To celebrate Maggie Lindemann's upcoming tour, we caught up with her over Zoom to learn about her first shows ever, working with Sleeping With Sirens and more.
(Pic by Marina Hunter)
Maggie Lindemann, the latest singer-songwriter to win our pop-punk and emo hearts, is heading to Australia for the first time this May.
The US-based artist has rapidly grown in recognition since the release of her first single, Pretty Girl, in 2016. She currently has over 5.5 million listeners on Spotify alone, 414 million views on YouTube, sold-out headline shows, and has opened shows for Sabrina Carpenter, Madison Beer and The Vamps.
However, heavier music is in her sights, with Kellin Quinn from Sleeping With Sirens (her favourite band) appearing on How Can You Do This to Me? and alternative artist Siiickbrain on Break Me!
The Self Sabotage singer promises an "electric live show" to compliment her 2022 debut album, Suckerpunch, which you can listen to here.
"When I was making this, I had those blows in my own life; when I listened to the album back from start to finish, I realized the entire thing was a sucker punch – for myself, for my fans – and I knew it had to be the title," Lindemann offered about writing the record in a statement.
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She added, "Writing is my therapy, my way to get what I'm feeling and thinking and going throughout so that I can try to move on from it. With this album, I finally knew: ‘I need to let go of this stuff, so I'm just going to write about it.' I have control over my own life now. I have control over my music and what I want to say, what I want to do, and how I want to do it."
To celebrate her upcoming tour, we caught up with the glamorous Maggie Lindemann over Zoom to learn about her first shows ever, working with Sleeping With Sirens, never really knowing when to release new music as a perfectionist, and more.
Kill Your Stereo: We've seen a resurgence in the popularity of pop-punk and emo music. Do you feel like you're kind of leading that musical momentum right now?
Maggie Lindemann: I don't think I'm leading it. I would love to, though, that sounds really cool. But I don't necessarily think I'm leading it. I think there are a lot of really cool artists that are in this genre and bringing it back. But I love that idea that I'm leading it [laughs], that's cool.
I feel like your music really stands out as well.
You’re coming to Australia for your first-ever tour down under, how are you feeling about it?
I'm really excited! I love that you said down under, that’s so cool. I've never been to Australia, so I'm excited. I've always wanted to come to Australia, but that flight is just really long, which I'm really not looking forward to. But I'm really excited to come and just be there. I've heard amazing things about Australia, and I know that the fans are really supportive and have been amazing.
What are you looking forward to about the shows?
I'm just looking forward to seeing people. It's my first headlining tour of Australia, so I'm excited to see a room full of people that are there for me – I've done a lot of opening slots and stuff. I'm just excited to experience that and see everyone singing along, and just feel that love. I've talked to a lot of artists about headlining compared to opening and everyone's like, it's such a different experience. So, I'm really excited to experience it.
Yeah, definitely! You haven't been headlining shows for that long – it’s only been a short time. How has the experience been for you to headline your own show?
I’ve only done, like, maybe two headlining shows [this chat happened a few months ago]. It's such a different experience, just seeing everyone in the room, singing your songs and hearing it, like literally, it's like, going into my mic as I'm singing like, I just hear everyone compared to opening a show. Opening is so cool, too, because you're seeing people who maybe aren't fans of your music, and you're making those new connections, which is really awesome, too.
But it's just a completely different experience to have people that are there just for you, like paid to see you, waiting outside to see you, or getting VIP tickets to meet you. That’s just a completely different type of love. So, I'm really excited to be able to experience that. The ones I've already experienced were crazy. It was awesome.
Can you tell me a bit about those experiences as a headliner?
I literally only did those two shows, so I don't have too much experience with it. Everyone was singing so loud, that it was literally coming into my mic, and I couldn't hear myself when I was thinking, ‘This is so loud’. It was just so much fun. I think when you're opening for someone, you'll see someone in the crowd that maybe doesn't know you so they're not singing along and maybe they look bored or something. That's really discouraging even though it probably has nothing to do with you. They just don’t know you.
But it is really discouraging to look in the crowd and see people looking uninterested. So, to then be at a headlining show where absolutely everyone's there for you, and everyone's excited and singing and interested, it gives you this confidence boost where you don't feel like you're being judged, even though I always have to tell myself, no one's judging you.
Like, no one's unhappy to see you, people just don't know you. I’m so self-conscious – I’ll be like, they're judging me. They don't like me or whatever. So, it's cool to be in a room where you just feel that love from literally everyone, and you just get that confidence boost.
For a song so early in your career, Pretty Girl did really well on the charts, and you became a household name for people who find music online. How did you cope with the music world suddenly knowing who you are?
I think there’s a really big disconnect because it's really hard for me to see myself in that way.
Obviously, I've only been me my whole life. I don't know me from an outside perspective. So, I could feel things shifting around me. I was booking more stuff, people wanted me to come and perform. When I would go places, people would be like, ‘Oh, I love that song’ or whatever. But I feel like, for the most part, nothing felt different to me as a person.
I actually feel more different now than I did at that time, which is really weird because I definitely was having more stuff happening then. It was just weird. I don't think I could ever comprehend it.
It makes sense that you feel different now – a lot has happened between now and Pretty Girl and you’ve written a lot of songs since then.
Yeah, that’s right. Exactly.
How do you feel about the opportunities or even the pressures that arrived with an outlet like Alternative Press crediting you with keeping emo alive after the Paranoia EP?
Yeah, that was crazy. Like I said, it's really hard for me to feel any different because I've only known me my whole life. I've never known anything else. So, it's really hard for me to feel it, I guess.
But it is really crazy when stuff like that happens because I'm just doing what I love. I'm just making the music that I love, hoping that people can resonate with it or hoping people like it – I make songs. And I'm like, ‘Damn, am I crazy? Do I think the song is really good?’ And then I'm gonna put it out and everyone's like, this sucks. So, it's crazy and reassuring to know that people actually like my music and it's resonating with people and Alternative Press crediting me is really weird in an amazing way. I would have never expected it.
You had Kellen Quinn feature on your album, which is pretty awesome. Did you have a relationship with Sleeping With Sirens’ music before the collaboration?
Yes, Sleeping With Sirens has been my favourite band since I was in middle school [watch Maggie's cover of If I'm James Dean, You're Audrey Hepburn here].
I love Sleeping With Sirens. They're just the best band ever. I could literally talk about them forever. I think they're so cool. And he [Quinn] had actually reached out to me, I want to say in 2019 being like, ‘Oh, I like your song’. I think it was Pretty Girl, which is so funny. And I was like, ‘Oh my god. What the fuck? Like, I love you.’
I remember being a little drunk when he DMed me and I'm pretty sure I was a fan girl that was like, ‘Oh my god, I love you so much’. He was probably like, ‘All right…’ I've been a Sleeping With Sirens fan forever. I love them so much. Their music has helped me through a lot of stuff, and I've resonated with their music forever. So, for him to even consider doing a song with me was really crazy.
I read that Suckerpunch was seven years in the making, and it took a year for you to write it and get it right. How did you know when it felt right?
Never [laughs]. I literally just got cut off. They're like, yeah, it needs to be done. So, I was like, ‘Alright, fine, I'll finish it’. But I'm very much a perfectionist, and if someone gives me like too long to do something, I will take too long. I could work on something forever.
I don't think I ever felt like it was done. But by the time it was wrapped in the music videos were made, and everything was like done. I think I felt good about it. But even like when they made me when they made me cut it off. I was like, ‘No, it's not done.’ I’m happy now.
Maggie Lindemann’s tour begins next week. Her Sydney concert is sold out. Buy tickets for her Melbourne and Brisbane gigs here.
AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES
THURSDAY 4 MAY - THE PRINCE, MELBOURNE (LIC AA)
WITH BAKERS EDDY
SATURDAY 6 MAY - THE TRIFFID, BRISBANE (LIC AA)
SUNDAY 7 MAY - CROWBAR, SYDNEY (18+) SOLD OUT