Editor’s Note: It was so good to talk to Maggie Schneider in reference to the Atlanta music scene, her performance at the Vans Warped Tour, and in regards to her indie-folk side project The Foreword. She has also shared the stage with the likes of He Is We, Assuming We Survive, and We Were Sharks. We also had a wonderful discussion about her career, Christmas traditions, and her singles “695 North Avenue” and “Pretend”. Fans can find Maggie Schneider at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: What’s going on today?
Maggie: Oh, nothing much, just excited for Christmas, I’m getting into the spirit!
Madness To Creation: What are a couple of your favorite Christmas traditions and Christmas songs?
Maggie: One of my favorite Christmas songs when I was younger was “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas”, that was the one that I liked to perform every year at the little Christmas concerts at the theater that I performed at growing up, so that one is definitely nostalgic. A big tradition for me is eggnog latte at Starbucks because you can’t go wrong there, and I wish it was a latte that they had year-round because I would totally be there for it every day, and then my mom and I on every Christmas Eve go to a lunch or a breakfast together, drink hot chocolate and spend time together since we are super close, I have so many traditions, and of course watching “Elf”, because every Will Ferrell movie is a good movie.
Madness To Creation: What is your favorite Will Ferrell movie?
Maggie: “Stepbrothers”, definitely! It’s funny because I can quote that movie for hours and my mom and I just watched it again two weekends ago, and we still laugh so hard at it!
Madness To Creation: Give me a “Stepbrothers” quote.
Maggie: “Dude, your voice is a combination of Fergie and Jesus”, every time it cracks me up, I love it!
Madness To Creation: “That was so funny that I laughed so hard that I fell off of my dinosaur”
Maggie: Both of them have a way of saying everything in a funny way, it doesn’t matter what it is, it’s just always good.
Madness To Creation: Let’s talk about the Atlanta music scene and your single and video for “695 North Avenue”.
Maggie: I love the Atlanta music scene because they’re so many different types of artists and bands, and its really like a community, but I’m not sure what it’s like in other places but very reminiscent of the Nashville music scene where everyone is supporting one another, everyone is collaborating, it’s just kind of a big happy family where everyone plays different kinds of music. My favorite venue here in Atlanta is called The Masquerade and “695 North Avenue” is about that venue. That address was the original address, it’s a historic venue that’s in an old mill for about 25 years and they moved a couple of years ago to another location called Underground Atlanta. I grew up going to shows at 695 North Avenue, playing shows, meeting people who turned out to be my best friends. That song is an ode to the Atlanta music scene and an ode to the Masquerade family who have done so much for me both as a person growing up and as a musician. They really gave me the opportunity to grow as a performer. Every time that I get on stage, I feel free. Ever since I was little, I would sing in my Barbie karaoke machine the song “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield, desperately wanting to perform. I would put on little shows for my parents, and I would make them watch, but I always had something to say, and I’ve always loved the idea of uniting people through music.
Madness To Creation: Is it the unity factor that drew you to music or was there a defining moment that drew you to music?
Maggie: I feel like since I was four and my mom would drive me to school and we would sing Bon Jovi songs, it was always a way that I could express myself. No matter what type of emotional state I’m in, I always go back to music, it’s how I connected with friends, it’s how I express my feelings when I write a song, but definitely something that drew me to it was the way it unites people in looking at artists like Lady Gaga, All Time Low, State Champs, Paramore, and all of these different bands, they do that, they bring people together at their shows, they make people feel at home, and they make them feel like they’re a part of a really big family for however long their set is. I would watch concert videos, I still do, I’m a music nerd, so I will learn everything that there is to know about my favorite bands, and I always think, “I want to do this”, there’s something magical about going to a show or being on stage, and connecting with people in that way.
Madness To Creation: You most recently released a single called “Pretend” featuring Wolfi, does that have anything to do with sparklers?
Maggie: That song, Wolfi wrote it and produced it, and made the artwork, he’s just an awesome artist, the song is about falling in love with your best friend and the complications of that because it’s so amazing but at the same time you don’t want to ruin a friendship, which is something that I can definitely relate to and I’ve been in that situation, with that friend and being in that “in-between” place, where it’s like, “I really like you but I also don’t want to ruin what we have now”, as far as the artwork goes, I feel like it’s a very cute, poppy song, and it’s about a spark between two people, and so when he sent me the artwork, I was like, “oh, man this is great”, it shows the meaning of the song in a more abstract way, but he reached out to me, and said, “hey I have this song that I have written, and I think it would be really fun if you released it”, it doesn’t really fit in much with my stuff, and he asked what I thought. He sent me the song, and automatically it was the subject that I could relate to, and it’s super fun to play live too. I have a full backing band and we all kind of dance with it and get the crowd into it too, but it’s super fun and happy, I was excited to put it out this past summer.
Madness To Creation: Describe a Maggie Schneider concert.
Maggie: People should come out if they want to hear songs from all different kinds of emotions and perspectives, and if they want to hear a lot of “hell yeah’s”, because I say “hell yeah” a lot, it’s kind of my thing, basically I give the crowd, no matter if it’s two people, 200 people, or 2,000 people, and I’ve been fortunate enough to play all those crowd sizes, I give them all of my energy, all of my positive vibes, and my one goal when I step on stage is that I want to inspire people to pick up their guitar and sing if that is their dream and to follow their dreams, and realize that they can do anything because I never really expected to be doing all of this at this point. Maggie Schneider concerts are definitely upbeat and positive.
Madness To Creation: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Maggie: I have so many goals, I hope to have two full-lengths of material out that I’m super proud of, having the opportunity to travel and play music, maybe open for some of my favorite artists and bands. Opening for All Time Low would be a dream come true, so maybe we’ll make that as a goal. Hope to travel, play my music, help incredible artists who are pushing to follow their dreams like I am, continuing to live in the dream.
Madness To Creation: I just learned about your recent project called The Foreword, you released the EP “Coffee Cups & Second Shots”, take us into that EP and how you started the project with The Foreword.
Maggie: Alex Crain is my duo partner and he is also my best friend and songwriting partner and also plays on my original stuff as well, we met a couple of years ago when I was co-writing a song with his previous project The Everyday Anthem and I was working with the lead singer on that song, from then on I got to know everyone in the band and Alex was the lead guitar player, so about a year later, we started writing songs together organically, we were sitting in my living room, and they go, “so do you want to finish the song with me”, it’s called “Break” and I had the chorus of it and I thought we could maybe use it, so that song we finished on my EP, and from then on, we just continued to write songs together every time he would come over to hang out, we kept writing songs and I really wanted to share them with more people than just the two of us in my living room, so we thought, “hey, let’s make an EP, let’s do something a little bit different”, and you’re right, my solo stuff is more alt-pop/pop-punk vain, and this stuff is more singer/songwriter, there’s some folk elements in there, it’s also inspired by musical theater and those kind of arrangements, and we thought, “why not put something out together that we are super proud of”, so this past summer, we went to record with Ryan of All Time Low, who I worked with on “Tinted Glasses”, and we put all of the six songs together, and we are super, super happy with how they turned out because I think that each song says a lot about our friendship and how we’ve grown as artists while working together.
Madness To Creation: What are the plans for the rest of the year?
Maggie: So many! I’m continuing to work on new solo music, I have tons of songs ready right now. I’m planning on recording them soon and hopefully releasing something new in the spring. I’m in the early planning process because I wanted it to be cohesive and just how I want it for people to hear.
Madness To Creation: Anything else you would like to add?
Maggie: Everyone can find me on every social media platform at @rockinmags on all of them. I post covers on my Twitter, I love getting suggestions for those, I do like many covers of State Champs songs, I did one of The Band Camino this morning. My music is on Spotify and Apple Music, and everywhere you can get music, both my solo stuff and The Foreword stuff. I’m always posting new content, and looking for new suggestions on what people want to see and hear. I like to engage with the people who listen to my stuff, it means a lot to be supported by everyone.
And there you have it! Check Maggie Schneider out on Spotify below!