Five Questions With Fake Magic

Canadian rock band, Fake Magic is made up of Greg Markham and Bryan Paccagnella. The band recently released their sophomore album, N.A., as well as a new single, “Always Nice”.

“It’s an exploration of the unique places and the ‘animals’ of the continent,” Paccagnella offers. “The album art is based on an original photo Greg took while on tour with Whosarmy; the album is meant to evoke an upside-down slide in a slideshow.”

“The initial recording was done in my apartment downtown Toronto at Bathurst and Bloor,” Markham shares. “We incorporated elements of the apartment and street into the songs, like the sounds of fans, car alarms, and sirens.

“Bryan also uses a DIY piezoelectric kazoo on a couple of tracks to ‘fake’ guitar parts.”

Check out the music video for “Always Nice” below and find out more about the band via our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi, we’re Greg Markham and Bryan Paccagnella of the rock band Fake Magic. We’ve been pals since 2nd grade. While we used to live down the street from one another in Richmond Hill, and we now both call Toronto home.

Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.

We grew up playing a lot of garage and basement rock with our friends, and we take influence from a lot of music from that time – bands like Primus, Tool, Nirvana, and Radiohead. Greg attended the Humber Jazz program, so there’s some jazz influence as well. We continue to find inspiration in an ever-widening swath of music, from Funkadelic to Björk to Weird Al. While we hover around rock as a central point, we don’t care much about the bounds of genre.

We enjoy creating material that pushes our sound and our abilities. There’s a clear difference between our first EP Hi-Fi and our latest album, N/A, and we anticipate the next album being another leap. Our writing style is organized chaos. We’re both avid creators, and we typically bring several song kernels to a jam to see what pops. With some initial framework laid down, it gives us room to jam out ideas and build on bits we like. Bryan has a background in improv comedy, so it helps him come up with scratch lyrics on the fly. Sometimes they even end up in the final version.

How are you keeping creative without shows? What are you spending your time on?

Regular jam sessions (when permitted) always help. When we can’t meet up in person, the occasional new gear purchase can be a fun time sink. We also write and create video content to keep creative juices flowing.

If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?

We’d suggest you check out Always Nice on YouTube – it’ll remind you of a time when it was warmer outside, and it’s a great tune to dip your toe in.

Our latest album, N/A, is an exploration of the unique places and ‘animals’ of North America. You can’t go wrong with much in there, but we’d suggest checking out Tonawanda, Get Outta My Way, Parking Lot, or Father to get a sense of our vibe.

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?

Andy Shauf is great. Keegan Powell is great. We have admittedly fallen behind on the “current” latest and greatest, but there are so many Canadian artists that have been formative for us: The Tragically Hip, Hawksley Workman, Rich Brown, Arcade Fire, Rush, Blue Rodeo, Joni Mitchell, The Guess Who, I Mother Earth, Age of Electric, Matthew Good Band, The Barenaked Ladies. The list goes on and on.

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