Getting To Know... The Mags

After spending the last few years cutting their teeth as the house band at Liverpool's legendary Cavern Club, New York-based outfit The Mags are now ready to introduce themselves to the wider world with their explosive debut single 'When I Get Home'.

Channelling a wonderfully fun and swaggering indie-rock aesthetic for their initial offering, 'When I Get Home' makes for a thunderous introduction to their sound so far. With its bold and driven hooks, soaring atmosphere, and stellar vocals layered throughout, they are kicking things off with an incredibly enjoyable opening number here.

So with the new single available to stream now, we sat down with them to find out more about their origins and what has been inspiring them most over the years.


What was the first instrument you fell in love with?

A Japanese Fender Telecaster. It’s a classic and still one of my favourite guitars. It plays so well and I love the tone when the gain of a driven amp meets the Tele Twang. So good!

What kind of music did you love when you were younger?

As a kid I was raised on a strict diet of The Beatles, U2 and the Pretenders. As a teenager I fell in love with The Kinks, Oasis, The Clash and Pink Floyd.

What was the first album you remember owning?

I have two, not sure which one came first… Firstly, the Joshua Tree by U2, such a moody album. It still holds up. Secondly, Appetite for Destruction by Guns n Roses. What a beast of an album!

What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?

Honestly, I don’t feel that way about anyone else’s music. I’m really happy with the songs I’ve written myself (the good ones at least!), because they are MINE. There’s lots of music by other people that I adore, but I don’t envy it.

Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?

Not really, but I do find that my best songs tend to appear when I’m holding an acoustic guitar, so when I’m in the mood to write, or an idea is taking off, I usually reach for the acoustic. Also, sometimes I’ll start writing a song on the piano, then move over to guitar, and vice versa. Bouncing back and forth between the two is a great way to explore different directions and develop musical ideas, I think.

Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?

Lately I’ve been listening to Bob Seger (an artist who totally passed me by growing up in England, but who is a huge deal in the US) and I’ve been loving the live performances on ‘Rumours’ (Deluxe) by Fleetwood Mac. In terms of newer artists, I think Madison Cunningham is incredible. She’s touched by God or something, what a talent… Wow! Her song, ‘Life According To Rachel’ is one of the best songs I’ve heard in several years.

If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?

The Clash. The Mags would be a great warm up act for them, plus once our set was done we could have a beer and enjoy the show!

What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?

Capturing and expressing something real, through music. When it’s done right, nothing hits harder.

And what is the most frustrating part?

Hitting dead ends and watching wonderful ideas peter out. ‘Half a page of scribbled lines, that come to nought.’ So annoying, arrgh!

And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?

Write music for you and you alone. As long as you are happy with what you made, it truly doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of it.


The Mags' debut single 'When I Get Home' is out now. Check it out in the player below.