Music Q&A: The Magic Numbers

Pop-rock band The Magic Numbers headline Sale's Refract Festival this month

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What informs your music and songwriting?
Everything. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint where a mood for a song comes from and others it’s glaringly obvious. Love and loss have always been at the forefront of most of our songs but I think there is definitely a more observational element to this new album. Songs like Runaways, Ride Against the Wind and Sweet Divide are definitely for anyone that’s ever felt like they have never quite fitted in and gaining strength in knowing that everyone should walk their own path. The times we are in are definitely for the nonconformist and we need to celebrate that.
How have you evolved as a band over the years?
We have been a band for 15 years, and it’s definitely been a journey. Evolving can mean many different things, I think. At this point in time I think we have reached a point where we are at our most comfortable. We have realised the strength we have when we come together as a band. Over the years we have never really fitted in with any trends or scenes and never tried to either. So I would say we have evolved into being more ourselves.
What are you up to at the moment artistically?
Right now we are touring a lot so just concentrating on putting every ounce of ourselves into the live shows and making them the best they can be, but we all have different projects on the go all the time. It’s good for when we come back together.
What’s on your rider?
Well, it’s changed a lot over the years. We seem to have a an abundance of fruit and veg these days. Sometimes it’s impossible to find healthy food on the road, especially when you are stuck for time, so we tend to get everything we need on the rider. There’s also a fair amount of booze on there too. Tequila seems to be a band favourite at the moment.
Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
There have been many embarrassing and surreal moments over the past 15 years. For me my embarrassing moments often happen when I’ve fallen over on stage or when I let out some unsavoury language live on TV or radio. Surreal moments have got to be meeting our heroes. Meeting Nick Cave was up there, also touring with Neil Young around Europe and watching his mind-blowing set every night.
What song do you wish you’d written?
That’s kind of an impossible question to answer! There are far too many to mention. A song I’m loving at the moment is a song by Julee Cruise called I Float Alone. It was written by David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti. I love how simple it is but has such a dark impact.
What’s your worst lyric?
I don’t want to see a ghost
It’s the fear that I fear most
Rather have a piece of toast and watch the evening news

Des’ree, Life 

The Magic Numbers will headline and close the 2018 Refract Festival at Waterside Arts Centre in Sale on 28 July

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