FANGORIA recently took some time to sit down with Mary Magdalan, a high-energy hybrid band made up of three passionate, extreme people who literally live for their music. Fronted by Mary Magdalan herself, the band is an outlet for her former self. From junkie to rock star, this band is ready for listeners to not only understand them, but to help listeners understand themselves. DIGINERV, Mary Magdalan’s latest album, will hit stores this summer just in time for some much needed backyard barbeque music.
FANGORIA: So why the name Mary Magdalan?
MARY MAGDALAN: I feel like it was meant for me. It’s like when the heavy guy in your neighborhood gets the word “Big” in front of his name, like “Big” Mike or “Big” Worm. It just fits them. Mary Magdalan spoke to me the first second I thought of it. It just fit me.
FANG: How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard of you?
MAGDALAN: I would run up as close as I could to them and I would scream bloody hell in their ear. Then I would kiss them on the cheek. Basically we are the sour patch kids of music.
No really, our sound is your iPod on drugs. Or your dog on drugs. Or your mom on drugs. Or maybe you’re on drugs and you lost your IPod. Or your dog. Or your mom. BTW, have you seen my iPod? It was just here…
FANG: How did the band Mary Magdalan come together?
MAGDALAN: DJ Ray (a.k.a. Gzus) and I met through Aftermath recording artist the Game. Gzus was his DJ at the time and I was friends with the Game’s manager. He linked us up to do a mix tape. As soon as we got together, we realized that we both shared an insatiable appetite for, shall I say, “hanging out till the wee hours of the morning.” So as we got into making the mix tape we kept on “hanging out till the wee hours of the morning,” we finally came to the conclusion that we were becoming the Toxic Twins. So we decided that we were either going to make some killer music together, or we were both going to end up some typical Hollywood end notes. So we traded our straws and mirrors in for pro tools and sober thoughts. After a few months we were able to come out of the studio clean and sober with a handful of songs that we felt represented our sound. We posted the original demos of our first two songs we wrote together, “Rehab” and “Rage” and posted them on MySpace. It was like crack in the hood! Within days people from all over the world were eating the songs up. We ended up doing a few thousand downloads in the first day or two so we just started crankin’ out songs as fast as we could. We had no idea what we were doing, we just knew we had to do more of it as fast as we possibly could. On top of it we wanted every Mary Magdalan album to be concept albums based upon real events in my life. So we just started writing songs, then trashing songs, then writing more. Soon we went from trashing songs to trashing the studio. By the time we finished our first album PITY GIRL, we were on such a roll that we just kept on writing songs. Literally within a week of the release of PITY GIRL, we had already recorded the demos for at least five songs that ended up making our second album R.I.P. So we kept on recording. Just to make sure that we had a ton of music out in the world, we made R.I.P. as a double CD. This also gave me the ability to narrate two chapters of my story back to back. That to me was very trying, but as we got closer to completing the albums, it all came together on its own. Now as I come back to my fans with my next album, I feel that I was able to shed all my demons in my previous work, hence the name R.I.P. I’ve moved on in my life from so many things that tore at my soul. I’m finally in a place where I have created stability, and for lack of a better word, happiness. During PITY GIRL I was very much that scared girl who was running as fast as she could through the haunted house. By the time we got around to R.I.P., there was a coldness that ran through my life that I couldn’t escape. For a long time the only thing in the world that was always there for me were substances. When that was gone and I was left all alone and couldn’t run anymore, I felt like drugs abandoned me, just like everyone else in my family did. So the album has this dark almost heartless edge. I’m no longer in either place, so my sound has evolved to fit my mindset. It’s a beautiful thing.
FANG: How much of your past life is influenced in your music?
MAGDALAN: My past used to really control my music. It was my blueprint into creating this sound. I poured every bad thought, shitty memory and mental heartbreak into it. It really helped me to heal a lot of deep wounds I had with having a drug addict mother who overdosed. You go through a lot of the mental torment as a child in those conditions. The only way I knew how to forgive my mother was to write the song “Debbie.” That was my last conversation with her, and she was already dead. After two albums, I am finally at a place where I am able to put more of my life today into my music and it’s not all about the pain. There’s a lot of twisted pleasures in my new album. I didn’t tap into any pleasure in any of my previous albums. It was all fear and mental terror. So now it’s a whole new feeling for me. I used to leave sessions so wound up from these heavy mental battles that I was constantly depressed. I spent a lot of this time obsessing about suicide and questioning my existence. Now that I have finally broken out of the pure darkness, I am able to leave the studio feeling good about myself. That is a completely new experience for me, so I have been really enjoying the process of making music.
FANG: What kind of subjects are most of your songs centered around?
MAGDALAN: My new material is more primal than any of my previous material. It’s tapping into my serotonin, which I felt like was burned out of me for a long time. The creative process in making it doesn’t involve having my own therapy session in my head. I finally opened up my musical palette to more than the insanity that roams in my thoughts. I’m able to open up to some of the relationships that I have gone through in the past couple of years. I went through some tumultuous times and I dragged down some people that were really extending themselves to try to help me. So looking back on it now, I am able to let them know that what they did for me helped shape me into the person that I am now.
TO BE CONTINUED
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