Get ready for the upcoming performances in the library’s Summer Concert Series! Concerts are at 7 p.m. every Thursday night in July and August at East End Veterans Memorial Park. Every week, Free for All will offer an article about, or interview with, the band of the week. The following is an interview with Molly Pinto Madigan.
What made you decide to become a musician?
I’ve always envied people with a strong sense of purpose — the Mozarts of the world, who have been writing symphonies since they were in diapers, who never doubted the path they were destined to walk (granted, one could argue that, in Mozart’s case at least, purpose doesn’t always equal happiness). I know musicians who have always known that music was it for them. And I envy that. I’ve always been the kind of person who has many interests. When I was younger, I was fully prepared to juggle a plethora of careers — paleontologist, rock star, farm vet, professional baseball player, actor/director, the next Great American Author, and the owner of my own zoo. And all at the same time, of course. I had a sense of purpose, but not focus. Somewhere along the way, music happened to me. It seeped into my bones, until I realized that making music had always been a constant in my life, and I wanted to pursue it seriously. I still have many interests — this month I’m into ballroom dance, preparing for my inevitable stint on Dancing With the Stars, and I’m currently writing my fourth novel — and that’s the great thing about eking out a career in music: it allows me some flexibility. And as long as I’m being creative, I feel fulfilled.
How would you describe your sound?
That’s hard. Indie folk, maybe? Acoustic, Celtic-flavored modern folk with a dash of Americana and a dollop of poetry and a splash of rock.
What is your songwriting process like?
For the past year and a half, I’ve been sticking to the schedule of writing at least one new song each month, which keeps me productive. So, the end of each month is a frenzy of panicked songwriting that typically results in a song. I tend to write the music first, the lyrics last, although right now I’m finishing up a concept album that switched the process up a little bit. Usually it goes like this, though: chords, melody, lyrics. The lyrics take the longest to develop, and many trees lose their lives in the struggle (because I’m old school and write on paper).
Which artists have been your biggest musical influences, and what is it that draws you to their music?
That’s tough. Growing up, my favorite band was The Beatles. Actually, it still is. My mom listened to a lot of vaguely folky stuff like Cat Stevens, The Cranberries, Simon and Garfunkel, Queen (modern folk?), etc. I liked what she liked. I still do. In my teens, I went through a phase where I mostly listened to traditional folk — Child ballads, and Celtic laments, and Appalachian mountain songs. Now, I listen to a bit of everything and am lucky to live in a hotspot for modern folk, and some of my best friends are also the songwriters and musicians I idolize most. (Check out the rest of this concert series, and you’ll see some of them!)
Please tell us about any albums you have available or in production.
My first album, “Outshine the Dusk,” came out in 2013. I released my newest one, “Wildwood Bride,” a couple of months ago at this library! Both are available on iTunes and Amazon and CD Baby and Bandcamp. You can check out my website (www.mollypintomadigan.com) for more info.
What should people expect when they come to your concert on Thursday night?
I perform solo — just me and guitar. I will probably make some bad jokes and play a song about a serial-killing mermaid. Fun times.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I’ve been coming to this library since I was 15 months old (according to my mom), and I feel like I’ve grown up here. I’m so grateful to be a part of this community.
More about the Summer Concert Series:
Concerts will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday evenings in July and August at East End Veterans’ Memorial Park. Bring a blanket or folding chair, and maybe even a picnic dinner, and enjoy live acoustic music from a new performer each week. East End Veterans’ Memorial Park is located at 45 Walnut Street. The concert schedule is as follows:
July 9th: Damn Tall Buildings
July 16th: Hoot and Holler
July 23rd: Colleen White and Sean Smith
July 30th: Semi-Aquatic Rodent
August 6th: Molly Pinto Madigan
August 13th: Eva Walsh
August 20th: Ian Fitzgerald
August 27th: The Whiskey Boys
Please note: In the event of rain, Summer Concerts will be held in the Sutton Room at the Peabody Institute Library and food will not be allowed.
For more information, please call 978-531-0100 ext. 10, or visit the library’s website at www.peabodylibrary.org.