Magic Man

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Boston music scene is a scene where you can find at least six or seven live awesome bills a night and one of the bands that broke out of that music scene are pop hearthrobs in Magic Man. The band has been quickly taking on full US tours starting with Walk The Moon into Sir Sly and now New Politics who they will be back in Boston with this upcoming Monday! I chose to repost this interview now from their first tour with Walk The Moon in hopes of catching up with the band now to see how they feel after several months of touring. How did the cities go around this second time to the status of their new album?
I sat down with Sam from the band just a few minutes after they got off stage opening for Walk The Moon. We talked everything from the bands' roots to their current album progress to advice they would give Boston bands. Through out the interview, we also heard Walk The Moon coming on stage from the loud screaming of the crowd to their chant backstage together. Watching Walk The Moon expand over the states was a great thing to experience through countless interviews and it looks like Magic Man is on route to follow that same path. Hopefully we can talk to them through it too!

How has this tour been going so far considering you're kind of similar to Walk The Moon's style playing these really huge shows?
It's been super amazing. We were huge Walk The Moon fans like before the tour so it was obviously like a dream come true moment to play with them when we got offered the tour. So we're all really excited just as fans to get to see them every night. They're also amazing guys. Really welcoming. Probably just as important, the fans are also super welcoming. Really enthusiastic and willing to go crazy for music they've never heard before. They show up early and paint their faces and do all this stuff for Walk The Moon too which is awesome. Definitely a younger crowd which is cool. So it's been great. It's been really, really fun. First show I just was super nervous but since then, it's been really fun. We're playing Terminal 5 tomorrow which is kind of like another hard to believe moment. It's going to be fun. We're all from the Boston area. We used to come to this place like when it was the Avalon. We were the people lining up outside before the show. So it's really crazy to play here. Play to like a nearly full house. All our parents are here and everything. It's been really good. It's been awesome.
Then the EP just came out so maybe if you could tell me a little bit about the writing process for that EP. Did you do it like before you were signed to a major label or after that?
We graduated from college in Spring of 2012 and we've been doing this band in various forms for four years. After we graduated, we started working seriously on it. Writing and refining stuff we had been working on in college. Then when the deal with Neon Gold came together, it kind of happened all around the same time. Some of the songs that we've been working on are our older songs or like pieces of older songs. Ones that been around for ages. Some are like really new songs. Some we wrote also in this winter. Yeah we did most of the writing in our little home studio in Providence which is where Alex is, the singer and I live now. Daniel and Justine live in Boston and our drummer Joey is the newest addition to the band. He lives in LA now but is originally from DC area so he kind of just came back here to play with us. So yeah we did it all in our little recording studio in Providence. We've been working on stuff in New York, a little bit with people in Passion Pit and a lot of great bands but most of the writing was done in Providence in our little room.
Then like you said, you have been writing or working with people in New York. Obviously Passion Pit being a very big band. For the next album, are you planning to take more of a professional studio approach, like working with other people or are you still think you're going to stick to the in home?
Well, we've been working on the new record this summer actually. We did a ton of the production and writing in our home studio. Brought all those files and recordings to New York where Alex has his studio there. Did a bunch more recording in New York and a bunch of recording at his place. The EP was done there as well. In the same sessions. We're almost finished with the album. Mixing it now. It was definitely a learning experience but mostly in a positive way. To kind of take our writing process from doing it entirely on our own in our home studio and bring it to New York and get other people involved. At first, it's like giving your baby away or something.
Is that planned to come out like this year or a 2014 release?
Next year, yeah. Probably early in the year hopefully.
Then obviously this tour is a pretty huge tour to have your EP come out right before but maybe what's coming up after the tour with Walk The Moon?
We will be at CMJ but after that then we're doing another tour with a band called Sir Sly which will be smaller venues obviously but they're awesome. We played with them in DC. They had tons of energy and another band where you see them and you learn a ton from them. So we're really excited to hang out and tour with those guys too. That's going to be probably until November or so.
And that comes back to Boston right?
Yeah we're playing Brighton Music Hall which is great. It's one of our favorite venues and another one of those Boston venues. I saw Daniel's band play like Battle of the Bands there every year. It cost like fifteen dollars and would be at like 3 o'clock on a Sunday. It was nuts and it always sounded kind of bad but now I think it sounds really good there. It's a lot of fun. So yeah we're coming back to Boston then we're going to New York. We're doing a lot of the same cities that we've been playing on this tour which is really exciting because hopefully we can build a little bit more of a fan base here and then come back and play again. In a little more intimate setting.
Then these days unfortunately a lot of Boston bands aren't really making it out of the city, making that step to break out. Maybe advice to bands to try and make that step further. Like to break out of Boston.
I don't know. I mean for us, it was just that we kind of kept doing what we were doing and we were lucky enough that Neon Gold and Columbia found us and the stuff that we had put online. We were just really lucky. I think Lizzy from Neon Gold found something that we had put on Bandcamp. I feel like I don't really have many pieces of advice to give that aren't common cliches but we've always really enjoyed playing out wherever we can. We try to get out of the city as much as possible and trying to meet as many bands as we could in other cities. Just because of people we've become friends with, we've gotten a ton of shows or introductions to people. One of our friends was in a band and reaches out to us. I think it's kind of like just putting yourself out there. That's been really helpful for us. Obviously we're still like a really young band so I wouldn't want to speak too early. It's been helpful for us and we're supported by a lot of great people and have a really great time. Everyone we meet in the music business seems to be having a good time.
I'm sure this is good exposure too.
Oh my god yeah.
Then to end it off, the first CD or first cassette you ever remember buying as a kid and the first concert you ever went to?
First CD where I bought it intentionally was the Green Day album. I don't remember which one. I think "Dookie". Definitely I remember owning "International Superhits" which was the greatest hits album they did. Listened to that all the time. I listened to it again recently and some songs I was like oh my god this is so good. The first show I went to, like my uncle took me to see The Rolling Stones once. He's friends with one of their rhythm guitarists. Like the super back up rhythm guitarist. Like barely on the stage. So I went to see that and I'm really bummed out now when I think about it because I think I just didn't care enough about music at the time to really appreciate that. Probably some of the shows I saw here.
Do you think those influenced you? Like wanting to be in music?
Well since I don't really remember much of the first concert, that maybe I don't really think had any affect on me. I feel like I remember when I was first getting into music. I bought my first CD player. I would go to record stores and listen to CD's. You feel super excited about it when you're like a kid in middle school or high school. Like it can transform you or whatever. I feel like it's important to remember some of that when you're making music. It's easy to be like really critical and kind of jaded even when you see a band and instead of having fun, at least for me, it's easy to think oh I wish he didn't do that thing or why isn't he using a string with his stand instead of a boom bic stand. Or the guitars are a little out of tune or that's a weird drum fill. So I feel it's important to stay excited about music and not get too caught up in that it is our job now. So seeing Walk The Moon has been a great lesson in that. That they just have so much fun on stage and look like they are just having a blast. Regardless of whether they aren't or are. So I feel like if I learned anything from "International Superhits" by Green Day, it was to still try and be as excited about music as I was when I was like thirteen or whatever. That's super cheesy but it's true.

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