Through The Looking Glass With Magic Mirror


Sometimes you head out to see one band, and end up also falling love with another.  I was so excited for The Upsidedown show last night at The Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles (watch for an exclusive interview with The Upsidedown to come soon!) I didn’t expect to fall in love with another.  But Magic Mirror had me through the looking glass and under a spell before I knew it, completely obsessed with the heartwrenching lyrics Matthew Lindgren manages to manipulate and still sound beautiful.  They always say it happens when you least expect it…

Magic Mirror‘s (Matthew Lindgren, Dave LaChance, Thomas Danbury, Chris Armstrong, Luther Russell) songs mostly riddled with forlorn lust and longing were almost hypnotic, and looking around, everyone there seemed to be completely entranced by the folk country fusion.

Matthew Lindgren’s voice is as distinctive as can be, and he still manages to manipulate every song with a different twist- so while the semi-somber tone remains, each song sounds unquestionably different.

I was lucky enough to steal Matt Lindgren (Lead Vocals, Guitar) after his set for a little impromptu Q&A sesh on Beverly Boulevard…here’s what went down:

BNB:  So what was the name of your first song from the set- it was great!

ML:  “Jerusalem Syndrome,” you know it’s interesting- Jerusalem syndrome is actually a psychological condition that has been documented.  When people travel to Jerusalem sometimes they become overwhelmed by where they are, in the presence of so many mythical, religious, holy places that they kind of go a little bit crazy.  And it occurs so often that there’s a name for it.  People just decide to give up their entire lives and become like, the next messiah or try to save the world.

BNB:  That’s quite a hard occupation

ML:  Well yeah.  It’s just because they’re so overcome with emotion being in Jerusalem- the song is not about that- but it’s a fitting title because the song is about falling back in love with an ex lover and being so overcome.


BNB:  So who’s responsible for the effortlessly poetic lyrics?

ML:  I am.


BNB:  You’re third song was bilingual (Spanish)- what made you want to write & sing that?

ML:  Well I lived in Spain for five years

BNB:  Kind of a change from L.A.!

ML:  Yeah very, very different.  I had thought about writing a song in Spanish for years and years and years but nothing ever felt right until this one that I started working on- it would only work in Spanish.  I didn’t want to do it as kind of a gimmick but it really worked in Spanish.  And, it’s a true story.

BNB:  That’s amazing- I’ll have to look up the translation now!

ML:  Google Translate!


BNB:  So you said you “I’d like to dedicate this next song to my JetBlue flight attendant.” Random person retorts “That musta been a helluva ride!”  you countered with “And a beer!”- What was that all about, do tell!

ML:  Yeah! Yeah!  Well, I’m a bartender as my “day job” and I’ve also been a teacher for a long time so I’ve had to deal with A LOT of people for many, many years and I very much sympathize with what people in the service industry experience.  So I just thought it was hilarious that he opened the emergency hatch, let loose the ramp and grabbed a beer on his way out.  I think it costs like $25,000 dollars to do this!

BNB:  Costs a lot to make a statement!  (For those in a musical blackhole that didn’t know about this- you can check out the story here.)

ML:  So yeah, I HAD to dedicate that song.  The song is called “Go Hungry” and it basically means that when things are really, really bad- just quit.  There’s worse things.


BNB:  You play your guitar like she’s your mistress, does she have a name?

ML:  You know- I don’t actually.  She’s my 1969 Gibson SG and she’s one of my best friends in the entire world.

BNB:  But you don’t have a name for her, and she’s the love of your life!

ML:  She’s…ONE of the loves of my life.  She’s never broken a string onstage- even once- so I know I can abuse her.


BNB:  Any upcoming shows, CDs, tricks or treats?

ML:  Yeah we just recorded a new EP- a follow up to our first full-length record which is called Champagne and Hostages and our new one is going to be called Vinegar

BNB:  Little bit different than champagne, eh?

ML:  Well there’s a theme we’re working on- you can tell I’m a bartender!  We’re trying to finish up the mixing and the production of the record and we’ll be playing a show in August up in Portland.  It’s Pete Holmstrom’s (The Dandy Warhols) record release for his side project Pete International Airport.  Yeah it’ll be a great show!


BNB:  So since you’re from L.A.- both Sunset Junction & Sunset Strip Music Festival are coming up- which would you choose?

ML:  Well I suppose I’d say Sunset Junction- Love to play there one of these days!  You know- I’d actually rather play this festival that’s happening in the Joshua Tree Desert next month- it’s called “Clean Air, Clear Stars” and it’s a festival that friends of ours in various bands such as The Warlocks, Spindrift, Sky Parade have been putting on for the last four years now, and it’s an environmental benefit festival and all the proceeds go to raise awareness about global warming.  We’ve played the last two years.  We’re not playing this year, but probably the next year and it’s going to be great!

BNB:  Sounds amazing!  Green is the new black.

ML:  Yeah, Green is the new black.


BNB:  Closing remarks to fans, friends, & fiends?

ML:  Well I’m hoping people will check out our stuff!  The point of the songs- and really, it sounds a little, well it might sound naïve and probably a little bit cheesy – but you know, they’re emotional songs- four people that need to hear something at four in the morning that’s going to make them feel better.

Mission accomplished Matt.  I’ll admittedly have Champagne and Hostages on my heavy rotation list until Vinegar comes out.  Something tells me there’ll be nothing bitter about the next set of songs though.  For those ready to hop through the looking glass you can check out Magic Mirror’s Myspace: