Infectious Magazine had the great honor of interviewing Magic Man right before they played at the infamous 9:30 Club. You can see photos from the show here. If you haven’t yet you can also purchase a CD or vinyl of their latest album, Before The Waves, here. You can also buy concert tickets here.
Infectious Magazine:You worked with Alex Aldi on Before The Waves. What was that like?
Sam Lee: Alex was great. It was the first time we set out to make an album. We had been planning it from the start. It was nice having someone who has done that before in the room. Also he helped us get the exact sound and production touches we wanted and couldn’t get in our home studio. He really helped us craft the album.
Justine Bowe: We learned so much.
IM: You all have been touring for almost two years straight now. What’s that been like, show after show after show?
Alex Caplow: It gets exhausting. It definitely takes its toll physically and probably some form of emotional. But at the end of the day when we are not on tour and we spend too much time at home without a regular schedule or have fly in dates once a week, we get a little antsy. It’s nice to have any sort of rhythm in life and be able to know what to expect night after night. Once you get into the swing of things time actually flies by when you are on tour.
IM: Magic Man has been on tour with the likes of Walk The Moon, New Politics, and Panic! At the Disco. Do you feel they have influenced you in any way for the next album?
Sam Lee: We have never gotten that question before. I would say we learned so much from all the bands we tour with in general. From things like how to put on a great show, or warm up techniques, what to put on your rider, really anything. It’s always great to learn from guys that have been doing it a lot longer than you have. As for elements of that, that would contribute to the second record. Honestly, even though Alex and I have been writing a lot and have been working on new stuff, we haven’t spent a lot of conscious thought to what the sound of the next album would be. We kind of like to feel things out in the studio, try tons of different ideas.
Justine Bowe: We are also still in the mentality that the first LP was just released and that’s not true anymore, but it still feels that way. Still in the very beginning stages of navigating.
Alex Caplow: Our first single was just released in the U.K. so for them it doesn’t exist yet. It’s just one song, so we have to keep it fresh.
IM: Are you guys working on anything new for after that? Or are you still riding this album out some more?
Justine Bowe: Touring and writing is extremely difficult, I think very few people are able to navigate that in a way that works for them. I think it depends on your work ethic and personality type. I think it’s touring 100% right now.
Alex Caplow: We do remixes in our off time, We do some co-writes of other music. So that’s what we’ve been doing in the mean time.
IM: What’s it like going from small shows up in New England to larger shows headlining yourself?
Sam Lee: At first terrifying, then really fun.
Gabe Goodman: Also they have been interspersed with each other quite a bit. We were on the Panic! At the Disco tour this summer and we did a really small headlining tour on the west coast before that and we came back and did smaller college one-offs and stuff like that. So it’s cool to never know what’s coming next necessarily and always be changing environments and always having new experiences. I think we try to treat the big shows like the small shows and the small shows like the big shows, and try to bring as much energy into these massive amphitheaters as we do to tiny basements.
IM: That’s exactly what Jack Antonoff said when he was asked the same question.
Gabe Goodman: (Jokingly) Yeah I actually just got the answer from him.
IM: How did you come up with the design on your album cover? And how was it even made?
Alex Caplow: Well we found an artist photographer by the name of Tobias Hutzler who had a lot of work using long exposure light drawings in various epic outdoor landscape locations. That’s the vibe we were going for; a combination of naturalistic elements with electronic elements, a sort of surreal twist to a landscape photo. He went to Lock Island off of the coast of Rhode Island and took a bunch of amazing photos. That one, he used tons of glow sticks into the waves.
Sam Lee: It was in a net actually so that way he could get them back and they would stay together.
Alex Caplow: and then it was just wherever the waves took them to create the piece.
IM: Feeling the Halloween spirit. If you could play a show with one deceased musician or band who would it be?
Justine Bowe: I would totally play a show with Elliot Smith.
Alex Caplow: I would play with Michel Jackson, just spinning and moonwalking the entire show, just dancing. Maybe I would just go to a Michel Jackson concert and then stand on stage. I would play tambourine for him.
Sam Lee: You could be the moonwalk tech.
Alex Caplow: Yeah! Make sure his shoes are greased up.
Gabe Goodman: I want to play a show with Jeff Buckley and have him sing and I would cry on stage as he sings.
Sam Lee: (Jokingly) Can I get a little bit more tears in my monitors? We were just talking to someone who was at the last Beatles show; I think it was Alex’s aunt? Maybe you (Alex) weren’t even there. Actually he wasn’t there. So I was having dinner with Alex’s parents and his father’s sister was there. She was saying how she was at the last show and the sound system was horrible as it was back then.
Alex Caplow: I thought it was the first show.
Sam Lee: Well one of the Beatles concerts and I think it would be amazing to see them play at the 9:30 Club which has an amazing sound system, or someplace where technology could keep up with them and crazy, screaming fans.
IM: Anything you would like to say to your fans?
Justine Bowe: Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas.
Alex Caplow: Happy Halloween, thank you for all the delicious treats, drawings, and artwork and letters. We really appreciate it on this tour.
Sam Lee: It would be great if the next care package could include floss and toothpaste.
Justine Bowe: Oh my god, I need floss!
Gabe Goodman: And body wash!
Justine Bowe: To wash all the candy off.
Sam Lee: You just feel so dirty!
IM: Thanks for your time guys
Alex Caplow: Yeah, Thank you.