Monday, May 11, 2009

Pheaturing Kyrsten Magnuson From Magnuson


Welcome to the Phile, the most updated blog on the internet a proud sponsor of and It's another Monday version of the Phile again, kids. Crazy, right? Today is an ultra busy day in the Peverett household. I am taking Logan swimming, then it's his acting class play, and then Logan and I are gonna go see Star Trek. He asked me if I liked Star Trek and I said no, the last Star Trek movie I saw in the movies was Search For Spock. He then asked, "Why do you want to see this movie then?" He has a point. In Phriday's entry I'll give the review of it. Hey, did you see Michelle Obama on "Sesame Street" this week? I wish I could be on "Sesame Street." They already have one grouch. She said she could see the effects of the economic downturn. It's true — Oscar the Grouch was selling his can for drugs. For 50 bucks you can pluck Big Bird's ass. For Mother's Day, President Obama gave his wife, Michelle, a great gift — he gave her that pirate he captured. The Octo-Mom's kids all chipped in and got her a tie. One more thing... if you live in Florida, we are being bombarded with lovebugs, and I don't mean an army of Herbies. They are everywhere! Our house is covered, and we vacuum them up a few times in the house. But I noticed at Epcot there's not one single lovebug. Makes you wonder what kinda cancerous chemical they spray to keep them out. 

Okay, I mentioned last week that the Phile is starting an adopt a soldier, and it officially kicks off today. Here's how it works: once a month on the Phile I will give you Phile Phans a list of soldiers and an address. Then if you want please go ahead and send letters to these guys as well as small items. I will find out what kinda items you can send that won't get anybody in trouble, but they want to hear from you all. Most of the six names don't have families to send them love, so I know the Phile readers, who are a generous bunch won't hesitate to send them a letter letting them know how you feel. Anyway, here are the names, and thanks.
Eugene Shiner
Carlos Rivera
Tony Torres
Casper Wadlington
Phillip Wallinger
Manuel Garces
And the address to send them letters is:
143d ESC
APO AE 09355

Danny Gans: The Las Vegas billboard industry just took a BIG hit.

Dom DeLuise: Dom Dead. Decomposing delightfully. Deadpoolers delirious.

Dom DiMaggio: Dom duplicate. Doornail dead. Deadpoolers dumbfounded.

54 members of the Knights Templar are burned at the stake in France for being heretics. Established during the Crusades to protect pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land, this military order came into increasing conflict with Rome until Clement V officially dissolved it at the Council of Vienna in 1312.
A derailment outside Lompoc, California kills 32 Shriners, when their chartered train jumps off the tracks at a switch near Surf Depot. Many of them were scalded to death when the steam boiler ruptured. No word on the fates of their groovy fezzes.
Four Mossad agents abduct fugitive Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann from a bus stop in Buenos Aires.
Jamaican music legend and U.N. Peace Medal recipient Bob Marley dies of brain cancer in a Miami hospital at the age of 36. Marley had quietly begun a course of radiation therapy at Sloan-Kettering a few months prior, but abandoned it just two days later after word leaked out.
56 soccer fans are killed and more than 200 injured in Bradford, England when fire sweeps through the grandstands of Valley Parade stadium. In less than ten minutes, the structure is reduced to a burning pile of wood.
"Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" author Douglas Adams dies of a heart attack at age 49.

Today's interview is with the very lovely and cool guitarist for the L.A. rock band Magnuson, who are playing at the House of Blues in LA on May 20th. So, if you live in that area go ahead and check them out, and tell the Phile sent you. Please welcome to the Phile... Lady Magnuson.

Me: Hello, Lady, welcome to the Phile. Can I call you Lady or Kyrsten?

Kyrsten: Kyrsten's fine. I changed my "myspace name" to Lady Magnuson due to the fact that most people had difficulty spelling my name. I figured I'd make it easy on both parties haha.

Me: Did I spell your name right? That's one helluva hard name to spell. I bet you get a lot of people misspelling it, right?

Kyrsten: Hahaha yes, sometimes I get frustrated because my name is the same as Kirsten Dunst (except for 1 letter) and everyone gets her name right, but then I think back on the fact that if I were to be born as a boy my name would have been Wolfgang. (No offense Mr. Puck... it just wouldn't work for me). 

Me: So, you are a bass player, eh? I seem to interview a lot of bass players here at the Phile. How long have you been playing bass?

Kyrsten: I'm actually primarily a guitarist. I do play bass from time to time, but guitar is my real love. I started playing guitar at the age of 12 and then picked up the bass at around age 18. It seemed like a natural progression to me.

Me: What make of bass do you play? Ibanez I am guessing.

Kyrsten: Yup, you got it... Ibanez. My main guitars are Brian Moores (if you haven't heard of these, definitely check them out!).

Me: Who else is in the band with you?

Kyrsten: We're just a trio with my husband, Greg on bass and our drummer Matt.

Me: Tell me about when you firsts started playing guitar.

Kyrsten: When I first picked up the guitar I was obsessed with the Beatles, so I made it a goal to learn everything in the Beatles songbook I had at the time. Shortly thereafter I really fell in love with playing classical and jazz music. Currently I've gotten quite the craving for progressive rock and metal, so I believe that's what most people would say my sound is. I try to incorporate all of my favorite styles though, I get sick of playing just one genre for any length of time.

Me: Tell me about your husband. Is it his band or yours, or do you have joint custody? LOL. So, think he would want to be interviewed as well?

Kyrsten: Ooh interesting question. I'd have to say Greg started the original band. It was only him playing acoustic guitar and using his last name as the band name and then found a guitarist, drummer, and bass player to form the complete band. It was only after ther drummer left (forcing Greg to leave the guitar behind and be the replacement drummer) did I join the band to replace Greg on guitar. Kind of like band musical chairs! However, our line up and music has changed quite a bit since then, so I'd say all 3 members share custody now! Sure, Greg would love to be interviewed!

Me: What about the drummer? Who is he? 

Kyrsten: About the time that I joined the band, Greg had been drumming/singing for a while and was kind of getting sick of it. He's primarily a bass player, so even though he was a decent drummer, we figured having an "actual" drummer might be better, allowing Greg to just be the lead singer. So we started the dreaded drummer audition process. I believe Matt was about 17 when he tried out. He had learned every song on the CD and although he was still young, definitely could hold his own and showed much potential. It was a bit difficult at times since there were many 21 venues that he wasn't allowed to be in (except for when we were playing), but other then that it was smooth sailing. Eventually the bass player and guitarist left to pursue other projects, so Greg filled in on bass... leaving us with the current line up. PHEW!

Me: There's a picture of you I saw on the set of "ER". I have a bunch of questions about that. One, was it in California or Chicago? Two, how did you get on the set? Three, did you meet anybody from the show? I am jealous. "ER" is one of my favorite shows, and I really miss it.

Kyrsten: Haha good eye! The "ER" set is in Burbank, CA on the Warner Bros. lot. I have a friend that used to be a tour guide there, so for a friend's birthday I arranged to have my tour guide buddy give us a private tour of the lot. The set was AMAZING! It looks like a real hospital inside, its crazy. There are walls painted to look like perspective views down different hallways, so its not as big as it seems, but man they have every detail covered in there. Such a trip. Unfortunately, they weren't filming at the time, so I didn't get to meet anyone. But yeah I love that picture, glad I was able to take it!

Me: There's another picture of you and posing with a surf board, but something tells me you don't surf. You are from California though... anyway, tell me what the deal is with that picture. It's very cute, by the way.

Kyrsten: Hahaha the old school picture! That was my senior picture in high school. I was on the surf team at school (yes, that's right we have surf teams) and was surfing about 3-4 times a week at that point... with the beach only being about 5 minutes away it was a blast. I was also skateboarding to and from school everyday, so when my mom asked me what items I wanted to be in my senior picture it was a no brainer... my favorite boards!! I think I was the tannest I've ever been in my life there, sadly.

Me: Kyrsten, let's talk about your album, "The Struggle Within". What does that name mean? It's a very good album. Yes, I did download it from iTunes. I also downloaded "Last Days". What can you tell me about both albums?

Kyrsten: I believe Matt gets the credit for coming up with the name "The Struggle Within". Many of our songs are about the universal truth of knowing what is right but not always acting on it. Maybe there are some people out there who always know and do the right thing, but for the rest of us... that's who this album is for. "Last Days" was the CD that was done by Greg before the band really got started. Our old guitarist has a few parts on the CD, but most of the guitars, drums, bass, vocals, sampling, etc. were done by Greg. I spent about 6 hours critiquing it for Greg before he did the final mastering. I think I wrote about 6 pages of notes for him on things I liked/didn't like/thought there should be more of/less of, so in a way I feel like I'm a part of that album, even though I do not appear on it. I really love this album and the whole "apocalyptic" theme to it. We still play 3 or 4 songs off of this album in our live shows, just tweaked a bit for the new line up.

Me: "The Struggle Within" has some very strong tunes, Kyrsten. Who produced it? Are you guys already planning on releasing a follow-up?

Kyrsten: Thanks! It was produced and recorded by Dave Jagoz who used to work with Victory Records artists back in the day. The whole album was recorded in his studio. He's really an amazing and down to earth guy, it was such an honor to work with him. We're definitely doing a follow up very soon. We've already finished 2 songs and have about 3 or 4 others in the works right now. I'm really excited about this one, I can't wait to get the new stuff out there!

Me: I saw a video of yours for the song "Hopeless Rerun." How long ago was that made? It looked like it was a lot of work making it. Have you made any more videos?

Kyrsten: Let's see... that video was done about a year ago. Wow, doesn't seem like its been that long! It wasn't too bad of a project, we set everything up in Matt's garage and filmed the whole thing ourselves. Our wonderful neighbor, Rob, who does video editing for a living offered to edit it together for us. I really give him all of the credit for the final product, he was able to take our little "home movie" and turn it into exactly what we were seeing in our heads. We haven't made any other music videos yet, but I've sketched out ideas for the rest of the songs off of "The Struggle Within", so whenever we get the time/motivation, we'll definitely do more. For now, we're just putting up as many live videos as we can on youtube. I think its important that people see a band perform live... you can't hide behind effects and editing then.

Me: Kyrsten, who first formed the band? Were you in bands before your husband?

Kyrsten: Like I said above, this was originally Greg's project, but we've taken that foundation and turned it into something collective. So yeah, he formed the initial direction, we all formed its current configuration. I was in many bands before I met Greg. I joined Magnuson my soph. year of college, so I had a few high school bands here and there that I was a part of, the longest one lasting about 2 years. I've got some awesome VHS tapes of live shows from back in the day, I should get them up online sometime... for a laugh if nothing else haha.

Me: I read so mewhere that you don't like country. Why is that? How would you describe your music?

Kyrsten: Yes, I must admit I'm really not a fan of modern country. I love me some bluegrass, but yeah can't get down with what's on the radio right now. I was born and mostly raised in Texas, so I had my fair share of country music. I bought a banjo with all of my allowance money back when I was 15, so I pretty much lived by Flatt and Scruggs for a while there. I typically describe our current music as "progressive indie". I know there are some poppy elements to it as well with all of the harmonies and whatnot, but I'd consider it closer to prog-rock than anything.

Me: Is it true you performed on a cruise? Where was that if you did, and what did you do? It wasn't with the band, was it?

Kyrsten: Oh man, The Cruise. Greg and I went to Mexico a year or so ago on a cruise. They have this huge production performances on the main stage every night and on the last night the show is made up entirely of guests on the cruise, so if we wanted to try out for a part we just needed to go audition the song we wanted in the karaoke lounge. Greg and I wandered into the "auditions" one night and figured why not give it a shot. However, by that time, most of the good songs had been taken... leaving Britney Spears and James Brown. So long story short, they put me in a HUGE plaid skirt, a blonde wig (still don't know why, my hair was identical at the time), an d threw me out on stage with back up dancers. Pretty much the entire boat was watching me sing "Baby One More Time". I have video... and I'm NOT sharing. Greg's James Brown was amazing though, he looked insane in the outfit (cape and all), but he definitely stole the show.

Me: You also performed at The Rock and Roll Marathon... tell the readers of the Phile what that is and how was it? Did you see a lot of bleeding nipples? Every year at Disney during their marathon the runners always seem to have bleeding nipples. By the way, that sounds like a great name for a band, doesn't it? Bleeding Nipples.

Kyrsten: The Rock and Roll marathon is an annual 10k held in San Diego, where there's a stage with a band playing at every mile or so. Its really a great time and a lot of the people running dress up in costumes. I think they broke a record this year for the most amount of Elvii (Elvis's?) running in a marathon at one time. Oh and yes, we pretty much made a sport out of Bloody Nipple Spotting. *cringe*

Me: Okay, go ahead and plug your website. And do you have anything else you would like to tell the phans?

Kyrsten: Yay, plug! or Let's see anything else... I like to say thanks to you for this interview, and thanks to everyone that read it. I hope that it inspires someone out there who wants to get into music, but doesn't think they can do it. We do pretty much everything ourselves (maintain websites, make music videos, silkscreen t-shirts, shoot... Greg even made his bass), and we love every second of it! So if you have a passion for playing music, don't let anything or anyone stand in your way!

Me: Like I said, I love your music, and think you guys are cool. Thanks for doing this interview, Kyrsten, and take care. 

Kyrsten: Thank you!! If anyone out there would like to reach me or the band you're more than welcome, I check myspace everyday... yes, even with all of the band craziness, I still have no life. ; ) Take it easy!!


Man, she was cool, wasn't she? Alright, that's about it for this entry of the Phile. It'll be back this Friday with the third in the Artist Month interviews... the talented group behind Tampa's Fierce Comics. Until then, spread the word, not the turd.

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