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ARTIST INTERVIEW: MADAM WHO?



Interview


Cru cru Madam Who?, super nice to have the chance to chat with you.



Yes, and you as well!





What first got you into music?



It was so long ago it is hard to even remember! I know I wrote my first song when I was 6, even before I started playing the piano at 7. My mom's sister was a folk music recording artist, and my dad's sister played the piano at our church. I loved the Monkees and watched them in reruns at an early age with Davy Jones morphing into my imaginary friend. Who knows how it started. I remember sifting through my parents' record collection and singing to Leslie Gore's greatest hits and acting them out at my birthday parties. I told my 4th grade teacher I wanted to be a singer when I grew up when everyone else was saying “doctor” or “lawyer”. PBS aired a documentary on the Beatles when I was 12, and from then on I wanted to be a Beatle. The next day I started writing songs and ordered my first guitar.



Who is the madam and why is "Peter Meter" such an infectious tune?



Madam Who? is an indie pop/rock singer/songwriter/producer who specializes in anthems for underdogs. I think my latest single, Peter Meter, is so catchy because it has it all. It is a universal theme which no one talks about but funny at the same time. It's upbeat and fun with a simple and catchy keyboard riff in the beginning. If you can't sing along with the anthemic chorus, you can at least talk along with the verses.



What memorable responses have you had to your work?



I've had a few of my male friends tell me privately that even though they would never admit it to their wives/girlfriends, what Grandma Rita says in Peter Meter is true. Usually though, I write songs that aim to keep an emotionally drowning listener afloat. This summer I opened for a nationally known artist and played my song, Reclaim Your Power. I always try to get the audience to sing along with the chorus which is “I am powerful, I am beautiful, I'm incredible, and I am worth it all.” Afterward a man who does a radio show asked to interview me on his show because he was so moved by that song.



But the response I had to my song, Strange & Beautiful, once takes the cake. I had uploaded it and another song to the American Music Awards New Music Award contest. When it made it into the top 50, I got a call from someone asking me to change it out with another song. Why? Because the first line is “Stevie always said that he was a lesbian trapped within the body of a man,” and “lesbian,” apparently, was a distasteful word. I couldn't believe it! I was like, “My bassist is a lesbian. Is she allowed to play???”



Do you consider yourself a music – nerd?



No, but I consider myself a tortured artist. Does that count?



What’s your favorite artist from the 90's indie scene?



I'd say Alanis Morissette and No Doubt.



Can you tell us a cringe memory of yours?



OH, yes. My old band, Audra & the Antidote were selected to perform on Jimmy & Doug's Farmclub and flown out to L.A. After rehearsal and in the make-up room, Jimmy Iovine of Interscope records came in to meet me. He had two dudes flanking him. I shook their hands and thanked Jimmy for having us out. Then not waiting for him to say anything, I picked up my makeup bag off the floor and walked over to a mirror to finish. I was so nervous, I just couldn't handle it. When he left all the makeup artists were talking about how he never comes in to see the unsigned band. But though the A&R team had been talking to us before we got there, they stopped. I always wondered if it was because I kind of dissed Jimmy.



Also, the band I had before that one was called Merry Madness. We played half originals and half covers around Nashville and got signed to a booking agent. Unfortunately, once we did, our super sold drummer quit. Our replacement drummer wasn't as... ummm... solid. We were asked to perform a few songs at this huge party the agency was having at a local club. We were their new signing and wanted to show us off. We chose an original and two very well known songs – Should I Stay or Should I Go by the Clash and Walk Like An Egyptian by the Bangles, but with very definite stops and starts. This was our new drummer's debut and he had had a few too many... and played like he had never heard the songs in his life. We were so embarrassed the bassist left through the back door. Turns out the agents were all drunk and didn't even notice.



How do you feel the Internet has impacted quirky music like yours?



Impacted? I'm not sure the has impacted quirky music like mine specifically, but it has profoundly impacted the entire music industry. Now because of the internet, there is no physical product like a CD. Because bands can't sell their music at shows, it is difficult or nearly impossible to fund a van tour and reach a wider audience. Record labels have nothing to sell, so they have to find other ways to make money. Because they aren't making as much money, they can't take chances on new artists. Independent artists are now able to get themselves on streaming platforms, but without a record company to spend the money to promote you – and it used to be through touring and radio promotion - you have almost no chance of reaching a large audience. I'm not sure the music industry will survive.



How would you describe your perfect day?



My perfect day would be one that I've been planning for a long time and everything goes right. Or one where I'm surrounded by people I love and who love me back where everyone has a good time.



What’s your favorite movie?



I want to say “The Green Mile” but I've only seen it all the way through once. I sobbed through the ending and for about half and hour after the movie was over. I can't watch much of it before I get choked up and have to turn it off. I also love Shawshank Redemption and The Godfather. But for TV shows, I love to watch comedies. However, I don't watch many movies or TV. While working as an upholsterer, I listen to a lot of podcasts.



Do you sing in the shower? If yes, what songs?



Yes! My own songs, mostly. I work on a lot of songs in the shower.




Do you agree with the Pigeon?



Cru Cru.


Review

"Peter Meter" by Madam Who features extremely nostalgic and personal synthetic melodies that remind me of the days when I used to wake up at 6am to watch Saturday morning cartoons, such as the iconic 80's Spider - Man. I say this because Madam Who's performance as a granny in "Peter Meter" is something super jumpy and adrenergic with a hook so catchy and instantly memorable, it's more like britpop. Maybe it's a tangent to say this, but for me, the twisted and insanely catchy "Peter Meter" would be Madam Web's (Spider - Man's mentor) big hit if she had a gig as the lead singer of a one-hit band, that hit being "Peter Meter"!





Discovered via http://musosoup.com

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