2014 Artist Survey: Lily & Madeleine

Lily Jurkiewicz and Madeleine Jurkiewicz on Uplifting Fan Interactions, Time Travel, Robin Williams, and 2014's Most Annoying Song

Jan 28, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


For Under the Radar's 12th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2014. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2014 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions.

Check out our Best of 2014 print and digital issues for answers from alt-J, Camera Obscura, Chromeo, The Dears, Death From Above 1979, Deerhoof, The Drums, The Flaming Lips, Glass Animals, Hookworms, Sondre Lerche, of Montreal, Ought, Owen Pallett, The Rosebuds, Strand of Oaks, Teleman, Sharon Van Etten, The War on Drugs, Warpaint, Woman's Hour, Wye Oak, Zola Jesus, and others.

Here are some answers from Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz of Lily & Madeleine.

Top 3 Albums of 2014

Lily Jurkiewicz:

1. Arcade Fire: Reflektor-Arcade Fire is one of my favorite bands of all time and I was really influenced by this album. "Supersymmetry" is a masterpiece.

2. Son Lux: Lanterns-Even if we hadn't gotten to be a part of this album, it would still be one of my favorites. Ryan Lott is so talented and creative, he's seriously a genius.

3. Childish Gambino: Kauai-This is only seven songs long so I'm not sure if it counts as an album or an EP but regardless, I love it! His singing voice is great and the production of the songs is really interesting.

What was the highlight of 2014 for either you personally or for the band? 

Madeleine Jurkiewicz: I moved into my own apartment this past summer which was a big change for me. Now I'm paying rent and bills. It's the most independent I've ever been.

Lily: I left regular schooling and we made an album were really proud of!

What was the low point of 2014 for you? 

Madeleine: Our album Fumes was leaked.... That really sucked. Fortunately, no one really noticed. Hopefully that doesn't happen again in the future.

Lily: Basically the whole six months of leaving high school I was really confused and felt like I had no control. I am much healthier and happier now that I've adjusted!

What are your hopes and plans for 2015?

Madeleine: I plan to still be doing music, either with Lily or on my own. I also think I might move out of Indianapolis, just to try something new!

Lily: Arena tours!

U2's new album was downloaded for free into millions of users' iTunes accounts without their permission. Was it a wonderful gift to music fans or an invasive action that devalues music? Also, which artist, other than you, deserves to have their album automatically downloaded to half a billion people more than U2?

Madeleine: I don't really see the problem. I think it was more of an inconvenience to those who didn't want it than an invasive action.

Lily: Yeah it didn't bother me. U2 is cool, I didn't download the album onto my phone because I'm pretty much out of storage but as far as I can tell it's a fine album! I don't think this should ever happen again though. Give smaller artists a chance, U2!

Did you take part in the ice bucket challenge? If not, why not? Grimes declined due to animal testing issues, was the grief she got for that deserved?

Madeleine: No we didn't, though many of our friends did. It seemed like a neat idea at first, but it got old and I think people forgot what the challenge was all about. Honestly, we kind of just ignored it. I think Grimes is entitled to her opinion and her refusal to do the challenge is totally valid.

Lily: I heard a lot of people saying it was a waste of water and I agree! It did raise a lot of money for ALS so that's awesome.

The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri opened up a new national dialogue on police shootings and racism in America. Do you think anything will actually change because of it?

Madeleine: I can't say that any legislature or police policies will change, but national attitudes toward this issue have definitely changed, which is still very important. The amazing thing about this country and this age of technology is that even the smallest voices can be heard. I think that the voices of the people in Ferguson and elsewhere are starting to be heard, and will only get louder. I just hope that people in power listen. 

What's your craziest theory for what happened to the missing Malaysian Air flight?

Madeleine: What a strange story that was! Originally I thought it was a hijacking gone wrong.

Lily: Aliens.

Mark Kozelek was criticized in 2014 for insulting his audience (calling them "hillbillies" for talking during his set) and for making fun of The War on Drugs when their sound bled over to the stage he was playing. What responsibility do performers have to be respectful of their audiences and fellow bands?

Madeleine: The thing about being a performer is that you're able to share your art and opinions with tons of people, and that's an amazing power to have! But with that power comes a responsibility to be an example for others and to express yourself in a respectful way. If you're going to be an asshole, no one's going to listen to you, even if you have something important to say. 

"Weird Al" Yankovic was back in a big way this year. If he were to lampoon any one of your songs, which one would you want it to be? What would the "Weird Al" version's lyrics be about? 

Madeleine: Having one of our songs parodied by "Weird Al" would be an honor! I think he could easily turn our song "Come to Me" into something about having to pee, haha.

Lily: "Weird Al" is so great. I would love to have our song parodied by him! My personal favorite of his is "Amish Paradise."

Which common criticism of your music do you most agree with?

Lily: We hear often that we are too twee and sweet to be taken seriously. I don't agree that we shouldn't be taken seriously, but I often think we should work on our songs and performance aesthetic so they're less amateur and childish!

What's the most uplifting or heartwarming fan interaction you've ever had?

Madeleine: The first time we played in Glasgow a man came up to us after the show and gave us a gift bag full of candy and things and he asked us to give a shout-out to his daughters at our show in Brighton a few days later. At that show we dedicated a song to his daughters and they were so touched. We talked with them after the show and they could not stop crying and thanking us. It was so special. 

What's the topic no one asks you about in interviews that you wish they would? Conversely, if you could get journalists to stop asking you one question, which would it be?

Madeleine: I wish interviewers would ask us more about our personalities or things that we love. We get asked a lot about the music we love, but I want people to connect with us on other levels too. Like, OMG Lily and Madeleine like lasagna? Me too!

Lily: Yes, food and friends probably. Although as long as they're not asking "what's it like to be sisters?" I'm generally satisfied.

Who from your youth (such as a former bully, an unrequited love) do you most hope pays attention to the fact that you're now a successful musician?

Madeleine: I really hope my former piano teachers and school teachers see our success and feel proud of me. 

Lily: Yeah I would agree. Shout-out to the best piano teacher ever, Miss Watson!

Which musician or celebrity did you most have a crush on as a child or teenager?

Madeleine: I loved Rupert Grint who plays Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter series! His red hair and crooked smile...so dreamy!

Lily: Winston Marshall from Mumford and Sons. He's so cool!

Which subject do you wish you paid more attention to in school?

Madeleine: I wish I knew more about biology or anatomy. I think the human body is fascinating.

Lily: History. I love facts and stories about people from the past.

Both Robin Williams and Philip Seymour Hoffman died in 2014. Did either death deeply affect you and do you find it strange to grieve for a stranger? Which celebrity's death in your lifetime has most affected you?

Madeleine: When I heard Robin Williams died I was shocked. I admit I'm not a huge fan of his, but I was deeply affected by his cause of death. At the time of his death, there were a few high school suicides in our hometown. It was just a weird/difficult time. I am affected by general anxiety and mental health/suicide prevention is very important to me.  

Which well-known filmmaker would you most like to direct one of your music videos?

Lily: Our little brother loves Stanley Kubrick. It would be cool to make a creepy and twisted video directed by him!

This year Grimes scrapped her new album due to negative fan reaction to its first single and her unhappiness with it. How much should fan reaction/expectation play a part of your creative process? Have you ever abandoned a big creative project far into it due to your dissatisfaction?

Lily: Wow I didn't know about that, that's crazy! I honestly wish I had the guts to do what she did. I have trouble with being put in a box based on our early material and sometimes I wish I could get rid of it, but then we wouldn't be where we are today. So I guess I'd say it's important to put out material you feel proud of no matter what people say, and not put out likeable material that you have no passion for.

If you could travel through time, which historical event would you most like to alter the outcome of and why?

Lily: This may be a predictable answer but I would stop the Holocaust. There's no justification for that. 

In which instance did you most sell out and compromise your music?

Lily: Personally I think the whole first album would be different if I could go back and change it. I wouldn't say we sold out, but we made it as fast as we could so that we wouldn't lose our momentum in the media and the result wasn't exactly what I wanted.

What has most surprised you about getting to know your parents as an adult?

Lily: My dad is way more emotional than I had previously thought. Which is great!

What quirky piece of band merchandise would you most like to produce for sale to your fans? 

Lily: I love flannels and oversized things so I think a huge Lily & Madeleine plaid flannel would be so cool. My friends would definitely buy it but I don't know about the rest of the world, haha. 

Which 2014 song most got on your nerves?

Lily: "Rude" by Magic. Overplayed like all the other Top 40 songs but also with infuriating lyrics.

www.lilandmad.com

 

 



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Lily Double Relax Seat
September 30th 2015
3:20am

I enjoyed readin this article