Music, sun, and sand = Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Not as hot as some of the other festivals like Bonnaroo and Coachella, but hot enough to where the ocean breeze hitting your skin makes for the perfect outdoor concert temperature.
The fest ran Friday to Sunday but they had a pretty rad kick-off party on Thursday featuring Boston’s fun fivesome Magic Man.
Though they’ve only got a five-track EP currently out they’ve gained a dedicated following after touring with bands like Walk The Moon and New Politics; and shortly they’ll be embarking on a tour with Panic! At The Disco (and Walk The Moon, again)! [Side note: This tour is coming to Meadowbrook Music Festival on July 27! Click for more info!]
And here's something just as exciting: NEW MUSIC! July 8th marks the release of new Magic Man full-length album Before The Waves but that date also marks the start of the band's FIRST EVER headline tour! Preorder Before The Waves and receive an instant download of "Out Of Mind" and four other tracks here: http://smarturl.it/BeforeTheWaves so you can be prepared when they come to your town!
My partner in crime Shannon and I were able to meet up with the guys (and girl) on the first day of Hangout Fest near the water slide to do some catching up, followed by an unexpected photoshoot with some of their adoring fans from Atlanta.
Joey, Gabe, Alex, Sam, and Justine are a bunch of jokers and it was one of the most fun interviews I’ve ever done. They got serious for a few questions but you’ll see that there was a lot of *laughing*. You can also hear the FULL interview here, if you’re not the reading type and want to actually hear the laughs.
ALEX – Vocals / JOEY – drums / GABE – bass / JUSTINE – keys & vocals / SAM - guitar
AMBER: So how did you all meet and become a band?
JUSTINE: I’ve never met these people in my life.
ALEX: These are complete strangers.
GABE: It was a survey monkey thing and we all ended up matching up on there.
JUSTINE: OK Cupid, thank you! *laughing*
GABE: In actuality, so these two dudes went to the same high school as me (pointing to Alex & Sam), Justine met Alex in college, [JUSTINE: No comment. *laughs*] we met Joey through the stork, he delivered him to our door. [JUSTINE: Cuz we were all living together.]
JOEY: Gabe’s trying to do a good job of the story of how we met-
GABE: I really don’t know, I’ve been here for a month and a half. *laughs*
JOEY: Okay okay, Sam and Alex grew up together, they went to high school together, Gabe also went to the same high school [GABE: You’re literally saying everything I said, you just weren’t paying attention *laughs*]
SAM: Okay let me explain it, so Alex and I grew up together
JUSTINE: Shut uuuuuuup!
SAM: Okay, we’ve known each other since preschool-
Alright let’s do the next question.
JOEY: I’m Joey.
JUSTINE: I’m Justine! I’m 23.
AMBER: Okay, next question - I don’t know if there’s any actual truth to that, but-
JUSTINE: It’s actually all true, what he said.
AMBER: Minus the OK Cupid thing, right?
GABE: And the stork thing. That’s not real.
SHANNON: So where did you go to college?
JUSTINE: Alex and I went to Tufts and that’s where we met. And everybody else also went to college, do you guys wanna talk about where you went to college?
JOEY: We’re all college graduates.
GABE: That’s not true. *laughing* I uh - Yeah I’m not. I left school a month and a half ago to join this band, I was in the middle of a semester.
AMBER: For real?
GABE: Completely, dead serious. So I’m not a college graduate, but…
JUSTINE: He’s a college man.
SHANNON: If you weren’t musicians what would you be doing then?
GABE: In a class, probably. I’d be taking notes.
AMBER: Like as a job, or what would you major be?
GABE: I was an American Studies major so probably-
SAM: An American studier.
GABE: Yeah, a lemonade stand! *laughs*
ALEX: I would be a really bad Kindergarten teacher, just trying to keep the kids in line and then getting distracted by the play-dough… *laughs*
JUSTINE: I think I, since I’m also an American Studies major, would be working at the same lemonade stand. I think we’d own the lemonade stand!
JOEY: You’d be the manager, because you graduated a few years before Gabe.
AMBER: So would the lemonade stand be in Boston?
GABE: Probably in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
JUSTINE: Route 1 the auto mile!
SHANNON: I feel as though you don’t really have the standard Boston accent but can you give us one?
JUSTINE: Oh I think we just pitched you our best. So we were just talking about the auto mile, which is where all the car dealerships basically in Massachusetts are located so all the commercials sound like “come on down route 1 the auto mile ‘Danva’s’”
ALEX: Route 1, auto mile, come on down.
JUSTINE: Like that. They’ll probably love that plug.
GABE: Also we were talking about how, you know, the classic Boston phrase is “you pahk ya cah in Hahvahd Yahd” – the next evolution of that would be “I pahk mah smaht cah in Hahvahd Yahd” – it just takes it one step further.
AMBER: What about “go to the bah and get some beahs?”
GABE: Go to the bah and get some beahs
ALEX: Go Sox
GABE: Yeah you don’t say red, you just say Sox.
EVERYONE: Go Sox!
AMBER: Okay, who are you guys excited to see at Hangout?
GABE: Childish Gambino
JOEY: Childish Gambino!
GABE: Matt & Kim
JOEY: The Killers! We saw Danny Brown, that was incredible. We saw Girl Talk, I almost got in a fight. Uh-
AMBER: Wait why?
*awkwardly long pause*
JUSTINE: Joey thinks he was justified in elbowing his way through the crowd, and he was like “WHY Y’ALL GETTIN’ SO MAD??” And they were like “STEP OFF” and he was like “You guys have NO RIGHT”
JOEY: I was very polite, I was like “excuse me, excuse me”
JUSTINE: That’s not what it’s about, it’s not about being polite-
JOEY: No it wasn’t that at all, I was like “excuse me, excuse me, just tryin’ to get in” and everyone was just like “-THE F**K?!”
JUSTINE: I would’ve been one of those people saying “-THE F**K” and that’s the truth of it
JOEY: To be fair, I’m sorry Hangout Festival, but your crowd is the most… just… very bad at dealing with, like… have you ever been in public? Have you ever been to a restaurant, have you ever been somewhere where someone like, ya know, tries to walk near you?
ALEX: Dude that’s not the same thing that’s TOTALLY DIFFERENT! It’s the PRINCIPLE, it doesn’t matter how you say it, it’s the fact that you are trying to sneak your way closer when they got there early!
JUSTINE: Let me just say that the phrase “to be fair” is being used extremely liberally.
GABE: Okay I’m gonna be the fairest here, I was the only person with Joey when he was doing this, uh he did say “excuse me” but then he also hit people with his backpack, and I think as they were beginning to forgive him they stopped forgiving him because he hit them with a backpack.
JOEY: Anyway… Matt & Kim, we saw Bleachers, we saw Danny Brown, we saw Girl Talk, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Killers will be quite intense.
AMBER: Let’s get a little serious for a second - who writes most of the songs and what are some of their inspirations?
SAM: Uhh, everyone makes me answer all the serious questions. They just get to joke around all the time, it’s no fun.
JUSTINE: Awww, dad!
SAM: You’re all grounded.
I’m sorry, Alex and I do most of the songwriting; we started writing our first Magic Man song while we were traveling together
AMBER: What was the first one?
SAM: The first one was called Monster-
ALEX: Kanye West bought it.
SAM: Yeah Alex and I sort of the write the structure of the song and usually we bring it to the band to learn how to play it live
AMBER: What’s your favorite song to play live?
ALEX: *laughing* That’s what I was just thinking too. A song that we used to play for many years that’s on the first record that we’re trying to maybe bring back for a headline tour, just as a little treat for those who’ve been following us since the first record since we don’t really play any songs off that.
JUSTINE: The last line of that song is *sings* “Oh, God, you’re the only one Oh please little darlin” and Alex at the end, because the shows were never chill, was always like *yells* “OH, GOD, YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE”
SAM: Kinda like he was being attacked by a shark and the shark would grab him and bite him and he’d be like “OHHH! GOD!” and then it would pull him under water and he wouldn’t be able to talk for a while and then he’d pop up and go “OH!! GOD!!!” and then he’d go back under the water again…
JUSTINE: Yeah I’m not sure he ever breathed once during those shows.
AMBER: You don’t regularly play that song live though, right?
ALEX: No we need to learn it again.
SAM: Yeah we haven’t played it in a little while.
JUSTINE: I think it’s in G. G, E minor, C? Alright let’s do it!
JOEY: Yeah we played it yesterday, I wish you were there…
AMBER: That’s not very nice. We drove from Michigan to be here, so…
JOEY: We drove from Boston.
AMBER: Yeah but you’re on tour all the time! We don’t tour, we have regular jobs!
COLLECTIVELY: Yeah, that’s true. Okay you win.
JOEY: Amber is my favorite interviewer so far.
AMBER: Okay so tell me about your tour with New Politics and Walk The Moon, separately. What did you learn from them, did they teach you anything fun?
ALEX: They taught us everything we know. Honestly though our first tour with Walk The Moon was a very eye-opening experience; we’d never been on the road with another band, with a bigger band, so we would just watch them in awe every night at just their caliber of performance, of their musicianship and their showmanship and we just like, stole their dance moves and picked up tricks and became really good friends with them-
AMBER: Did you say picked up chicks?
ALEX: Yeah we just cruised around, pickin up chicks with ‘em…
JOEY: That’s where we found Justine, actually.
*lots of laughing*
AMBER: That’s great, but okay picked up tricks, what tricks?
ALEX: Like how to prepare for a show, how to warm up, how to stay hydrated, how to sleep enough…
*random talking about sleeping*
SHANNON: Do you have any other special talents?
SAM: Gabe was interviewed by Bill Cosby as a child. GABE: It’s not a talent it’s just an occurrence…
ALEX: No it’s a talent of knowing Bill Cosby.
AMBER: Kids say the darndest things?
GABE: I was on Kids Say The Darndest Things when I was 5 years old.
AMBER: What did you say that was the darndest thing?
GABE: That was a year or so after I started writing songs – I was 5 – the songs were very bad and I performed them with my guitar on there… Bill hated them.
ALEX: He did not.
JOEY: You are being too hard on yourself.
JUSTINE: I think it’s just part of his shtick, to keep a stone cold face. I think Gabe’s not upset about it because his now YouTube video of this has like tens of thousands of views.
GABE: So that was it, and ever since then it’s been a gradual decline playing music.
Anyway, other special talents people have…
SAM: Joey can eat a chicken wing in 4 seconds.
JOEY: Oh my god, dude, don’t bring that up because it’s definitely like 2 seconds.
JUSTINE: I think as per our answers to the question before which was what would you be doing besides music, where many of us were working at lemonade stands or other menial jobs I think we are all uniquely suited to be doing what we’re doing and we might not be employed otherwise.
GABE: To answer the question that you were asking, Justine is actually capable of performing the movie Aladdin as a one woman show.
AMBER: That’s my favorite Disney movie!
JUSTINE: Oh it’s the best there is.
AMBER: One more question – what’s one thing that you can’t leave home without when you go on tour (besides the obvious necessities)?
GABE: Our drummer Joey!
JUSTINE: In my suitcase at all times I have one candle and one lighter, I call it my nudie lighter, it’s got a nudie gal on the outside of it and that’s how I light the candle – and those are my essentials.
SHANNON: What do you use them for?
JUSTINE: Relaxing – I’ll put it in the shower – that’s just like, a way to chill out.
ALEX: My essential, and the only thing I need is one shirt, one pair of pants, one pair of underwear, and maybe some leather shoes.
SAM: Don’t need socks though, he just buys them whenever he gets the urge
AMBER: I feel like every time I’ve seen you you’ve worn the same shirt, is that-
GABE: This is different, this is different isn’t it? (pointing to Alex’s shirt)
AMBER: Yeah that’s different!
GABE: I gave him this shirt-
JUSTINE: Excuse me! I bought that!
GABE: Well you bought it for me and then I gave it to him.
This is how bands break up.
JUSTINE: They buy each other gifts, and then they keep regifting them.
ALEX: Ya know, I’ve got various shades of bluish tinted shirts; I feel sorta like a cartoon character like Doug, with a closet full of the same outfit – I’m just like “Well I got another show tonight, guess I’ll put on the ol’ outfit!”
JUSTINE: Last night he was like “what should I wear for the show?” It’s summer; short sleeves? And that’s pretty much like the only variation he has.
SAM: Light blue short sleeve or light blue long sleeve.