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What do the tv show Fear Factor and Roadrunner Records have in common? Well they both took a chance on two brothers from Chicago. Granted, the stunts they had to do in Fear Factor aren't quite the same as their day-to-day life on tour, but it still played an important part in getting the band Madina Lake to where they are now.

Nathan and Matt are just half of the quartet that rocked the stage with Papa Roach on Friday night. After their slightly shortened set and Papa Roach's extended one, I got the chance to sit down with Matt and really have it out:

Hybrid Magazine: I saw a brief mentioning of Fear Factor in your bio. Would you care to explain or elaborate on that?

Matt: Nathan and I actually did that as a joke, to make our friends laugh. It was the lull before this band really got going and [took] off a bit. We were bored, so we thought it would be funny. When we won the first stunt, we figured we might as well try for the money. For some miraculous reason we won and turned that money into: the demo, pressing sampler CDs, the van and started touring.

HM: Is this a common question that just keeps coming back to haunt you? Do you ever wish that you had gone about it a different way?

Matt: It does come up all the time. It was a joke, and people like to attach a different meaning to it, or make us seem unfocused. In all actuality all we care about is the music, and did it literally as a joke. It's something that press migrates to because it's interesting and random. I wouldn't change it, because it obviously gave us the launching pad for everything.

HM: You've been around for 2 years and already you're featured on one of the biggest nationwide tours- Projekt Revolution. How are you guys feeling about that right now, being 3 weeks out of starting the tour? Any anxiety or nervousness playing with rock veterans Linkin Park?

Matt: To now have the opportunity to graduate to the pros, our stress and our anxiety comes from the fact of that now this is our opportunity. And we better step up and we better be on top of our game and we better prove to everybody that we're qualified to be there. So there's a little anxiety in that, but at the same time we're very confident in what we do. And we love what we do and we're so passionate about it, that it also kinda makes sense for us. Considering that, we're EXTREMELY excited and definitely a little anxious. But I would say 90% excitement.

HM: From Them, Through Us, To You is your first full length, how has the industry response been and not just to the album but the band in general as "new band on the block"?

Matt: We didn't really start in any kind of a circuit like Warped Tour or Fueled By Ramen. So we don't have an association and I don't think people know how to take us. Given that, it's idealy the place that you want to be. Before we started our ambition was to find a new audience, to find a new demographic. We didn't want to follow in anybody's footsteps. Press is not used to that, but are starting to warm up to it. We're just starting to get ourselves out there and starting to talk to a lot of people. And so far they're really embracing us.

HM: You're huge in the UK; did you find that to be an easier market to excel in? Has the response been different between the two countries?

Matt: The difference with the UK is they go to a show wanting to love every band, you hope you love every band there. So all you have to do is be passionate and they'll like you. In the states, they buy a ticket to see the head liner and they want to not like the opening band. Here you have to build your own fanbase or it's not going to happen. It's finally happening here too, it's just taking a little longer.

HM: Are there goals that the band has set for the future, or even just the upcoming year? Anywhere you'd like to be in the next 3 years?

Matt: Roadrunner is an international label, so the record is doing really well in places like Japan and Germany. Our plan is to finally hit all those markets and use that inspiration to start working on the second album. Over the next 3 years, we'd like this record to be successful enough to perpetuate this lifestyle and this experience.

HM: Just on the scene, if someone's never heard you before and was debating coming to this concert tonight (or buying your CD) what would you say to reel them in?

Matt: I would say that this is an opportunity to throw away your inhibitions completely and take a 45 min break from life. Cause everyone could use an escape .

Their set may have only been 20 minutes long, but they still managed to make it a great experience. It was really refreshing to meet a staff that was so nice to work with. From Zeena at Roadrunner, to Dave the tour manager, to Matt, they all made it so awesome for me. I was a little bummed that I didn't get to hear my favorite song "Stars," but Matt promised I'd get to see it at their Projekt Revolution stop in Chicago. Incredible music and an incredible band.

-Rachel Fredrickson

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