IG Live Recap: Austin Bisnow, Magic Giant
May 24, 2021
VS: Austin Bisnow, Magic Giant hey man! I know you're, you're a busy man. So I know that you’ve got a busy day. So thanks for hanging out with us.
Austin Bisnow, Magic Giant: My pleasure, man. Thank you for having me. Shout out to SLC.
VS: Yes, we're in downtown Salt Lake in our little Bookstore. We need to get some records on the wall. We’ve got to get some Magic Giant records in here. Right away.
Austin Bisnow, Magic Giant: I need a Magic Giant record. I'm still waiting for it, it's on pre-order.
VS: So talk to me a bit about life during this time. What's it been like for Magic Giant?
Austin Bisnow, Magic Giant: I mean, everyone's definitely taken time to do things that we hadn't, hadn't done before, which has been really nice. Like, we've been, you know, going at it for seven years. And so that was like, unexpected, but like, you know, we were all so lucky that we got to tour last January, February and play Good Morning
America. But then also like, we will also be coming off the road. And we're about to have to jump into another tour followed by another tour. And we were just like, Oh, it was bittersweet. But then we just sort of took it to like, try other things. And now we've gotten back into the recording and like, the new songs are super exciting. And we're working on something that we've been working on for a while but we're getting we're the closest we've ever been.
VS: Well, the new singles that we hear, you know, out there are bangers right? Oh, yeah. Rocket Man is so good! Yeah. So I can't wait to hear what you guys are working on. When you have this time to kind of focus on different things. I think we're all super excited to see what that looks like for you guys.
Austin Bisnow, Magic Giant: Thanks, brother. We just have one song to mix with this guy that we're really excited about. Um, so as soon as we like it, then we're gonna send the next song to mix and then the next song to mix then we're gonna have a full album.
VS: Yeah, wait. Yeah, seriously, can't wait. Um, your motto is, it's really, really cool. You know, as a band, you don't have to be big to be a giant. Explain the origins of that motto? because that gives me goosebumps man. That's a really powerful thing to say.
Austin Bisnow, Magic Giant: My wife actually said that. The term magic giant came from a TED talk by this visual artist, Peter Tony. And he was talking about his mentor, Jonas Salk. This guy developed the cure for polio. Okay, crazy. And he was describing his mentor as a giant in every sense of the word. Then they showed a photo of him and he was like, he was like there in terms of his physical height. And we just thought that was so cool. Like, that's, that's sort of where the expression came from. I think my wife said it like you don't have to be a quote, big to be a giant. And we were just like, yeah, that's so right. You know, powerful,
VS: So powerful. Thank you for sharing. Talk a little bit about the Camp Misfits. That's new to me since it's 2018, I'm only catching up to down there. What is Camp Misfits?
Austin Bisnow, Magic Giant: Okay, Camp Misfits is, oh, man, it's one of our favorite weekends. It's in the redwoods in Northern California. These trees are ginormously tall, and it's you. It's really cool, palpable. It's just to be in that forest. First of all, regardless of who's there but then the crew that comes every year is just, it's so perfect. It's just like it's just everyone's just boom, jelling and we're doing a sort of fun different activities like we try to make all of our shows fun and different, but at Camp Misfits we get to be even like, be more experimental and more just like because we know everyone is just there and loving and open to whatever and like down to see different types of things. So we do music to a yoga class, we do a, you know, different campfire stuff we do. I mean, and then we do like full shows. And then we have like a comedian. And then we do like hikes while we sing. And we just like we try to just, oh Zang teaches a salsa dancing class. Like we do a songwriting workshop and all these different things. So yeah, we really, we were surprised, like, we thought it was gonna be amazing. And it even surpassed our expectations. And it's like, yeah, we can't wait for it. And it's this September, so.
VS: Wow. Can't wait! September you said?
Austin Bisnow, Magic Giant: This September. Yeah, we had to push it. We had to push it by a year. But right. It's no It ain't no. Ain't no thing.
VS: I mean, your music is so powerful. Like you guys rock hard. But you folk hard too. And I can't imagine, you know, being a beautiful space at the redwoods. Because you already transformed like a normal venue. A normal space like...
Austin Bisnow, Magic Giant: Yeah, remember the boat I went on? And I can see you and I think you're wearing a onesie?
VS: probably, (laughter)
Austin Bisnow, Magic Giant: and like a captain's hat… (Laughter)
VS: And probably Yeah, I don't think I've ever danced harder and like, yeah, you guys are like the danciest Rock Band of all time, like after prince, it's you guys.
Austin Bisnow, Magic Giant: Whoooooooo!
VS: Right. Like, I can't wait, man. So a couple more questions, right. So to me, like, I think the mark of an exceptional band, this is my opinion. But the mark of an exceptional band or songwriter is that band's ability to sound different based on what the user or the listener needs at that moment. And so sometimes, all we want to do is just put a onesie on a dance hard. And that's what we needed that day, right? But other times that we need the music to do way more for us to go deeper, kind of like rocket man to the moon, or the diver, you know, down to Atlantis, right? So we need to work in different ways. And a magic giant does that for me. Your songs sound different to me every single time I listen to them, based on where I am that day or in my life. And I don't think that it can't be just me. Have you heard that before or a version of that?
Austin Bisnow, Magic Giant: I mean, even if we try to make this, like this, just songs have different meanings, depending on how you play them, you know, and like shake me up is a great example. I mean, that song has a lot of meaning for us personally. But when it's done to, uh, you know, the music video is like a hard dance. It's like, you're like, shake me up! You know. And it's like, even though it's the same lyrics, but then the acoustic record, it's like, you feel this, at least I do, I feel this totally different side wash over, even with the same lyrics, and I think Yeah, on this new on the new album we're working on, it's we've done more of like, the mid-tempo like, I don't even want to say mid-tempo it sounds so geeky, but like, more of the like, But yeah, more of like heart songs of like, like Jessie song is like a, it's just like, you know, more of a nod your head, we still have a couple of dance stuff and stuff like that. But like more of a just like, I just want to feel it, you know, we've explored that even with the same optimistic outlook. It's fun playing around with different feelings. That makes sense.
VS: I love that. No, it's very, for me, it's very spiritual. It's like an emotional journey. It's like going to church, you know, the kind of churches where there's the clapping and the shouting and like, just feeling this, like very positive, you know, vibration that much, you know, it's very unique.
Austin Bisnow, Magic Giant: When it's like that for you. It's also like that for us. You know, it's like, it is reciprocal. It is like, it's definitely like a push-pull. And it's like a give receive, it's like, that's it. You know, that's how I want it to be at least every time. Yeah, every time. I think we're both beyond that, you know? And it's and it's, it takes, it takes two or more, you know, like it takes, it takes the you's for there to be that experience for us. And it's circular.
VS: So, I was in a clubhouse a couple of days, well I guess now it's probably been a week or so, where you were talking- a really good clubhouse, but you're talking about some of your influences. So I don't want to ask you about that. Because we can Google it and we can listen to your music and the people coming up, you know, the youngsters will cite you as a reference or influence, we can certainly hear the influences in your music, so I won't go there. But as a musician, you know, so I am a drummer and I'm a marketer by trade. It almost makes me so happy that I'm mad. Like I, I want to know is like, as a marketer, I want to know, do you try to make something like what's like, there's a moment in the song where like, the verse, the chorus, the verse, the chorus, there's a hook there, you know, it's very, very Pop-y, it's that it's exactly what you want to hear. It's what your body wants to move to. But then there's a moment where there's like another level of energy, where you guys take it up one more notch, and I'm almost mad at you. It's like a drug dealer, like, but instead of doing things to hurt the body, like you're, you're giving the body even more. You thought you were dancing your hardest, but there's a jam moment. It's a lot of open hi-hat stuff. And then you guys have that banjo plucking stuff on top of that. So it's folky to like the next level. It's Rocky, it's dancing to the next level. But is there a term for that? You know, do you talk to Zambreeki and say, Okay, we're doing the thing again. Where do we go from here to here? with the banjo in the open? Is there a term for it? Or is it just what you do?
Austin Bisnow, Magic Giant: I guess when you say the open hi-hat thing, I think about disco, you know? No, we just like we want to. Sometimes you think you've hit your max. I feel like it's all in Dynamics. Lumineers do this so well. We're like, they do and I've seen them live and they kill and it's like, they have these super like, ohhhhh! and you know, and
then they take it and then they do like, open and like, and you just feel like the wind washes over. The dynamics are everything. I wish we could do a better job of that. But like, that's how you take it. That's how you are, that's what the ride is. You know, if you're always at a 10, it's not fun. It's like, it's like lovemaking or whatever. Like if you have to have dynamics, you are there for you too. And it's like rain and sun. It's like you have to, I don't know, it makes you know how people say you appreciate the sunny weather more when you have the rain like this. That's because it's like a dynamics in weather. Anyway,
VS: That's beautiful. Thank you, man. So how do we stay in touch with Magic Giant? We mentioned the Redwoods this year. You know September, but what's the best way to stay in touch with you to hear the newest music and just kind of be a part of this thing?
Austin Bisnow, Magic Giant: I mean Instagram is good, come to Camp Misfits with us if you can of course I'm really yeah, I'm excited. I'm excited about the new music you just have to stay posted on it. We don't have a date yet but this summer is what we're planning for so we have like yeah ah!! Honestly, I feel I just want to apologize that it's taken so long. Yeah, it's not cool! We are so excited for this next chapter for us to just release music more often honestly. And we have like we have the songs we just there's been like there's just been like back end stuff that's been holding stuff up but we're getting through it and now we're getting close to just being able to like release lots of music.
VS: Well it's like you said right like it's like you guys take a normal spot like a bodega turn it into a dance party like you turn every space into a lovelier place you know with your heart, your passion, your songwriting. It is a better world with Magic Giant in it. Thank you, man.
Austin Bisnow, Magic Giant: So sweet of you to say
VS: Yeah, I can't I can't wait to kind of follow close in and see all the new stuff coming out. And thanks for your time again today. I know you're busy. So thank you so much.
Austin Bisnow, Magic Giant: See you in Salt Lake City.
VS: Please pop in soon.
Austin Bisnow, Magic Giant: Thank you everyone for tuning in. Have a great one.