Some band stories are so sickly sweet and beautiful that you want to hug them and invite them to get some ice cream. The story of the band MADSEN is one of those wonderful stories and one couldn’t imagine it being any better; the three brothers Johannes (guitar), Sebastian (vocals, guitars, lyrics) and Sascha (drums) conveniently all have the same last name – and that was it. The first step of every new-formed band (to find a name) was done. Non-brother and founding member Niko Maurer (bass) may have also realised very quickly that “Maurer” wouldn’t have achieved many votes during their band name elections. Enter MADSEN – a name that sounds Nordic and likeable and can be pronounced anywhere in the world – perfect!
Not only did it look like the name situation would bring good luck for the band’s beginning, but also the fact that their origin turned out to be an absolute blessing. The Madsen brothers grew up in “Wendland” which is in the North-East of Niedersachsen in Germany, well-known as the queen of all provinces. Nowhere in Germany can one drive that far in any direction without encountering a highway. Nothing can be compared less to Berlin than the Wendland. Spending childhood and adolescence there seems to have been the ideal condition for developing the band’s team spirit and at the same time also the best place to find stories regarding the social connections between people and an adventurous spirit and desire – topics that have been immortalised later by Sebastian within the MADSEN lyrics.
Following on from these hallowed beginnings, MADSEN managed to have a “dream start” right away; in 2004, shortly after their founding, the band sent a demo to record label Universal Music who immediately offered a contract to the band. Their debut album »Madsen« as well as the singles ‘Perfektion’ and ‘Vielleicht’ were released in 2005 and reached high levels of success.
Fans, press and music television (R.I.P.) loved MADSEN from minute one as the band comprises a unique mixture of distorted guitars, anthemic melodies and catchy German lyrics. MADSEN have founded their own genre in which there is only MADSEN and in which MADSEN is allowed to do anything they want. Their follow-up albums »Goodbye Logik« (2006), »Frieden Im Krieg« (2008), »Labyrinth« (2010), »Wo Es beginnt« (2012) and »Kompass« (2015) all entered into the top 10 charts. These albums featured diverse musical and lyrical elements, concluding to the typical MADSEN sound the band is (now) known for! Songs like ‘Nachtbaden‘, ‘Du Schreibst Geschichte‘ and ‘Lass Die Musik An‘ stuck in the heads of thousands of people and have been played non-stop everywhere in Germany. The band have also evolved their sound over time at live concerts with the contributions of Lisa Nicklisch (keyboards, vocals) and Martin “Mücke” Krüssel (guitar), creating even more room for development in the live set.
From tour to tour the concert halls have grown and the festival offers increased. The success of MADSEN is experienced best at festival shows, where thousands of people of all ages and diversity sing along together to the entire MADSEN setlist. Even people unfamiliar with the band will say; “Oh, this song is from those guys?” MADSEN never had THAT annoying radio hit that everyone knows, eventually clouding the rest of their achievements. The sum of a multitude of powerful songs, all of which have grown over time and spread out through the airwaves all over the country – that is what makes MADSEN so successful. And yet MADSEN has always stayed true to their sound; unbridled rock music with metal and punk influences – hardly a band exists at this size which still sounds as self-confident as MADSEN. Sure, this is not the reinvention of the wheel and rock music is just as far away from the zeitgeist it was in years previous, but MADSEN don’t care about these things. Who needs the zeitgeist when you have guitar, bass and drums?!
In the fourteenth year since the band was founded, the MADSEN ‘travelling family’ now returns from a long period of rest with their seventh studio album »Lichtjahre«. They’ve approached this record with a lot of time and great attention to detail. In the beginning of the writing process everything was allowed and every absurd idea was given its place to develop, whereas in the later process everything was thoroughly checked over and over again. That’s the story of how the most concise MADSEN album (in terms of mood) in a long time has been created. ‘Mein Erstes Lied‘ or ‘Ich Tanze Mit Mir Allein‘ may stand out from the usual sound, but they do not scale off from the basic »Lichtjahre« vibes. From front to back the album knows where it wants to go. Playful moments – yes. But spluttering – never. The thoroughness was all worth it – which the music and lyrics can attest to. With songs like ‘Rückenwind‘ and ‘Sommerferien‘ there are also two MADSEN classics on the album – spatial and temporal wanderlust paired with a friendly kick in the ass to get it started, just as fans know and love. The matter of course with which most of us get caught up in social media, running the risk of losing sight of the “real moment” is summed up in ‘Keiner‘ with ease, without any unpleasant preaching though, as only MADSEN can do it.
“Everybody wants to change the world, but nobody wants to change himself”, the author Leo Tolstoy once said. On »Lichtjahre«, MADSEN will proof the opposite. They don’t concentrate on the weaknesses or attitudes of others, looking for mistakes as most people act nowadays, but instead focus on their own inner problems. In songs like ‘Wenn Es Einfach Passiert‘, ‘Athlet‘ or ‘Kapitän‘ they pick out their own fears and doubts as a central theme. To change things in the world at large, you have to take the first step and look at yourself and MADSEN try to infect people with this attitude. »Lichtjahre« is an album that was made to encourage. Musically, »Lichtjahre« takes everyone by the hand and delivers everything in the right dose at the right time, mostly in a loud and energetic manner, sometimes quiet but always with wonderful melodies and choirs that feel even better than a hug.
(Text: Hirsch from the band MONTREAL)
Sebastian Madsen | vocals / guitar
Johannes Madsen | vocals / guitar
Sascha Madsen | drums / vocals
Niko Maurer | bass