Madina Lake bassist Matt recounts moments leading up to murder attempt – and how band survived losing label and management

Matthew and Nathan Leone

Survivors: Matthew Leone and brother Nathan

Madina Lake bassist Matthew Leone has described the moments leading up to the brutal assault which left him close to death.

And he says his bandmates refer to his year of recuperating as his “trip to Disneyland”.

The Chicago outfit were reeling from being dropped by their record label, followed by their management and booking agent, and Leone admits the “wheels were coming off” their career.

Then in June last year he was the victim of an attempted murder after he went to the aid of a woman who was being attacked by her husband.

Leone tells RockAAA: “I heard her screaming – he was strangling her, she was on her back and she had blood all over her face.

“She was screaming: ‘He’s going to kill me’ and I got involved immediately. I subdued him three times, but he’s one of these guys who works out at the gym a lot.

“He picked up a rock and got me – he broke my skull with the first hit. Then while I was unconscious he laid into me. And that’s ‘Disneyland’. Not the real Disneyland; I don’t want to get sued…”

Leone began months of corrective surgery and suffered a series of remissions, requiring emergency treatment on a number of occasions. His brother and bandmate Nathan was on hand to provide support through each experience. His medical insurance had expired and it was only through the generosity of fans and fellow musicians he was able to keep going. An online campaign raised $50,0382 towards his fees.

He explains: “I worked every day to rebuild my muscle and my memory. I had to re-learn the bass. When I felt good enough to start going again we sent out some new songs and got signed.

“We did the album on our own. Our guitarist Mateo Camargo was mixer and producer. We had all the gear and we did it in our rehearsal spot. It was an incredible thing to have 100% creative control for the first time – and the label loved it.”

Leone tells Rocksound the band are still taking things “one show at a time” and adds: “We’re still finding out what perfuming live is going to be like. Getting back on track will be a crash course.

“These experiences are going to be cherished. We feel so lucky to have them. And it’s likely to be easier than in the past, because I won’t be breaking gear all over the stage with my reckless approach any more.”

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