Maglia Rosa Group are a pop quartet from East Anglia but this isn’t pop in the modern form. There’s no cheesy lyrics, stupid dance routines or crazy outfits Lady GaGa style here. The Beatles, the Beach Boys and other bands such as the Monkees were all classed as pop bands once upon a time. Maglia Rosa Group mean pop in that form.
Consisting of brother and sister, Daisy Lawrence (lead vocals, guitar, synth-organ, flute) and Sam Lawrence (guitar/piano/backing vocals) with Owen Cox (drums), Matt Gadd (bass), Maglia Rosa Group produce music that would be hard to come across elsewhere. Combining chilled rock, slightly thematic music with operatic and classical vocals, this band sure do bring something completely new to the music scene.
Having been enticed by their newly recorded track Solace, I decided to find out more about this pretty unknown band. Sam Lawrence answers all my burning questions.
How long have you been together?
The band have been together for about a year now, although being bro and sis, Daisy and I have been playing and writing together for many a year.
How did you all meet?
I met Daisy during my infancy, shortly after her debut on planet earth. On being introduced, I’m told I tried to bite her. I was only one and a half.
Owen responded via e-mail to an advertisement we put up in a local music shop. Although he emailed us just a month or so after the ad, by that time we’d kind of forgotten to keep checking the email account we created for it. Eight or nine months after posting the ad, we inexplicably decided we would check it. On sifting through reams of months old emails, we tried to make contact with those who hadn’t since moved, changed email address, found a new band, or died. That narrowed the list somewhat. It turned out Owen was among those still living and, as it happened, he was also the most talented at hitting things. We liked him and luckily he liked us too and so that, as they say, was that. Now we’re hardly ever apart except for non-band practice times.
Looking back, I should have just posted my personal email address on the ad and none of the above lunacy would have come to pass. Still, that’s life. One minute you’re not checking a forgotten email account, the next minute you’re in Maglia Rosa Group.
By a stroke of good fortune we found Matt under a rock one day whilst out on a band walk. NOT! We actually found him by a stroke of good fortune on the world wide internet web.
What made you decide to make the music you do?
Well, thats a tough nut to crack. I think for me its just something that has to be done and it comes out how it comes out. That sounds unsatisfactory but I can’t think there’s an overly interesting reason as to why I must periodically pick up a piece of wood strung with metal wire and pluck away at it until it makes noises that I like.
Who are your influences?
No matter how corny the production is or talentless the singer is or lousy the lyrics are or emotionally manipulative and dishonest the writing is, I still find some pop songs very seductive. That said, most mainstream music sounds pretty ugly today. I think electronic things are starting to influence the way we write now, as well as artists such as Kate Bush, The Beach Boys, Talk Talk. People that have stood the rather demanding test of time.
Would you say your band and its music are original? Having a classically trained voice with modern music is rather unheard of…
Well, Daisy’s voice certainly helps us approach the ‘pop’ genre from a different perspective. She was a choir girl once (albeit very briefly) and that juxtaposition of a choral sounding tone with instruments more conventionally associated with the pop than classical genre hopefully produces some interesting results. It certainly directs much of our writing – the nature of her voice kind of sets the parameters for the songs, in terms of what they will be able to deliver lyrically and emotionally.
She’s also recently developed a new technique which I think makes her sound much better than ever she has done before. I’m really looking forward to hearing it recorded on our new stuff. But I’m her big brother so I guess I’m a bit biased.
What genre would you place your music in, if any? Maybe you have created a new genre…?
Well I’m happy to call it pop but I use the term loosely.
Who writes the songs?
Daisy and I tend to always write together – unless we’re going through one of our periods of temporary estrangement. Typically when writing, we’ll be hurling obscenities at each other in one breath then saying something complimentary in the next. It can get quite volatile but that often helps us work out whatever it is we’re trying to achieve. It can also be quite hilarious.
If you could all choose one musician each to dine with (dead or alive) who would you choose?
We talked about this in band practice last week and all agreed that we’d choose each other. We’re a very loving band. I think dining with anyone you admire would inevitably result in disappointment and disillusionment (and indigestion). You know the old adage ,‘Never meet your heroes”?
You can find Maglia Rosa Group’s music on their facebook page – click here.