* Originally posted on WXRT.cbslocal.com/
You may, or may not, have heard of the indie trio that is Magic Giant. Either way, you may not know the fascinating story of how the virtuosic group came to be, and how they create their music.
The group has caught attention for their single, “Set On Fire,” which charted at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral 50 chart after it’s release, and #1 on the world-famous KROQ’s Locals Only in their home-city of L.A.
Magic Giant consists of Austin Bisnow, Zambricki Li, & Brian Zaghi (a.k.a. Zang). Between the three musicians they play over a dozen instruments, and have decades of experience in writing, and performing.
In an exclusive interview with Magic Giant, we got the details on the formation of the group, “We all play the cello and guitar so the bar is pretty high to get in the band,” they told us.
The trio, began as a duo, with Austin Bisnow and Zambricki Li. The two had been in a band together previously, and decided to rekindle their musical relationship with a new endeavor, back in 2014. Bisnow discovered a at the time mustachioed Zaghi, playing electric bass with a mutual friend at a show. Bisnow was captivated by his skill and performing abilities, and he passed their the test.
But why stop at three members? They shared the perks of a three-man-band with XRT, “With three people you can never have a tie. Magic Giant is a true collaboration: when we are creating beats or arranging songs it’s nice to have only a few cooks in the kitchen.” Their collaboration, they say, is only strengthened by their different experiences musically, “We all have different musical backgrounds and flavors, and really strong opinions, so the three of us can individually contribute in a way that’s meaningful to the overall sound. For us, the best song and the best idea always wins. Having a tight-knit group of three really lets each member shine.”
The group tells us the main goal of the band has always been to “move bodies and souls,” and that’s what they got/get a high off doing, “By the time we played our first festival we were totally hooked on playing live and getting the songs out to the world.”
Magic Giant released its freshman self-titled EP, in 2015, and it was recorded in a very unique studio at Zambrcki’s house in L.A. His home has a 1940s bomb shelter in the backyard. Originally when he bought the home there was no ventilation, and no electricity. With the help of his bandmates, they converted it into what’s now a recording studio and rehearsal space. They also record in their shuttle bus they’ve turned into a solar-powered studio and tourbus.
Speaking of the road, the trio’s live performances are something to behold, with Zambricki sometimes playing two instruments at the same time to pull off a recorded song live. One could argue their inspiration and energy comes from their name, to an extent.
Some know that the name “Magic Giant” came from watching a TED Talk for the visual artist, Peter Tunney, but we got them to elaborate on the name and it’s meaning, “We always say ‘You don’t have to be big to be a giant’. Our biggest influences aren’t necessarily people that are world-famous; it’s people who are are impacting other people’s lives around them. We believe in creating our own luck and that you can find magic in all aspects of life.”
Since their first EP was released in 2015, the band has released multiple singles in 2016, and are about to release their first album. The band shared the title with us, and where it came from in regards to their unique and spirited style of creating the music on it, “Magic Giant is something that we created from scratch. From building custom instruments like the cello-bass, or recording on the road in nature with our solar-powered mobile recording studio, we’re not operating from the standard Rock & Roll playbook,” they said.
So what’s the tile of the upcoming album? “We are taking the best parts of our collective experience and letting the music take us “In the Wind,” which happens to be the name of our upcoming album.” To stay true to their title they’ve recorded tracks for the new album in some very interesting spots which include; on the inside a Redwood tree off the coast of California, in a tunnel by Snoqualmie Pass, on an airstrip in Marble, Colorado, and in a wild daisy field near Crested Butte. In The Wind has a May 19th release date.
In the end Magic Giant hopes that the music they’re creating becomes a small part of the listeners’ lives, “We think when music is done best, it tells a story and moves people. We love the opportunity to be a small scene in the soundtrack of people’s lives.”
Their closing thought is a lovely one, “We hope people take the songs with them and we can be a part of their story.”
You can purchase Magic Giant’s music and merch on their online store, which they say on their site is made at a “solar-powered, paper-free, conscious manufacturer in our hometown of Los Angeles. Our mission is to dance with an eco-footprint and create products as unique as the people rocking them.”
Who can’t get behind that?!