“[This time] is levelling of the playing field and making people pay more attention to DIY bands because all artists are in the same position” – Maggie Cassidy stop by to discuss life in lockdown

Guildford-based 5-piece Maggie Cassidy have wasted no time bursting into the spotlight with their exciting brand of dirty pop. Blending soaring vocals with dancing riffs, the band have built up a reputable following with their unique and inviting sound – most notably with latest effort, Why Can’t We Just Be Friends? Now, as we find ourselves in somewhat uncertain times, we sat down with the band’s guitarist – Jan-Erik Barnegren – to ask a few questions to discuss how these times are affecting musicians and find out a little more about how the landscape of the music industry will look moving forward.
What have you been listening to recently to ease the boredom of being cooped up?
All sorts really, it’s been great to have some time to listen to new music! Myself and some of the other boys are big rap fans so having Drake and Future drop new projects has been a godsend. Loads of scene music has come out that’s amazing too; Boston Manor’s new record is ace, as is the new album from The Used! Otherwise, Holding Absence, Static Dress, John The Ghost, Lawson, and Kailee Morgue have all recently put out new music so it’s a great time to find something new to listen to – all big recommendations if you’re looking for something new!
How have you found the extended period in isolation has impacted your creativity? Have you found it to be a blessing or a curse?
Sadly I think it’s more of a curse, we have so much more opportunity to be creative when we can all get in a room and bounce ideas off another whereas at the moment it’s all very back and forth with demos which can be a bit of a buzzkill. Having said that, we’ve been writing some new music we are really excited about and it’s come very much from a different place and I think that’s reflected in the way that it sounds. I think we’ll only really know the answer to that question when the music is out in the world for everyone to hear!
Have you taken to any social media platforms to deliver live performances during this time? If so, how did you find the reception?
We haven’t done anything live but we did do a lockdown cover of Adore You by Harry Styles which people really seemed to dig! It was crazy to record all our parts in isolation and then sending it into the ether to eventually make a full performance, felt very strange, but love the outcome. It’s on our YouTube and IGTV so if you get a chance give it a listen and let us know what you think!
Do you think this time will see a rise in ‘DIY’ musicians stepping into the spotlight? Do you think this is a good thing for the industry?
I hope so, I hope it’s kind of like a levelling of the playing field and people pay more attention to DIY bands because all artists are in the same position, whether you play stadiums or your local venues. As a DIY band, we hope that people use this time to give new music a chance!
How do you think this period will shape the music landscape for the years to come?
I think it might affect how labels/artists think of touring as the main revenue stream. I’ve seen lots of established bands investing more in YouTube or Twitch, different endeavours that aren’t always focused on music. I think the music industry might identify other routes with which to make money; at this point, I think it’s hard to tell if that’s positive or not.
What is the first thing you are going to do when this is all over?

See family and friends! Hands down. We’ve all been trying to stay as connected as possible but actually hanging out in the same room as the people we love is going to feel like such a gift.

Have you got a message for any of your fans that might be reading this? Any means by which they can support yourselves/the band at this time?

Our message is just to stay safe and stay healthy, look after yourselves and know you’re not alone. If our music can help you get through this time at all, that means a lot to us. We look to hear from fans too so don’t hesitate to get in touch, let’s talk!

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