Published on August 12th, 2015 | by Candace Parker-Dickerson0
Run Baby Run to Hear That Magnolia Sons Sound at Proud Larry’s August 14
It’s hard to put Magnolia Sons into one category. With their retro-infused style of R&B meets soul meets rock & roll, the Nashville-based band is all over the musical map. And the band’s slogan “Show-stoppin’ Since 2011” is definitely fitting. Reminiscent of iconic Motown acts like The Supremes and The Temptations, this band is definitely an attention grabber, attracting large audiences and garnering critical acclaim, like being named one of Nashville Lifestyles’ “Top 25 Artists to Watch in 2015.”
In anticipation of their August 14th performance at Proud Larry’s, I had the pleasure of speaking with drummer and manager, Austin Aguirre, about everything from the band’s beginnings and life on the road to his love for Foxy Brown.
How did the band come together? I moved to Nashville about five years ago and put together the whole band. Basically, I didn’t know anybody at the time so I’d hear people through recommendations or just go to shows to hear people play and afterwards talk to them and try to recruit them and bring them aboard.
Your style is very distinct. Did you set out to start a band with that specific sound in mind? I always had a vision for it; I wanted to do something retro, like rock, pop, and old school. I came up with this narrative as if we were a band in the 60s. Obviously soul was a big influence in the late 1960s and early 70s, even to the point where white artists began to attach themselves to it and it crossed over and broke the color barrier. I kind of wanted to take that and evolve from it. We decided to do some soul tunes and it caught on like wildfire. People really loved the few songs we put up. So we decided to stick with it for a while and make a really big catalog of soul music and identify ourselves with that. Tt’s been working out ever since.
Please explain the band’s lineup—does it consist of both core musicians and extras? For the past year and a half now, I would say we have a really solid roster of ten people. Whereas before, in the earlier years, out of ten, we’d have six and the other four were like a revolving door. Being in Nashville is so hard because everyone has side projects or individual projects and play in other bands. It’s hard to lock people down for commitments, especially as your workload increases, so that kind of weeded out people we worked with in the past who were great, but it was a lot for them.
I can only imagine what it must be like to tour with so many people. Is it difficult to keep everything and everyone organized? It’s extremely tough keeping track of everyone, and obviously our overhead is a lot. But we’ve got a pretty good system and everyone takes care of each other. So it works out. I will say that it’s always exciting, and there is never a dull moment with nine other people. So while it is strenuous on me to organize it, it’s definitely worth it. We have a lot of fun.
How do you structure the songwriting and song development process when there are so many different ideas being brought to the table? Usually we only work with a few writers, maybe two to four at first so it doesn’t get out of hand. We really get the idea and vision down and bring it into a room where everyone in all the sections will add their ideas to it. Basically everyone in the band can write, but we have three core songwriters.
You just released the video for your new single “Run Baby Run” a couple of weeks ago. Who came up with the concept and what was it like shooting it? I came up with the concept. Just hearing the song, something about it just told me it had to have that Quentin Tarantino vibe. I started thinking about the grindhouse genre and Kung Fu 70s action films that were really low budget and urban. So that’s what I was drawn to, as well as characters like Foxy Brown. I love her! That’s the idea we were going for. Luckily we were able to pull it off. Shooting it was really fun. Obviously the girls had the most work, running around in heels for ten hours on the first day of the shoot. They were pretty sore after that.
Since you will be performing in Oxford for the first time, what can the audience expect from your show? They can expect a lot of fun. Obviously we’re soul music and rock, with a retro twist on it. But when we really get going on stage, the genres just go out the window and people just party. We’re just playing good-feeling, energetic party music!