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Magic Man Discusses New Album 'Before The Waves' And Upcoming Tour

Alison Wotton |
June 17, 2014 | 9:03 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Magic Man is Alex Caplow (vocals), Sam Lee (guitar), Justine Bowe (keys), Joey Sulkowski (drums), Gabe Goodman (bass). Photo by Gavin Thomas.
Magic Man is Alex Caplow (vocals), Sam Lee (guitar), Justine Bowe (keys), Joey Sulkowski (drums), Gabe Goodman (bass). Photo by Gavin Thomas.
It is the calm before the storm. The imagery used to evoke and inspire Magic Man’s upcoming debut album, “Before the Waves,” can also be used to describe the buzz band’s impending success before the New England-based synth rockers take the world by storm.

Magic Man will release its upcoming full-length album “Before the Waves” July 8th via Neon Gold/Columbia Records. The band played its first show in Los Angeles earlier this February, as part of Neon Gold’s POPSHOP West series, to a sold-out crowd. 

Lead singer Alex Caplow, recounts an amazing moment from the show, specifically the overwhelming sound of the audience cheering at the Echo, the Los Angeles fans who came out to support them and sold out their first show in town. They seemed to have come out of nowhere, he says, but the band has been hard at work. The video for their song “Paris,” off the “We Are Here” EP and featured on the upcoming album, premiered on RollingStone.com and was screened at the Los Angeles Film Festival. They just released a video for “Out Of Mind” the newest song off the upcoming album.
Neon Tommy had the opportunity to speak with Magic Man’s Sam Lee (guitar) and Alex Caplow (vocals) about the band’s forthcoming album and returning to Los Angeles for the band’s first West Coast headlining tour.
On the title “Before The Waves” and the process of making the album:
Sam: The name is a lyric from the song “Waves” and when we went through a ton of different name options as a band, that one stood out as a favorite right off the bat. It evokes calm before the storm imagery, like the record, which gives you a little bit of the storm as well. We spent time writing and recording in our home studio in Providence along with producer Alex Aldi (Passion Pit). We spent last summer recording it, went on tour, and worked on the road to finish it.
On Magic Man’s Soundcloud page, the band has shared remixes of its favorite songs, recently Los Angeles-based Madi Diaz, as well as a monthly mixtape series. While there are no remixes on the album, the band spoke about the remixing process: 
Alex: The remix process is similar to the songwriting process.
Sam: We enjoy remixing and hope to get some other artists to do a different take on our music. You do remixes the same way that you write, taking the vocal idea or riff/groove and figuring out how to remix it. We pick ones, build it up from the there, and trade the files back and forth.
On the story behind the album artwork:
Sam: Photographer and art director Tobias Hutzler created the album artwork. We took him to Block Island for a weekend and camped out there. We were inspired by his long exposure shots and light trail work. The photograph was created using a glow stick in the water and it creates a naturalistic but also surrealistic photograph.
On the band’s biggest musical influences:
Alex: We listen to all kinds of music, everything from folk music to electronic, top 40. We just constantly try to be influenced by as much music as possible: indie, hip-hop, pop and everything. For me as a songwriter, I look to Coldplay, The Killers, as my favorite bands, for melodic instincts and singing style.
Sam: There are probably a lot of bands that I listened to growing up that are important to shaping who I am as a musician.
Alex: We’re inspired by our friends’ bands and learn a lot from watching them perform every night. – St. Lucia, Haim, CHVRCHES.
Magic Man at the Troubadour February 19, 2014. Photo by Alison Wotton for Neon Tommy.
Magic Man at the Troubadour February 19, 2014. Photo by Alison Wotton for Neon Tommy.
On their summer playlists:
Alex: St. Lucia’s latest album "When The Night" is a great summer album, Lana Del Rey’s new album "Ultraviolence" 
Sam: Bombay Bicycle Club– we played with them at Hangout Fest in Alabama. Their newest album ("So Long, See You Tomorrow") has a really cool sound.
Magic Man has a busy summer lined up including many festival dates, a West Coast headlining tour, followed by The Gospel Tour with Panic at the Disco and Walk the Moon. 
The band just played the Firefly Music Festival in Delaware. Magic Man toured with Sleeper Agent and New Politics last year, having opened for New Politics at the Troubadour. They look forward to returning to headline a sold-out show at the historic venue on July 10th. Just two days after the release of “Before the Waves,” this will be a show that you won’t want to miss.
Pre-order “Before The Waves” and view a full list of summer tour dates here.
Reach Staff Reporter Alison Wotton here.



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