How did you come up with the band name?
Our teenage years were in the early 90s at the peak of the grunge and Britpop era, because of this everyone assumes our name is drug related. It isn’t. Back in the (ahem) 70s and 80s there was a kids TV show called Words & Pictures. This was an educational programme featuring a floating orange alien character imaginatively called ‘Wordy! Anyway, one of the songs on the show was to highlight the use of the letter ‘e’ and how it used silently to change the pronunciation of preceding vowels (check us out!); ‘bit becomes bite with e’, ‘kit become kite with e’! This was the ‘Magic E’ song and where our name came from! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2XdMvrZgLE
Give us a little bio about you as a band and as individuals.
The Magic E’s formed in 2014 when Stuart, Pete and Phil played a covers gig in Jaspers garden for a mutual friend’s wedding. The four of us clicked and we soon dropped the 90s indie vibe to write our own indie rock tunes. Pete had a library of tunes he’d put together and the four of us have spent the past couple of years producing the sound you know as The Magic Es. We’ve been compared to loads of different musicians from The Undertones, The Who and The Jam to Neil Young, Teenage Fanclub and Bruce Springsteen! Pete is the leader singer and guitarist, he’s the driving force behind the band and the catalyst for a lot of our tunes. He also has a home recording studio which helps! Jasper is our bass player and the most experienced of the band. A founder member of Then Jericho, he is a stickler for detail and getting the component parts and sounds of our tunes just right! Stu plays drums and, as a 90s indie nut, brings a distinct groove to the Magic Es (along with digital promotions skills)! Phil is our other guitarist and adds layered depth, he’s MOD inspired!
You released your new single ‘Running Scared’, what’s the meaning behind it?
It’s a classic tale of love gone wrong and stems from Pete’s own experience. I think everyone’s had relationships that haven’t worked out and can relate to the emotions of a breakup – the frustrations, the arguments, the insecurities of knowing things are going wrong but not knowing how to fix them, second guessing yourself, your partner and feeling pretty worthless. It also highlights the desperation of this process (and it is a process) and the strength to look at yourself as an individual, understanding your chosen one is not necessarily the one for you (losing the one you never really had) and plotting a better future for yourself- getting ‘over this and making better plans’. It’s both a painful but hopeful insight into every adolescent relationship that’s ever broken down. Bittersweet or what!
Tell us more about your writing process.
Inspiration can come from each band member, Pete is a machine and fires out almost complete tunes on a daily basis! We will come to practice with a riff, or a melody to share with the others. Melody usually leads the way; we knock it around at practice and if we’re still playing it a few weeks down the line then we set about fine tuning parts, dynamics and lyrics. It’s always a band process, it’s the only way that we can get the Magic Es sound and each of us is open to critiquing every component of the song. We value each other’s thoughts and opinions.
You’ve also released the video, how much fun was that and what’s your best memory from the shoot?
The video was shot at a venue local to us, the Waterfront in Norwich. We shot pre and during our last gig there with Donovan Jones who was our producer, cameraman and editor! It was loads of fun, we set up individual footage to start with, Stu getting his time in the limelight first behind the kit (he’s always moaning he’s not in enough of our pictures). Donovan knew exactly what we were looking for from the video and brought his own approaches and ideas, he managed us brilliantly through the whole shoot. We had a lot of fun, the smoke machine is always interesting but the glitter canons during the live performance topped it off. Jaspers spent days finding bits of glitter in places it shouldn’t exist!
You are set to release your debut album, can you tell us more about it?
‘It goes on’ is our debut album and will be out for release in April 2017. We’re all really proud of it; the tracks themselves, how they flow through the album through to the artwork on the cover and disc! We’ve worked really hard to get the Magic Es sound and this album reflects who we are perfectly. It’s a rock ‘n’ roll record from start to finish. It took about 3 months to finish and now we can’t wait for people to hear it. If you like emotive, melodic guitar rock with a very British feel then you’ll love it and will be singing along in no time.
Do you have any gigs/tour in the works?
We’re working up a 4 date tour of the north of England to promote the album at the end of April. We also have a number of other headline shows and festival appearances throughout the year. All dates can be found on our website at www.wearemagic.uk
When you’re not making music, what do you do?
Listen to music! Every member of the band is a music lover through and through. Stu just bought an old HMV stereomaster vinyl player, like his nan used to have! He’s busy trying to rebuild a vinyl collection that he sold many years ago. We all love looking around vinyl fairs and stores to be honest.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
‘Keep at it!’ we could bang on about the hardships of the industry, how technology presents opportunities and barriers and how society now favours armchair wannabe heroes rather than paying a few quid to support local talent and local venues! Truth is that there is so much talent out there and you just have to keep getting out there, keep learning, keep improving, keep promoting yourself and making sure your stuff is heard. We’re all in favour of networking and communities, we need to look after each other.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
‘If you do wants you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got!’ think this quote has been attributed to a bundle of different people but it’s always resonated. Change is inevitable, progress is inevitable, things move on. If you don’t tune in, embrace change then you’ll get left behind – the world won’t stop turning just for you! The Magic Es are always trying to think of new ways that we can do things, whether it’s different approaches to a specific part of a song, different sounds, different technology or whatever, we want to try and get ahead. If you follow our social media streams you will see that we put out regular, engaging content. We want to engage with our fans, find out what they want and deliver it, we won’t progress by looking backwards.
Your coming back from tour;
1/ where is the first place you go?
2/ who is the first person you see?
Family and children
3/ where is the first place you go to eat?
The local pub
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
You can find us all over the web; www.wearemagic.uk is our website. You can hear our music at www.soundcloud.com/the-magic-es, we’re on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wearemagicuk, follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/wearemagicuk and buy our music directly from us at http://themagices.bandcamp.com or purchase from iTunes, Amazon and Google Play. We’re all over Spotify too.