Interview: Nathan Leone from Madina Lake

We had a chance to chat with Nathan Leone of Madina Lake about the band, the music, and what he likes to do in his down time. Here’s what he had to say!

How did Madina Lake get formed?

Nathan: We basically came from two different Chicago bands that shared a manager. Neither of us were super happy with our respective bands and we became quick friends. After a few months of partying and bonding we realized that we had what each other were lacking so we scrapped the bands, the manager and we got straight to work.

What three words would you use to describe your music?

Nathan: Honest, passionate, unapologetic

How have you guys grown musically since you started as a band?

Nathan: Between the four of us, we are fans of every different kind of music from rock, metal, industrial, reggae, dance, punk, rap, hip hip etc. So as we’ve played together, we’ve become less afraid to write from every one of those influences without really caring about what’s popular, trendy or anything else. I think once you tune out all the noise you can truly create something new and honest. Our latest record has metal songs next to industrial dance songs to pop songs.

Where did you get the idea for a three album story arc, and the story that the albums tell?

Nathan: When we first starting hanging out, we all shared a disdain for pop culture and mainstream. Growing up with bands like Rage Against the Machine, Smashing Pumpkins, NIN lead us to believe that there was so much more to bands than haircuts, clothes and trends. So we wanted to be as creative as possible and define who we are through not only music but through creating a backdrop to represent the things we believe and have experienced. Music has always been an escape for me and creating a mystical world behind the band just seemed like a cool way to bring that to life.

Which song is the most meaningful or most personal to you? Why? What bands have influenced your music?

Nathan: Muse, Pumpkins, NIN, Rage, Refused, etc.

Are you guys excited about being on the Warped Tour? How has it been so far?

Nathan: Yeah we haven’t had a real extensive US tour in almost 2 years so we definitely can’t wait to introduce ourselves to this market. I think Warped is such an iconic tour for bands like ours and kids of several generations. Just being a part of it is super lucky so we want to make sure we earn this opportunity and make the very most of it. It starts in 3 days and we can’t wait!

Are there any bands you’d really like to tour with?

Nathan: Besides the obvious (muse, NIN, etc lol) … Dillinger, Billy Talent, The Sleeping, A Day to Remember, to name a few!

I love the album art for Attics to Eden, who’s the artist?

Nathan: Thanks! Victor Lynden… I discovered him through a friend who had bought some of his paintings and randomly emailed him. He responded and we started a relationship discussing our band and vision and he had very similar philosophies on life etc. so we worked out a trade. He painted our album art and we recorded a song of his for him. It was pretty amazing actually, old school bartering!

When you’re not working on music, what are your favorite things to do? Any must see television series?

Nathan: Ahh YES … DEXTER, Weeds, Californication, 24, Lost, The Wire, and there’s an amazing show on NGC called Locked Up Abroad about random people duped into smuggling drugs and getting busted in crazy placed like Bangladesh lol.. It’s riveting! Otherwise, I’m addicted to audiobooks. Anything about eastern religions, the universe, spy agencies etc. Ha!

Interview By: Jessica Mahn

Madina Lake


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