The Spellbinding AOR Reveries of Magic Dance
Fans of classic rock collectives such as Survivor and Loverboy are destined to find a grand and glorious treasure trove of auditory intrigue when encountering what Magic Dance has to convey upon the world. New Eyes is the name of the latest magnum opus from Magic Dance, presented by mastermind Jonathan Siejka and a top-notch band who send the entire adventure into the stratosphere. Highwire Daze Online recently caught up with the Magic Dance front man to find out a whole lot more about the spellbinding AOR reveries of Magic Dance. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Magic Dance, and how long the band has been together.
I’m Jon and I sing/write/produce for Magic Dance. Magic Dance started as a solo project in 2012 and the band was formed in early 2017, after I released an album called Vanishings.
Where is Magic Dance based out and what is your music scene like there?
I’m from Long Island, NY. We have two members who live in Brooklyn and two in New Jersey. So we have access to the vibrant NYC music scene. Though in general, hard rock music is considered not cool at the moment and has sort of become extinct. There are no AOR bands to speak of really, but a Synthwave scene is growing here.
How did you wind up signing with Frontiers Music?
They contacted me after I released Vanishings independently, sometime in early 2017.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the CD title New Eyes?
I tend to write a bunch of songs and choose the ones that move me the most. It ends up loosely being a concept because they are all songs written within a specific time frame of my life. I don’t like to start with a concept, as I think it’s a direct path to writer’s block. The overall concept comes after the fact, when I’ve listened to the finished product. The title track ended up tying into the album overall, as there are songs on this album that are different than what I’ve done before. A bit of seeing things through “new eyes,” so it fit perfectly.
Select two songs from New Eyes and what inspired the lyrics.
You’re Holding Back: I’m trying to encourage people to follow their dreams, as corny as that is. There hasn’t been a better chance in human history for the average person to live up to their potential than now. It’s still difficult, but so is living a life you never wanted. It’s kind of like, pick your poison. It’s at least worth one shot in your lifetime, to go for it.
Looking for Love: This song is directly inspired by writing the album. I was trying to make the deadline the label set, and most of the burden was on my shoulders to get it finished. Ostensibly it’s about going out to the city to party, get laid. Really, it’s about putting too much of yourself into your work. There’s a point where it becomes unhealthy, and hopefully you realize how incredibly vain and transient the whole thing is. It’s important, but not *that* important. Ultimately, it’s personal relationships that are most important, I think. But as a writer, I tend to be excessively self-involved and can lose sight of that.
Also, the initial struggle I had with this song was trying to not make the chorus not sound too much like Johnny Lee’s country classic “Lookin’ for Love”. Ha!
Who did the cover art for New Eyes and how much input did you have on it?
Nick Taylor, who has done most of the artwork in my whole discography. Nick is extremely intuitive and seems to pick up on the overall theme of the album sometimes even before I do! I usually send him the demos I’m working on for an album, and he sketches a concept. Then we take it from there.
What could one expect from a live Magic Dance show?
What we hope at least: an emotionally resonating performance that is still technically sound. As the singer, I’m trying to be engaging whilst still maintaining some semblance of technique, so I don’t ruin my voice.
If Magic Dance could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Probably Def Leppard. I just think that would be really fun!
Any chance of Magic Dance touring or doing any shows in 2019?
Are you involved with any other bands or projects outside of Magic Dance?
Not at the moment, though I have had several projects in the past. Right now, it’s just Magic Dance. Takes up all of my time!
Will Frontiers be re-releasing any of the Magic Dance back catalog?
Not that I’m aware of, but that would be cool. I have plans to re-release Vanishings at some point.
Any final words of wisdom?
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”
– Wayne Gretsky
– Michael Scott
– Jon Siejka
Magic Dance is:
Jonathan Siejka – Singer/Songwriter/Producer
Jack Simchak – guitar
Tim Mackey – guitar
Mike Peniston – bass
Kevin Krug – bass
Kevin McAdams – drums
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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