Madeline Rosene RETURNS
What do you think makes you stand out from other artists and what makes your music stand out?
If you are listening to yourself and you know who you are, you are able to portray that to the world. Everyone can stand out once they know what makes them special. When I write music, I try very hard to listen to myself and express what I find in my own way. If you block out the noise of society trying to tell you how or who to be, it’s much easier to create art that is uniquely yours.
My music stands out because it is original and they are my personal thoughts and ideas. My songs capture certain times in my life- moments or periods- like a diary.
When did you decide that music was going to be the career you continued with for the rest of your life and what made you come to that decision?
I do a lot of things. I’ve never consciously made the decision to continue to do music for my whole life. That is just how it’s been. I don’t have a lot of other coping mechanisms, so it will likely continue. But I don’t think I would ever definitively say that I will continue with music for the rest of my life. I know it will probably always be the best way for me to express myself and I know that at this moment in time, it still gives me joy. However, I’m not a fan of the music “business” and it does make pursuing music more of a struggle for me. If I stop creating music, the music I created in the past will still be there…and in that way, I will continue with music for the rest of my life.
Other than musicians who would you say is your biggest inspiration?
I get a lot of inspiration from my friends. Most of them are artists. Jeffrey Fountain, for instance, is an amazing photographer, but he’s also a director, set designer, and producer. He has a really beautiful imagination and can understand lyrics deeply and fluidly. He takes that understanding and translates it into inspired, ingenious visuals- whimsical and dark, bold and poignant. When you watch a true artist create, it can sort of feel like magic. They start with nothing, then an idea, then the creation is born. The process doesn’t always look easy, but a true artist looks natural. I am inspired by watching that process and watching my friends do what they are supposed to do on this planet. It brings me joy and hope.
Do you believe in luck? Do you have anything that brings you luck or rituals you do before a gig etc?
I don’t believe in luck as in lucky shoes or rituals. I believe in chance, which is basically like odds or probabilities.. I believe that people who are born in certain parts of the world could be considered “lucky” since their chances of survival and success are statistically higher or lower. I believe the universe is somewhat random. I don’t believe “things happen for a reason.” I believe you can “win the genetic lottery” and be beautiful, and that could be considered “lucky”. I believe there are some things (not many) in life that are out of our control, but ultimately, to an extent, if you can visualize the path you want to take, you make that path for yourself…and you choose how to react to whatever crosses that path.
Did you enjoy music at school and were you any good?
Yes. I was the lead in my eighth grade musical production and I played stand up bass in orchestra.
Do you ever find it hard or do you feel pressure into looking a certain way to keep your image as a music artist going ?
Yes, I’m usually unhappy with my appearance. I don’t recommend this mindset.
Pick a song of yours and tell us the story of how it was written and what the song is about.
I remember writing my song, 19th One Night Stand. I was sitting with my friend, Doh, in my apartment in LA. I was playing some chords and the guy I was interested in at the time started texting me. I had never really casually dated before and I didn’t understand that that’s what this “relationship” was. The text conversations frustrated me and I remember thinking, “what are we doing here?” which became the first line of the song. I was complaining to my friend about it. Something like- “I just go to his house and we eat and drink and then I don’t hear anything from him for days…” So the next line came out— “am I just over for the free food and beer?” I wrote the verses of that song pretty quickly, but I couldn’t figure out a hook. I played it for my friend, Justin Lund, who immediately understood it wholly as a song about flakey Los Angeles people (which it is)…and said “what about— ‘what do you do that’s not just for you?’” I loved that line. He’s a brilliant writer.
What was the 1st performance you did in front of people and what was your first gig you did and can tell you tell us about it?
It was probably in 7th grade with my rock band at a club in Ohio. I was young and playing with high schoolers. I felt intimidated but also proud and excited. There were lots of adults at the bar who would tell me how well I did and how they were surprised I was so young, which I have always thought is stupid. Most young people are naturally gifted songwriters- they are feeling their feelings harder than any other time in their life— (it’s called hormones, people!) They may not be jaded yet and they might still feel like they’re special and the world should listen to them. That’s because they are special and the world should listen to them. It isn’t usually until later in life that we start to doubt these things.
What does music mean to you?
Music is a part of my life- my past and present. Music helps me understand myself and the world and people around me. Music can be a time machine. It can transport you into various moments of your life.
Take us through a day when you are writing or recording?
When I write, my whole day becomes that song. If I get an idea, my whole day and all of my energy becomes devoted to this writing and bringing this idea to life - playing it over and over again, knowing it’s perfect for me but maybe not everyone else.
It’s like a sneeze that happens all day and I just need to get it out.
I try to be prepared before recording sessions, but sometimes that’s useless. We sometimes make up harmonies on the spot. I am usually recording with friends so it’s sort of a bonding experience in my opinion. Recording is an intimate affair and it can make or break your relationships.
What would you like to achieve in the next year?
What’s one thing could you not live without and why?
My friends and family
Take us through a rough timeline of your career so far and what would you consider to be your personal highlights and achievements?
Played music growing up - Cleveland, Akron, NYC, Connecticut, Massachusetts— any bar or club that would let me play my weird songs.
Gave up music because self doubt and other pursuits- premed, journalism, etc…
Moved to Los Angeles for a job. Got back into music.
Made a band and played all over LA- Viper Room, The Study, Los Globos, State Social House, The Other Door, StageCoach, Silverlake Lounge, Bar 20, Stage Coach, etc…
Put out my first album, “Raised on Porn,” in January, 2020.
Had a dope album release party.
Covid hit two weeks later.
Started working on second album, “Everyday Existential Crisis”
I moved to Ohio.
And here I am writing my responses to this interview.
If you had to write an advert to advertise your act and your music what would it say?
Oof, self promotion is my weak point:
“Do you like moderately good vocals and unexpected lyrics? Maybe you will enjoy the lyrical musings of Madeline Rosene.”
What is your favourite way to listen to music and do you ever listen to your own music?
I like listening in the car. I like driving and listening. They pair well together. Music is a kind of freedom and driving is a kind of freedom.
I sometimes listen to my own songs. If you don’t like the music you put out, I think that’s a problem. If you don’t like the things you create, how can you expect others to relate to them or feel them? I’m not saying I don’t cringe when I listen to my own music sometimes. It’s certainly a love hate relationship. Sometimes I really feel proud and sometimes I listen and think, “Who does this bitch think she is?”
Who would you have to play you in a film about your life and career and what would the plot of the film be?
Alexandra Daddario. We kind of look exactly the same (in the face).
I guess the film could be my life if we wanted it to score -2,000 on Rotten Tomatoes.
If you had to change your image, genre of music and just reinvent yourself, what would you do?
I don’t know under what circumstances I would HAVE to reinvent myself and my music— I prefer change to happen gradually and organically. But maybe I would sing 1920s and 30s standards like my mom does.
What has been one thing you have done during your music career that you regret or wish you could go back and change?What would it be and why?
I wish I had begged my parents to take me to Los Angeles at age 13 and have them invest their life savings into my career. That’s usually a recipe for success in music.
How has Covid 19 affected you ?
Positively— in the way that I tested positive for Covid back in January. It has given me a lot of time to write and record. It has made me rethink how much I really love performing. I am less of a performer and more of a writer. But when I do perform, I generally love it and get into it. It’s just leading up to it that I dread.
Can you give us a rundown of all the music related things you have been up to in the past couple of months and what we can expect for the future
Working on my album, Everyday Existential Crisis, mostly with Patrick Windsor. Making a kick ass music video for the title track with Jeffrey Fountain, Jason Edward, Aubree Rockwell, Ben Cope, and Irene Kim (AKA some of the best humans on earth).