By Kieran Webber
The Magic Gang, even in the midst of a pandemic has managed to make a massive impact with their sophomore album ‘Death Of The Party’. It’s a bountiful release that is chocked full to the brim with beautiful harmonious indie ballads and observant yet self reflective songwriting. Truly, one of the biggest travesties of 2020 is not being able to have enjoyed their new songs at a festival setting.
We managed to snag a few minutes of Paeris Giles time to ask him some questions, we were eager to find out more about the album, how the pandemic has affected them and much more!
Kieran: How has lockdown life been treating you?
Paeris: You know it hasn’t been all that bad. We were on tour with Blossoms in our home town of Bournemouth at the time everything shut down so basically stayed there for most of the time. I think before the scale of the whole thing became apparent there was a nice period of knowing nothing was expected of you (at least for me in this instance). It allowed a certain freedom in being able to make music quite freely and rediscover a lot of old favourites
Kieran:Your new album ‘Death Of The Party’ is out in the wild, how does it feel and how has the response been?
Paeris: To be honest it’s more of a relief if anything, there was a couple of songs we had been playing live for a while that weren’t used as singles so it’s nice for the people that came to be able to spend some more time with those songs and enjoy them at their leisure. The response has been very positive to be fair, obviously it’s a fairly different mood from that of the first record so we were expecting a little bit of kick-back about being that bit more sad but nothing to severe yet.
Kieran: What was the influence behind this album?
Paeris: I can only really speak about it relative to the last album when we wrote most of those songs when we were 18/19 and in a very different place – I guess with this newer record we found ourselves firmly out of our student years and sort of grappling with a sort of strange, undefinable expectation of what you’re ‘supposed’ to do with your life. We moved home for a bit and had a lot of empty days where you do tend to over think and question your place a lot of the time – that, coupled with being in an extremely privileged position in so many ways makes for an odd mindset.
“With this newer record we found ourselves firmly out of our student years and sort of grappling with a sort of strange, undefinable expectation of what you’re ‘supposed’ to do with your life”
Kieran: Was anything different done recording this album in comparison to the previous debut release?
Paeris: I think it’s fair to say that this time round we had more of a set idea of how we were going to approach the record, we recorded it in Atlanta which meant we couldn’t really do any pre production. Both us and Ben Allen (who had worked with Animal Collective and Deerhunter amongst other) are big fans of the Clash and used Combat Rock as a sort of reference point. That record is essentially a punk band trying their hand at several different styles whilst maintaining a set framework of sounds throughout so ultimately still sounding quite cohesive, I really hope we achieved that!
Kieran: Has it been weird releasing an album in the midst of a pandemic?
Paeris: Obviously we pushed the album back for this very reason but the weirdness of it and even now the logistic side of it are really not lost on us. It’s important when you release a record to be able to do in store shows, it’s such a brilliant and important thing for nearly everyone in the process so it’s a shame not to be able to support local records as well as we’d have liked at this time and to be able to chat with the fans about the record, in some ways it’s more important for than it is for us – and just to see what different people are enjoying about it.
Listen/watch ‘(The World) Outside My Door’ here:
Kieran: I got to say that ‘Just A Minute’ is my favourite track off the album, it’s such an earworm! Do you guys have any tracks you have an extra love for?
Paeris: Ah thank you very much! We like that one a lot too. Personally ‘Fail Better’ is one of my favourites, we’ve been regressing into more sort of straight up ‘rock songs’ of late and that one is quite close to where were at. Go Moving is another one that we really love playing but just didn’t quite have a place on the record.
Kieran: What do you feel the live music landscape will look like by next year? Is touring on the cards for you guys soon?
Paeris: It’s just so hard to say, I am certainly not an authority – you tend to hear a lot of different things from different people I guess. We have a tour scheduled for March which doesn’t seem to far fetched in terms of it actually being able to go ahead – It’s just so sad to have the live element restricted for so long – with putting a record out there a lot of admin, meetings and important decisions to be made you sometimes forget about the payoff. It’s a bit corny perhaps, but I guess it’s being able to enjoy your music with those who love it the most. Fingers crossed for March eh?
Kieran: What does The Magic Gang have in store for the future?
Paeris: We’ve never really had a break from writing this whole time, with a lot of things being up in the air right now we’d just hope to get back to normal as soon as possible and not have such a big gap between records this time of asking.