My Interview with Dear Prudence

Madi, you have been in bands before the formation of Dear Prudence. Have you experimented with many genres and styles before finding the sound you really wanted to create?

Yeah I was in a band from about 17 years old to 21. I don’t think I’ve experimented massively, I’ve always known the sort of music I like to listen to and in turn the music I wanted to make. It’s always fun trying out different instruments and sounds in the studio though!

You’ve not been together that long, forming at the end of 2011. Was it clear quite early on that this formula was going to work? Did you all share musical tastes and goals?

Yeah we all get on really well and we have a lot of fun together when we’re out on the road. I think our music tastes vary slightly between us but there’s always a common thread. And we certainly all have the same aspirations when it comes to our ideas of success and longevity.

Can you describe the writing process for me – who contributes what, the environment you work in etc?

It’s usually pretty calm to be honest, I’ll always have ideas of what I want to write about and sometimes I’ll write a riff on guitar or piano and bring that in. The song either blossoms and becomes something awesome or we’ll scrap it and start over!

You have spoken about wanting to give people music they can relate to, or songs that help them feel understood. What artists did that for you when you were younger or even now?

It’s an amazing thought for me that people might listen to our songs and feel inspired or feel comforted in some way. Artists like Depeche Mode, The Cure and Amy Winehouse did that for me.

If you are hoping that you can be a comfort for people you must also be aware of the influence both your music, and you as people, can have. Do you worry about the responsibility or the prospect of being role models etc?

To be honest it’s quite an odd thing to think that people might be influenced by me or look up to me in some way- if that happens then I would take it pretty seriously and make sure that I was setting a
reasonable example!!

Although it is not intentional your songs appear to have a juxtaposition – with dark lyrics contrast against upbeat melodies. Many successful bands have you used this formula, including Abba. Do you tend to veer towards bands that have a dark or emotional temperament?

I suppose I do yeah, for me songs that stay with me are ones that I can really think on, usually something that touches on my darker emotions.

Do you find the writing of lyrics cathartic? Do you have a sealing point in terms of how personal you allow them to be?

Yeah it’s a good way to release stuff that’s on your mind. Although it’s wise to censor it somewhat. I think potentially it could get a bit exhausting on tour constantly singing about things that have made
you sad in the past!

Is it ever embarrassing singing about your own life, particularly playing songs to family members who may have not been aware of certain things that had happened in your life?

Not really, anything that I’d be embarrassed about I either wouldn’t write or I’d make it vague so maybe people wouldn’t pick up on it!

One of the songs tackles the challenge that a lot of young people face, of feeling lost and unsure about what they are meant to do. Did you always know you had to pursue music or were  their other careers or interests that you dabbled with?

I’ve had a lot of jobs in my time haha, but I always knew that I had to do music. It’s been a passion since I was very young and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to pursue it properly. I have a
really supportive family and I wouldn’t be where I am without their help.

As a band what is your main draw do you think. Are you a band that need’s to be seen live rather than be heard on disc? What aspect of being in a band do you get more out of ?

I think live we come across more ballsy!! Hopefully either way people will enjoy what we do. I love writing music but I’m definitely in my element when I’m on stage performing.

You performed on BBC 2’s Review Show back in March. Did you feel added pressure do to the nature of this particular performance? How do you generally cope with nerves?

I really enjoyed that! It was my first TV appearance and it was live so yeah definitely a little scary. I don’t suffer too badly with nerves but I do get a little anxious and I can certainly feel the adrenaline before a show.

Did you see an influx of interest after it was aired?

It was a really good opportunity and hopefully it put us out there to a variety of people.

It feels like social media is pretty much integral to bands building their fan-bases. Are you guys Twitter addicts yet. Does communicating via these various mediums sit comfortably with you?

Agreed. I wouldn’t say I’m an addict but I enjoy updating when I get the chance and sharing pictures and things, I love Instagram!

Journalists will likely want to compare you to other female vocalists or female fronted bands. Do you actually think there are more male bands that you seek inspiration from or think have informed your sound considerably?

I think it’s pretty balanced to be honest. The thing that sells music to me is a great/individual vocal as well as great songs, male or female.

Recently played on your Ipod?

Siouxsie and The Banshees- ‘Peepshow’
Lower Than Atlantis- ‘World Record’
Lauryn Hill- The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

Guilty pleasure?

Whitney Houston

Stage you’d most like to play?

Main Stage at Reading and Leeds/Shepherds Bush Empire/ Concorde 2 Brighton.
 
Dream collaboration?

Duet with Siouxsie Sioux

Aims for 2012?

Work hard, play some cool shows and enjoy it.

DEAR PRUDENCE’S SINGLE ‘VALENTINE’ IS OUT NOW ON CAROUSEL RECORDS –  iTunes link http://bit.ly/Jb78z2

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