I'm so glad to hear that you are feeling better. I know you're getting that a lot, but we river people have been sticking by you the whole time.
Do you think you'll do Warped next year? I wanted to see you guys back in May, but then the show was cancelled :[ glad all is good with Mateo and everyone though.
Wish you guys the best and can not wait for Dresden!!
nice being so connected isn’t it? never knew we would have such amazing supporters, thank you RP
re: warped tour…let’s just say, i wouldn’t rule it out.
Like most posts here, this isn't going to actually be a question, haha. akfdlkasfj I don't really know where to start because there's a lot I want to say. Okay, well, first of all I'm so glad that you're getting better. I know everything's a little different now, but I'm so proud of you for everything that you've been through. I have seen you and the guys eight times live, and met all of you many times as well— the last time I saw you (in CT last October) you remembered me and my friend who always goes with me and came up and started a conversation with us. I know this sounds kind of stupid, but that just made me smile. You and the rest of the guys appreciate your fans so much that it's almost like we're not fans, we're friends. And it's kind of awesome.
But I want to tell you why your music is so important to me. I have a couple mental health issues, the two which affect me most being anxiety disorder and depression. For a long time, I struggled with self injury as a means of escape. I know this is kind of weird to tell you but there's a reason I'm saying it, I promise, haha. So I still have these mental health issues, but the very first time I heard your music, something just made sense to me and fell into place in my mind or my heart, and I haven't self injured since. And it's been well over three years now. You and the guys and your music give me hope, always, and gave me the strength to stop that and continue to give me the strength to fight and to help others who struggle. I appreciate that more than I can put into words. I made a sign for Warped '08 that said "Madina Lake saved my life" that you saw, and then I finally told you once face to face, back in May of '09 on the tour supporting "Attics," that your music saved my life. That was a while ago and I'm sure you don't remember it but now you know the background story.
So all of this just made it worse to hear about what happened to you. And I don't think I could ever, ever repay you for everything that you've done for me and all that you've given me... but I wanted to try. So, just after I first heard about what happened to you, I sat down and wrote this song. And this is my way of showing my support and love and my gratitude for everything, so if you have time to listen to it, I hope you like it— http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKchs4rnmQs
Sorry I kind of rambled on 'cos I know you probably get a lot of these, but if you actually managed to make it to the end of this before getting horribly bored, that's great. I hope you continue to keep getting better and better, and I can't wait 'til you can tour and I can see you and the boys on stage again. :)
this was one of the first things i saw after i was taken back to nathan’s, slept for 6 days, woke up, was walked to use the gentleman’s room and re-couched myself. autumn played it for me…struck me very intensely. gratitude i have is too much for words. thank you
Hi Matthew! I'm sure you get a lot of messages on here, so I hope you have the chance to at least read this. I just wanted to say that I'm so happy that you're getting better. It sucks that such a horrible thing had to happen to such a great person. I wish you nothing but the best with your continued recovery. I've been a fan of your band for a long time and I think your music is incredible. I finally had the chance to see you play live at Warped 09. You guys were amazing and very inspiring. YOU are very inspiring. I'm beyond happy that you're doing better and I thank you for your amazing music, and for being a wonderful person. I hope nothing but wonderful things come your way. Much, much love.
heather, thank you for taking the time to create such kick ass words. you’re the cream of the crop
Im glad to see you back so quick! :D
So i hear you guys talking about touring across the pond early next year and all that fun stuff but are you guys doing anything in the great US of A? possibly the KC area?? xoxo, Haley
funny you should ask…i believe we are…. i know that doesn’t sound qualified enough to file under “F” but i found out about something that just may begin there.
Hey Nightmoves! Amazing to hear you're doing better, especially after this four months of pure uphill climbing. We River People have been with the four of you and your family every step of the way and we're not leaving anytime soon. But hey, the only way out is through the pain, right? :)
So my question for you is, we know what the Dresden Codex is, but what exactly is World War III, and when will that be releasing?
And, have you guys heard of these small countries in Asia called Malaysia and Singapore, and consider adding us to your guys' tour dates for next year? :)
we would love to come to malaysia, it’s gorgeous there. your support and devotion is how this saga ends in triumph, so thank you so.
Madina mythology is planned to unfold over 3 records. dresden is a sidestep, that is still relevant to the whole thing. WW3 is our 3rd official record, at which point we will conclude the tale…. we’ve had the ending determined since the beginning and as it comes alive, i think it may cause quite a stir.
Hello lovely, hope you're doing ok today. I'm pretty new to Madina, only been with you guys for less than a year, but it feels like much longer.
I'd like to know what's the venue you'd most like to play and why? I'd love to one day see you play the summer season at Somerset House here in London, it's so beautiful.
Much love always, and thank you, you've taught me more about myself and the world than you'll ever know. I hope someday I'll get to meet you all.
welcome to our town, much obliged to have you.
it’s such a hard question because each show has it’s own identity. when all the different energies and particles that come flying into the room, it’s always incredible, yet different.
London Forum, Birmingham Academy, Cockpit….Metro Chicago, has to top the list as well. forum and metro have in common that they are both old beautiful buildings with insanely rich histories. when you talk about the different energies thing, imagine decades of the most talented musicians and bands all leaving a bit of their particles floating around. it has a built in kinetic energy that is just waiting to be unleashed when the doors open.
an advice you could give to all of your fans and people in the world?
p.s. i'm glad you are back. speedy recovery to you! much love. xo
life advice…i never claim to be right, just how i roll, but i would say slow down. spend time away from your phone, computer, and just chill. none of the shit that is stressing you out right now will be stressing you out in the future, so why punish yourself with the emotion you’re clinging on to? second, find your passion, work your ass off and if you want it and want it for the right reason, you’ll get it.
music wise… similar approach, work your balls off at it (doesn’t mean you have to own a cluster, just figuratively) right reasons, take your time, the world’s not going away tomorrow (well, we’ll see), but time to me is a man made illusion. don’t concern over stuff that surely doesn’t matter. thank you so much xoxo
hi matthew im glad your getting better. i just want to ask how did you meet mateo and dan and when you get well enough to play gigs will you be playing in newcastle in the uk cos i really want to see you guys and hopefull meet you?
gday!, thank you for the wishes. mateo moved from bogota columbia to go to recording school in florida. he barely spoke english but managed to get the word out that he was looking to form a band. dan meanwhile, was at the same school, i think just trying to stay out of the real world as long as he could. finally gave in to mateo’s badgering and they made the band. they thought that if you were gonna get signed you had to be in NY. so they moved there. (mateo actually had a job stapling houses with some carpentry hook up and he sucked at it so bad that his boss stapled him to the top rung of a ladder) anyhow, broke and no action, got a call from a chicago manager at the time who managed us. he started putting their band as openers for our old band and we met that way.
after a summer of hanging out on our deck every night, the four of us connected in every way to which there was no chance of not breaking the old and constructing the new.
When you guys write your songs, does the music come first or do the lyrics or is it all mixed up together? It's something I've always wondered. Good Vibes x
nathan has a cache of notions he wants to express. we start with seeds of music, generally mateo. then we all start chewing into it. at that point, we know what vibe the song is going to have, be it dark, heavy, hopeful etc…and at that point, nathan matches a sentiment to the emotion of the music and starts carving out his core lyrics. lyrics generally are the last thing w all bands. it’s difficult to match rhythm, and syncopation to a new music bed. we usually discuss what we want a body of work to be like, in terms of how we are feeling in life, before we begin.
which might imply ww3 as a pretty damn heavy record lol
Matthew, you've probably heard this all before but just to let you know once more, we all think you, Nathan, Mateo and Dan are fantastic.
Thank you for being such an inspiration and i will continue to wish you well throughout your recovery
Also thank you for the brilliant show in Middlesbrough, one of the greatest nights in a long time!
Hey hey Matthew, how are you traveling buddy? I hear many exciting things have been happening in the Madina family lately with a new addition (welcome to the world Aysa!) I'm VERY excited and eager to hear the Dresden codex in it's entirety, it sounds delicious from what I've heard so far!
Take it easy, get plenty of rest and you'll be ready to hit the road before you know it :)
And seeing as this is an ask box, I should really ask a question:
My music library is getting a bit repetitive at the moment, can you suggest any bands/artists I should add to my playlist? Any new releases or classics you into at the moment?
Love Bridget xx
love the “how are you traveling”…i’m gonna garage that one and deploy it daily.
sleigh bells, freelance whales, more tom waits, of montreal, latest flaming lips (embroyonic i reckon?) and always the mighty pumpkins,
Never change who you are. Thanks.
You and the guys have inspired me so much over the years, that it is reflected in everything I do. I have applied for a Music Journalism course because music is now such an essential component in my life. I just wanted to say thanks. Thank you for that, and for helping me discover the passion to start writing again through your story of Madina Lake. And thank you for your beautiful music which continues to fill me up with hope each and every single day. Thank you for giving me the best nights of my life when I am lucky enough to see you at shows. Thank you for my 'Fuck Your Scene' hoodie that you gave me in Yeovil, that I practically live in. Thank you for making me and all the other RP smile like crazy every single time we see an update. Thanks for SO MUCH more.
Thank you for being an incredible person who is positive no matter what. You give me hope, Matthew.
thank YOU for existing. i can’t tell you what those words mean to me.
we had a bathroom that had 2 sinks in it. nathan and i were maybe 3 or 4 and thought if we plugged the bathtub and sinks and turned on the water we could make a swimming pool. about 45 minutes in, we had flooded a good 1/3 of the house.
the next one puzzles me til this day. our older sister allison had a doll house in her room. one day nathan and i both went in there and she was sitting down looking into the house. we asked her what she was doing and she said, “i’m watching lucille.” we looked into the dollhouse and there was this little white cloth looking thing flying around the house, completely metaphysically. we were stunned. we stared at it for what seemed like 20 minutes until it disappeared. the troubling part is that we never talked about it until 15 years later at which point allison has no idea what we’re talking about.
In your own words, Matthew, can you tell us what happened?
It was about 1:30am on a very typical summer night for us in Chicago. I was leaving Nathan’s place after doing some work. The area is heavily populated but has a neighborhood feel to it, so it had a distinctly peaceful and quiet vibe that night. As the building’s door closed behind me, I heard a blood curdling scream from a woman down the block. It was like the kind you hear in horror movies, which we’re all desensitized to, but when you hear it in real life, it’s quit disturbing. I ran across the street and down the block where i saw a man holding a woman down against a broken chain link fence on her back. She was screaming “He’s gonna kill me, someone please help me!’ I thought, “shit.” Being a relative midget, and the assailant appearing to be one of those of dudes who goes to the gym to “pump iron”, my only option was to use the physical laws of momentum to my advantage. I then ************************************************** him off of the girl. Then i helped her up and saw blood on her lip. She was hysterical and begging me not to leave her because he was going to kill her and what not. I told her I wasn’t going anywhere and that she’s safe. At this point the guy took on this confusing demeanor. He was trying to tell me it was a misunderstanding and that she’s his wife and then proceeded to ask me to help him find his phone. I told them both to chill out and created a bit of distance between them. I called 911 and thankfully they answered quickly. Told them our location and that i just intervened in what seemed to be a domestic dispute. the dude then motioned towards me begging me to hang up the phone and pleading with me that he just needs to find his phone. i started to feel like he was placating me. it was like he was playing this shy, nerdy character to dispel the character i witnessed while approaching, and then out of nowhere he would charge after her again. i managed to subdue him a few more times, and each time he reverted right back into that other weak character that wanted me to find his phone. the last time he attacked her, i grabbed his jacket from behind and it ripped off ****************************************************************************** *******************************************************************************
*********************************************** (can’t discuss for legal purposes), and bam! then another or two and my lights went out.
i believe it was 8 to 10 minutes later when i woke up to the detectives picking me up off the street curb and taking me to the ambulance. i sat in there talking to the EMTs and detectives. i’ll leave more details out here. I did manage to text nathan the following “sorry nathan i got my ass kicked and have to peace out to the hospital.” i also emailed autumn from my phone and said,”i might be in bad shape, pause for details.” then i told the emts, “dudes, i dont have insurance, are you sure i have to go to the hospital?” at which point they showed me a mirror that reflected me, although i looked like Carrie from Prom Night.
the hours, days and weeks that followed this are riddled with bizarre experiences that chinked the armor of what i had always trusted the continuity of time to be. they are moments in which i’m unable to discern between reality and unconsciousness, so it’s best i end this question here.
People often turn a blind eye to domestic disputes – what made you intervene?
Ya know, i hear that a lot and i almost don’t believe it. perhaps it was the particular circumstances that made my experience different, but i believe that a lot of people who heard the desperation and horror in her cries, wouldn’t be able to walk away. what made me intervene was instinct. i don’t remember having time to deliberate, all i thought was, “damnit, this sucks.”
perhaps it was the fact that nathan and i lost our mother as kids, who was an absolute angel, and that we grew up with three older sisters who we look up to and admire. my girlfriend autumn is just incredible in every way. i don’t know it just seems obvious that any abuse by a male, inflicted on any woman is repulsive, cowardice and intolerable. i’m against violence period, but violence in this capacity is invariably unacceptable.
How does it feel living so close to the scene of the assault?
That part does feel a bit strange. I was confined to Nathan’s apartment for about 2 months, so there was definitely some anxiety there. From his window you can see directly down to the sidewalk where it happened. but i got over that relatively quickly. the unsettling part is that someone keeps posting the suspect’s bail. so i believe he still lives there. i’m not afraid for me, i just hate the idea that the suspect’s wife could order the wrong topping on his pizza and he’ll kick her ass again. anytime a violent person is loose on the streets, they are capable of hurting anyone and thus a danger to society.
At what stage were you able to fully comprehend what had happened?
Nathan played a pivotal role in this part. i was in critical condition for a long time. any sort of stress or intensity, so much as a sneeze could have done me in. he spearheaded the whole hospital phase. he was there the whole time convincing me that it was no big deal and that everything was fine, so i just thought i was being held there for testing, almost as a technicality. after i woke up from the coma, i would doze in and out throughout the days. i don’t remember much of this but chunks at a time would come back to me and i would have visions of not recognizing anyone. it was like a scene in a david lynch movie. the audio was weird, the blurry faces and drastic juxtaposition of jovial and horrifically sad vibes was incomprehensible. at some point it hit me that i was seeing faces in the hospital room that i couldn’t imagine why they would be there. so it started to dawn on me that maybe i was in trouble. the pain was also absurd and there was a tube of blood hanging out of my head. even still, the way nathan was protecting me from what was really going on, made it not sink in until well after the second surgery.
Were you aware of the massive outpouring of support at first?
Nathan was reading me letters in the hospital while i was flying around the unconscious realm. when i got released the first time, autumn and nathan were collecting the letters and the emails and videos and showing me them all the time and i can’t tell you how much that truly saved my ass. you get to a point where you’re so vulnerable and weak that you almost wanna say fuck it and throw down your hand, but having that outpouring kept me so happy, and surrounded by love that there was no way i was going anywhere. I feel forever indebted to everyone who was so compassionate, loving and generous. My family is too, thank you all from all of us. even the posts that were like “i hate your band but that was a solid thing you did!” were cool…and hilarious. I couldn’t believe how the event resonated with the music community. That showed the world that the artist/music world, and those who connect to it has substance, solidarity and compassion like no other.
Obviously – the medical expenses incurred are horrendous – how much do you think this is going to cost?
Yeah, i wish this happened in the Uk! the bills are currently at around $350,000. and growing. Evange our manager at the time and Ryan Mano, a dear friend, set up an account at sweetrelief.org. they are a fantastic charity that organizes the funds and the benefits and then actually deals with the hospitals to work on paying those damn things. in fact, they too, have saved my ass. ryan mano, jason mraz, david karen, those guys set up throughthepain.org and began collecting items to auction from other bands and organizations. they work with sweetrelief to execute it. a guy named Rob max at sweetrelief then oversees my whole recovery. he makes sure that my general life stress is minimized and that basic living costs are covered so that this incident doesn’t bury me forever. love all those guys too much for words.
Can you give us a run-down of what surgeries you had?
I had 2 cratiotomy surgeries. It’s an operation where a portion of the skull is cut open and removed to access the brain. The first one saved my life. I was 15 minutes away from calling it a life, and then Dr. Neckrash and his assistant surgeons, sawed my dome open. i had extreme internal brain hemmoraging. the first surgery removed a third of my skull to allow the brain to swell. one of the guys took it upon himself to rush the skull down to the blood blank, a highly unusual scenario. where they stored it for me until my next visit. the second surgery was when they put my lid back on and drilled it in with titanium. i had some oral surgeries as a result of the dislocated jaw. now i have extensive rehabilitation appointments to try to get me as back to normal as they can. i have some issues that have not and or will not heal. my brain tissues are damaged really bad, so my head will fill up with blood if i try to jog, or even lay down. i can’t open my mouth wide enough to garage a reasonable bite of food. i have vertigo, a paralyzed part of my face, and questionable memory, and neurological function. motor skills are hangin in there, i think they can be better, but i try to focus on the positive, like my killer new face twitch!
i have about 6 months of intense rehabilitation and from here we just hope for the best. maybe another surgery or two but my goal is to be back on stage by february.
Billy Corgan played a show just for you to raise money – how does that feel, being a huge fan?
that is one of those things that will never sink in. the whole fact that now the victim of an attempted murder charge feels a bit more ordinary than having the smashing pumpkins play a show to help me.
i couldn’t possibly express my gratitude for that. imagine one of your idols telling you that he admires what you’ve done and then proceeds to do the unthinkable and bring the chicago music community together to raise money for you. one of the things that i feel so happy about is that, a heinous act of evil was so quickly squashed and overwhelmed by love and beauty. we all know that evil exists in the world and at times we all get a too consumed and swallowed up in it. but when the good people bite back, it makes you realize the enemy doesn’t stand a chance. Billy, you are an outstanding human being, the word is lucky to have you.
How did you feel when the band had to come to the UK to play the festivals?
The obvious heaviness was there but those guys knew that i wanted them to go through with it. it was a powerful statement they made. with everything that madina has been through, it was an opportunity to demonstrate what we are made of. i’m so impressed with how they handled it. it was like the jamaican bobsled team! i’d like to add that they were so warmly and compassionately received by the bands over there and the fans. they brought me back so many best wishes from high profile artists, friends and fans that i actually drew a warm tub, crawled in for a soak and read through them. Autumn walked in to the bathroom, to this vision; me with a fistfuls of letters, in tears, naked in the tub. haha! well, all i can hope is that she enjoyed it….
What’s the current situation with the court case?
Well things we were going great until i just said everything i said lol. I’m not supposed to talk about it, but at the same time, this is month 4 now of everyone telling me what i can and can’t do and at some point, i get to make my own decisions. furthermore, this is what happened. you can ask me here on the phone, in person, or while i’m on the stand in court. i’ll shoot straight every time. it puzzles me how by me telling the story of what happened is somehow damaging. maybe it is, maybe i’m naive to the whole court system, but at the same time, i’m not a professional victim. i’m a musician. i’ve never been good with formalities. some stranger (maybe, gotta let the justice system decide this one!) tried to kill me while i was trying to save his wife. i gave him plenty of opportunities to calm down and he manipulated me. i was beyond cool to both of them and after getting bludgeoned to the head repeatedly, before i even knew i was being attacked, i was left to die on the street by both of them. i had to fight with everything fiber of being, to stay alive, and ironically, i saved my own life by calling 911, then nathan saved my life, then the surgeons did etc etc….while these two are going on with their life.
The case is moving along fast. the chicago police dept, detectives Joe Gentile and Michael D’Andrea did an incredible job of nailing the suspect. the state’s attorney and prosecution are doing a fantastic job. i can not say enough good things about how chicago and the state department kicked ass at their jobs. everyone i’ve met and spoken to has been incredible. the suspect plead “not guilty,” which is an “lol” worthy moment if i’ve ever heard one, and now my family, friends and loved ones have to deal with a trial. oh and i believe i have to take the stand as well. that should be a riot. so it’s irritating, but i’m very lucky for the city and state who saved my life and is a part of the whole trial phase.
How do you feel at the moment? Percentage-wise, how far down the road of recovery are you?
I have good days and bad days. i get so frustrated with being sidelined from life, my career, my relationship etc…that from time to time i’ll try to act normal and then face-plant into my bed for 3 days. Nathan and Autumn did a killer job of walking me to the bathroom at 3, 5, and 7am, feeding me, changing my bandages, taking me to appointments etc. i can’t say what percentage i am, because we don’t know what the long-term holds. i can play bass, i can walk and talk and i know who i am, well to the extent with which we all do, lol, and for now, that is satisfying. my vertigo, jaw and memories issues are a total drag. the toughest part is that i can’t do anything physically active. i jogged to the bus yesterday and my head filled with blood, got dizzy and had to reboard my couch for another surf. i can’t tour, which is a huge bummer.
But…complaining seems silly to me. I’ve had an opportunity to experience something intense, i got to watch it blossom love and good vibes all over the place. I got to see friends and loved ones and strangers come together and rally around something good. and i got to stick around in this vessel and on this planet for a bit more with Nathan, Autumn, Madina and me loved ones. Plus, we’re hopefully getting a bad guy off the streets and we brought awareness to the sick and self perpetuating evil of abuse. with any luck, we’ll stop one family from growing up seeing it happen to their mother.
Has surviving an attack such as this changed your outlook on life (good or bad)?
it sort of reinforced what we all known about life. there are some shitty cowardly pussies out there. we can’t deny it, sometimes we can’t avoid them. but there is a lot more of the good. and when the good has a chance to express itself, it’s contagious and spreads like wildfire.
we live in a world that moves so fast our minds can barely keep up. things like this pull people out of the haunts of their minds and into the actual moment. it effects your perspective on what matters. this has given me the opportunity to break down barriers and get closer with people and has allowed them to get closer to each other. i also had a few flat-lines on the operating table, resulting in some meta-physical experiences that were wildly interesting to see and feel. i didn’t see all the virgins you get to bang, i didn’t see the pearly white gates with my mom and my bunnies waiting for me, but i did manage to see, feel and connect to a peace and an energy that i never knew existed. that effected me profoundly.
When are we going to see you all over here again?
The rehab doctor hopes to have me ready by February. We’re putting together our plans to support Dresden and World War 3 now, which includes Japan, Australia and of course, a long awaited homecoming tour in the UK by March.
Has having the band given you a focus for your recovery?
Cliche” alert! Madina has saved my ass again. Nathan, Dan and Mateo are my family. Music is my life. Creating and performing are my euphoria. I have a personal philosophy that anything in which you can lose yourself in doing, tap into some otherworldly energy and let it take over you, is how i can find happiness in this world. Creating a chemistry with others, which allows you to achieve this together, is pure bliss. Thinking is my nemesis. I’ve got one of those brains that shouts at me nonstop. and not pleasantries, mind you. I call bedtime my “witching hour.” So Madina provides me with the love and support of family, the satisfaction of creating music together and the escape of mind that performing provides. I’m beyond lucky to have Madina Lake.