Just when you thought you had you fill of boy bands, we bring you a fresh and hot batch of guys to listen to – and stare at! That’s right, MADDHOUSE is a name you should remember because you’ll be buying tickets to their show later. We spoke with the boys – put names – about everything from the start of the group, their sound, their hobbies, what makes them tick, and what’s on the horizon for this crazy house of boys – we know you’re going to love them!
First off, I want to get to know you guys a little better and I’m positive that Fanvasion readers would like to as well. Don’t be shy – who’s who and where are you from?
Alex: I’m Alex; I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Let’s see I grew up in the suburbs, my musical influences range anything from Prince, Michael Jackson, all the way up to Madonna. I’ve been singing since I was about four, and …. yeah I think that’s it for right now. [Laughs]
Tim: My name is Tim Essary; I like long walks on the beach and occasional sunset. No I’m just kidding … kidding. I’m kind of from all over; my dad was in the military so traveled a lot and lived all over the place. I was born in Japan, lived in Turkey for several years and Germany.
Japan really? That’s so dope.
Tim: I was. I was born in Okinawa. It’s funny I don’t remember it much because we moved when I was really young. But I’m hoping that we’ll be on tour in Japan very soon, and then I can go back and holler at my peoples.
Well, that’s just cool to say, ‘oh yeah I was born in Japan’.
Tim: [Laughs] Oh yeah totally. Well actually I want to get a tattoo that says ‘Made in Japan’. So, yeah me and my best friend were talking about going to get tattoos sometime soon, I think that’s what I’m going to get; just because not everyone can do that.
But yeah, my parents are actually from the south, so they live in Alabama right now they’re both retired. So, I kind of call Alabama home just because it’s where all my family is at.
And, who would be next?
Kale: Alright cool, cool this is Kale … Kale Otis. I’m a Cali boy born and raised; been playing guitar since I was like eleven helping a lot with song writing and stuff like that. And uh I like to party … that’s what I do. [Laughs]
Tim: That’s what he does. [Laughs]
Kale: So, yeah I do a lot of writing, I use to rap actually real heavy.
Kale: Yeah I use to be real heavy.
Tim: He’s really good at free styling.
Why don’t you do a little bit?
Tim: Oh snap.
[Background ooh’s and uh oh’s]
Kale: What do you want me to rap about?
Whatever you want, putting you on the spot.
Tim: I don’t know you might not want him to he’s pretty intense.
Okay we can come back to that then. [Laughs]
Kale: Yeah, we’ll come back that will be cool. But yeah I mean that’s about it, Adam go ahead.
Adam: Hey, my names Adam Tyler I was born in Columbus, Missouri but I moved in and around Missouri … mostly like Kansas City area. Let’s see I started singing at a really early age, got in to gymnastics at I don’t even know five or something because flips and all that were really cool. But, I quit so then I can’t do anything anymore and yeah. I’m like the pop kid of the group, I grew up listening to all the boy bands and Britney and all that stuff. That’s pretty much me I think.
Tim: Wait, to go back to Adam we live together and he has the room right next to mine, and I just have to let you know when he says he loves pop music … he loves pop music.
Alex: Oh my gosh, the minute he wakes up, he bumps … it’s mostly like euro pop. But you know it’s pretty cool he’s got us all like into it.
Euro pop? That’s hard core pop music right there.
Alex: Yeah, Euro is like different than the pop from America; because America kinda like ventures into Urban sounds and stuff. European stuff kind of stays more in demand.
Tim: It’s very club music too.
I guess Jeremy’s not here, but we could definitely say a little something about him. He’s from San Diego, I think he grew up … Did he grow up in San Diego?
Alex: Yeah, he grew up in San Diego, I think he has a couple of sisters or something and he’s only been in LA for like a year.
Tim: Great songwriter.
Kale: And he knows everybody.
Alex: Yeah he’s pretty involved in the industry.
Kale: He’s a little hustler, but we all are you know.
Adam: He’s in a writing team right, like a writing group?
Tim: Yeah, yeah he’s a writer, he’s a big writer. He also has two dogs … two little dogs.
Alex: Oh yeah, Pugger and Jack.
Aww, what kind of dogs are they?
Tim: They’re little yappy dogs.
Alex: He’ll pick them up by their skin and he’ll just toss them like their little rag dolls.
Tim: W-w-w-wait, it’s because they’re puppies and they can handle it. We don’t want people to think he’s like a dog hater.
So you all have been into music and grown up with it since you were really young. How old are you now?
Alex: I’m twenty-two.
Tim: I’m nineteen; I’ll be twenty in September.
Kale: I’m twenty-one, my birthday is in October.
October, me too.
Kale: October what?
Kale: Twenty-fourth, mine is the twenty-fourth.
Tim: Wow, you guys are twins. [Laughs]
Kale: Almost. [Laughs]
Adam: Oh yeah, I just turned twenty-one on April 17th.
Tim: We went to Vegas on his birthday, it was amazing.
I feel like I should get this out of the way before fans who read this hold their breath the whole way through waiting for the question. – Are you single?
Kale: Yes. Yeah we’re all single at the moment.
Okay, well now that we know that we can move along.
Tim: We’re so busy right now it’s sad to say, but yes we are.
Did you know each other before you started MADDHOUSE?
Tim: Um, no not really actually.
Adam: The band was put together through you know a nationwide talent search. So, we’re all pretty much strangers, but our personalities are so … like we click really well.
Tim: Yeah we were together for a few weeks and it was like we had been together forever. They were like brothers it was pretty cool.
You guys already have a very large and dedicated fan-base with street teams all over the US, actually overseas too. So, I want to know how MADDHOUSE came to be. You mentioned a nationwide search, how long ago was that?
Tim: Well I guess officially with this group now … we went through a couple different members just trying to figure out the exact, best mix. But officially with MySpace up and everything kind of going it’s not even five months yet; which is pretty cool because we’re almost at 15,000 fans and over 120,000 hits or something.
Adam: Yeah we officially made our MySpace on January 2nd and it’s not even June yet and we already, like we have so much momentum right now you know.
Tim: It’s definitely; it’s all word of mouth which is pretty cool too. Right now, we’re still in the dance studio working on our live show, we’re finishing up this album so. We slowly release tracks as we finish them, but each track that’s released it like grows … fan base grows even more. Hopefully, with the live show and the touring this summer it will only get bigger so we’re excited.
Adam: I think what adds to our appeal, and us having such a huge fan base is the fact that we are really connected with our fans and we reach out to them a lot.
Tim: Yeah definitely.
Oh so you have more of a personal kind of relationship?
Tim: Yeah, we talk to everybody.
Kale: We pretty much talk to…
Adam: We actually hung out with some last night, a couple of fans came out that were in town.
Tim: Especially if someone is in LA and their not from LA we definitely like to kind of hang out with them, and kind of fill them in on the process too and show them what it’s like to be recording.
You’ve been in the studio working hard on some new tracks but before we talk about those, I want t mention that I love “All Eyez on Me”. What other songs have you guys been recording that you can tell us a bit about?
Adam: Awesome, that’s one of our favorites as well. Umm, our newest one that our manager has actually been sending out the snippet of is called “Confident”, and it’s more of like a ballad, kind of like a mid-tempo. Have you heard it?
Yeah, yeah of course.
Tim: It’s a mid-tempo; it’s a pretty cool song and in fact we don’t have it on our MySpace but we’re kind of doing a little thing where if you shoot us a message, send us your email we’ll actually email you the track before it gets released on the album. You can check it out and listen to it, but that’s one of the songs we just finished literally. What do you guys say we just recorded that like…
Kale: Yeah, there’s a lot of songs. We have a cool, fun song called “Overtime”; it’s really our manager’s favorite song.
Tim: Yeah, our recording process is pretty quick you know we’re in the studio and we’re all writers as well but we do record some songs that other people wrote, and we record our own stuff. We’re just kind of in and out of the studio and then our engineers mix it, and we kind of go through … we record several songs, and then we kind of break it down into the actual eleven or twelve that are gonna make the album. But we have a lot of stuff recorded.
Alex: And we’re really involved in like picking out our songs, which ones that we really like. A lot of groups they don’t really get that opportunity; we’re really hands on with that as well.
You’re right a lot of groups don’t get to be that involved. It’s nice that you can get into everything and do what you want.
Kale: We know its fun, and we can put our stank on it you know. [Laughs]
Who have you been working with in the studio?
Alex: Predominately our main producer, we’ll writer actually, we work with a lot of producers overseas but we get the hook up through a really cool guy that’s based out of New York, his name is Diesel Berry. He’s in our top friends on MySpace and yeah predominately we work with him.
Tim: We also work with several other people as well, kind of all over and that’s sort of where our sound comes from; our sound kind of comes from all over.
Adam: Literally when we threw up the MySpace we got bombarded with so many people, like producers that wanted to work with us. So, we’re still that process, still trying to weed out who exactly we want to work with and scheduling all that kind of stuff. We’ve been blessed.
Alex: Yeah definitely.
Tim: We’re also writing a lot ourselves too for this album.
Kale: And we can’t forget to mention we uh … both produces overseas and our engineer who records most of our stuff, his name is Thomas Pine and he does a lot of work for us. He takes care of all of us.
Adam: Yeah he records us and he’s a dope producer as well.
Tim: It’s really fun too because he has a cool studio in his house and he’s got a dog that we play around with. We just basically get in the studio and kind of knock songs out, pretty much a couple times a week. We pick the song we want to record and then we go in there and we do it, it’s a really cool environment and he’s a pretty cool guy.
Sounds like a party.
Alex: It is a party.
Time: It’s always a party for Maddhouse.
Ha-ha, nice. So, going back to your song “Confident”, what makes you guys ‘confident’? I know everyone has their little quirks that perk up their confidence so what about each of you?
Alex: What makes me confident? I mean I don’t know, that’s a really tough question. I mean I don’t want to … you know like when people give you compliments and stuff, I don’t want to be like that type of person but it really does. It boosts your confidence when there are people that point out certain things, like ‘you look nice today’. It’s honestly the little things with me.
Tim: For me I guess what helps with my confidence is … I guess my friends and family can help me stay confident kind of in everything I do. I think having a solid foundation is really good to help anybody, wither you’re a musician or athlete or just getting through school. Having a good, solid foundation is something great you know that helps keep you confident. It works for me.
And it keeps you grounded.
Tim: It does indeed, it really does.
Kale: I’ve got to agree with Tim. A lot of it is who you surround yourself with and the encouragement that they give you. I also … I’m gonna sound like a tool, but uh I’m in the gym a lot. [Laughs]
Tim: I don’t know if you guys have seen Kale’s arms, but they’re huge. I just had to throw that out there.
Kale: I stay in the gym, I don’t do much else. But you always feel better after a workout, a little more confident.
Adam: Is it my turn? Oh shoot, umm … yeah I’d agree with the other guys in saying just who you surround yourself with. Because it really is, you have to drown the other people out that are like you know mean or insults or whatever. Start believing in yourself and all that, and so yeah it’s all about that.
Alex: That was a tough question; I do not want to go first anymore.
Tim: [Laughs] Alright, Alex so we’ll switch.
So, we’ve been talking about this album of yours… can we expect it soon?
Tim: We’re in the process of … I mean we are still recording now as we speak, we were in the studio yesterday recording. So um, the process takes awhile and it’s kind of more about getting the exact sound that we want. You know we all write we’re working on those songs, recording other people’s songs; but we’re really trying to find that perfect sound. At the end of the day we’re trying to put an album out there. We don’t have an exact time frame right now, but we’re looking at coinciding a major tour with an album release, so that would be somewhere in the near future. By near future I mean very near future.
And by near future, do you mean very near future.
Tim: Very near future. [Laughs]
Alex: Like yesterday. [Laughs]
I believe it was you Alex who said you grew up listening to Michael Jackson and Prince?
Alex: Yea, that was me.
What about the rest of you? Who are some of your favorite artists out there that you grew up listening to?
Tim: Um, well for me I play acoustic guitar, I’ve played for years and I play piano. I’ve sort of been influenced almost by you know kind of like the Jason Mraz, John Mayer; sort of laid back, acoustic sounding material. That’s really what I’ve always kind of been playing. It’s funny because what I play and what I listen to are completely different because like Alex I’ve gotten down to pop music and Michael, just soulful stuff too. With my parents living in Alabama, there’s a lot of gospel and soul music there as well. Yes, I love some gospel music, but I always go back to sort of Dave Matthews, Jack Johnson just kind of the uh hippie crowd I guess you could say. [Laughs]
Dave Matthews … I don’t think anyone has ever said that. I’ve always felt like Dave Matthews was under appreciated.
Tim: Really? Well you know what I am secretively and very publicly a huge Dave Matthews fan. I’ve been to several of his concerts and it’s a good time. You know Dave puts on a good show.
Alex: You know he’s so good live.
Well, I’m gonna take a guess and say Michael is pretty much an inspiration all the way around, right?
Alex: Yea, that’s pretty much on everyone’s list. I mean he’s just like … just like the God of pop music.
Tim: He’s the King of Pop.
Alex: Yeah, exactly.
He’s in his own category … there’s Michael Jackson and then music.
Kale: I actually have someone above, William Hung. [Laughs]
Tim: He does trump Michael Jackson, and yes I use the word trump.
Word is you have your own TV show airing on FOX this fall! Tell us more about that! Is it a reality show or scripted?
Tim: Yes, yes, yes that is the word. I don’t know if you guys have checked out MySpace lately, but we’ve been slowly leaking some ideas about that. Um, we’re basically still in the process of shooting it and
right now it’s scheduled for FOX in San Diego; there’s potential for other FOX affiliates to pick it up. What we’re hoping is that once it starts airing, people will be able to call their local FOX affiliates and get it on their FOX. So, we’re starting it out kinda small and hopefully spreading it really big. We can’t give away too many details right now because we are still in negotiations as far as material and stuff like that.
Can you tell us if it will be scripted or a reality show?
Alex: It’s definitely not reality, it’s scripted.
Tim: Yeah, it’s actually … we can’t tell you … it’s a scripted, uh it’s a comedy. What’s my, what’s my word here, it’s kind of like a … a … it’s a collection of short skits. I think that’s about as much as I can really say.
Alex: It’s kind of like an SNL, like Saturday Night Live but suited for much younger with a music element to it.
Tim: There you go. We’re saying if Maddhouse were to take over your TV for thirty minutes to an hour this is exactly what you would expect.
Alex: Random, Maddhouse random.
Tim: Because we’re all actors, I don’t know if you’ve seen some of our YouTube videos but we’re all pretty goofy, crazy. You should sit in the car with us for like one day, its ridiculous the stuff we come up with. So, we wanted to incorporate that with our music and somehow create a television series where we incorporate music and our skits, our humor … our Maddhouse humor.
Alex: This project also we had a lot of hands on, we wrote all of it pretty much along with our manager.
Tim: Yeah, we’re still in the process of writing the sketches and all that.
We have seen your YouTube. Is it not the greatest invention ever?
Tim: It’s amazing.
Alex: Yes, I know.
Aside from MySpace where you can connect with the fans, if we had this many years back think about what could have happened.
Tim: I tell people I don’t watch TV, I just watch YouTube really to be honest. [Laughs]
There’s cooking shows on YouTube, it has everything.
Alex: Everything is on YouTube, you can learn.
Tim: [Laughs] It’s a little how-to section.
Yeah, get some exercise tips, learn to cook, do your hair, watch some comedy and then go check out Maddhouse.
Tim: Exactly! [Laughs]
You guys mentioned you wanted to be doing some touring after the album release. Will you be doing any shows this summer?
Tim: Definitely, I think we’re sort of in talks with a couple of different things. Right now it’s just sort of a matter of if we’re doing a major tour with several cities or are we doing just the big cities. We’re still in talks with promoters and stuff like that because I don’t know if everyone knows but we’re actually not signed. We’re kind of doing this all on our own, which is rare but it’s also kind of new age. A lot of bands aren’t going with major record companies; you know they’re doing it themselves. So as of now we’re not signed, so we’re doing it ourselves and we’re uh still in talks with different promoters and sponsors and what not. But, I mean definitely before the albums’ release we will be on tour, just to get our name our there and have some fun.
Well, hopefully we’ll get to see you guys out in New York that would be great.
Alex: Oh for sure, that will be one of the first stops.
Tim: I think we all want to personally go to New York for fun.
Alex: Yea, I’ve never been I mean how is it? Were you born and raised there?
No, born and raised in New Jersey. But it’s like a hop, skip, and a jump from the city.
Tim: Oh, okay.
Alex: Nice. I totally want to go though, I’ve never been and I’m super excited to go.
New York is definitely the experience.
Alex: You can be our chaperone. [Laughs]
This is a fun little game we like to do where we get to know a bit more about you that you probably wouldn’t reveal yourself. Could each of you describe the group member next to you?
Alex: Oh my gosh, but we’re not next to each other.
Tim: No actually I am. Alex is outside, we’re watching a basketball game that’s why it’s kind of loud in here … he’s outside and I’m in here. But, um I’ll go first by describing Alex. Wa-wa-wait, I have to describe him but like how?
You know anything; throw in a few tidbits that no one who guess about each other… whatever you want.
Tim: Okay, you guys want to know something really funny about Alex? You’re going to kill me, but this is funny.
Tim: Okay, we’ll just be sitting there … Alex is … first of all let me just give you some background information. Alex is one of the happiest people I know, I’ve never seen him get mad and when he is really mad he just breaks out laughing. And so the funny thing about Alex too is he breaks out laughing just sitting there thinking about something, like he can’t help himself he’ll just laugh out loud about everything. People type ‘lol’ on instant messenger, but they really don’t laugh; Alex is really laughing out loud when he writes the word ‘lol’ when he text you. [Laughs]
So, he’s that person that will actually be laughing about something today that happened yesterday?
Tim: No, he really will. It’s so funny because like in fact ten minutes before we called you he was sitting on the couch and just started laughing. My buddy looked over at him and he’s like ‘what’s so funny’, and he goes ‘oh nothing I was just thinking about something’. He busted out laughing, it was so funny.
I can actually identify with that. [Laughs]
Alex: I know, but sometimes like it’s awkward because I feel crazy. But then I’m like oh well that’s me.
Tim: Yeah at least you bust out laughing, not bust out crying randomly right? [Laughs]
Alex: Right. [Laughs] Okay, cool so I guess it’s my turn. Since Tim is like right there, I’m sitting here waving at him.
Tim: I can see you through the window. [Laughs]
Alex: Um, I have to say Tim has such a really good fashion sense. He’s got a closet full of clothes but I mean … I don’t know, he’ll take these random items and he’ll make it look just like really cool.
Tim: Like I walk off the pages of GQ, aww.
Alex: Yeah, well I mean he’s got these bracelets that he literally made from a fork at a restaurant. It’s like everywhere we go everyone is like ‘oh my gosh, I like your bracelet’ and he’s like ‘yea I made it myself’. I mean it’s just, it’s pretty admirable.
Oh that’s pretty cool; you know they actually do sell bracelets made out of forks and spoons.
Tim: I know, I should make up like a silverware line. No pun intended, silver-wear.
Maddhouse clothing and jewelry line, hint hint.
Alex: Yeah, that’s a plan. That’s another thing we want to be like major moguls you know in this industry. We want to tap into everything.
Tim: Definitely. I’ll start selling silverware that you can wear around. So who’s left? We’ve got Kale and Adam. You guys are next to each other kind of.
Kale: Yeah okay see I was trying to find him, cause he’s at my house … and then I’m looking for him.
Adam: I lost you so I just started walking outside, shoot.
Kale: He was around the block.
Tim: Oh where are you guys? You’re at…
Kale: We’re at my house.
Tim: Oh cool.
Kale: Yeah, so anyways … Adam let’s see. Adam is a super junk food junkie. Oh my … like if you go into his backpack he has cookies, gummie bears, it’s ridiculous. It’s like Willy Wonka. [Laughs]
Tim: He is Willy Wonka.
Kale: Sorry. Well, it’s cool cause whenever we’re in the studio or something he just reaches into his bag.
Alex: He’s like the goody master. He always has a bag full of goodies.
What do you have in there?
Kale: Oh name something and he has it.
Tim: What did he has today? He had Oreos, but they weren’t Oreos they were like organic Oreos. They were really good.
Adam: Yeah, I wanted to be all healthy and everything so.
Hmm cool, I’ve never heard of them. Did they taste like regular Oreos?
Kale: I don’t think so.
Tim: Yeah, Kale didn’t think so. I don’t know, to me they were kind of good.
Alex: More like chocolaty I think.
Alex: Yeah. [Laughs] She’s like ‘ohh’.
You know I’ve seen a special on how they actually make the crème on the inside. That was bizarre.
Tim: Ohh, I don’t think I want to know.
I forgot what it was.
Kale: I bet it’s like cake lard or something.
Alex: Did it make you not want to each them anymore?
Tim: So Adam’s left. Adam’s got to either say something really mean or really sweet about Kale, lets see what he does.
Adam: Hmm, tricky tricky let’s see. Umm let’s see, hmm. Oh gosh it’s so difficult; I don’t know what to say.
Tim: Duh, duh, dun, dun…
Adam: Well Kale is um a little bit, girl crazy I could say.
Tim: No, he’s a ladies’ man let’s put it that way.
Adam: Yeah, cause he’s always got people on his mind.
Tim: Twenty-four seven.
Kale: All day.
And it ends there, right?
Adam: Yeah, I don’t want to get him in trouble or anything. [Laughs]
Alex: Alright, well Jeremy’s not here. So let’s all say something about Jeremy. Hmm, let’s see he’s hilarious; he’s like really crazy and like spontaneous.
Tim: He’s spontaneous; yeah that’s a good word for Jeremy.
He’s hilarious, you mean funnier than you guys?
Kale: Oh yeah, Jeremy’s hilarious.
Tim: He’s pretty funny; I mean I don’t know about funnier than me.
I don’t know you guys have been kind of fun lately.
Alex: I think he’s a mind reader too because he sent me a text earlier and like he wrote out the lyrics … cause we were all singing this song, we had a photo shoot earlier today … we were all singing this song by Jordin Sparks call “Battlefield”.
Tim: It was stuck in everyone’s head today.
Alex: Yeah and he texted me the ‘you better go getcha armor’, and I was just thinking that. That had just crossed my mind.
I was just singing that today, it was playing in my car and I cranked that part up. It’s the best part of the song.
Tim: You knew when we were singing it.
Alex: Yeah. [Laughs]
Tim: Jeremy has …what’s it called when you can read people’s minds?
Tim: ESP … N. No ‘N’, just ESP.
Alex: Yeah, musical ESP. [Laughs]
Kale: He does this funny voice where he goes ‘just watch’ and then he sings.
Adam: Oh yeah that’s funny.
Tim: He goes ‘just watch, ahhh’. [Laughs]
Well, it’s been great talking with you guys tonight.
Tim: You too you’re so sweet for hollering at us, beautiful phone voice I might add.
Alex: Thanks for talking with us.
I hope we can do this again.
Kale: Yes, we should.
Alex: Yes, with Jeremy.
Yes with Jeremy. We wish you guys the best of luck with the album, can’t wait to see a live show; and when you come to the city … we’ll show you around.
Tim: Oh we will, definitely.
Tim: Thank you so much.
Alex: Have a good night Courtney.
Kale: Thank you.
Adam: Thank you Courtney.
You may have noticed Jeremy was missing from the above answers. Unfortunately, he had a prior commitment and was unable to join the others when we spoke with them.
Luckily we caught up with Jeremy the next night, so you could get to know him a bit too.
Hi Jeremy! How are you?
I’m doing amazing, and yourself?
Good, good. I was pretty bummed you weren’t able to be there when I spoke with the others yesterday. So, I’m glad we get to talk tonight.
I know I’m so sorry. Did they tell you what I was doing?
I was in another session that I had planned a long time ago, so sorry.
No, no it’s fine I’m just glad we get to talk now. You know the guys told me a bit about you, but I’d like to give you the chance to tell me a little bit about yourself.
Okay, well I’m from San Diego. I started singing … man I can’t even remember. I knew I wanted to go into the whole pop world when ‘N Sync and everybody was out and I remember learning how to dance watching their videos and stuff. You know and then Justin kind of went off to do his own thing and it just really inspired me; plus listening to like Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson. At that time when pop was such a big deal, just so inspiring and everything was brand new, everyone was buying records. I think the 90’s was such a big time for pop music that I think that’s why there’s so many people now trying to do it because everyone was inspired.
You know I’m just glad it’s back though. I think we’ve had a good five years since the Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync days, where the punk phase came back and we had pop rock with Good Charlotte. All of them started it off, and now Kings of Leon are doing it now. But I think now is the perfect time for the “boy bands” to re-emerge.
Right, right totally. Then we went through the whole rap phase and stuff, and that was cool for awhile but…
It always comes full circle.
It always does, right? [Laughs]
So, how old are you now?
Um, I am nineteen now.
You’ve been singing since you were young?
Yes, I was really, really little. Probably about a couple of years ago, a couple of friends were at my house and I was singing in the bathroom I think, and they were just kind of like ‘What? You sound good. Why aren’t you going out and doing things?’ blah blah. So, it’s just kind of like one of those snowball effects, like one thing happened after the other and I’ve just been really blessed to find like what I want to do at such a young age.
Absolutely. So, how did you end up hearing about Maddhouse? The guys told me it was a nationwide search.
Yeah, yeah well I actually met the guys at a showcase that I wasn’t performing in, but the team who put it together had actually written for them a lot. So, I met the guys there and I think it must have been a few weeks after that, I forget really how we got in touch, but they were looking for a fifth member. We had just kind of met up and hung out, played music for each other and just kind of started getting a vibe. I got along with the guys right away and the same for them, like we have the same sense of humors which I think is like such a big part of it.
Yea, they told me you’re hilarious.
[Laughs] I try. Um, yea so I just always love to have a good time, with anyone I work with I think if you ask them they’ll say that you know if I’m not laughing in the studio then I’m not having fun.
That’s so important though. People look at the music business as such an easy thing, but it’s serious business and if you can’t keep your sense of humor…
Totally and then there’s the people who take themselves so seriously and you’re just kind of like ‘I thought we got in the music to have fun, and like be creative, lighten people up.’
That’s what it does for me.
Right? Like my goal is to bring it back. I’m not sure if you can do that, but just bring it back to the old days. I would love for it to be like that again.
Somebody needs to. I think music is going in a pretty good direction now though. I don’t think it was every at a really bad spot, but pop music has changed a little bit. But I certainly don’t think it’s been ruined.
Right, oh no.
I think it’s coming back in a huge way. You know now there’s MySpace and Twitter, things ‘N Sync didn’t have back in the day so…
You’ve got so many different flavors.
Yes, everything is confusing. It’s more Pop/R&B, and I’ve seen a lot of Power Pop.
How would you describe Maddhouse?
You know what? I would describe Maddhouse as Maddhouse because that’s one of the things that drew me to them in that I’d hear the songs … I didn’t listen to the songs and hear a conformity. I definitely heard inspirations from everywhere. You know ‘N Sync, Backstreet Boys … if you want to go as early into as Varsity or whatever, but I think that there’s something about our group that sets the music apart from everything else. I think that’s why we have a good fighting chance; it’s what drew me to the project and what I think drew the other guys to the project as well.
Well, you have a good sound; I was telling the guys how I love “All Eyez On Me”. We were even talking about the song “Confident”, and I wanted to know … I’m going to ask you too, what gives you confidence? Because everyone has that little quirk that will perk them up, or something that kind of drives it out when they’re on stage.
Oh man, you’re stinging me.
No, I like it. You know what gives me a lot of confidence is the fans. Hearing messages on MySpace and stuff, just knowing I’m touching someone the same way someone touched me with their music kind of gives me that confidence to be like ‘get over yourself and your nerves and butterflies’. Like someone’s waiting for this, for you and I like to believe in that. That gives me a lot of confidence other than you know this is what I love to do and if you can’t be confident in what you want to do then maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.
Absolutely, and what you were saying about nerves and butterflies, I would think that doesn’t just apply to going on stage. Do you ever get nervous when you go in to record new music?
Oh going to record a new song, yeah you can get really nervous. Especially going in with new producers you never know who is going to want what, and what they’re going to expect of you. I mean it’s kind of with any profession; you just kind of go in there and do it and you usually end up with a good relationship at the end of the night.
Well, we hear there is an album in the works so does that mean you guys have been in the studio every day?
Umm, we have been in the studio … I haven’t been in the studio that much but we’re actually working on a lot of really good stuff. We’re writing a lot of stuff …
The guys mentioned you were in a writing group?
Yeah, I’m in a writing group with one of the girls from Trip. I don’t know if you’ve heard of them.
Are they a girl band?
Yea, they’re a girl group … they’re triplets. But I’m in a writing group with them so I do a ton of writing for a lot of people. I’ve kinda been encouraging the guys to do a little writing, they do a little bit. So, we’re going to get in the studio really soon, hopefully recording some of the songs we wrote together.
Oh awesome, and with the TV show you guys are on a roll.
Yeah, that’s really exciting … it’s going to be an amazing experience.
They guys were telling me you’ve only been doing this for five months? It must be crazy for you with how much you already have of a dedicated fan base.
We’ve got some really dedicated fans already. I don’t know if the guys told you, but the other night two girls drove up to San Diego when we were just at a showcase … and it wasn’t even all of us. They just out of the blue showed up. It’s just stuff like that, that kind of makes you want to keep moving forward.
But I think that’s great though. It kind of goes back to what we were saying with MySpace and Facebook though, that now you can build relationships and keep in touch with the fans .. whereas that option wasn’t really available a few years ago.
I kind of think that’s what makes music now-a-days … it’s kind of a catch 22 because the internet is such a good thing for getting new and unsigned artists out. But it also does such horrible things for people who abuse it and kind of steal from the artist.
Well you also get a sort of different review of your music. It’s not just the magazine and television reports, but you get direct feedback from the fans themselves. I think that’s huge, I mean even album covers are such are being decided on by the fans.
Totally, and it gives us a chance as well to directly communicate with our fans; which is like so awesome. I know we’re really involved with giving it back to our fans.
Are you excited to get out there and do some performances this summer?
Oh man! You don’t even know! Every day we’re on the phone or together or whatever and are like ‘Dude, it’s too quiet. I want to be performing, let’s go, let’s go’. But, you know all good things must come in due time.
Well you know I asked each of the guys to describe one of the others, and each of them had a little bit of something about you. .. your dogs and your music ESP? You apparently are a music psychic because of your ability to text a few Jordin Sparks lyrics.
What, oh …oh my God.
So you must confirm or deny, are you a music psychic?
Oh I can’t believe they told you that. We’re going to have to come after you now. [Laughs]
Well now is your chance to say something about them? What are some things about Adam, Tim, Alex and Kale that people don’t know?
Oh Kale, he’s like the biggest teddy bear. He’s probably like the sweetest guy we’ve got, but don’t tell him I told you that.
Of course, I won’t tell anyone. [Laughs]
[Laughs] Put that under like Tim’s name or something, quoted by Tim. Then Adam, oh Lord where do I start with Adam? Oh Adam is just like one of the funniest guys to me, we will just go on for like ten minute periods and do the weirdest voices to each other. It’s really weird, just talk in weird voices … do weird things, be weird characters. It’s just weird. Umm then … I don’t know I should probably stop while I’m ahead. [Laughs]
It has been great talking with you, and I’m glad we were able to catch up.
Oh for sure, thank you so much.
Inside the August/September 2009
photos: © 2009 Veasna Him Photography