Interviews, Podcast

Madeline Kenney: The Culture Creature Interviews

Madeline Kenney interview

Photo by Cara Robbins

Hear two Madeline Kenney interviews today on the Culture Creature podcast. Listen via the player above or in your podcast provider of choice. 

Madeline Kenney is an indie rock musician of many talents. She and Dan Redding spoke in 2017 and again in 2018, on the occasions of Kenney’s albums Night Night At The First Landing and Perfect Shapes. The subjects of conversation on today’s episode include Paul McCartney, Tame Impala, ‘side hustles’ and the gig economy, Bill Hicks, and more.

Madeline Kenney Interview Highlights

Madeline Kenney on careers in art: “The way that our culture consumes media is not really set up to be able to create art and also make a living. So that’s why we have things like Patreon and Kickstarter. I’ve seen a lot of people be really successful with those things. It honestly makes me really sad that we have to do that to survive and make our art. But people find a way.”

Madeline Kenney on misogyny in the music industry: “On the song ‘I Went Home,’ I wrote about an experience that a lot of people and a lot of women and friends of mine have had in the music industry. It’s just like, you go to a show, and you experience so many kinds of misogyny, in a way. … Inevitably, at seven out of ten shows, I’m being told [by venue staff] how to use my gear, how to sing into a microphone, asked if I can carry my own amp. Yeah, I can carry my own amp. I’ve been carrying it for four years. So there’s this assumption that I don’t know anything about what I’m doing, so that’s one aspect of it. Then there’s the aspect of like, ‘We in the music industry want you to be young and attractive and hot and mysterious. Don’t show too much of who you are.’ So you encounter that at shows. Creepy people ask for my number – or my address! It’s crazy. Then you have your band – I work with incredible, amazing musicians but I do sometimes feel like I have to take care of everybody. It just is so exhausting. [Laughter]”

Madeline Kenney on ‘side hustles’ and the gig economy: “I don’t think it’s sustainable forever. I think that most people living in expensive cities, of our generation, find a way to make it work because they have to in order to keep afloat. It’s just not the same as when my parents got a degree and got a job and had that job for life. It’s just not the same anymore at all. Sustainability: that’s a question mark. But we gotta do what we gotta do, I guess. Especially if you want to pursue the arts. The fact of the matter is that I make no money doing music. I just don’t. Zero dollars. Negative dollars. I have to do something else to survive.”

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