In Conversation With: The Magic Gang

The Magic Gang have been a name for themselves since early 2013, and are now one of the biggest bands to come out of Brighton at the moment. We chatted to bassist Angus Taylor and drummer Paeris Giles ahead of their headline show at The Green Door Store, Brighton.

You recently supported Circa Waves on their UK tour, how was that?

Angus: Yeah it was really good, it was probably the best support tour we’ve been on, in terms of reception. It was also the first time we’ve done a tour where it was basically all of the O2 venues, basically the biggest places you can play in each city. It’s always nice to do that and we’re very very grateful for it. It was like the first time we’ve done a support tour that we’ve done but people have come to see us as well. London was a good one. We’d played The Forum before with Hinds and that wasn’t anywhere near the same reaction as Circa Waves, London was probably one of the best shows from that tour.

How did your signing to YALA! Records come about?

Paeris: That’s a funny one really because we signed to Warner Bros, and YALA! is run by Felix White from the Maccabees and Morad Kokar who works at Warner as well. Basically YALA was a vessel for us to release this EP through and it’s an imprint of Warner so it just seemed right. Felix kinda’ spoke about us on Radio 1 and in NME a long time ago and came to our Scala show supporting Spring King, and from there we just got in contact.

Angus: It’s mad because we’re all huge Maccabees fan, and they massively influenced my 16- year-old growing adolescent self. Hugo from the Maccabees produced the EP so we got to work with him and Felix is like the mouth piece for the label.

Is there an album in the works?

Paeris: Um.. Are we allowed to say?

Angus: Yeah, we’ve already said it.

Paeris: Yeah we have started recording it in Wales in a residential studio for about ten days and I think it’s the first time we’ve been locked away like that but it was way more fun that I thought it would be to be honest.

Angus: We’ve got half of it done. We’ve got all the songs written, more than an album’s worth written but it’s about piecing together an album. We don’t wanna just put ten songs together and be like here’s an album. It’s got to flow like an album and be a proper record. It’ll probably be out early 2018. So we’ve still a while.

Do you feel your sound has developed since your first EP, and if so, how and why?

Angus: I would say the sound has. When we did the first EP we were very much so going for a certain thing, it was a certain stylistic element and our tastes have changed and I think we’re getting closer and closer to what we think the band should sound like. On the last EP there’s a different, slightly more eclectic kinda influences on there. The last track, Life Without You, that was recorded at home. We have a really great live sound so it’s just about getting that on record. We kinda went about it the wrong way with the first couple of EP’s but we’re starting to find our feet better, so hopefully by the time the album comes out we won’t have any of those mistakes.

Has being in Brighton helped being in a band?

Paeris: Without shadow of a doubt yes. Absolutely. We wouldn’t have been in a band otherwise. Me and Angus went to BIMM and we were playing in various different bands at the time, and Jack [singer] lived with us but he wasn’t really doing music and Kris [guitarist] lived in London and was studying production. Kris came down with our friend group and made groups of bands that are all friends with each other and everyone was kinda progressing at the same rate, it was such a good place to do music and to start out. Everyone’s excited about it, even if you’re not a musician, all your friends will come to support you. It’s just like very like minded people in a small very like minded city.

What advice would you give to other bands starting out in Brighton?

Angus: Make other friends in bands and group together. Be nice to other bands when you go and play gigs with them. If you walk into a sound check just say hello, and chat with them after the show.

Paeris: Spend as much time perfecting songs before you rush anything. I think thats something we found, we wrote four songs when we first came out and we were like ‘shit we’ve got a set to play in two months, we need to write more songs’ it would have been better if we had more written at the time. I think just getting all the demos down is key.

The Magic Gang are set to play The Great Escape Festival on 18-20th May.

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