Los Angeles-based indie folk trio Magic Giant is more than their colorful bandanas, tribal-print capes and furry shawls. They’re all about love and community. With uplifting anthems that often drive communal singing, dancing and positivity, they’re a band that has taken over shows and festivals all around the country — from SXSW, Wanderlust, Lightning in a Bottle and RiSE for over 14,000 people in the middle of the Mojave Desert.
Their music has quickly become the soundtrack to summer music festivals and yoga classes around the country, all because of their infectious sound and willingness to engage with the crowd.
The band formed in 2014 and is made up of lead singer, cellist and percussionist Austin “Bis” Bisnow (who comes from a background of pop writing for artists such as David Guetta, John Legend and Big Time Rush), violinist, banjoist and harmonica-player Zambricki “Z” Li (who grew up on Nashville roots music and spent his early career producing for other artists) and guitarist, bassist and cellist Brian “Zang” Zaghi (who is a Los Angeles native and salsa dancer familiar to playing with bands).
The trio has quickly blown up and with only an EP released in 2015, their first full-length LP is set to drop this Friday, May 19th.
“We’ve wanted to share these songs for so long,” Zambricki said to me.
After many shows on the road and numerous recordings done in their solar-powered mobile studio/tour bus, the trio is more than ready to show off their new material. I sat down with them to talk about their new record and kicking things off in San Francisco.
Rachel Ann Cauilan: I actually saw you guys back in 2014 when you performed at the House of Blues in Anaheim for the Blues & Brews Festival.
Zambricki “Z” Li: Wow! That was like one of our first shows.
RAC: And you guys just started around then. What can you say has changed since then?
Z: Nothing really. We’ve gotten worse. We started off really strong. My strings have gotten rusty.
Austin “Bis” Bisnow: I’ve gone through a couple pairs of boots. Z has a new bandana.
Z: Haha. The biggest thing is we’ve written an album. Whereas before we were playing basically sketches of songs — we were just playing songs that were unfinished or thought they were finished at the time, and when it came time to write the record we had to rewrite them. That’s the biggest thing. We’ve also become closer as friends and bandmates.
Brian “Zang” Zaghi: We’ve got history now.
Austin: And inside jokes.
RAC: How did you guys first meet each other? Read More