21st Century Megalomaniac – Interview with Isaiah of MADLIFE

MADLIFE has exploded into the realm of rock with their newest EP “21st Century Megalomaniac”. The band has formed a massive fan base and has had considerable success including recording tracks for film and television which include Sony International’s “Hex,” trailers and bumpers, NBC’s “Blue Skies” pilot, Discovery Channel’s “Suits to Boots,” the “Vampires Suck” Soundtrack and MTV. They have also written for Crusty Demons and several other independent projects. “We have to bring it and we have to surpass ourselves. It is only a contest against yourself to be better.” ~ Isaiah Ugly Scene had the pleasure of talking with Isaiah about the new album and the video for “Just One Gun.” Ugly Scene: It’s great talking to you again. Let’s jump right into 21st Century Megalomaniac. One of the girls here actually surprised me with a signed copy. Isaiah: Well that was cool. The new album was fun to put together. It came around because we put the “To Live and Die in Hollywood” song as just a single. We threw it out there and it stuck on radio and started to gain traction. They were like hey great, this is cool, when’s the next song and where is the album behind it? We were like uh yeah, it will be right here, let us go get that album for ya. Give us a minute. We ran into the studio and busted out a bunch of tracks that we have been working on and found the ones that fit because they all have the same type of vibe. It was really established by To Live and Die in Hollywood so we had to say “This is what we are really doing with this disk” and had to stick with that. I was cool having a slight guideline and it was a lot of fun to write. We got to get in depth with a lot of the technology and the production level was definitely higher on these tracks. We got to push a few boundaries and use a lot of our new synthetic programs. Ugly Scene: I have Angry Phill’s take on Just One Gun. Can I get your take on the song and what it means to you? Isaiah: He is conceptual and puts the words together. For me I listen to it and ask Ok what is my part and what am I singing. What am I signing about? Phill’s like, this is what I wrote and what it’s about. He’s dead on with it, what he is trying to conceptualize and on how the point of view is of the single gun. He comes up with the words and what happens a lot of the times with the writing process is that he’ll create all the basic structure of the lyrics and the melody and I kick it from there. I start pulling his stuff apart and we’ll create things from what he said. The line that caught me was “Would you like to sing that angry song with me?” That part was built later in the song. That’s what caught me. I really liked that line and I built the whole middle part around it as an entire break down around his lyric. If the song doesn’t mean anything to me in the totality I take little lines from it and then that’s what means something to me. He says one line that grabs me and then I build on something that I started lyrically. Ugly Scene: Looks like you guys had a good time shooting the video. Isaiah: Phill came in and said here is my concept. I said alright, we are going to push some boundaries with this one. Ok you want to shoot Lexus in the head and your bullet is going to have our logo on it. Yeah, alright, wow. Ugly Scene: Not for the kiddos. Isaiah: Not for the kiddos, yeah. We do have a PG version of it. As a matter of fact it just got picked up in around 200 places in chain stores where they play videos. It was funny because Lexus wasn’t the original girl that was going to do the video. The original girl flaked so at the last minute, literally the night before, Matt Zane said he knew Lexus. He said she is a bit of a pop star but she’s really rock and roll and maybe she would do it. We reached out to her and she was like Hell yeah. We told her she would have to get a little freaky and she said that’s nothing. She was very open to pushing the boundaries as you can see in the video. That’s all the stuff that made it to the video, you can imagine the stuff that didn’t. She was having fun making us embarrassed. There was a point when I got red and walked out of the room. It was a lot of fun and Lexus was fantastic. Ugly Scene: Are you working on any more videos for the album? Isaiah: As a matter of fact we are working on all the lyric videos right now. It seems to be pretty much the hot ticket. It’s all time and money really and we want to continue using our resources of pushing the album and staying out on tour. Ugly Scene: Where are you guys planning on heading out on tour to? Isaiah: We’ll play one more local show here in Los Angeles then in September we’ll be in the Pacific Northwest. We are out again in November in the Southwest. Then a break for the holiday and maybe in January and February back out in the Southwest. We are going to the markets that are showing us some love. Ugly Scene: Off of the new album do you have any favorites? Isaiah: I like them all but I’m a big fan of Still Alive. It has a vibe and energy to it and to me it was my homage to Trent Reznor. Ugly Scene: Along with the new album you now have Carlos in the mix now. Isaiah: Carlos was a good bring into the mix and has made a great band member to MADLIFE. He is a talented cat. He plays drums, guitar, and sings, he does everything and does them all well. Carlos has lots of ideas and is honestly a really cool dude that brings a lot of fun and energy to what we are doing. More so importantly, correct chemistry. We had tried working with several different bass players and a lot of them were really good but it just didn’t feel right. Carlos walked in and it felt right. Pretty much every musician will tell you the same thing. It’s not how good a musician is, it’s the chemistry combination. Ugly Scene: Speaking of band members. I recently introduced MADLIFE to a co-worker and she was like “Oh my gosh look at Kyle. I just want to pinch his cheeks he’s so cute.” Isaiah: That’s a misnomer. (laughs) You know what Kyle is the most devious of us all. You get a few drinks in that guy and Kyle’s got a dark streak. Don’t let that smile and that smooth Southern draw fool ya. Ugly Scene: MADLIFE is definitely a cool group of guys. Isaiah. Thank you Ugly Scene: I saw that there was a recording of your cover of Rob Zombie’s “Dragula”. Isaiah: Yeah we do Dragula live. It was funny because I was doing a SoundCloud search and I pop up MADLIFE putting up some songs and something comes up. I was like, who put us on SoundCloud? I go there and there was a board mix of us at Spokane and it is the first time we ever played that song ever. Phill literally had a piece of paper of the lyrics on the ground. He was hopping around like a maniac trying to read it and jumping into the crowd. Then Nuge from The Fail Safe Project jumped on. I was laughing and it was a lot of fun and it went over so well that it’s our song at the end of the set that we usually find another member of the bands that we like and they get up and do Dragula with us. Ugly Scene: I was looking up covers and saw that MADLIFE did a cover of Cry Little Sister back in 2009. Isaiah: We did that just for fun. I always thought that song had an interesting vibe to it. In our version we re-wrote the song, created a different melody line and different phrases in it. Gerard McMann actually reached out to us and told us it was a really cool version of his track. Ugly Scene: I have to tell you something funny happened to me. My day job is working for attorneys. While I was walking out into the parking lot of the courthouse I heard Little Ray of Sunshine coming out of a truck. I wanted to run up to it and ask Where did you hear of MADLIFE? It was a really cool moment knowing people here are spreading the love. Isaiah: Actually one of the funniest things that happened to me in regards to that situation. We used to keep the tour bus in this big giant storage place. One day Phill and I are pulling out onto this highway and this guy comes by honking at us and flips us off as we were trying to pull out. I was like God what a duchebag. So of course we pull up behind him and he’s got a MADLIFE sticker on his car. (laughs) You know, typical. Ugly Scene: That is too funny. I think that in would have been hilarious if it would have been a judge driving away rocking out to MADLIFE. Isaiah: That would have been good! Ugly Scene: It was great talking to you again and is there anything else you’d like to add. Isaiah: You to. We are pretty much, tour, tour, tour. At this time it will be just running cycles of going out and be back and forth constantly. And check out our new album. I’d like to thank Isaiah again for the interview and encourage everyone to keep and eye on MADLIFE as they push the boundaries of Rock. ~Isabelle

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