October 10, 2011

Q &A with Last Second Magic

After the week of stuffing our faces with turkeys and pumpkin pies, this week is going to be full of fresh indie music: Indie week Toronto starts from October 12 to 16th across the city. Are you ready for it? I had a chance to ask questions to Paul Hosford, the lead singer and guitarist, from Irish rock band, called "Last Second Magic."

1. As exclaimed as a band goal, -"It's about evolution, not revolution," what progress listeners can expect from the new EP release, " We Miss you, Black Stalin!" from the debut release, "Start to Breathe", or even from the EP release to date?

Paul Hosford (P): From STB to WMYBS to today, we have really evolved in my eyes. We're a lot more rounded now and the songs in the set that aren't on Black Stalin have a lot of great craft in them, I feel. 

Philippa Cahill (Keyboard) and Ross Callaghan (Guitar) have only been in the band a couple of months, but they have really filled out the sound of the stuff we've been doing and lately. I kind of feel that at times, we leaned on our old guitarist, Oisin, a little too much, because he is a fantastic guitarist, and we had gotten to a point where we'd write the song and kind of just say ‘yeah throw a solo in there.’Now, we're being forced to be smarter about what we're doing and make the song as a whole better, not just the individual parts.

On top of that, I feel personally like I'm a lot more comfortable with the idea of having people hear our songs. I was used to being the bass player and letting someone else put their thoughts and words down and that was comfortable.But when LSM came about, I had all these songs and I was almost afraid to commit to them. Like if I weren’t too attached, people not liking them wouldn't hurt because I was detached from it. Almost a fear of failure, I suppose.But now, I'm much more invested in it all. I believe in the music and, I like to think, that's evident in our live show.

2.What inspired you guys to name the EP " We Miss you, Black Stalin!"? 

(P): It's actually a Toronto reference! Ruth Gill (Drums) and Al Maxwell (Bass) were in the Beaver Cafe on Queen St, having breakfast and saw a piece of art by a collective called Team Macho (www.teammacho.com) and it included Black Stalin. 

We immediately loved it and the day we got home, I sent out a text saying, "We're making a new EP, we're calling it "We Miss You, Black Stalin!" and we're going to get Team Macho to do us a version of the artwork." Everyone agreed and the physical product we have is one that I, personally am delighted with.

3. Is Stalin's music one of the biggest influences for you guys? If so, who else do you think had have a great importance of your music.

(P): I personally think Stalin is overrated. Apparently, he was a bit of a dictator in the studio, too. Now, Castro, there's a dictator who can drop a phat beat.As for our own sound, there's quite a mix in there. 

We've been described as sounding like a poppy version of The Frames, or if Joy Division met Eels. Personally, I like to think we sound like The Trews meets Death Cab For Cutie, with some Dashboard Confessional thrown in. 

But we don't aim to sound like anything. The songs start as acoustic tracks on my guitar and once they've been filtered through the five of us making our own noises, it sounds like five people making noise!

4. All four songs in the EP have all about different themes. Why did you decide to put these four songs in one album? 

(P) I felt they worked well in the order they're in and that they were a good representation of us as a band. There's a lot of different stuff going on there and I hope it shows people that there is no prototypical LSM song as such.

5. What can we expect from the Indie Week show in Toronto on October 14th at Hideout?

(P): You can expect five people from Dublin having a great time, playing music that they love and trying, in some small way, to help people enjoy themselves. At the end of the day, live music is there to be enjoyed and nights like the Irish Showcase are about as fun as being in a band can get. Great venue, great people and an absolutely brilliant night.Torontonians who want to know what a night in an Irish venue is like should come down!

6.Any bands that you would like to check out during Indie Week? 

(P): Loads. And the horrible thing about playing is that the schedule can restrict that. Personally, I’d love to see, The Ascot Royals, Courage My Love, Pree, Oh No! Yoko, The Suburbians, Meredith Shaw and Dinosaur Dinosaur.

If you have any interest in live music and can comfortably get to the Queen St area any of the nights, invest in a wristband, walk from club to club and enjoy some fantastic music by people who appreciate every clap, every complement and every person who takes an interest. 

 7.Any messages for Toronto music fan or Music Psychos?

(P) : Come and see us! We're nice people and we'll really appreciate it! We might even get one of our friends to beat you at pool. He's very good.

Thank you so much Paul. Last Second Magic is performing at Hideout on Friday, October 14th. You can check out more about them from their Facebook page and don't forget to follow them on Twitter!

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