Virginia Beach, Virginia rockers Magg Dylan are on the scene. This quintuplet’s high energy rock music alongside subject matter pulled from personal experiences such as addiction, relationships, and bullying are poised to strike a chord with rock and metal fans worldwide. Riding the waves of its’ national debut album Amethyst which dropped February 21 via Eclipse Records, Magg Dylan now sets its’ sails on reaching the masses with this stellar album featuring ten alternative metal gems. Vocalist Suzanne just sat down for an interview with Alt Revolt to give us the inside scoop.
Alt Revolt: Suzanne, greetings and welcome to the Alt Revolt family, it’s great to speak with you.
Suzanne: Thanks to you and Alt Revolt for having me. I’m excited to speak with you.
Alt Revolt: It’s exciting times for the Magg Dylan camp. Just a few short days ago on February 21, the band released its national debut album Amethyst via Eclipse Records. As an artist, what is that emotion like seeing your blood, sweat and tears come together like that?
Suzanne: It’s surreal for sure! It’s such an amazing feeling, especially when you get to hear it back for the first time. Also, when you hear people respond to the music and the emotion of the songs is almost overwhelming.
Alt Revolt: Do you recall the time and place you were when you had that first opportunity to hear the finished recordings back that first time?
Suzanne: Yes, when we were on our way back home from recording, we were able to listen to a lot of it headed back from New Orleans. We were driving across that really big bridge coming out of New Orleans headed back to Virginia Beach. As we were listening, I was just 100% blown-away. At that point we had a 15-hour drive home and we are just listening to our songs I was just crying and completely speechless. And for me to be speechless is rare (laughs).
Alt Revolt: Talk about the process or journey to land on a label like Eclipse and how that came to fruition?
Suzanne: That really came from our manager Paul Crosby of Saliva/434 Management. He really orchestrated the deal. He has a connection with Eclipse and sent them our music. They were very busy, and I guess had a bunch of artists already lined up for the year and they normally only take on so many artists. At first, they said they wouldn’t be able to take on another band and I guess after he listened to some of the music, about 72 hours later he called back and here we are on Eclipse.
Alt Revolt: What does a label deal such as this mean to you specifically as an artist?
Suzanne: It’s not something we expected, especially so early on. We really are a young band; we’ve only been together since November 2017. Since we started the band, it really came together on March of 2018. So, as the band has progressed and with us signing so early-on, it’s so overwhelming and I’m grateful (we’re all grateful). We love working with Eclipse and just having that platform to get our music out and to be able to release a full album. To also have the videos and everything doing so well, it just reaches so many more people then we’d been able to on our own.
Alt Revolt: Tell us about the song writing process for the album.
Suzanne: Bruce (Brucifer Johnson / guitarist) is the one that writes a lot of the music and I write a lot of the lyrics. Some of the songs Bruce had already written. The first song on the album “Delusional’, Bruce had kind of been writing for ten years and it had evolved. At one point it was one thing, another point it was another thing. Then it came into Magg Dylan and went through three or four melody and structural changes. The way we write is, we will write it, then we will listen to it, play it, practice it and then record it. After that we will go back and see what is working or not working and change it. So, for that song literally, it changed even more in the studio when we were working with Jonathan (Dolese). When Bruce and Jonathan started working together it evolved even more.
It really is a fun, creative process as they evolve and when you find the one thing (ok, this is it), this is what we are looking for is great. With “Delusional” we wanted the chorus to really punch. With what I had been singing around the first time or two we worked it, neither of us were really crazy with the chorus. We just knew that wasn’t it and I remember I was outside, walking one of my dogs and suddenly in popped into my head. So, I quickly grabbed my phone and did a voice memo and sent it to him and was like (I think this is it). So, we went in and started writing it with that chorus instead of what we had done before.
Alt Revolt: Let’s stay on that song topic as “Delusional” is the album’s lead-off track which is also very close to you personally. Talk about that and what you hope fans take away from it?
Suzanne: Yes, that song is super personal to me. It’s about me and my journey through sobriety and recovery from alcohol and what it feels like in the beginning. Even when you’ve been sober for some time, life gets really “lifey” and all of a sudden you can just be like thinking that would be an ok alternative to go back to. That’s when the whole part of (I must stay sober; I can’t start over) comes from for someone like me. For me, it’s not something I believe if I go back, I will survive. So, the seriousness of the words of the song and reality can be frightening. For me, in the early stages of sobriety, there was always something in my head saying (oh no, it will be ok). It’s not ok and that’s the “delusion” of that fight and a self-destructive path I was on. So, getting off of the path is something that can be very challenging and difficult. Eventually, you are able to clear away the wreckage of the past.
Alt Revolt: You just launched the video-clip for “Delusional” as well. As a long-time rock fan, I have to say I love the video. It’s a great clip of the band playing live with trigger lights and in a jail type theme. Was the jail cell feel intentional with the song’s lyrics and raw energy or coincidental?
Suzanne: Yes, that was intentional! The story for making that video was absolutely amazing. We were on our way out to tour with Hed PE. The tour started in Memphis, Tennessee, but we were supposed to do a show up in Maryland prior. However, there was an ice storm and the show got canceled. So, we diverted and started heading south towards Memphis instead of north. While we were on our way, I said to our bass player Les or maybe he said it to me, (maybe we can get with Digital Thunderdome Studios) with a day off in Georgia. It’s probably a long-shot and won’t happen, but let’s see. Director Scott Hansen is also from Virginia Beach and we knew him prior, so as Les was getting ready to message Scott, Scott actually messaged Les and I’m not even kidding (laughs)! So, these are the things that have happened for us, it’s just amazing. So, it happened they were able to meet us for lunch in Atlanta the next day. So, we got together, talked about the concept. They told us about an abandoned prison that would work perfect for this as what you are talking about in the song (being a prisoner in your own mind and the fight). We were completely excited about it, but not sure if it was going to work. But they were able to get the same day off that we had, and the prison was available. Isn’t that crazy? I was so excited to work with them; I’m like whatever your ideas are I’m going to run with it and 100% confident they were going to steer us in the right way. I love the video.
Alt Revolt: You released singles/videos for “Scarz” and “Naked Alone in the Tub” as the album’s introduction. How did you decide on what order you’d release these?
Suzanne: They are all our favorites (laughs)! The hardest thing to do is to pick which song to shoot videos for. One of our managers Derek (434 Management) loved “Scarz” so that was natural. “Naked Alone in the Tub” is a very vulnerable song and somewhat our ballad so to speak, at least not as heavy as some of the other songs that we felt like a lot of people could relate to. We will probably release a fourth video. I have a complete idea for a video I’d love to do for our song “Herakane” in the future as an example.
Alt Revolt: You’ve recently come off the road from a string of dates with Hed PE. What are a few of the tour highlights for you with that string of dates, as well as playing the new songs live?
Suzanne: It was so much fun that we didn’t want to come back. We all missed our families, but it was so incredible. The first night was a little stressful as we were a little nervous and then after that first night, we just had so much fun. The crowd response was very good. When you play live and see the reaction from someone that might not be familiar with you and see them turnaround when you start, and they are like (I wasn’t expecting that) makes it great.
Alt Revolt: Now that the album is in full swing, what are your tour plans coming up in support of the album this spring/summer?
Suzanne: We have a couple of festivals this summer/fall so far and are in the process of working out a tour right now to get out there now that the album is fully released.
Alt Revolt: Here comes a curve ball. What is the one question that you wish someone would ask you that has never been to this point about the band or yourself as an artist?
Suzanne: That is a really hard question (laughs). I’m usually really good at curve balls. Nobody asks me about my dogs (laughs). I rescue dogs. I have a little Shih Tzu and I put her image on a shirt and then put (Metal AF) above it with the Magg logo on it. We just printed a very few shirts to see what happens and if it sells. Whenever I’ve brought it out, it’s gone in the first hour! She is just tiny, super cute and adorable. I also have an English Bulldog that was given to me and they are the most loyal breed. We are going to try to bring him on the next tour (laughs). We will see.
Alt Revolt: Suzanne, thank you so much for your time and more importantly for blessing us with your great music!
Suzanne: Thank you and I am genuinely honored and grateful to be an artist and put our stuff out there.
Interview by Rick Lindner for Alternative Revolt
Magg Dylan Are:
Suzanne – Vocals
Les – Bass
Bone – Drums
Please stay connected with Magg Dylan at:
Eclipse Records: https://www.facebook.com/eclipserecords/