Maggie Lindemann is already ahead of her time. There’s people who haven’t caught up yet, but it’s not her responsibility to coddle them.
Over the past few weeks, the world of music has been forced to reflect and take stock of its actions. Particularly, its treatment and antagonisation of female artists. Framing Britney Spears was a catalyst in the movement, shining a spotlight on the’ mistreatment of Janet Jackson, Amanda Bynes, and, its namesake, Britney Spears, among others.
For the first time, the onus was placed back onto the industry to take responsibility for the toxic narratives thrown at female artists. Maggie Lindemann’s Paranoia dropped at the crest of this referendum.
A brilliant, sonically-aerobic release that met high acclaim, the EP was still hit by an industry mindset stuck in the ways that hurt Spears, Bynes, and Jackson. “Surely, it’s just a phase, right?” As shocked as I was upon hearing this, Maggie shrugged off the comments with the same grace and eloquence that she carries through all her art.
Like the legends who have come before her, she approaches her music with a timeless mission statement; love those who love me, write lyrics for myself, and push sonic into new generations. Maggie Lindemann is in it for the long haul.
HAPPY: When Paranoia dropped, everyone was talking about it. In your own words, can you break down the EP a little bit?
MAGGIE: Yeah so, it’s basically just about my life and kind of like the steps that I was going through in 2019 starting with this paranoia journey which is obviously the name of the EP and the first song of the EP which is Knife Under My Pillow. It’s like this journey of paranoia and the things that come from that. Just like the feeling of anxiety that I felt, like a loner and different, feeling unsure and all this stuff that comes from paranoia and just like that anxiety, kind of like everything I was going through and the writing process of it.
HAPPY: Yeah, it’s a topic that a lot of people are very scared to touch on. Why did you choose to base the whole EP around it?
MAGGIE: I don’t know, it was something that I was really, really going through at the time and I still do go through and I like to write stuff about stuff that I’m currently going through. I kind of just use sessions as therapy sessions. I was just experiencing a lot of it at the time, it felt like taking over my life and it felt weird if I hadn’t talked about it. It was just this topic that had been in my life for so long and it just felt relevant.
HAPPY: Do you use songwriting to work through stuff that’s happening in your life?
MAGGIE: Yeah, I do! It’s literally the thing I do to get over stuff. I feel like for me, writing, putting out music and singing is literally my therapy and it helps me way more than an actual therapy session could. So, I love it.
HAPPY: Yeah, absolutely! I found it so hilarious how shocked everyone was when you dropped it. Why do you think you received the reaction that you did?
MAGGIE: I mean, obviously, I made a completely different kind of music before, so I think for people who don’t follow me on Instagram, it was just different, and they just weren’t expecting it. Especially if you don’t follow me on Instagram because you don’t see the evolution and my style and anything I post. For someone that just heard Pretty Girl and Obsessed and maybe they listened to What I and Friends Go. It’s such a big jump from that beginning so I totally get it but for me it was such a long time coming so it doesn’t feel like that. It feels so natural.
HAPPY: Yeah, totally! Well, I always thought that it was that people just can’t wrap their head around the fact that an artist can grow so much in such a short time. It’s so crazy.
MAGGIE: I know! And then you get questions like, “oh my god, it’s just a phase.”
HAPPY: People have not said that to you!
MAGGIE: Yes, I get it all the time! It’s crazy because first of all, I just said this in another interview and I thought it was funny because if I randomly was the way I am now my whole life and randomly I started making music like Pretty Girl and I started dressing in pink and being way more pop, people wouldn’t ever be like, “oh, this is a phase.” No one would say that. People would be like, “oh she finally grew up.” I don’t understand why there’s this weird stigma around pop-punk and alternative that it’s a phase because it’s not. I’ve listened to this music growing up my whole life whether I dressed like I did or not. It was always a type of music that I found comfort in and loved listening to. It didn’t feel like a weird, random jump. It always felt like something I wanted to do and something that was a long time coming.
HAPPY: I’m so sorry that you had to hear that!
MAGGIE: It’s okay, it’s fine (laughs).
HAPPY: You’ve given a voice to so many important issues in this EP. What was the mission statement behind releasing it?
MAGGIE: I just wanted to put something out that was genuine to me and felt like it resonated really closely with my life and gave people an insight into my life because I know I’m not very public on Instagram or any socials. This is my time to connect with people, so they feel less alone and like they have someone to relate to on issues that aren’t as talked about as much. I’ll post a picture of what I’m doing or whatever, but I don’t talk that much about my experience. I just wanted people to feel like they got to know me better and less alone. Like you said, I feel like I haven’t heard a lot of people talking a lot about paranoia and what’s that like and people that go through that. I kind of just wanted to give people a way to not feel alone and like someone relates to them and feel comfort in my music.
HAPPY: Yeah, absolutely! Is that a big driver behind your music? To make people feel seen and heard?
MAGGIE: Yeah, for sure! When I listen to music, the music that I love the most is the music I feel like I connect to and relate to. I mean, people just want to be heard and people just want someone to relate to. I feel like that’s such a big thing for me.
HAPPY: I’m sure you’ve had the best response from fans too.
MAGGIE: Yeah, it’s been kind of crazy honestly! I was really nervous about it but it’s been really good.
HAPPY: That’s so good! I’d love to talk about the sound of the EP a bit because it’s such an amazing blend of different genres and styles that you’ve got going there. Did you have an idea of what it was going to sound like when you went in to record it and write it?
MAGGIE: I had an idea of how I wanted it to sound but I had to start from scratch because I had nothing to compare it to at that point. I didn’t have other music out that sounded like that, so I couldn’t be like, “oh I want it to sound like this.” It was kind of just from scratch and obviously, I brought in influences and stuff. Paramore was such a big influence, Bring Me The Horizon was a really big influence.
MAGGIE: I had so many different influences, but it was kind of just trying to take all of these different things that I really liked and morph it into one. I do go on, there was a lot of hip-hop references and 808’s and I just wanted all this different stuff but a mix of it. It was weird because it was starting from scratch which was something that I’d never really done before. It just makes it feel even more special because it feels so from the heart.
HAPPY: That sounds like so much fun, just going in with a blank slate and being able to build it all from there.
MAGGIE: It was! It was so fun!
HAPPY: How long was the recording process? Was there much demoing involved?
MAGGIE: I started in July of 2019 and It’s Not Your Fault was the last song we put on and that was somewhere in 2020, very late in 2020 before we announced it. It was literally right before we announced it. So, it was like a two-year long process but there weren’t really many demos. We would go in and write the song and I would record it right then and there. We also went with most of the songs.
I was so adamant about putting all the songs on this EP even though we did have to take a couple off because it was just getting too many for an EP and it was turning into an album. We used so many of the songs which is crazy because I usually would go in and write something and be like, “oh, I don’t really like it” and then have to keep going in until we get a good one. This one felt so natural. We would just go in, write a song and it would be amazing and they all came out.
HAPPY: Oh, that’s amazing! Are these cut songs going to ever come out?
MAGGIE: Yeah, I think so! I think a couple of them will be on the album. There’s one I know for sure will be out because I’m obsessed with it. There’s so many but who knows, I’m always writing better music, I feel like. I’m so wishy-washy with it but there’s definitely one that will be on it, I know for sure.
HAPPY: Amazing! You said there’s an album coming out?
MAGGIE: Yes, there is! Hopefully, the world will slowly go back to normal, and I’ll be able to tour before an album comes out because I really want to do that!
HAPPY: Oh my god, I’m so excited for concerts to go back!
MAGGIE: I know, me too! The worst!
HAPPY: I’d love to talk about the visuals because I was fucking obsessed when I saw the press drops for this. I was like, “oh my god!”
MAGGIE: Thank you!
HAPPY: You’re the first artist I’ve seen take the new alt-rock look, the new Gen Z look and actually turn it into a brand and into something. Did you take the reins with the aesthetic for this or was that a collaborative effort?
MAGGIE: I had a really specific vision for everything. When it comes to photography and stuff, I’ve always loved photography. When I was little, I really wanted to be a photographer even though I’m not good at it, at all. I know the vision I see; I’ve always had a very specific vision. It’s always been these things where I’ve always known how I’ve wanted things to look but I felt like I would do all these shoots and it would never be like exactly how I wanted. So then, I met Sam who has done a lot of the pictures for this EP.
MAGGIE: She’s the one who did all the colourful ones and all the cool stuff you’ve seen. I met her and she immediately completely got the vision and she’s so insanely talented. I’ll say something to her, and it won’t even be in crazy detail and she’ll do it completely, insanely better than I could’ve ever imagined. I think it’s really cool because I’ve found someone I really click with and she’s just so talented and I just love her.
MAGGIE: Also, I’ve been working with my boyfriend a lot, because he’s my boyfriend and knows me so well, he just sees the visions that I see, and he just gets it. It’s been really cool to finally find this group of people that just really, really get you and see the vision and don’t try to make it their own also because that happens a lot. I just had this really specific vision and it was definitely executed amazing.
HAPPY: That’s good! You and your boyfriend just dropped a new music video for one of your tracks, right?
MAGGIE: Yeah, Love Songs.
HAPPY: And that came out Valentine’s day? It sounds so cute and it’s the most wholesome story I’ve heard all week.
MAGGIE: Thank you! It was crazy because we actually started filming that at the beginning of quarantine, I got that VHS camera. I was like, “oh, I really, really want to film Love Songs. I feel like it’ll be so cute if we made a video for Love Songs.” So, we started summer of 2020 on that and then we were just so lazy with it and we just kept forgetting to film all the time.
MAGGIE: When you’re with someone all the time you always just forget to do stuff like that and we’d always be like, “oh, we’ll just do it next time” and then I was like, “oh my god wait, the songs out, Valentine’s day is coming up.” I really wanted to put it out on Valentine’s day, so we buckled down on it and got it done and he edited it and everything. It was finished the night before Valentine’s Day and then we uploaded it and then it was out. It was crazy, it was really quick!
HAPPY: That’s so cool! Diamonds are made under pressure, so it worked out in the end.
MAGGIE: Yeah, literally!
HAPPY: Alright so now that the EP is out and obviously you’ve got the album, are you doing a bunch of virtual performances? What’s keeping you busy at the moment?
MAGGIE: I have a lot of stuff coming out. I’m not going to say too much about it yet because it’s still a surprise. I do have a lot of stuff coming. Hopefully, some live things and I really want to do virtual meet and greets and stuff.
HAPPY: That would be so fun!
MAGGIE: Yeah, I know, I’ve seen a lot of people doing that so maybe I’ll do that. Definitely, just more of those live little performances that I’ve been doing. I really want to do more covers. I’ve been on this cover kick lately; Miley Cyrus has inspired me. So definitely more of those and more live stuff for sure.
HAPPY: Yeah, definitely! Thanks so much for the chat, it was lovely to talk to you.
MAGGIE: Yeah of course! It was so nice talking to you! Thank you!
HAPPY: No worries!
PARANOIA is out now on all platforms via swixxzaudio/Caroline Australia, grab your copy here.