Tramlines 2017: The Magic Gang interview
Before bringing their bag of tricks to The Folk Forest at Tramlines, Gus from Brighton-based scuzzy indie quartet The Magic Gang had a quick natter with Exposed.
Big ups on getting signed to Warner recently. Tell us a bit about the story of the band up until this point?
A few of us were down here for uni and we used to play in lots of different bands, sometimes in bands with each other. Once we got together, we wrote a song called ‘Bruises’, put it on YouTube anonymously and it got a great reception, better than we had with any of our other bands. So then we were like ‘shit, maybe we should do this as a project’ – so we started playing around Brighton, getting better at writing songs basically. We signed a deal after being together for about two years and I’m glad we did it that way because a lot of buzz bands get signed after six months of forming and record labels try and sway them in one direction or another, but we had established ourselves as songwriters and the type of songs we were writing.
Do you feel any pressure in being known as something of a “buzz band”?
In all honestly, all the nice words about us are amazing. We’re not writing music for this sort of thing, but it’s great that people are into it and excited about the band. It’s all down to the music really; we spend a lot of time writing songs and it’s just exciting to get this sort of exposure.
So, you’re all living together in Brighton at the mo. How is it sharing a gaff?
Yeah, we all share a knackered four-floor house and with tons of other people playing in different bands. lt’s a really great environment to be in because if you haven’t written a song in a while and you walk past someone’s bedroom and they’re writing the best song in the world, you’re like, ‘oh shit, I need to go and write some stuff!’
The Magic Gang sound has a real sixties vibe to it. How would you describe it?
It’s an amalgamation of different sounds. We like to take sounds from a lot of different genres, but I think the songwriting is still a 60s/70s kind of pop sound like The Beatles, Beach Boys and Stax Records stuff. We love classic pop songs and that’s always going to be part of our music.
And you’re making a return to Sheffield soon. What do you lads think of our humble city?
We’ve played a couple of times in Sheffield – at the Leadmill most recently. We supported Wolf Alice there and we’re stoked for doing Tramlines this year. Sheffield is great, man! I think if I was going to move anywhere it would be there; I know a lot of great people who live there and it’s a beautiful place.
D’awh, shucks. Catch you soon!
The Magic Gang play The Folk Forest, Sunday 6.15pm.