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Band Of The Week // MAGGIE CASSIDY

Sharing their thrilling debut EP, Life Is Beautiful, Maggie Cassidy are here to grace the world with their infectious and vibrant sound.

Maggie Cassidy 2020

After forming in 2018, Maggie Cassidy are presenting their cutting debut EP Life Is Beautiful. Recorded in an old air raid bunker in Wrexham, the band admits pouring blood, sweat and tears into making the record, albeit they “laughed a hell of a lot in the studio too”. This passion translates into a collection of driving tracks with electrifying guitar lines and soulful vocals, into searing choruses and building drum fills, and there’s no denying the pure emotional adrenaline that runs throughout the EP.

Speaking more about the making of it, guitarist Jan-Erik Barnegren shares:

The world is a crazy, dark, demoralising place at times — just look at what’s happening now with the COVID-19 outbreak — but out of that comes incredible, inspiring things. So I guess it’s about finding the silver linings and seeing the world for what it is. No one’s life is perfect and life is a lot of things but it’s also beautiful, so try and embrace that and make the most of it.

Feeling inspired by this message of positive affirmation, we talked with the band further about the silver linings that have kept them going, and to find out more about the process behind the EP.

What’s a motto you live by?

Over the past year our motto has really been ‘f**k it’ which is just our way of reminding ourselves not to worry about what people might think to the risks we take. I think at the start we were really anxious around what people thought and built up this abstract idea of things that we can or can’t do. Whereas reminding ourselves not to let fear rule our creative spirit has really allowed us to throw off the shackles and I think that really comes through on the EP.

If you could set the EP to a TV show or movie, what would it be the soundtrack for?

It’d have to be a big, fast-paced action film but something with feels too. Maybe Spider-Man, I think the EP swings from high energy to raw emotion. If Tom Holland needs a new soundtrack then he can give us a call, we’re up for it!

If your sound had a colour, what colour would it be?

Pink, 100%. Our colour has been pink from day one. We’re a group of five lads but really we don’t write songs about partying and drinking it’s more feels and emotion. Pink is kind of contrary to accepted ideas of masculinity and that’s something we’ve always wanted to embrace in the way we present ourselves.

What has been the silver lining for you during this period of COVID-19?

A big silver lining has been being more connected with our families, friends, and fans. Life is so busy sometimes and I think in a band you’re working so hard that important things can fall by the wayside. It’s been nice to take the time to recognise those relationships, it puts everything into perspective.

Have there been any particular moments that have inspired either the concept of, or material on Life Is Beautiful?

It’s never really been about particular moments for us but rather feelings and those shared experiences we see time and time again in our little world. We’ve experienced in ourselves, and others, struggles with anxiety in this crazy, busy world we live in. I think that thematically the EP tries to tap into those feelings and show people that they’re not alone.

What are your fondest memories of recording your debut EP?

Working with Seb from Neck Deep, building the songs day after day. It’s a phenomenal experience watching the tracks go from a single guitar track to this fully formed beast. We had a real laugh in the studio and that incredible atmosphere with Seb in the studio made for a great experience.

Are there any behind-the-scenes stories that you can share with us of the process?

After a long day in the studio (typically 10-12 hours) we’d go back to our Airbnb in Wrexham, crack open some pink G&T’s, and watch Love Island. We’d look forward to it everyday after the studio, coming home to the islanders. That’s what kept us from killing each other while living in a house in the middle of nowhere for two weeks!

Did you come across any surprises, whether pleasant or unpleasant, during recording?

Well in the Airbnb we rented for the recording process when you turned on the hob it tripped the electrics in the whole house, so that was pretty surprising and relatively unpleasant. All respect to the host though who hooked us with a new cooker within a couple of days, lovely stuff!

If you had to pick your favourite lyrics off the EP, which ones would you choose?

That’s a tough one but probably the lyrics to You Don’t Excite Me which is the acoustic track that closes the EP. It’s all about being in a relationship with someone for a long time – the initial honeymoon period is over and it’s not as thrilling but what replaces is that so much deeper. I think it’s a really unique twist on the love song so it feels very special and resonant.

And finally, what does music mean to you?

Music means community. It brings people together from all walks of live irrespective of race, gender, sexual orientation, faith or otherwise for one thing; the love of music. When you’re a fan of music you feel a part of something. I think that’s so important, especially right now. The friends and relationships we make through music last a lifetime and nurturing that community is what it’s all about.