Thrash Hits

October 10th, 2011

Interview: Madina Lake – Matthew Leone on World War III, Billy Corgan and the road to recovery

madina lake band promo photo 2011 thrash hits

Madina Lake are releasing their third album today. It’s called World War III and we thought it wise to catch up with Matthew Leone and ask him about the last album in the Adalia trilogy, the band’s plans for their future and just find out how he’s getting on after the horrific attack on him in 2010.

This is the third and last in the Adalia series. You’ve found her. Now what?
We’ve almost found her! The narrative is still coming out, which connects all the dots and unveils the whole idea behind Madina Lake. It’s a pretty bold postulation, so I imagine this will go on for a bit. After that, I imagine feeling fulfilled in that we accomplished such an over-ambitious effort, and subsequently, liberated for whatever is next for Madina.

Are you planning on releasing some kind of fancy special edition of all three albums with the book and everything?
That is absolutely the goal. This thing is going on six years and I imagine a lot of people dropped off along the way. This way, we can succinctly deliver the whole project in one.

Tell us about working with Billy Corgan on ‘Imagineer’.
It is almost indescribable He embodies all of the talent, imagination, mystique and spirit that we had anticipated, and more. His ability and artistic prowess taught us more than we’ve learned in six years of touring and making records. In addition to that, he was very compassionate about what we’ve been enduring personally, and remains devoted to seeing our road to recovery through. I’m eternally grateful for this connection.

Every band says that their latest album is their best ever but I actually think this is. What do you think?
Thank you! It makes logical sense that with experience, an entity grows in ability. With art, that’s a little touchy, considering all of the peripheral elements that come into play. That said, going into making this record, we were equipped with the experience, and the moving target became inspiration, the production, environment etc… After everything we’ve gone through, the inspiration was delivered, almost in over abundance, right into our hands. Then we were afforded the opportunity to do the record entirely on our own, without a single drop of input from another source. Mateo is an incredible engineer, producer and mixer, so in essence, it was the perfect storm to do our most accomplished work. We feel it is exactly the defining record for Madina Lake. And thank you for your words!

How many times have you told people it’s your heaviest and most melodic album EVER?
Hahah that’s hilarious. We usually frame it like this: “We know it’s cliche to say this, but…”

madina lake world war III 3 album artwork cover 2011 thrash hits

Exactly how tough have the last 18 months been?
Well, I suppose if there were some barometer to measure the difficulty of a section of time in someone’s life, mine would be revving in the red zone, pretty consistently throughout. But I imagine that it’s not too easy to win the World Cup either, but when said and done, it feels pretty damn ridiculous. Not as to say, we’ve accomplished something that profound, but to be where we are now feels very triumphant!

You’re all better now though?
Not exactly all better. There are some aspects that have changed forever but that’s life, and considering someone attempted to expire mine – unsuccessfully – I’d say I’m better than ever. It’s always nice to see a coward succeed at failing, while the compassionate one is gifted with love and goodness in the world. My gratitude to everyone who so much as wished me well, is immeasurable. I’m still choked up thinking about that.

You’re on a brand new label in Europe – Long Branch Records. Do you feel like pioneers in some respects?
They are absolutely fantastic. In this business, if you don’t feel like a pioneer, you might as well book a couple of staterooms on the Titanic.

Do you feel sad that you don’t look like skunks/racoons any more?
At some point in life, we all experience the joy and subsequent outburst of laughter when thumbing through our senior photos in the high school yearbook. Relief is a better adjective than sadness, although thanks to the digital age, that damn haircut will follow me to my grave.

What animals would you like to look like the most?
Penguins. They are hilarious.

Madina Lake release World War III today, 10 October 2011 via Long Branch Records


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