Interview with Alex Caplow of Magic Man
Written by Lanny on March 25, 2014
Last Friday, I spoke to Alex Caplow, lead singer of Magic Man on the phone. Unfortunately, there were some technical difficulties with recording the phone interview so the rest of the world will be unable to hear our conversation. I, however, still have the interview questions and I remember some of the responses so here is a summary:
Alex called KPSU at 3pm EST. Magic Man had just made their debut on National TV with their performance of “Paris” on Big Morning Buzz with Nick Lachey.
Just the night before, they played their first headlining show at the Mercury Lounge in NYC to a sold out crowd. It is no surprise that Magic Man sold out their first headlining show since they have been performing for sold out crowds while on tour with Walk the Moon, Grouplove, and New Politics.
We talked about their upcoming tour this summer with Panic! At the Disco and when asked about how he felt about it, Alex replied with an admiration for the headlining band. He talked about how he used to listen to Panic in high school and how surreal it is to actually be able to perform with them on stage soon.
When asked about if there were any other bands, Magic Man would like to tour with that they haven’t already, Caplow responded with St. Lucia. “We’re all within the same Neon Gold Records family,” Alex added. Additionally, one of Caplow’s favorite songs at the moment is St. Lucia’s “The Way You Remember Me.”
A couple months ago, Magic Man announced on their Facebook page that their bass player, Daniel Radin, would be leaving the band to work on The Novel Ideas, his country folk band. When asked if they planned on finding a new bassist and how they were going to do it, Caplow revealed that the new bass player is actually someone they went to high school with and currently lives with Radin. This new member will be revealed in this next few weeks at an upcoming show.
Now Magic Man has been described as a “triumphant synth rock band” numerous times so I had to ask: how did they decide on their sound?
Caplow told us that this was actually a reference to Explosions in the Sky, one of his favorite bands. He said they used to have a flyer with the phrase: “Wanted: sad, triumphant rock band” and he thought that was a cool way to describe a band and that’s where the “triumphant” part of their description comes from. Additionally, Caplow, along with guitarist Sam Lee, wanted to be a rock band that created music that people can dance to after their self-released album, Real Life Color, in 2010. As a result, they transitioned from making music with GarageBand to actually adding a bassist, drummer, and keyboardist to the band which is how we have Daniel Radin, Joey Sulkowski, and Justine Bowe.
in the 2013 EP, You Are Here, I realized that three out of the five songs were named after places. When asked what inspired the titles, Caplow remarked that these were just places that him and Lee had some spent time in. I followed up with “can we expect to see any more names of places on your soon to be released album?” Caplow said it is not for certain, but there is one track right now currently called “Tokyo.” He thinks it would be a good fit for the song, although the word Tokyo does not actually appear in the song.
Because Magic Man’s “Real Life Color” was self-released years earlier, I asked Caplow if there was a chance that we can expect a remastered version of one of the songs on this new album. Caplow disclosed that “South Dakota” will be on the new album since they always get fans asking why they don’t perform any of their older songs live.
After these questions, Caplow answered some questions I collected from fans.
Q: How does the band get along and do you guys play pranks on each other?
A: We’re like a family. We’ve known each other for a while and get along really well. You kind of have to be when you’re in a band, y’know? Sometimes Sam likes to log in to my Twitter and tweet things that I would never say just to throw fans off.
Q: Do you know magic, man?
A: Yeah, I actually do. It’s not as nerdy as Dungeons and Dragons but I do know how to play. [I guess Alex was referring to a game called “Magic”]
Q: Does anyone in the band have tattoos in the band other than Joey?
A: Yeah, Daniel has a tattoo. Justine has some birds. Sam and I have yet to venture into the land of tattoos but I have thought about getting a fox tattoo.
Q: Tell me about your middle school band, the one you started with Sam, Yello Sno, with no W’s
A: Oh yes, Yello Sno with no W’s because that’s punk rock. We were an out of tune rock band and we didn’t really play music as much as we liked to figure out the marketing side of the band. We had a logo, website, and t-shirts, so we were a head in the marketing side of things.
Q: What were you like in high school?
A: I hung out with the theatre kids, but I wasn’t the epitome of a theatre kid. I also had photographer friends.
*end of interview*
If you are interested in learning more about Magic Man, check out their website: magicmanmusic.com