Bill Madden (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people named Bill Madden, see Bill Madden (disambiguation).
Bill Madden
BillMadden.jpg
Bill Madden
Background information
Origin Costa Mesa, California, United States
Genres Singer-Songwriter, Folk rock, Indie rock
Instruments Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Years active 1995–present
Labels MADMUSE
Website www.billmadden.com

Bill Madden is an American singer-songwriter, also regarded as an indie and an activist. Madden is best known for his environmental song and music video Gone which was in rotation on television networks, mtvU in America and MuchMusic in Canada. As a short film and music video, Gone also won numerous film festival awards[1] and commendations.[2] Madden's music is typically labeled as alternative folk rock or neofolk. Vocally, Madden's voice has been described as a "deep breathy voice [that] serenades listeners,"[3] full of range,[4] melodic, and "reminiscent of Jeff Buckley."[5] In his lyrics he often uses metaphor and verse, rather than traditional poetry, to articulate his socio/political and spiritual themes.[6]

Musical Career: Original Indie[edit]

Madden was originally signed by Paul Atkinson, former guitarist for The Zombies. When RCA shelved Madden's project, Madden co-founded MADMUSE and released Chillin’ In Hades in 1995, Samsara's Grip in 2004, and Gone in 2006.[7]

In October 2008, Bill Madden released his fourth studio album, Child of the Same God which was recorded with long-time partner multi-instrumentalist/producer Billy Mohler. The album cover and insert features the "Street People" art of Parisian photographer Rodolphe Simeon.

Activism and Environmentalism[edit]

Some of Madden's frequent and recurring themes in his music include the quest for spiritual fulfillment, inequity between the wealthy and shrinking middle class, a plea for ethics and accountability of politicians and business leaders for the welfare of the global community as a whole, and calls against the damage being done to the environment. With the U.S. and global economic collapse in 2008, from the 2006 album, Gone, Madden presciently writes in the song What in the World: "I see the human cost / Lives ruined, jobs lost." In the title track Gone, Madden is tough on politicians and writes: "Mother Earth's a mess from pollution and war."


Madden also expresses anger towards the harm caused by guns and violence in community. From the album Chillin’ In Hades, in Here And Now, which debuted on MTV's Real World Boston episode #20,[8] Madden sings about the 1992 Los Angeles riots in the aftermath of the Rodney King verdict.

Another recurring theme of Madden's is poverty and materialism. In Here And Now from the album Chillin’ In Hades, Madden sings "hungry people need jobs and shelter." In Reconcile, which debuted on MTV's Real World Boston (Episode #14),.[9] In 2004, Madden was among the minority of musicians who challenged President George W. Bush. Madden spoke out in opposition to the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq in print and on the album Samsara’s Grip in Om Tat Sat, Consequence Of War, and World Just Is.

Philosophy[edit]

Madden's music is influenced by Eastern Philosophy, the teachings of Krishnamurti, and existentialism. Shrink The Guru, from the album Samsara's Grip, reflects a Madden struggling with his thoughts. As noted by Justin Kownacki of Splendid Magazine, "The inherent paradox in Madden's work, and in Eastern philosophy in general, is summed up in World Just Is.[10]

Madden's poetic influences include poet Dylan Thomas: Right In The Head, from the album Samsara's Grip, was based on the poem Love in the Asylum; Friend, from the album Gone, was inspired by the poem To Others Than You.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Chillin’ In Hades (1995, MADMUSE)
  • Samsara’s Grip (2004, MADMUSE)
  • Gone (2006, MADMUSE)
  • Child of the Same God (2008, MADMUSE)

Video[edit]

  • Gone (2006, MADMUSE)
  • Unfair (2008, MADMUSE)

Contributing Musicians[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

External links[edit]