Interview: Magic Man

Known for their hit single, “Paris,” New England natives Magic Man will soon be embarking on their first headlining tour across the United States. You don’t get Magic Man’s type of immediacy in music much anymore, not in a band that can play with such precision. Rarely will you see a five-piece just a few years out of college playing with the gifted focus of consummate professionals while also throwing themselves around stage with the abandon of kids at a punk show in someone’s friend’s basement. Magic Man — and particularly frontman Alex Caplow — leave themselves on the stage, roughing up their tight, euphoric pop anthems and giving up everything as they simultaneously invite you in.

Alex and Sam, the two founding members of Magic Man were chill enough to check in for an interview. Check it out below and definitely be ready to see them in person at DC’s Black Cat on March 12 on their first headlining tour, supported by Panama Wedding and Tigertown.

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You guys formed Magic Man after being inspired and influenced by the French countryside. What inspires Magic Man’s music now that you’re a 5 piece and mostly in the United States doing music full time?

We look at pictures of plants. And, you know, everyday is an adventure. Because life is full of traveling around the country, meeting crazy characters on the train, we’re constantly being inspired by our surroundings.

What music, old or new do you guys listen to?

A lot of different music, leaning towards the more poppy and more experimental stuff. We get very excited listening to the new Taylor Swift album. And watching her music videos – “Blank Space” was great. As for older stuff, we listen to a lot of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong.

You guys have played house shows, SXSW, opened for Panic! At The Disco, and now you’re about to headline your first tour. What has been your favorite type of show and venue to perform at as a band?

There’s something special and great about showing up and playing someone’s basement. Everyone’s having a good time together and energy everyone brings is incredible. At the same time, it’s also great to walk out to a huge crowd of people at a festival, so it’s hard to pick just one. You have to bring the same energy and it’s definitely harder with a bigger crowd.

In your journey as musicians so far, what has been your biggest challenges?

We don’t get this question that often, but I guess morale is the biggest thing. Keeping everyone happy throughout it all, especially on the long drives. Health is another one. Fans see the most exciting part of being a musician, the performances, TV appearances, etc. but behind the scenes it’s a lot of work. Like, recording over and over and not getting it quite right and even having to re-record an entire song after we thought we were done.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

Taylor Switft. She’s huge inspiration and an incredible writer. We’ve been a fan of her for a while now, since her first record. She’s amazing on the guitar and just overall incredible; she goes beyond the traditional pop song. And we got to meet her once! She probably wouldn’t remember us though.

What’s the most important message you have for your fans?

Do what you love. It’s an age old saying, but follow your dreams. We like to share how happy we are to be doing what we do. Some people have always wanted to play music and they pursued it, and now they got it. We didn’t know what we were going to do after college, but we knew we liked music. You never know where you end up but keep your eyes on the prize.

 

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