Rock, alt-pop songstress Maggie Lindemann has finally dropped her debut EP, PARANOIA. The EP is comprised of eight dark and enigmatic tracks that show Maggie coming into her own as an artist with a thrilling alt-rock sound. Having accumulated over a billion streams since she began her career in 2015, the 22-year-old is finally ready to present her highly anticipated first official body of work to the world.
We had the chance to talk with Lindemann about the creative process behind PARANOIA and how she’s finally making the music she’s always wanted to make.
In an interview with TMRW mag, you mention that you were a different person growing up in Texas and that you developed into a new and more open-minded person in LA. It feels like since 2015 your music has also transitioned into a very experimental sonic space. Looking back, did you ever think you’d be making the music you’re making now?
I’ve always wanted to make the music I’m making now. When I first started making music, I was making alternative pop, so I knew I always wanted to be in the alternative lane. I never really thought I was gonna be making mainstream pop. So yeah, I’ve always wanted to make the music I’m making now. At one point, I didn't it was going to be possible because of how far into the alt world I was. I felt like it would look fake or just wouldn’t look good if I randomly transitioned into rock music. But I listened to a lot of pop-punk growing up and this is something I’ve always really wanted to do.
Who did you listen to from the pop-punk world growing up?
My favorite band hands-down was Sleeping with Sirens. They’re still my favorite now, honestly. I also listened to a lot of Black Veil Brides, Alesana, and Bring Me the Horizon. I would even wear this Bring Me the Horizon pendant all the time!
From the singles that have been released so far from the PARANOIA EP, you dove into many themes of loneliness, power, and paranoia. Can we expect similar themes throughout the rest of the EP?
Yeah, I would say so. All of it is pretty much following the theme of paranoia. Each song is a different form of it. “Gaslight” is obviously about that feeling of being gaslighted and wanting to hit them back harder. And with “Knife Under My Pillow,” obviously it’s about the paranoia I feel having to sleep with a knife under my pillow because I don't feel comfortable in my own house. So, with the songs that’ll come out when the EP drops, it follows that same theme but dives into other feelings you may feel in that headspace. "It’s Not Your Fault" is about feeling like you’re not enough in a relationship and how you end up self-sabotaging yourself.
So, it’s safe to say this is a pretty dark record?
Yeah. I think there’s only one kinda different song and that’s “Love Songs.”
The collaboration with Siiickbrain on “Gaslight” felt like such a great fit for the EP. What was it like working with her and can we expect any more collabs in the future?
She’s literally my best friend in real life. I love her music and I think she’s so sick. Just everything about her is so sick. I just said to her, “Dude, we should do something,” and we immediately got into the studio with Cody [Tarpley] and made this track in literally a couple of hours. It was super quick. She’s just so talented and I’m glad we were able to make that song. Hopefully, there will be more in the future. We’ve already made a couple of songs and she’s helped write a couple of songs. We’re definitely in the studio a lot together.
Which songs on the EP are you most excited for people to hear that haven’t been released yet?
I’m probably most excited for people to hear “Crash and Burn” and “It’s Not Your Fault.” They’re both such high-energy songs and I love when I can belt really high in songs. I put a lot of energy into those songs and I think that’s why they’re my favorites.
Your lyricism is not personal but extremely relatable. For me, the lyric “It’s so loud inside my head,” on “Knife Under My Pillow” really spoke to me and I’m sure many people with anxiety can relate. Are there lyrics that still stick with you from the EP?
On “It’s Not Your Fault,” there’s a lot of strong lyrics that really hit me. I wrote that song when I was really struggling with my life. I was like, “Oh my god I’m sabotaging myself. I’m sabotaging my relationship.” I felt like I was going crazy. A lot of the lyrics from that song have stuck with me. And I think on "Loner," one of my favorite lines is, “I don’t need permission to feel sad.”
You had an amazing team help bring this record to life. You had John Cunningham (Halsey, XXXTENTACION), Josh Murty, and Cody Tarpley (Lauren Jauregui, SoMo) produce the record and you had Alex Lahey and of course Siiickbrain on as co-writers. What was it like to make this record with your team while dealing with COVID? Were some of these songs already recorded before lockdown?
Luckily, a lot of this was already recorded in 2019, which feels like so long ago at this point. I added “Crash and Burn” and “It’s Not Your Fault” last year. To avoid multiple people at the studio, it would just be me and Josh or just me and Cody. And for the song I worked on with Caroline [Smith] (aka Siiickbrain), it was just me, Cody, and Caroline. We just worked in really small groups. It’s crazy though, I was actually in the studio with Cody when we got the news that we were gonna go into a lockdown and that things would be closing. We freaked out because at the time we didn’t know that it meant we could still go pick up food at restaurants, so we were just like, “We need to get home! We need to go to the nearest grocery store right now!” In hindsight, it was a little funny.
What has kept you grounded during lockdown?
I’ve still been doing sessions, but just over Zoom. I started them last year and I had never done Zoom session before so that’s been a weird shift. I’m still just working on the album I want to have come out eventually and playing a lot of video games. Like A LOT of video games. I started streaming on Twitch so that’s been fun! I also got a car over lockdown. I’ve never had my license and I had been saying “I’m gonna get my license” since I was sixteen and I’m twenty-two now so I’m happy I finally have it! It was a huge thing for me because that was my biggest procrastination ever.
When the world finally opens back up, whenever that may be, and live shows return, what would be your dream show or tour post-COVID?
I want to headline a tour so bad. I’ve done a few tours where I’m a guest or opening up, but I want to do a headlining tour. I want to bring Caroline with me. I feel like that would be amazing. That’s what I was planning on doing last year after the EP’s initial drop date, but obviously, stuff changed, and everything got pushed back. So yeah, I hope to do a headlining tour when things open back up.
Be sure to stream Maggie Lindemann’s debut EP PARANOIA below!