Maggie Lindemann: An Exclusive Tour Diary With the Pop Punk Princess
V follows the 24-year-old as she performs to a sold-out crowd in New York City.
V follows the 24-year-old as she performs to a sold-out crowd in New York City.
Text: Kala Herh
Sitting backstage at the Mercury Lounge, Maggie Lindemann seems quietly excited. She’s just arrived in New York City and is about to perform songs from her latest album, SUCKERPUNCH, as well as some other fan favorites to hundreds of East Coast fans. It’s the last night of her tour, and as sad as it is, it's also a momentous occasion. As she closes out this tour, she also marks the completion of her first headline gig. Previously, the musician has opened for the likes of Madison Beer and The Vamps, but now, Maggie sets off on her own, gracing both coasts–Los Angeles and New York City, which she sold out in a matter of hours.
“This is my first time headlining a show, so that alone has made it a different vibe because before, I was opening for someone else, so it's not really my energy in the crowd,” she shares with V. “But with these past few shows, it's been so fun because it's people who just came for me. The energy was so good.”
The tour is a celebration of sorts, commemorating her debut album, which was released a few months ago. SUCKERPUNCH, and the 15-tracks that make it up, picks up where her surprise EP, PARANOIA, leaves off. It’s a big, beautiful project that reads very much like a confessional diary entry, overflowing with heartache and loss. And if her tour was any indication of the album’s popularity, you can say the project really struck a chord. With each song the singer performed, the audience sang them back with equal energy.
“The New York show was so energetic, it felt like a dream. I loved hearing people scream sing my songs. Surprisingly, "phases" was one of the loudest songs at both [shows], which was really weird because I didn't think it would be everyone's favorite,” she says, from her friend’s apartment in Murray Hill. She had swapped her that night's little black dress for a more comfortable fit–a pair of gray sweatpants and swixxz tee.
During our recap of the night, Maggie also shares insight into her debut album, which she shares, she’s been working on for over seven years. The project combines the artist’s affinity for both pop and punk, all while weaving together her experience growing up in the limelight. It’s an intimate and heartwrenching tell-all that was not lost on her New York crowd, where fans were at once laughing, then crying at other moments. On stage, Maggie is electric. As she throws herself into each song–headbanging, belting, and all–she cements her status as a consummate, modern-day rockstar. But at the same time, she proves she's an astute musician who knows when to let the emotions flow. During “novocaine,” a song about needing something to take the pain away, a fan threw a bouquet of roses. Seemingly touched by the gesture and motion of support, Maggie teared up. After performing with them for a bit, she threw them back, sending the love and support back into the crowd.
And while her debut album just came out, Maggie has her sights set on the next one. When asked about the rest of her 2022 plans, she smiles and says, “I just want to start writing again. I have a bunch of sessions coming up, so I'm ready to start on the next project.”
After the whirlwind performance, we sat down with Maggie to chat about her first headline tour, her affinity with punk, and what we can expect next. Below, the artist's interview with V as well as an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at her set, captured by Shervin Lainez.
V MAGAZINE: How's New York City been, Maggie?
MAGGIE LINDEMANN: It's been good. I just got in for the show. I like New York, but at the same time, I like being home. And I haven't been home in a second, so I'm excited to go back. I feel like every time I come to New York, it's like in the middle of something, so I never stay for long. I think fashion week was the longest I've stayed in New York. I was here for like ten days and that's the only time I really like stayed in New York because usually, it's really quick.
V: Do you see yourself ever moving to New York City?
ML: I would probably never move here just because I love driving. I think that if I worked here, I would be late to literally everything. I don't have good time management in Los Angeles already, so I can't imagine how bad it would be here. But I do like New York. I would like to stay here for a little bit, but nothing permanent.
V: Yeah, I feel that. How would you describe a typical Maggie concert? What's the energy? How's the vibe?
ML: This is my first time headlining a show, so that alone has made it a different vibe because before, I was opening for someone else, so it's not really my energy in the crowd. But with these past few shows, it's been so fun because it's people who just came for me. The energy was so good. I don't really rehearse the talking parts, so everything I say is really on the spot. I would also say you can expect a rock show with heavy drums and guitars.
V: I definitely felt that yesterday. Do you think your LA crowd brings a different vibe than New York City fans?
ML: It's pretty similar. The New York show was so energetic, it felt like a dream. I loved hearing people scream sing my songs. Surprisingly, "phases" was one of the loudest songs at both [shows], which was really weird because I didn't think it would be everyone's favorite. But the energy was super similar. I think the only difference I caught was that people in New York are a little different than LA in the way they interact.
V: [laughs] That's an interesting thing to pick up on. So in terms of the mannerisms?
ML: I went outside after both shows and met a bunch of people. I think the interactions are just a little bit different–the way people talk and how they represent themselves. New Yorkers are more laid back. And I think people in LA are more friendly. They just act like your best friend when you first meet them, so my fans were acting like that when I met them in LA. Both energies are good energy, it's just different.
V: Yeah, for sure. And as you just released your album, SUCKERPUNCH, how does it feel to perform it live?
ML: I think it's a similar vibe to the rest of my music, but SUCKERPUNCH is a lot longer and I think there's definitely more energy. Now, I think I have more confidence than I did with PARANOIA.
V: And how do you go about curating the setlist for each show?
ML: For these two shows, I just did it in the order of the album. I did want to switch it up because a lot of really hard songs are right after each other and this set was like 45, 50 minutes, which I've never done before. It's much longer and I was really nervous about that. I was just scared I was going to be out of breath, but it all worked out and I was able to execute the whole setlist.
V: Yeah, and successfully at that. We also wanted to ask you about your set outfits. Yesterday, you wore a little black dress, which was so cute. Why did you pick that for your show?
ML: I usually just wing it and wear stuff in my closet, but I haven't been home in so long, so I had no outfits. Everything in my closet felt so outdated. I didn't want to wear any of that so I just ordered something online. I found the outfit I was wearing super last minute, and thank God it got here the day before the show. But yeah, usually, I just look for stuff in my closet.
V: Where did you order the outfit from?
V: Who would you say are some of your style icons?
ML: I would definitely say Amy Lee and Avril. And this is not a specific person, but I definitely look on Pinterest when I'm looking for inspiration. I love looking at old runway shows.
V: That's very cool. Do you have a specific pre-show ritual that you do to get in the right headspace?
ML: Um, I don't eat before shows. I'll eat in the morning and have a breakfast sandwich or something. But then, for the rest of the day, I won't eat because–that sounds so bad, but it's for a reason. For me, if I eat, then I'll feel so weighed down because I'll have so much anxiety and adrenaline. And then, right before a show, I'll do my vocal warmup. I also don't really like to talk to people before shows either because I get really distracted.
V: Why do you gravitate toward rock music?
ML: I think it's the instruments. I really like the instruments and the melodies–and belting. I love listening to people singing really high and their tone. If you listen to men in pop punk, their voices are really high pitched and I love it. It's definitely an acquired taste and I know some people don't like it but I love it.
V: What musicians were you listening to when you were growing up?
ML: I listened to a lot of Paramore. But my dad listened to a lot of, like, good dad rock–Nickelback, Linkin Park, Stir. I like to call it dad rock because it's that stuff your dad listened to in the 2000s. You know?
ML: And my mom had me listening to Gwen [Stefani], Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, and Evanescence. Then I started listening to Alesana when I was in like elementary school that was the first screamo band I really listened to.
V: That's a great roster of artists. And can you share your first experience performing?
ML: I've done talent shows, musicals and plays when I was younger, but my first time performing was at a radio station. I had this little performance for like 10 people and it was really bad. I was so nervous.
V: And what's your favorite song to perform during your SUCKERPUNCH tour?
ML: I like performing "novocaine" and "i'm so lonely with you." I also like performing "we never even dated" because I get like a little break. I love performing "phases," which is so crazy because "phases" was one of the songs I wasn't so sure about. But now, it's a fan favorite, so that's so cool.
V: What do you specifically like about those songs?
ML: "Novocaine" is just like a fun song to perform. It's easy and chill. But at the same time, it sounds really energetic. But I always like songs where I can relax my voice for a second and catch my breath. During that time, I can really check out the crowd. And then for "i'm so lonely with you," it just has crazy energy. I like the belts, and I like to go all out on that one.
V: And finally, what else do you want to do before 2022 wraps?
ML: I just want to start writing again. I have a bunch of sessions coming up, so I'm ready to start on the next project.
Stream SUCKERPUNCH below.