Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with Jan from unsigned Guildford band Maggie Cassidy to find out more…
Who is in the band, how did you meet, where are you from and how did you come up with the band name?
The band is comprised of five people; Jamie (vocals), Tom (guitar), Jack (bass), Pete (drums), and Jan (guitar). We all met in Guildford where the five of us went to university, although at different uni's and on different courses... some related to music and others not! We were struggling for ages to find a band name that we felt worked for us, we went through so many temporary names! Maggie Cassidy is book by Jack Kerouac and we settled on it because it's a remarkable novel but also because it spoke to a lot of the anxieties we had growing up which felt like a good representative for what we were trying to do as a band.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Growing up I think we were all into emo rock bands like You Me At Six, Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy, Escape The Fate... stuff in that kind of scene. It was music like that which we could relate to and really made us want to be in touring bands. I think those kind of artists still provide a foundation for the music we want to create but it's much more diverse now. We're influenced by upcoming British acts around us as well as bands such as The Maine that really provide a template for how to be a band in the best way possible. Musically speaking it's even more diverse from rap, to metal, to rock, to pop... we want as many diverse sounds as possible to influence our end product.
How would you describe your sound?
I suppose we'd describe ourselves as emo pop-rock. We want people to be able to sing, dance, and mosh to our music. It's got to slap but we have to have that pop edge too, it's absolutely essential to what we do. At heart we'll always be an emo band, we're aiming from those BIG feels trust us. I sometimes jokingly refer to us as the 'Emo U2' because we kind of want to make emo stadium rock, something big and bouncy but with those sad overtones!
What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
Our latest release is called 'Runaway' and it only just came out! Musically speaking it's really influenced by bands like You Me At Six, we really wanted to give people a big singalong chorus that was accessible to those that aren't so accustomed to rock music. Lyrically speaking it's about escaping from the craziness of the world with the person that you love; I think that's something people can relate to in the business of modern day life.
What’s your local music scene like?
We're based around Guildford and the music scene there is pretty cool! The Academy of Contemporary Music (where four of us went) is based there so there's a ton of bands and musicians about the place. It's super diverse from synth pop acts and singer-songwriters to progressive metal which is really cool, there's something for everyone. There's a few great venues there like The Boileroom and The Star too which helps keep the scene alive.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
Lots of new music! We've got another single coming out later this year as well as going back into the studio to record another single that will be out early next year. Then if all goes to plan our first EP in the new year. Then, hopefully, we can focus on playing live... getting out there and playing as many shows as possible to new faces!
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
Oh, so many! It'd be amazing to collaborate with legends of the scene such as Patrick Stump or John Feldmann, we'd love to see what areas we could take our sound into with their help. It'd be amazing to collaborate with people completely outside our scene too, maybe rappers we love like Rick Ross, Future, or Juice WRLD. Even real pop acts like the Jonas Brothers, how cool would that be!
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
A few but I'm thinking what I'm happy to have printed! We played at Royal Holloway University once and our guitarist Tom fell off the stage holding his cab while we were loading out. This thing is like twice the size of him and he was buried under it. Once we realised he hadn't broken a bone or was seriously injured it was so funny, it's an image I'll always hold on to!
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
We want the readers to know about Club Cassidy which is what we call the community around our band. The idea is that our band is a friendly community all about escaping the troubles of everyday life, even for just a moment, and finding a safe space that brings relief. That's what Maggie Cassidy is all about and if you think that's the kind of community you want to be a part of then dive in, we want you to join us because it's healing being part of something when it's good for you.