At the start of the year our childhood favourite alt-rockers Madina Lake announced that they would be reforming following a 4 year break to celebrate the 10th anniversary of debut album From Them, Through Us, To You with a short UK tour and their debut appearance at Slam Dunk festival! We spoke to bassist Matthew Leone back in March to get a preview of the reunion and then caught up with guitarist Mateo Camargo before the band’s final UK date in Cardiff to find out how things went and Trent Reznor covering Madina Lake, with input from Matthew and drummer Chris Mason.
This is the last date of the UK reunion shows. Are you sad that it’s over?
Mateo: I am sad that it’s over in a way in which I like being in the UK but I think I can speak for all of us; we’re pretty wrecked physically. We were used to this lifestyle 4 years ago, now we’re not. We’re very sedentary, so it’s kicking our fucking asses!
I bet it’s a shock to the system coming back into it.
Mateo: Yes, my back is ruined. Matthew has a fake leg now and it’s killing him (Matthew laughs). So yeah it’s pretty brutal.
Matthew: It’s not fake, it’s just short!
How does it feel being back on stage?
Mateo: It feels incredible! In 4 years you can forget that you built something special and we did and every time you go on that stage, you get reminded that people love your body of work. I completely forgot that feeling in the first place. When we went on stage it was pretty gratifying. I think that was the word gratifying.
Matthew: Good answer!
Mateo: (to Matthew, the band’s walking dictionary, see proof in our previous interview here), do you like that word ‘gratifying’?
How has the tour been in general?
Mateo: It’s been great! No fights, I mean the twins are always fighting but other than that it’s fine! (Laughter from Matthew). When I say no fights, I mean no fights between anybody else and the twins (more laughter). I haven’t fought with Matthew, I haven’t fought with Nathan.
But they’ve been fighting amongst themselves?
Matteo: All the time.
Matthew: It’s always Nathan’s fault.
You would say that and I bet he’ll say the same thing about you!
Matthew: Yeah it’s right.
Matteo: The other bands are awesome! The opening band is That Lying Bitch who are dear friends of ours from Chicago so we are having a great time with them! They sound great and it’s a pleasure to listen to them everyday. The next band is Lacey, we just met them (at the start of the run) and they are fantastic dudes, a great band! And we’re just having a lot of fun! We’ve been doing a lot of partying, which is a little bit detrimental to the overall sound of the band but, nah I’m kidding it’ll rock!
And what goes on tour stays on tour! I caught your set at Slam Dunk Midlands and you sounded great so it isn’t that detrimental!
Matthew: Thank you!
Mateo: Oh yeah we rocked that one!
Matthew: No we struggled for that one!
Mateo: Did we?
Mateo: What happened with that one?
Matthew: It was all bass in the monitors! (Mateo then remembers!) Go on tell them about that!
Mateo: It was bass fest 2017 starring M Leone. There was dubious basslines appearing.
You played Manchester not long after the attack, what was the vibe like at the show?
Mateo: Yes. Well Manchester is very special to this band because this gentleman right here (points to Matthew) lives in Manchester and is married to a Man…
Mateo: Mancunian. So we tried to be as respectful and tried to pay homage to the people that lost their lives so we did Oasis’ Don’t Look Back In Anger and we also did something that was really hard for us to do. It was probably one of the hardest thing’s we’ve ever done, which was to do a minute of silence on stage. I know it sounds easy but when you’re on stage the silence is…
Matthew: He could not do it!
Mateo: I did it! I noodled and then I went for it! We tried to pay our respects as much as we could cause obviously we were very affected by it, we were very saddened and scared at the same time. Like is this gonna affect our safety? Are we gonna be in danger? Are other people gonna be in danger? But I think somebody said “thank you for coming and playing and bringing something fun to Manchester, we’ve been having a rough time and this makes us happy.” So, that’s all I have to say about that.
Matthew: That was nice!
You played Slam Dunk for the first time, how was the sets?
Mateo: I loved it! I hope we play Slam Dunk again. I hope you guys invite us back next year! Loved it! It was fantastic, I love playing festivals, especially that are outdoors. It’s a little challenging cause you don’t get a soundcheck, you just kinda get thrown into there and just play. But the crowd reaction was insane! If you’re listening Slam Dunk invite us next year! The food was great, there was a couple of bands that I liked. I tried to see Goldfinger, I saw Enter Shikari. That was it. I didn’t see anyone else. Oh and I met the guys from The Word Alive?
Matthew: Tonight Alive!
Mateo: The Australian kids? Tonight Alive! Fantastic! Super cool band and super cool people!
Matthew: Wonderful band!
That’s great, you’re doing one US date in Los Angeles.
Mateo: We’re very brave people.
You do a tour of the UK and then one US date, which makes us feel special!
Mateo: What you gotta understand is the UK always give us a lot more love than any other place in the world and also playing here is so much fun because the distances are four hours max In the states it’s 20 hours between venues. It’s really time consuming, it’s really long and we all have lives, jobs, so I think we would have not been able to do something like this in the states.
That’s fair. It’s been said that you’re going to do one week of Madina a year, Matthew, you said that if I remember rightly? Is that going to happen?
Matthew: I did.
Mateo: I think that would be yeah. It’s probably going to happen. Madina Week, yeah that sounds good! Good idea!
Matthew: Name it Madini Week.
That sounds cool. Now this is really hard, last time I spoke to you guys I asked Matthew to pick his favourite track from From Them, Through Us, To You and he couldn’t but I’m going to make it harder, do you have a favourite track that you’ve ever recorded?
Mateo: (long pause to think) *whispers* Howdy Neighbour. That’s my favourite one.
Matthew: Which one?
Mateo: Don’t tell him.
Matthew: What did he say? Howdy Neighbour?
It was actually!
He guessed it! I didn’t tell him!
Matthew: I’m gonna zip it! I’m sorry!
You’ve got one artist, it can be any artist, who is going to cover a Madina Lake song, who would it be and what song?
Mateo: Is the artist automatically going to love it? Or might they hate it?
They’re gonna play one song that they do like!
Mateo: Oh then it’d be Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails, you have to guarantee he’s gonna like it! Is this happening? So what you’re trying to tell me is that Nine Inch Nails loves our band. Nah if I can have that stupid wish, that’s what I used to call those, stupid wishes, like “awh man, I wish I had a fucking truck load of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches following us on tour.” That’s a stupid wish. So yeah that’ll be great if Trent Reznor did a cover but I’m sure he would hate our band. I think he would probably like something around the lines of River People.
We always end with some random questions. Would you rather be the author of the Twilight saga or have written every Justin Bieber song?
Mateo: Oh my God so easy! Written every Justin Bieber song. I really like the beats now, I get down with his jams.
Matthew: I said the opposite!
Do you have any hidden talents?
Mateo: Yeah I’m a great tennis player! I used to compete internationally. Nah that’s bullshit! I used to be really good. I haven’t played for a while but I used to play all the time.
If you could have a meal with any three people, dead or alive, who would you pick and why?
Mateo: I’d like to have a meal with Dimebag Darrell, that would be funny as hell! I would like to have a meal with, shit that’s really hard, who would be fun? Like who would talk a lot? Kate Upton to lok at her tits. (laughs)
Chris (drums): You can cut that part out right?
Mateo: No, why? What’s wrong with saying that? I mean she puts them on Instagram all the time, we all follow her cause of it (laughs). Oh I know who! Powerful Joe Rogan! I’d like to pick his mind a little bit!
Finally, is there anything you want to say to our readers?
Mateo: I want to say to your readers that I’m sorry about talking about Kate Upton’s tits and thank you for coming to the tour if you did come, and if you didn’t but you listen to our music, thank you! Next time maybe chip in you know?