary Magdalan on her Myspace and Facebook pages. She often has giveaways for digital music downloads on both these pages if you keep an eye out for them.

by Greg Waldrop

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