Toronto’s Echo Beach will be filled with music lovers tonight as Panic! at the Disco, Walk The Moon, and Boston’s Magic Man will take the stage. With the recent release of their record Before the Waves, we had the opportunity of giving the indie-pop quintet’s Alex Caplow and Sam Lee a call before hitting the stage to discuss album titles, touring fun, the joy of sleeping, fans’ moms, their thoughts on Subway or Chipotle, and covering Magic Man by Heart — enjoy!
AMBY: Hey you two, thanks for speaking with me today. We actually caught up with you all when you were last in Toronto.
Alex Caplow and Sam Lee: We love Toronto.
AMBY: It’s always great having you here. I have to say a big congratulations on the release of Before the Waves. What was one of the highlights you had while creating the album?
Sam Lee: One of my favourite moments from when we recorded the album was when we recorded some of the vocals; it was the last thing we did for the album and it was my favourite. The studio had a big window which happened to be right at sunset which made for a very beautiful and cathartic moment.
AMBY: When it comes to the title of the album, what inspired calling it Before the Waves?
Sam Lee: Before the Waves is a line from the song Waves from the album. We were trying to think of what to call the record, and we went through a ton of different options, and that was one that stood out to everyone as being the strongest.
AMBY: There are a few songs from the You Are Here EP that are featured on the album. Why did you decide to carry over Paris, Every Day, and Texas?
Sam Lee: It was a really tricky process picking songs for the album, at least for us. I feel like it’s very difficult because there were so many songs we wrote and we wanted to put them out into the world, but there’s only room for so many. The songs off the EP fit pretty well with the pacing of the album so that’s why they ended up being on there.
AMBY: In support of the album’s release, you’re currently on a North American tour. What’s the band like to do for fun while on the road?
Alex Caplow: What do we do for fun while out on the road…
Sam Lee: We enjoy finding local coffee shops and going to them. Finding local thrift stores and buying things at those places and then putting them in our suitcases and carrying them home which is always very heavy.
Sam Lee: Most importantly, we enjoy sleeping in a moving fifteen passenger van.
Alex Caplow and AMBY: [laughs]
Sam Lee: We do love going to Target. Target is a big fan favourite of the bands.
Alex Caplow: Some shows, we have fans lining outside of the venue from 10AM so it’s nice to go out and meet them and see where they’re coming from and show them that we appreciate their support.
Sam Lee: Also, their moms are usually with them.
AMBY and Magic Man: [laughs]
Sam Lee: Shout out to the moms who are making it happen.
Alex Caplow: Not a lot of dads.
Sam Lee: I’ve seen some dads.
AMBY: I also saw a photo of you all eating at a taquería. Is hunting down some good eats a fun mission for you?
Sam Lee: Yes. Good burritos are always a thing we’re looking for. It’s nice to try and eat at nice local restaurants when we can. So much of our life is do we want to eat at Subway or Chipotle or some other variation of commonly available fast food chains.
AMBY: Which would you have chosen – Subway or Chipotle?
Sam Lee: Chipotle is definitely the preference.
AMBY: Earlier you mentioned your fans and how they are really supportive. I was reading through your recent Reddit Q&A session and you have some seriously hardcore fans! When it comes to meeting them after shows, what’s the best item a fan has asked you to sign?
Alex Caplow: We’ve signed shoes, shirts, a lot of phone cases, arms. I’m trying to think of some weird items. Someone once threw a rubber ducky on stage.
AMBY: A rubber ducky?
Alex Caplow: I held it over my head during our last song. I probably should of signed it.
Sam Lee: The ducky had the girl’s phone number on it.
Alex Caplow: [laughs]
Sam Lee: It said “call me”.
Alex Caplow: Wow.
Sam Lee: She was maybe sixteen.
Alex Caplow: Perfect. Looking forward to not calling her.
AMBY and Magic Man: [laughs]
AMBY: You have done some excellent remixes in the past, like Atlas Genius’ If So and Smallpools’ Dreaming. Can we expect any other remixes in the near future?
Sam Lee: Definitely. We’ve actually been working on a couple while on the road. We love working on remixes since it’s always a nice change in pace compared to writing our own music.
AMBY: And how about covers? I know you used to do a few live covers, like Float On by Modest Mouse, for example. Can fans expect to see any new covers soon?
Alex Caplow: We used to do a lot of covers, but our most recent cover that we’ve added to our set is Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springsteen.
AMBY: How would you feel about covering Magic Man by Heart?
Sam Lee: [laughs] It’s been brought up before. I don’t know if we’d do it justice, it’s such a good song.
Alex Caplow: Funny story about that is that our last show with Walk the Moon, they actually filmed themselves doing a cover of that song but changed the lyrics to be about us. It was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen.
AMBY: That’s great. You all seem very close when on stage together. With that said, what’s the best part about being in Magic Man?
Alex Caplow: Being able to play music everyday with our best friends, travel the world, meet lots of wonderful people, and go to lots of wonderful places.
Thank you Magic Man, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout