If you love your pop rock, then take one listen to Maggie Cassidy and you’ll immediately want to know how to join the club. The five piece, based in Guildford in Surrey, formed in 2017 and we’ve got a good feeling you’ll be hearing a lot more of them! We caught up with vocalist Jamie Coupe to talk about their upcoming EP and how a fan inspired them to be more open in their music…
Hi guys, can you give us the lowdown on ‘Maggie Cassidy’?
We’re a five-piece emo rock band from the UK! We’re named after an early Jack Kerouac novel – hopefully it doesn’t give too much away about how we sound, so when people hear about us they don’t have any preconceptions around the type of band we are. We aim to write big, feels bangers you can sing, dance, and mosh to! We’re all about community, building a family of music fans that feel the same way about music that we do. Hit us up and join the club, we’d love to hear from you!
What music inspired you and how has that been brought into Maggie Cassidy?
A really varied cacophony of genres and artists goes into making Maggie Cassidy what it is. Predominantly though it’s emo rock acts that we grew up listening to like You Me At Six, My Chemical Romance and Panic! At The Disco. We try and take the beating heart of that scene and put a modern edge on it that embraces the ways in which music has evolved since we first started listening to those bands at 13, 14. The Maine often end up being our north star, a band that have handled that evolution really well, so they hold a a pretty special, inspirational place in the world of our band.
You recently released Just To Know can you tell us the story behind the song?
The original demo for ‘Just To Know’ started out life with the name ‘Doctor Who’ because of that crazy theremin-style synth that sounds like an extraterrestrial spaceship approaching that opens the track. Over time it evolved into this big, aggressive rock track with real bite. Lyrically it’s all about wanting to burn down, destroy and ruin everything in your life ‘just to know’ how it feels. It’s a self-destructive fantasy and I think a lot of people have toyed with that fantasy at one time or another in their life.
Watch the video for Just To Know below:
Your previous release ‘S.A.D’ featured an accompanying video which was filmed by yourselves in lockdown, how did you find that process?
It was, quite frankly, completely crazy. Anyone who’s ever been on the set of a music video will tell you it’s all about the energy in the room – everyone hyping one another up to get those wild performances you see in the finished product. Whereas this video shoot was just us, alone, in our rooms, acting like weirdos to our webcams. All the energy had to be self-motivated but we got there in the end; we also edited all our own videos so it was completely DIY. Mind you, I have a big window so I think my neighbours probably think I’m a crazy person now considering how the video turned out!
On a more serious note the song refers to Seasonal Affective Disorder, which many people may have experienced without realising, what can you tell us about it?
Seasonal Affective Disorder is depression either brought on, or exacerbated, by a change in weather – typically dark, gloomy type weather where you don’t get enough sun. I think it effects a lot of people, especially in Northern Europe, where it can be pretty dark so most people experiencing it don’t tend to connect those feelings with a change in weather. There’s definitely things you can do to combat it but we’re not doctors so if the song isn’t sufficient medicine then definitely make a visit to your GP!
It’s very honest and open of you to share your mental health experiences and thankfully it’s gradually becoming a normal thing to do. Have you been inspired by any other artists who have done the same, what inspired you to share?
It was actually an experience with a fan that changed our approach to discussing mental health issues in our music. She let us know that one of our songs had helped her through a really challenging period in her life and, as a small band, the fact that our music could impact one person so much is an amazing feeling. Since then it’s changed the way we think about being open, and honest, about our own struggles because we can see in the flesh how it changes people’s lives. We played a show for just her (which you can see on YouTube) as a thank you which was a really special way for everything to come full circle.
Watch the video for S.A.D below:
Your new EP Life Is Beautiful is out on July 31st, what can we expect to hear?
It’s our first extended release so it really encompasses everything Maggie Cassidy stands for – supporting one another and being part of a compassionate world. It also showcases the breadth of our sound from aggressive punky tracks like Tell Me Why to the emo singalong of S.A.D to feels bangers like I’m Alive. These five songs are like the tastiest five sweets from our own pic’n’mix – sweet and sumptuous variety.
The EP was recorded by Seb Barlow, what did he bring to the EP?
Firstly, working with Seb was fantastic; he has great energy and created an environment where we could do our best work. I think when you look for a producer you want someone who has the recipe to make your songs 10% or 15% better than how they started out, Seb did all that and more. He pushed us to make the best music we’ve ever put down and we can’t really understate what an important part of the process he is.
“it’s as if the lockdown has just pulled everything into sharper focus and how important it is to make the time”
Life at the moment is pretty crazy, but have you experienced any particularly ‘beautiful’ moments over the lockdown period?
Loads! I think so many of us have too. They’re all around us, it’s just about knowing where to find them. Personally I think they’ve hit me as family moments, it’s as if the lockdown has just pulled everything into sharper focus and how important it is to make the time – it seems like families are more connected than ever through lockdown and I think that will continue after life starts to return to normal. On a larger scale I think watching and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement has been beautiful to witness. It’s been incredible to see the fight for equality coming to the forefront of all our minds, the leadership and the ally involvement – I think we’ll look back and see the beauty in it as well as how absolutely necessary it is.
When ‘normal’ life resumes what’s the thing your most looking forward to?
Touring, touring, touring! Easy answer! We’re absolutely itching to get out and play this record live. We had a load of touring plans in the works before lockdown so we can’t wait to finally fulfil those commitments. It’s going to feel incredible to play this record live and hopefully make a few new fans in the process. I think fans of music everywhere are desperate for it too; that first run of shows when we get back out there are going to be absolutely wild so watch this space!
Watch the video when Maggie Cassidy played a show for fan Holly below
The debut EP Life Is Beautiful, will be out on 31st July. For more on the band visit the official website.