Band Q&A – Maggie Cassidy

Maggie Cassidy are from Guildford, England! Their members are;

  • Jamie Coupe – Vocals
  • Jan Bernegren – Guitar
  • Tom Macdonald-Grute – Guitar
  • Jack Onslow – Bass
  • Pete Callaghan – Drums

1. Who are your top 3 influences?

  1. The Maine
  2. You Me At Six
  3. Thirty Seconds To Mars

2. What was it like shooting the video for ‘Leaking Love’?

So much fun! It was a long day and we were under a lot of time pressure to get all the shots while we had the studio space. It was hell for leather and we pretty much didn’t stop shooting for 10 hours consecutively. We’re delighted with how it turned out though and we got to play with champagne, confetti cannons, and puppies! Jan’s dog Pip is in the video but she was pretty shy being on camera, I don’t think she liked being under all the lights!

3. How did you all meet?

Jamie, Tom, Pete, and Jack all met at the Academy of Contemporary Music when they were studying. Jan joined later because the band (at the time) needed a guitarist. Then we all went on to form Maggie Cassidy which represents the sound and kind of band we really want to be.

4. What is your song writing process?

Typically Tom, Jack, or Jan will write something instrumentally and either create a whole track or just present an initial idea which we’ll build on together. That’s when Jamie will come in to shape the track a little further before adding lyrics and melody on top. Every song is unique though and each has its own story so they all come together in a way which is special. It also pushes us into unique spaces to try and mix up our writing process as often as possible; we’re always looking to push ourselves as songwriters.

5. What do you hope to have achieved a year from now?

With any luck we’ll have put out a body of work, an EP maybe, it would be really good to write four or five songs that sit together but allow us to experiment with different types of song. Also to have been on a UK tour and have visited Europe a few times for some one off shows. We’re ambitious so that’s only the start of what we want to do to grow the community around Maggie Cassidy!

6. What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Our biggest challenge has probably been touring. We want to get out to as many cities, towns, and countries as we can. We speak to fans from all over the world most days and it’s sad we can’t get out to play for them in person and meet them to thank them for supporting us. It’s just not financially viable for us to tour relentlessly at the moment but when it comes, which will hopefully be sooner rather than later, we’re going to make it really special.

7. What is your favourite thing about performing live?

Being up on stage is a thrill, especially with my best friends, you can’t beat that feeling. The best part though is getting to speak to fans after the shows, listening to their stories, and just sharing a passion for music. People who come out to shows and believe in the healing power of music are keeping live music a healthy place to be. I’ve had so many incredible interactions with fans from all walks of life, it’s that diversity which makes it such a transformative experience.

8. What is your favourite song to perform live?

Probably a song called ‘Maker, Dear’. We put out a stripped back version last year but when we play it live the second half involves the whole band. It’s usually a real moment in our set because the song is very explicitly about living with depression. I think a lot of our fans can relate to that, and living with other mental health issues, so it’s a nice moment to signpost that. The first half of the song is just guitar/vocals so it’s very bare and it builds to a big crescendo, we love the dynamics of it!

9. What inspired your recent songs, and songs to come?

Our last releases were inspired more by personal experiences, situations in love and life that can be testing. On the new songs it’s more focused on cultural aspects of modern day life that effect us all like the prevalence of social media. The effect of social media is a hot topic at the moment and it’s hard not to write a songs in 2019 without touching on it; it’s not all negative, we’re just trying to reflect on it. Sonically I’d say we’re pushing for bigger choruses and more synths. We don’t want to stand still!

10. What do you do when you’re not musically involved?

You can find us either watching football or reading. we’re big football fans so whenever we’re not making music we catch up on everything that gets missed. We love to read too. Not very rock and roll, I know, but it keeps us sane!

11. In your opinion, what’s your best song?

Our new single ‘Runaway’ because it splits the difference between rock and pop really well. It’s a singalong type track with a really, clear straight forward message but it still slaps in all the right places. We want people to be able to dance, sing, and mosh to our songs; we think this is the perfect track to do just that!

12. Who has the worst dress sense?

Jamie! He always looks good on show days, photoshoots, or videoshoots but when it comes to practice and any time the cameras are switched off he brings out some garms you wouldn’t believe. The man lives in tracksuits and hoodies, very much a comfort over style approach. It’s not a bad way of approaching life but it’s not the most stylish way!

13. Funniest show story?

We played a show a while back in Brighton and drove back to Tom’s in our van, who lived in Guildford at the time, to sleep at his place before the next show of tour. We arrived home super late, like 2am, and it was the dead of winter so it was freezing. We went to open the door and the key snapped off in the lock and we thought that was us done for. Fortunately we managed to jimmy the broken key out and Tom sourced a spare from somewhere. It wasn’t funny at the time but it is looking back; that’s the kind of misfortune you have to be prepared for when you’re on tour!

14. Pizza! What toppings do you have?

As many vegetables and salad type things as possible! Jan is vegetarian so there’s a load of classic toppings he’ll just skip off the bat. No sweetcorn or pineapple for any of us though; that’s just wrong in every way imaginable.

15. Who is the most annoying member?

We all take that mantle from time to time! We can all be annoying but in our own unique ways. I’m (Jan) going to be diplomatic and say me; I’m always trying to bait the other boys by saying things wrong on purpose like ‘Kirk Cobain’ or ‘Dan Grohl’. If I can get one of them to nibble at me saying something incorrectly then it’s the best but I’m not sure they appreciate it!

16. Who has the worst tattoo?

Controversially we’re going to say that all the tattoos are pretty decent. Jan, Tom, and Pete don’t have any so it’s only Jamie or Jack to choose between! I rate what both of them have had done for ink. Jack randomly gets them and turns up with a new one out of the blue but they’re all pretty tasteful.

17. Fast forward and you’re millionaires. What do you do with the money?

We would put on our own festival! We’re always inspired by the band  ‘The Maine’ and they put on their own festival, 8123 Fest, and it looks amazing. It’s in their hometown, fully curated by them, and is just an amazing celebration of what their band is all about. We’d love to do something like that, a big festival with multiple stages that just celebrates our community. That’d be awesome.

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Listen on Spotify.

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