Saturday, January 21, 2017

Mage Interview

Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?

We recorded back in November and December last year, so once we were done and it was sent off for mastering we pretty much took a break apart from one show mid December. Since the new year we've mostly been working on completing the Pledge Music campaign and getting ready for CD production.

You have a new album coming out in March, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

The biggest difference on the new album is the guest vocals from Raging Speedhorn's John Loughlin. We'd thought about it for the last album but there were tracks for this one we knew would definitely benefit from his more aggressive style, so it was great that it worked out this time. Over all there's been growth musically and there's maybe a more serious tone to this album. All of which is perhaps not so surprising and born out of recent events.

What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?

The music isn't really written with themes in mind so pretty much all of those come from Tom's lyrics. Most theme's in the past have been fairly whimsical. Exploring fantasy and sci fi narratives as well as just good old stoner lyrics. There are a couple of more personal tracks on this album though. Like Heroic Elegy, dedicated and inspired by all the friends and heroes we've lost in the last couple of years and Vultures Mass which is personal perspective on depression.

What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Good shows for us are when people turn up and enjoy the music, so we've had lots of highlights of the last seven years. Some that stand out particularly for us though are playing Hammerfest and Bloodstock last year. We'd like to play more festivals this year. Our stage show is pretty laid back. Most of our energy goes into playing the music the best we can, without too much theatrics. We do like to see our crowd enjoying themselves though, so it pays to let them see that energy.

Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?

We have a launch show on March 18th at Firebug in our home city, Leicester. After that we have some good gigs booked most months for the rest of the year. Maybe we will get to do some kind of tour this year. It would be our first. Being self funded and we all have other commitments like families and work, it's not something we've managed to do yet. We are getting to some new towns and cities this year though. We'd like to keep that up.

Currently the band is signed to 'Witch Hunter Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

We're actually independent, not signed to a label. Witch Hunter Records was a distributor for unsigned bands but unfortunately isn't going any more. All our previous releases have been self funded and the new album 'Green' was funded through a Pledge Music Campaign.

On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of stoner, sludge, and doom metal?

We're always very grateful to anyone who supports us, wherever they're from but it's always that extra bit more gratifying to get a new fan overseas or post an album or some merch internationally. We do have fans all over the world now, which is something we never expected and definitely gives us motivation.

Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

We don't tend to plan things out too much really. Apart from gigging. Writing music is a natural process. We just write when we want to or when someone comes up with a riff. It's a very simple process in the beginning. Either we like a riff and keep it going, play with it, add to it and evolve it or we move on to the next one.

What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

We've adopted the tag Stoner Metal when we have to because although our roots are definitely well planted in stoner and doom, our individual tastes and influence are so varied they inevitably find their way into Mage somewhere. Everything from thrash and death metal to prog and classic rock.

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