Hailing from Chepstow, South Wales, Maddison released their debut album, The Dark in 2017 and very quickly amassed a great online following, with over 50,000 followers on Facebook alone. Their subsequent singles earned them 90,000 streams on Spotify and over 66,000 views on YouTube, featured on multiple Spotify playlists including Release Radar and Discover Weekly.
Their new EP ‘Recovery’ shows that Maddison have evolved and refined their sound, with anthemic choruses over soaring guitars, they are now ready to make a statement. After already receiving multiple plays from Planet Rock and support from Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott, their second video release from the EP ‘Lose My Mind’ is available now online.
Maddison were born out of lead vocalist and guitarist James Chorlton’s desire and passion to create music surrounding his own experiences with anxiety and depression. James recently took time out to chat with Andy Howells about the band.
How did Maddison come together as a band?
Maddison was just me to start with. I was writing my own stuff and it kind of snowballed from there really. There’s five of us in the band, myself, James on lead guitar and vocals, Peter s on guitar, Benj on bass, Aled on keyboards and Kob on drums
Did you all know each other previously?
I was good mates with Pete through bands we’d been in previously. We’d supported each other at various shows. I knew Kob through the South Wales band, The Guns, Benj was a good friend of Kob, so we all knew each through various bands.
When did you find out you’ve got a talent for songwriting?
Without going to deep I’ve suffered in the past with terrible anxiety, I had quite a bad time as I lost my brother and my father both within a short space of time.
I’ve always played guitar in most of the bands I was in, but never used to sing. My wife often would say “You’ve got a good voice, you should sing” and I’d think “What do you deem as a good voice? It’s my wife she’s just telling me nice things”.
I started writing my own stuff after my brother passed away, I just found it really hard to start been expressive!
But I’m guessing that after a while, you started to find songwriting therapeutic?
Yeah, I’ve spent many hours in the studio writing my ideas down. I wrote the title track from our first album, The Dark in my studio. I had all the recording equipment I needed, so recorded the track in a demo format.
Pete listened to it and he spoke to Kob and the guys became really excited and all came together.
it all kind of happened and before I knew it I’m the front man of this band. It was born, it wasn’t forced. The band naturally happened.
Was there a sense of satisfaction when you completed your first album, The Dark?
If I’m honest and without the lads taking the mick out of me, it was quite an emotional thing for me.
It wasn’t something I ever thought I’d fully do. There’s a lot of songs on the album that are dark, deep songs for me and about really troubled times. it was nice to credit the album to my late brother and my father, in their memory. At the same time, it was such a great achievement I was really happy and excited about it.
Are there any musicians or bands that have inspired you as you’ve put your music together?
Oh, how long have you got? (laughs). I absolutely love Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb. Its i a song I’ve listened to a million times. Slash is another favorite. They are all guitarists for me, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, they’ve all been an influence. Then again, I find influences in everything from Michael Jackson to Metal music, I like it all.
What about gigs? Been a live band can be quite different to been in a studio can’t it?
We’re just getting ready for our first headline show which is a private gig at Chepstow racecourse om August 25. We’ve not done any shows as a band as of yet, but we’ve spent the last 8 months really developing the sound.
We’re currently gearing up for touring so hopefully we’ll be hitting stages everywhere shortly. I didn’t really want to rush for live shows. In my own mind I want to be super confident in the music, so its where I wanted it to be.
As a band we can perform all the songs on the album and the new EP, so the sound is really nailed. Our keys player Aled is phenomenal and so reproducing the scape-y sounds and all the cool things on the album and the EP will be all their live when we play. t’s as true to life as you like.
Can you tell us a bit about Lose My Mind, the latest track from your new EP Recovery?
Lose My Mind is a song about going through tough times to that point where you’re going crazy. We’ve all been there. It’s all about trying to keep control. A lot of my stuff comes from the depression and the mental health angle of which many people suffer with these days.
The songs inspiration is about the anger element to mental health, I know its vast and people are affected with different things. For me, the song is about that voice in your head that goes “Screw this! I want to explode and can’t take this anymore!” but outwardly how you just try to keep it together.
Do you hope that people will be helped or inspired when they listen to the track?
I’d love to think that yeah. The whole mental health thing is such a shady topic still. A lot of people don’t understand it and find it difficult to understand unless you have suffered with some degree of it.
I love to think that people are listening and can relate to the song. If it inspires or encourages them and makes them feel stronger, I’m happy because the people that are listening are connecting with it. If it lifts their feelings up, what more could you want?
And looking forward for Maddison, are you writing more material?
I’m constantly writing, it’s a full-time job for me. We’re also looking to book up shows after we’ve done the warm-up gig.
Who are your biggest supporters?
I have a large family with five children and my wife is my biggest supporter. She’s been saying “You’ve got to do this” and while the weathers been so good lately I’ve been out the front of the house with an acoustic guitar. She just listens to me for hours!
- More Info on Maddison and forthcoming live dates on: www.facebook.com/MaddisonBand