Updated: Mar 18, 2019
It's always exciting when a new underground band pops up in your home city. Maudlin is one of Atlanta's newest explosions on the local music scene. I think they are already musically very tight and have a great future ahead of them. It wasn't difficult for me to discover them as the lead singer, Jessica, is my hair dresser and the drummer, Ryan, has played some house shows I've attended before with his other bands. I interviewed Jessica to find out more about them and their summer tour.
1. So when did Maudlin form and who’s idea was it?
Maudlin formed in November 2015... Sara (Bass) mentioned to me that she knew two friends who wanted to work on a project doing something similar. Tony (Guitar) and Ryan (Drums) were persistent about having more females in the band, which took my interest. Tony and Ryan had also worked on a song, sent it over and before I knew it, I was practicing what I had written at home over their rough draft.
2. Although you guys self-describe Maudlin as post-punk there are clearly other genres of music that influence your style, and one could say that you (Jessica) are the doppelganger for Siouxsie Sioux, so what are some of the other influences on your music?
Siouxsie is definitely an essential icon to a lot of genres/sub-genres I hold dear - However, growing up with goth/new wave/punk, I still wouldn't say that she/they influenced our writing. For a long time, I was on an 80s Finnish post-punk and german/french cold/darkwave kick. I mean, I still admire it. We all put different styles of writing into Maudlin and because of that, we came up with what is! If I had to pick a band we felt very warm hearted about, though, it would be Xmal Duetschland. There are a lot of inspirations pulled from cultures, arts, eras, you name it... but no one specifically.
3. I’ve caught the last 2 of your Atlanta gigs, the second was with Wax Idols and King Woman and this most recent one with Pawns (NYC). At the last one it definitely felt like more people were dancing and getting into your set. Do you think people are starting to catch on to your vibe?
As a band, I notice we are becoming more and more comfortable with crowds, each other and ourselves. I can honestly say that tour really helped. I know a lot of the people in the Atlanta crowds are friends of all of ours, so it isn't a surprise we would dance for each other or support each other - But I do also believe that it was exciting to come out to see the other bands (whether local or touring). Touring with Pawns was such a blessing and a perfect fit. That is my guess - otherwise, I am oblivious to any vibes we give off. You tell me.
4. As much as Atlanta’s underground music scene changes, and as much as bands come and go, can we get some confirmation that you guys are going to stick around for some time!?
Maudlin does not plan on parting ways as a group, no matter what direction any of us physically take.
5. So you have completed the first half of your U.S. summer tour with Pawns(NYC), how did that tour happen to come together? And how did it go?
Des (Cemetery - Chicago) actually posted a link to our band camp *When we first released the songs online* and Robert Sullen (who throws San La Muerte Fest in San Antonio) heard and asked "Who are they!? I need them to hop on this set list with everyone in August!" .. At the same time, I had been talking to Gage (Pawns - NY) about how we wished we could hop on and how Pawns was set to play. After Robert contacted us *thanks to Gage & Des* we immediately confirmed we would play and Gage asked us if we would be interested touring with them as well.
6. You have a cassette tape available for sale on your tour, what made you guys decide to go with a cassette instead of a cd or vinyl?
We picked cassette because it was cheap and DIY. I suppose no one does CD's anymore and vinyl takes too long - We didn't have the time nor the money. Fortunately, we will be releasing our songs (with 1-3 new ones) on a 45 with Thomas Barnwell very soon.
7. Your poster and t-shirt designs are really cool. They have a combo of art deco style and very graphic black and white drawings; who is the artist behind these and why did you decide to go with them?
Definitely huge shout out to Jeremy McCleary for the art work on our tour poster and our tapes/shirts. We went with his work because he was a friend of ours and had a very specific style comparable to Nick Blinko. As far as the font, it all leads up to my massive adoration for 1920s Art Nouveau/Art Deco.
8. What other new exciting news can we hope to hear about Maudlin?
Besides working on releasing our 45 with Thomas Barnwell, we definitely will be working on some new material. Maudlin has also been discussing the possibility of a winter west coast tour and another fest or two.
9. You mention that you used to study creative writing and that poetry is your other big passion next to music; is there anything else you like to do creatively or hobbies that you enjoy? Who are some authors/poets/lyricists that have inspired you?
Two major poets growing up that were relatable were Emily Dickinson and Sylvia Plath. One day in the life of my 16 year old self, I showed my partner (at the time) some of my poems. He read them, looked at me genuinely afterwards... Which I felt was important, because he was, himself, an excellent writer and mind. He said that my writing reminded him of Ginsberg, with my subconscious flow... Followed up by handing me Ginsberg's "Howl". I have my exact copy still to this day. I suppose I have been writing on and off, ever since. If we turn the tables into something more lyrically, anyways, I grew up with classic goth and punk lyrics. Hands down... Those are always true to the heart... Complicated or not... They kind of just hit home, where ever that may be.
Hobbies? We do all sorts of things... anything from playing music to screen printing... taking film photos to cooking.. Just like everyone else I guess. We might have some out of the box interests, but as far as hobbies go... Maudlin is just a group of artists. Go figure.
10. What are you hopes for the band for the next year and beyond?
We plan to start working on a full length and hopefully if we tour the West coast, we will look to tour another country afterwards.
They go back on the road tomorrow so go check them out if they are in your area!