About Madden Brothers
Madden Brothers produces landscaping products from recycled organic materials such as leaves, wood, brush and food waste.On January 12th, 2021, Madden Brothers was acquired by Denali Water Solutions. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
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Latest Madden Brothers News
Apr 2, 2022
New On News Whatever Joel Little does, music is never far away. It’s been like this since he was a kid, cranking out bristly little jams with Auckland punk-pop band, Goodnight Nurse. And it’s like this today, as he talks to me about post-Lorde fame, working with Taylor Swift, and the new studio complex he’s been building in Auckland. READ MORE: Suddenly, mid-sentence, Little hits the wrong button in his studio. Music blares out. It is punishingly loud, the sound glossy, streamlined and intense. It’s as if someone has used synthesisers and drum machines to condense a series of post-breakup teenage mood-swings into just a few bars of candy-coloured frequencies. “Oh, sorry about that,” says Little as he clatters around, trying to make it stop. “I’m in the middle of working on a song.” In constant high demand He is always in the middle of a song these days. For the past decade, ever since Little came to global attention as producer/co-writer of Lorde’s all-conquering Royals, he has been in constant high demand. This is because he has formidable technical skills, but also because Little asks the right questions. With Ella Yelich-O’Connor, aka Lorde, I imagine he asked himself the following: How do you best accentuate the vocal performances of a gifted teenager marinated in the irony and ennui of her generation? How do you focus a listener’s attention on the world-weary lyrics of a perceptive young songwriter who proclaims she DGAF (doesn’t give a f…) while clearly giving many? David White/Stuff Little has been in high demand ever since he came to global attention as producer/co-writer of Lorde’s all-conquering Royals. Answers: You get out of the way. You let her powerhouse voice do the heavy lifting. You leave space, knowing she will flood the gaps with emotion. You scatter the backing tracks with small gifts and welcome surprises. On his early productions with Lorde, Little built immaculate radio-friendly constructions from deep bass pulses, sharp detonations of snare, digital finger-snaps, synths that slid from melancholy to euphoric in just a few bars, sparse beats that recalled Massive Attack, Jamie XX, Burial, Timbaland, and DJ Screw. He pulled all manner of sly sonic techniques from his bag of tricks. Sometimes a sweet melody was delivered by a sinister synth. Sometimes a vocal line that was becoming a little saccharine got digitally slowed down until it smudged and slurred, as if an old drunk guy had grabbed the mic for a few bars. With other singers, Little uses different techniques. It’s about extracting your own ego, he reckons, and really considering how best to showcase a lyric, an emotion, an idea. You need to work out what’s unique about a singer’s voice and highlight that. You need to stay true to what the artist is trying to do so their intention is expressed, not yours. After he relocated to Los Angeles, Little’s studio skills helped propel monster hits by Taylor Swift, Imagine Dragons, Khalid, Shawn Mendes, Ellie Goulding, the Jonas Brothers, Sam Smith. Now 39, he’s been mostly living back in Auckland with his family since 2018, but the day I talk to him, Little has just got out of MIQ after a quick trip back to LA to work with former One Direction singer, Niall Horan. His workload is relentless. International record companies queue up to throw money at him, and Little, bless him, is hauling a huge chunk of that cash back here, building a multi-million-dollar studio and performance complex in Auckland that he hopes might spark something of a local musical renaissance. “It started out as just a conversation my wife Gemma and I were having, trying to figure out a way to give back to the New Zealand music community and to reconnect a little bit after I’d been spending so much time overseas.” Guy Coombes Little, pictured with is wife Gemma, has been building a multi-million-dollar studio and performance complex in Auckland that he hopes might spark something of a local musical renaissance. After years of building and shaping and sanding and polishing pop tunes for international artists, Little wanted to do something here at home that would benefit New Zealand music. He imagined song writing workshops, production mentoring, top-shelf studio facilities, performance and rehearsal spaces. He imagined a not-for-profit music hub where prospective singers, producers and musicians might congregate, even if they were financially on the bones of their collective arses, to hone their skills. Soon afterwards, Little’s wife Gemma found an old brick factory for sale while browsing Trade Me. It just felt right, he says, so they “very naively” bought it. The plan at first was for this to be a project for the distant future, once there was less global demand for Little’s production services. Guy Coombes Little admits heâs overwhelmed that the doors are about to open on a project he, his wife Gemma and dozens of others have worked on for more than two years. Also, Joel and Gemma have three young daughters, aged 13, 11 and 9 months. Perhaps building this communal studio complex would make better sense later, when they were more grown up? But then they decided to tear into it straight away. “This was a couple of years ago, pre-Covid. I thought it was time for a difficult new project, partly because I’d started getting a little too comfortable with the way things were going. I’d had a lot of success with goals I had in my own career, but once you start feeling too comfortable, that can really stifle your creativity.” Not just another rich-guy vanity project After two years with builders, architects and engineers swarming all over the place, the Big Fan music hub will open in a few weeks’ time. It’s near Auckland’s Morningside train station, just around the corner from the tiny Golden Age studio where Little recorded Royals and the Pure Heroine album with Lorde all those years ago. There are four fully equipped studios. There’s a performance space that can hold around 200 people, a high-end PA system, an outside deck, and an apartment for visiting artists. And it will all run through a charitable trust as an accessible, not-for-profit venture so the “musically curious” are not hampered by a lack of financial resources. “When it comes to sports in this country, kids have the opportunity to do that stuff from an early age and just get in at the ground level and learn and grow their passion for something. And that’s often not the case with music. With Big Fan, I’m wanting it to be a place where you don’t have to be hugely experienced. You can come in, use great gear in a good sounding room, and get a bit of a head start.” Supplied Little with his Goodnight Nurse bandmates Paul Taite and Jayden Parkes in 2004. Little knows what a difference decent equipment and encouragement at the right time can make. He spent years trying to strap together shapely, high-impact pop songs with really cheap gear in his garage, and there were a lot of duds. “I wrote hundreds of terrible songs before I started writing good ones. But my enthusiasm led people to encourage me to keep going, and I just developed my skill over a long period of time. The experiences I had as a young wannabe muso and having people saying useful things to me at the right times had a huge positive impact on me just pushing forward and trying to improve.” Little has kitted out the Big Fan studios with the same equipment he uses himself. “People will still have to develop their ear and their skills, but it’s cool to know that they’re working in a space with all the gear that’s been used to create big international songs.” Randall Michelson/Getty Images Little with the Madden Brothers at a Post ASCAP Awards party West Hollywood in 2015. I can feel his enthusiasm sparking down the phone line. This doesn’t feel like just another rich-guy vanity project. Little wants to help facilitate a flowering of new music in this country. He wants Big Fan to act as a cultural catalyst, a place where people from all sorts of backgrounds can study the dark arts of transforming emotion into sound. “Imagine if this became part of a new foundation of New Zealand music! It would be a great thing if lots of musicians got their start at Big Fan and played their first gigs there, then came back later on to teach the next generation and give back in their own way. I’ve also been talking to a lot of people in LA who are keen to come down and mentor musicians or do training camps on song writing or production. I want Big Fan to become a destination for these people, so these established big names can come to this country and share their experience with locals. I can imagine a lot of inspiration being passed on that way.” And I can imagine herds of locals looking perplexed as assorted incoming stars stroll the nearby streets. There’s Khalid, wolfing down pizza and beer at Umu. There’s Imagine Dragons, flagrantly flouting the “one fedora per crew” rule as they wander along New North Road. Who will step forward and let Shawn Mendes know that pork and coriander is your best bet at Bo’s Dumplings? ‘Creating something new that has never existed before’ It strikes me that it’s time for me to give back, too, though my resources are far skimpier than Joel’s. If any of the stars he works with are desperate to see the South Island while they’re here, I will gladly put them up here in Nelson. My daughter’s just left home to go to university, so we have a room free if Taylor Swift needs a place to crash for a few nights. It’s a pretty saggy old single bed, admittedly, but the offer is there. “That is very generous,” deadpans Little. “I’ll certainly pass that on. Are there Taylor Swift posters on your daughter’s wall? That could get a little awkward, right?” David White/Stuff Little wants Big Fan to act as a cultural catalyst, a place where people from all sorts of backgrounds can study the dark arts of transforming emotion into sound. Little admits he’s overwhelmed that the doors are about to open on a project he, his wife Gemma and dozens of others have worked on for more than two years. It really does feel like the start of something meaningful and important. On one level, music is an industry like many others, he says, but it also has a unique emotional component. Even for people who don’t make a career out of it, music can change lives and benefit communities. “Big Fan can help people take that next step towards accelerating their careers, but it’s also a place for curious people who aren’t skilled at music to be able to come and just try a few things out. It can be such a fulfilling thing, just to be creative. It teaches you about communication and working with other people, and collaboration can build confidence and really boost your own wellbeing. And what a magical thing for people, eh? You walk into a room, and by the end of the day, you’ve created something new that has never existed before.” For more, see www.bigfan.co.nz
Madden Brothers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where is Madden Brothers's headquarters?
Madden Brothers's headquarters is located at 66 Pearl Rd, Brunswick.
What is Madden Brothers's latest funding round?
Madden Brothers's latest funding round is Acquired.
Who are the investors of Madden Brothers?
Investors of Madden Brothers include Denali Water Solutions.
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