Interview - Magic Man
Earlier this week, we got a chance to talk to Sam and Alex of Magic Man about their upcoming tour this fall with Smallpools! CS: Hi Sam and Alex, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us, I am dying to know how Magic Man came to be about, what’s the story?
MM: Well, Alex and I met under the playground in preschool and that was the beginning. We grew up right down the street from one another, so we’ve been friends seemingly forever. We had the same guitar teacher and learned how to play guitar together, formed a band, and ended up traveling together the summer after our freshmen year through Southern France volunteering on organic farms, and spent half the time working on songs and demos just on my laptop, kind of a DIY set up and those songs ended up becoming the first Magic Man album.
CS: It’s incredible how things like that just come together, and I mean you guys have been opening up for some pretty awesome bands like Walk The Moon and Panic! At The Disco, what can be expected from this co-headling tour with Smallpools that’s different from what we’ve seen from you guys on tour before?
MM: We’re excited it’s always nice when headlining or co-headlining where there’s people there to see your band, and it’s really cool to have people tweeting at us requesting their favorite songs, there’s typically a little bit higher of a fan interaction. It’s always great to open up for other bands because it gives you the chance to expose yourself to a new fan base. We’re also just happy cause we love to tour and can’t wait to get back out there.
CS: While we’re on the subject of tour, have you had any crazy fan moments?
MM: We have a lot of crazy fan moments on a daily basis, a lot of it happens on the internet and we’ll see our faces on hilarious photographs, cartoon versions of us, and creative new memes, and it’s always crazy when people show up to our shows with our favorite snacks and treats and artwork. Basically we’ve got, at least in my eyes, the best fans we could ever hope for. Thankfully we’ve never really been in a situation where fans have ever really crossed any boundaries. Probably the craziest, and I say this as in crazy awesome and unexpected not crazy and weird, one awesome fan from Canada made these little figurines of each band member, and actually later made keychain figurines of Walk The Moon, and you know it’s really not something you’d expect to happen every day or ever really, to be handed a miniature you.
CS: People can get so creative with stuff like that
MM: Yeah and that’s what we love about our fans, they’re so creative and they’re great. We couldn’t do it without them, so we are just so grateful for that all the time.
CS: That’s so nice and I saw also that you guys played your first show in the UK!
MM: We sure did!
CS: I was wondering if the crowds differed there than here in the States?
MM: I’d say it depends on the night of the week and where you’re at. We played two nights at the same venue, and so we got a chance to see two different groups of fans and the first show was a little more promoted and more fans were able to make it coming to see us, so they went just as crazy and it was probably one of the wildest shows we’ve had in a long time. The other show was more industry people, it was a little more chill, so people weren’t quite as interactive, but as long as they’re there and they’re listening and stay for the set, hopefully they enjoy it and that’s all that we can ask for.
CS: Yeah I can imagine that’s the reason you all do this. I noticed that you name a lot of your songs after places that you’ve been, Like Texas, and I was wondering what the reasoning behind naming them the way you do is?
MM: Well we like to travel, the band started when we were traveling, just any opportunity to go to new cities and we just have a lot of positive memories for places that we write about like Texas, we both had a South By Southwest experience there, which were big for us as a band. We played like one show but it was the first time we had ever traveled to play a show and it was our first sort of like, taste, of what it’s like to be touring musicians, and this spring when we went to South By it was also just and incredible experience. The song Texas is actually specifically about a good friend of mine from outside of Dallas, and a trip I took to visit her, and her childhood home, and just sort of trying to encapture the feelings of nostalgia for a place or for a person.
CS: I bet it’s also nice to be able to go back and listen to the song and remember what it was like to get to write it too, I really love that your music is so light and playful and the clothing you wear is so colorful which is a little different than most indie bands in the scene right now, you know that are all about the cool kid wearing all black type, and I wanted to know if it was intentional or if you just go with the flow of how you’re feeling.
MM: All black is really hot. I think we just try to be ourselves and we always dress the way that we want. Sometimes we are colorful and sometimes we will wear things like light blue, or white shirts it depends. Along with our music we definitely try to create an overall positive flow. We like to think of ourselves as sort of joyous, where people can dance and we’re not trying to be too cool for school, we’re just being us.
CS: Okay last one before I let you guys go, if you could collab with any artist right now dead or alive who would it be?
MM: There’s so many amazing artists out there right now that it’s hard to just pick one.
CS: Top three!
MM: I think it would be amazing and crazy to collaborate with Kanye West, it may not be entirely enjoyable the whole time but he is a highly influential voice in today’s music, and I think it would be an incredible experience. I heard James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem give a talk and he had a lot of cool ideas, sort of like interactive ways to include music in everyday life, one idea was taking the little beeps that the subway card reader machine and making them musical, and I thought that that would be great I love thinking about ways to include music in non-traditional parts of our life. I forgot about the dead people there’s a whole other afterlife of awesome music out there but Michael Jackson totally. It’s very hard to choose. We are just starting to do writing sessions with other songwriters, so we’ve gotten to collaborate and you always end up creating things you would never make by yourself. Other people’s ideas really so we continue to pair up with other people.
CS: I bet it can also help expand to a whole different genre of fans too.
MM: Yeah of course, it’s fun to be able to write straight up pop music, as well as R&B music, and say things like “baby”, where you can be as corny as possible. In certain genres it just doesn’t matter as much, so it’s been very liberating to write the music that’s not representing me as an artist. This whole thing has just been amazing to us. We are really thankful.
We’d like to give a big thanks to Magic Man for talking to us and you can catch them on tour this fall with Smallpools, kicking off in Minneapolis. Check out their website for more dates!