MAGAZINE GAP – Q&A
With the release of their new EP ‘Calling Card’, London group Magazine Gap answered a few questions about themselves.
What are your names?
James Keen – Vocals & Guitar
Brian “Cookie” McCook – Drums
Alex Ho – Piano
What is your band name?
How did you come up with your name?
It’s actually taken from a major road in Hong Kong, where two of us actually grew up (though didn’t meet until London)
What is your genre of music?
Short answer – ‘rock’. Longer answer – a combination of a range of different styles including pop, rock, R&B, hip-hop, jazz, blues, funk, soul.
Give us a little bio about you as a trio and individuals.
James started out making a name for himself as a singer/songwriter on the acoustic circuit, before meeting Cookie, a well-known R&B drummer and producer on the scene with huge experience, and Alex, a classically-trained pianist (with degrees from Royal Academy and Royal College of Music) who had morphed into a jazz maestro. We were introduced through mutual contacts and wanted to try something entirely different that we couldn’t achieve on our own.
What made you go in to music?
A real belief in having something to say and something new to offer, plus a conviction in our abilities as musicians, performers and songwriters.
Are you signed?
We have recorded and released our own music independently under our own label (Jackaroo Records), but are open to major label discussions to reach a broader audience.
Have you guys got any gigs coming up?
If so where will you be heading
We’re performing at Cargo in London on October 21st
If you could collaborate with any UK artist who would it be?
If you could collaborate with any USA artist who would it be?
Where is your dream venue or festival to play?
Royal Albert Hall
Who are your influences?
Prince, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Sting, James Brown, Herbie Hancock
How do you get inspiration for all your tracks?
We always try to find something new, built on a cool groove, catchy piano or guitar riffs, modified chords, interesting lyrics. It’s all inspired by what our heroes have achieved, specifically defying convention to create convention.
Where do you see yourself in 5 Years?
Playing a number of dates at the Royal Albert Hall!
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Enjoy time with friends and family, watch live music, switch off at the cinema.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
James – “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder
Alex – “Man In The Mirror” by Michael Jackson
Cookie – “Papa Don’t Take No Mess” by James Brown
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
“Think about whether you would you buy your own album” – makes you think about your music objectively and not become too self-indulgent.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Find your own voice, trust your instincts and have courage of convictions.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
“Be music makers and dreamers of dreams”
In your hometown where is your go to place to go after you’ve come back from hitting the road?
Home is our go-to-place!
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Direct audience to our social media
Introduce the band
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow?
Yes, the Big Four: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & YouTube