Liam Curran for The Only Agency using L’Oréal professional & GHD Professional
“I’m so excited, it’s going to be really cool,” says a jet lagged Maggie Lindemann who had only landed in London the night before. She’s talking about tickets for her debut headlining tour that went on sale the same morning. It was also two days until she started a string of shows with rock band PVRIS.
I meet the singer, born Margaret Elizabeth Lindemann, at a boujee house in Chalk Farm where she’s sitting in the kitchen getting her hair done for the photoshoot. It’s her first visit to the UK since 2018. The last time she set foot in the country was when she supported The Vamps on a national tour. In the years spent away, Lindemann has been enjoying life as one of today’s most badass punk-pop musicians and seems to have found her real identity. But, the ride to finding her feet and evolving into the rockstar she is today has taken its fair share of experimentation and standing her ground.
During her teens, the Texas-born star began her aspirations to becoming a musician by sharing clips of her singing on the now-defunct social media app Keek. From there, Lindemann gained a legion of fans who continued to keep up to date with her through her other social media pages. That said, it was specifically Instagram that helped get her foot in the door as it was her manager, Gerald Tennison, who found her on there and saw the immediate potential in her future. At 16, Lindemann made the choice to relocate to Los Angeles by herself in order to get the wheels in motion.
In 2015, Lindemann self-released the ballad “Knocking On Your Heart,” which managed to enter the iTunes chart in 13 countries in just one hour. This track was swiftly followed-up by two more independent releases – “Couple of Kids” and “Things.” Described by herself as “toned down” pop songs, Lindemann was still awaiting her big breakthrough moment. 2016’s “Pretty Girl,” released through 300 Entertainment, was the song that helped propel her to notoriety. The care-free single, which featured a popular remix from producers Cheat Codes and CADE, put the then-17-year-old on the map globally. To date, the song remains her biggest commercial moment, peaking in the top 10 and going platinum in seven countries, and surpassing over a billion streams.
While the pop anthem clearly spoke and connected with millions of listeners and gained her a load of attention one could only hope for, Lindemann realized early on that it wasn’t a sound or image she wanted to proceed with.
“I knew I didn’t wanna do the pop thing,” she admits. “I purposely transitioned away from it. ‘Human’ and ‘Would I’ was a little darker and I slowly did transition into what I’m doing now. I wanted to do it really quick but I was signed to a label at the time who didn’t want me to do it. They didn’t think it would be a realistic jump.” Even though she was living the dream by jetting around the world and introducing herself to new markets, Lindemann expresses that it was still a “hard time” as she knew the material wasn’t “100 percent me.” I reassure her that “Pretty Girl’s” follow-up release, “Obsessed,” still slaps, to which Lindemann agrees. “It does, it’s a good song for what it is,” she says.
After playing around with single releases, fans got to know the real Maggie in full force when she dropped her first ever project and returned as an independent artist. Infused with early to mid 2000s sounds once made popular by Paramore and Avril Lavigne, her 2021 8-track PARANOIA EP gave listeners a sense of nostalgia while staying current and forward thinking. Ditching her clean, polished persona, Lindemann delivered all the elements: rage, heartbreak, vulnerability, and rawness. While it may have come in less than 22 minutes short, PARANOIA allowed Lindemann to be welcomed and accepted into the pop-punk world with open arms, but most importantly, it’s a body of work she has been able to take huge pride in. “I really like all the songs on the project, I’m proud of everything on there,” Lindemann says. Her favorite track, however? “Crash and Burn,” she declares, but also gives a special mention to “It’s All Your Fault.”
With her new sound fully locked in, the only thing awaiting Lindemann was releasing her debut album, something she finally conquered in September of last year. Boldly titled SUCKERPUNCH (inspired by the movie of the same name) in all caplocks, she proved once again that guitar-driven music is her calling. Nonetheless, that wasn’t the only style of music that influenced the content. “I was listening to a lot of stuff from hyperpop to metal,” she says. “Artists like BABYMETAL, Bring Me The Horizon, Yeule, and then my regular stuff like Sleeping With Sirens, Avril, and Paramore,” she adds. And with PARANOIA serving as the launch for a Maggie Lindemann 2.0 type of situation, she gives full credit to the EP for the outcome of the album. “Without that EP, I wouldn’t have been able to make this album,” Lindemann states. “It was a good start because it was me trying a new sound with different producers and writers, doing all this stuff super differently than what I’d ever done before.”
Lindemann waited seven years to release her first full-length studio LP, a period of time most musicians would dread. That said, given the circumstances she had with her old label, the journey to her self-discovery and positive reviews she ended up receiving left, right, and center, it appears that time has been nothing but kind towards the 24-year-old. “I’m super happy with how everything so far has been received. I worked so long to do [an album],” she explains. “Obviously I wasn’t making the album for that long but there was so much lead up to be able to make an album that I was happy with and how I wanted it to sound. It now feels like a relief to have released one.”
If I had to pick my personal highlights from the 15 tracks, it would have to be either the dramatic “casualty of your dreams” or the album closer “cages,” which has been accompanied by a video that is an obvious ode to Lavigne’s 2002 Let Go era, especially “Sk8er Boi.” Naturally, our conversation goes slightly off kilter and we start to discuss our favorite Avril moments. We mutually agree that Under My Skin might be her best album, although Lindemann is also fond of her “What The Hell” era where she experimented with different colors in her hair. “My first time ever seeing her live was when she opened up for Machine Gun Kelly, it was so crazy because she performed all her iconic songs,” she says. “I met her at a party, I didn’t necessarily have a conversation with her or anything but she’s cool and chill.”
Outside of the music, another thing that has been capturing people’s attention is Lindemann’s choice of artwork for SUCKERPUNCH. Posing on the toilet in a tiny bathroom decorated with old issues of Playboy while blowing smoke at the camera, it was purposely edited in green lighting to give the cover a more grimey and grungy feel. Joking in a previous interview that her fans hate the artwork, Lindemann unravels why she went for something more daring as opposed to obvious. “It’s funny because I did that shoot a long time ago,” she explains. “I wasn’t going to make it the cover, it was just a photoshoot I did and when I saw the picture I was like, ‘Oh, I want this to be the cover!’ because it’s so different. A lot of people have been telling me I should have done a prettier cover but due to the fact that the album is all over the place, I thought it was the perfect representation.”
Venturing out into other avenues has been something Lindemann has been doing one step at a time. Following in the footsteps of the likes of Lavigne, Gwen Stefani, and Rihanna, she began her own clothing line named SWIXXZ, which features items that allow fans who emulate her own personal style. Around the time of PARANOIA’s release, she made her acting debut by starring in Machine Gun Kelly’s movie Downfalls High, playing the role of Tiffany. Does Lindemann care to take her acting career any further? For sure! “I used to take acting classes often but I’m just really busy now. I’m not in town much because I’m really back and forth, I don’t really live in LA full time anymore. I’m trying to find out how I can do all this stuff in a new place now,” she says. All things considered, if the right pitch fell into her lap, Lindemann would totally be down for the challenge.
As the beauty industry continues to grow and expand, she is also keen to dip her toes into that whole world. “I wanna do makeup but not just any old makeup,” she states. “I wanna do lashes, I wanna do stuff with lips. Like makeup, but not full makeup. That’s probably something I’m most keen to do next.” Lindemann is so into makeup, in fact, she chooses and prefers to do her own instead of hiring a makeup artist to travel with her. “I tried having someone do it for me but I have a certain way I like to do my makeup,” Lindemann explains while sitting down in front of the mirror, applying her eyeliner.
So, what does Lindemann definitely have in the pipeline? Her very first world tour, of course. After embarking on a bunch of shows with PVRIS across the UK, she will perform to thousands of fans across three separate continents on her own. Lindemann will kick off the first leg in North America at San Diego’s “SOMA Sidestage” on March 21 and will travel all over before going down under for a string of shows in Australia in May. That same month, Lindemann will fly over to Europe where she will begin in London at Islington’s O2 Academy. During her time in the country, Lindemann will make her Slam Dunk Festival debut in Hatfield and Leeds. The final date of the tour, so far, is taking place in Berlin, where she will support Machine Gun Kelly.
With so much touring experience over the years, Lindemann opens up about the prospect of knowing that she has a busy touring schedule coming up. “I think the lead up to it is scary just because I don’t know what to expect,” she says. “I do get nervous before a show and then my nerves usually go away right after the second song but it’s more like butterflies as opposed to stage fright.”
Tickets for Maggie Lindemann’s “SUCKERPUNCH World Tour” are on sale now.