New York City-based Alternative Rock Singer Songwriter Paul Maged has etched out his own bold sound signature, mixing wit and social commentary with heavy rock hooks and songwriting acumen. His music is as informed by punk rock as it is by Bruce Springsteen.
Paul’s new full-length album is called “Culture War”, and it’s his most musically ambitious yet.
“Culture War is the price we pay. Power trip between love and hate”
Paul Maged announces the release of his new Rock LP, “Culture War”. This marks Maged’s 5th album and first full-length album since 2014’s, “Diamonds & Demons”. Self-produced by Maged, “Culture War” is set to officially wreak havoc worldwide on Election Day, November 3rd.
“This is my most personal collection of music, both politically and emotionally.”
With socially conscious songs such as the title track, “Lose Your Privilege” and “Cult 45”, Maged continues his no holds barred approach of speaking his mind about how he views our culture and current political climate.
“Nobody writes protest songs anymore. Major artists used to write protest songs. Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan. You just don’t see that anymore because all popular artists today are so neatly packaged to appeal to the masses and no one wants to ruffle any feathers. I may not be a big artist but I have to speak my truth and I know I’m not alone in how I feel.”
“Culture War” will be available worldwide on all major streaming platforms including Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, iTunes and many more!
Finding his truth wasn’t easy this time around. The writing process was at times painful. Maged began to write “Lose Your Privilege”, a hard rocker about white privilege and how that privilege plays out in politics, often times with leaders making decisions at the peril of those less fortunate. Then George Floyd was brutally murdered and the song took on a different tone. “I changed some of the lyrics to reflect the overall theme of white privilege which is much broader than just politics, it’s systemic and deeply rooted everywhere throughout our country and society.”
“Cult 45”, a punk rock infused anthem that showcases scathing lyrics dripping with sarcasm, had to be rewritten several times. “I recorded the full vocals but this guy reaches new lows every day so I had to re-record parts of the lead vocal to keep the lyrics up to date with his constant wreckless and corrupt actions and behavior”.
“Culture War” has plenty of protest songs but Maged wants it known that much of the record discusses non socially conscious themes that everyone can relate to. “I had a lot to get out on this record. It was a two-year therapy session”.
“Shine On Your Light” is the very definition of a therapy session. Talking to his late father Maged wonders, “I feel a hole within. Can you see from above? Can you view my old sins? Can you still measure love?”
The song becomes a back and forth dialogue between Maged and his father. “Before my dad died, he had become a licensed therapist and practiced Gestalt therapy. In Gestalt therapy there is an exercise called the ’empty chair exercise’ where you sit and have a discussion with a loved one who has passed. My mom had died a few years before my dad at the age of 46. I had so many unanswered questions. My dad told me about this chair exercise and suggested I try it with my mother. I wasn’t ready at the time. Then he died just months after I had this conversation with him, at 56 years old, and ironically, it’s during this song that I tried this exercise and had that discussion, but instead with him. It was a very hard song to write.”
“Culture War” is not all heavy. “We Are” is a pop ballad Maged wrote immediately after seeing “A Star Is Born” in the theaters. “I was so inspired by that movie. I felt very positive and artistic afterwards. It was filled with such love and support of art and humanity that I had to write something. I came straight home and wrote this song in less than an hour. My real wish is that Lady Gaga would sing it”.
Dreams play a big part of “Culture War” the album. Following our dreams but also failing at our dreams. “You always hear people say ‘follow your dreams, you’ll make it, I know you will if you just believe’, but the truth is most people don’t ‘make it’. Most of the time our dreams don’t come true. I wanted to write about dealing with those sort of bittersweet, melancholy feelings”. Of that two songs were born, “The Saturday Scene”, about Maged’s standup comedy days, and “When Dreams Don’t Come True”. These songs fittingly close out the album.
“Culture War” is the first single to be released off the album and is accompanied by a 3D animated video produced by MY3D that Maged wrote the concept for. Other songs with videos include “Cult 45”, “When Dreams Don’t Come True”, “We Are” and “The Saturday Scene”.