Madi Diaz is going places. Seriously. When this interview was conducted she confessed that she was still “recovering” from the previous night’s CD release party in Nashville, but that she needed to get ready for her big move out to Los Angeles at the end of the week. Madi Diaz was kind enough to give us a few minutes of her time to swap some jokes and plenty of laughs, talk about some of the tunes on Plastic Moon, her affinity for Goosebumps and how in her own way, music is helping her save the world. Seriously.
Brian Palmer: A lot of the material on Plastic Moon centers on love, recent break-ups, break-ups that probably should happen but haven’t yet *Madi laughs*, and I’m curious if this was your plan from the beginning to give your lyrics this sort of direction and focus?
Madi Diaz: I think love and relationships are a really great place to kind of…when you’re trying to get to know somebody or you’re writing a song, for instance, it’s kind of a great way to…I guess to me love is like a big bridge. It stirs up a whole bunch of *speaking in a dramatic, exaggerated tone* feelings and emotions *both laugh* inside of us and I think that we both had just moved. I had just moved from Austin, Texas, and Kyle had moved from Boston. I had just left a pretty serious relationship and was getting some stuff off my chest and we were both kind of in the same place; moving forward and moving on. We were trying to stretch ourselves and we’ve gotta get that all out somehow, you know? *laughs*
BP: Yeah, it’s cathartic.
MD: Yeah, it is. It is cathartic and I think we tried to do a couple different things. Like “Let’s Go” is really a little about love, a little bit more about just your favorite day and you’re lost out in your brand new world kind of a thing. And “Gimme A Kiss” is kind of like your casual make-out song whereas “Love You Now” is like a deep, pining and painful, sad *laughs* love song.
BP: Right, right.
MD: I don’t know. I hope we covered some bases there. We tried to. *laughs*
BP: How much of your material is autobiographical and how much is observational based on what you see and have seen in the world around you?
MD: *laughs* That’s tough because I mean I think even if I haven’t been, emotionally, to a place that I’m writing about I feel like I try to dream up a pretty good representation of what I would imagine that to be. It’s like that whole idea of chasing the muse, so to speak; it’s more of that whole storytelling thing. I don’t know.
I feel like we try to get as creative as the song kind of lets us because I’d say it starts pretty autobiographical. You have to start with your experiences. You can’t just kind of like talk out of your ass the whole time, you know? *both laugh* But I think once you find your basis or your footing and kind of start to let the song wander, you know, play a Choose Your Own Adventure kind of scenario, then you just go with your gut feeling.
BP: Oooo, Choose Your Own Adventure…I like that. *Madi laughs* Did you ever read those books as a kid?
MD: Oh my God, absolutely. I was completely obsessed with the Goosebumps books. *laughs*
BP: Those kinds of books were fun, but they never ended well. I’d always get eaten by a shark or something.
MD: *laughs* My favorite one was this story about this seven-story haunted mall and you had to like find your way out but it was always, “You chose the wrong floor and now all the mannequins devour you and divide up your body parts.” *laughs*
BP: And then you’d back up a few turns and say, “Wait, wait, wait a minute. I want to pick a different page this time.”
MD: And then you’d realize that you’re cheating at a Choose Your Own Adventure kind of book. What does that mean? *laughs*
BP: I’d never thought about it like that. That’s a conundrum. *Madi Laughs*
MD: Do over! Do over! *laughs*
BP: So you mentioned what music means to you, but why do you make it?
MD: Because I can’t think of anything else that I could possibly do in my life that would make me feel as quiet and calm and as…I don’t know, as rewarded and as full as I do at the end of the day, or as driven. It’s interesting because it feeds you, but it also keeps you up at night, you know? *laughs*
MD: So that’s absolutely it. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else because I’m not good at anything else either, I don’t think. I would probably ruin some lives if I ever went into accounting or law. *laughs* Anything real and I’d probably burn down some buildings or something. It wouldn’t be good! *laughs*
BP: Well there you go, you’re playing to your strengths.
MD: *laughs* I have to. I have to in order to keep everyone safe. It’s for everyone else’s good.
BP: It’s for the good of all mankind.
BP: Madi Diaz is a musical superhero!
MD: *laughs* For the good of the world! For the safety of the world!
BP: Well, hey, I have to applaud you: you know what you love, you know what you’re good at and you go out and do it. And there aren’t a lot of people that can say that.
MD: We are so fortunate to be able to do what we do. Shit, aren’t we just lucky if we can hold on to that forever? I mean, come on. Let’s just get there, to forever! *laughs*
Pick up Plastic Moon by Madi Diaz which is available now on iTunes.
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
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