Sometimes when I take the assignment to write about one of the bigger names on a festival, I get a little nervous. Not about being star struck, but more the opposite: is this musician going to think they are totally god’s gift to music? I personally can be an especially bitter writer, and generally assume anyone with any kind of name recognition has stepped on top of ten other people to get there.
I was lucky with doing initial research into Rick Maguire from the band Pile: when I pulled up his recent studio session for Paste Magazine, I not only liked the music, but also got the impression he was a pretty down to earth performer. This was confirmed by responses to interview questions: he didn’t come back with anything long winded or pretentious, just short, grateful, to the point answers that make his feelings clear.
I sent him some questions about his relationship to the local music scene leading up to his performance at New England Underground happening next week.
Tickets for day 1 here: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3438259
Boston Hassle: I will admit to not being incredibly familiar with your material, but it’s obvious that you and your band have gathered a pretty big following in the Boston area.
Does the amount of respect you have from other musicians affect the way that you interact with your own music, and the way you interact with the music scene in general?
Rick Maguire: In terms of my own music: yes and no. On the one hand, gaining respect from other people who play music means I have to maintain a certain standard of quality, and it also is really encouraging that you’re getting some affirmation for what you’re doing.
But on the other, I owe it to them and to myself to challenge any expectations there might be of what I should be doing. But in doing that, there end up being some musicians whom I respect that actively dislike what I do and that ends up being kind of liberating because the fear of being rejected has already been confronted, leaving me free to make stuff without being concerned about others’ opinions of it. So, in short, it affects how I interact with my own music, but in very convoluted and often confusing ways.
BH: What does it mean for you to be playing New England Underground, surrounded by so many new artists doing new things and expanding the boundaries of music?
RM: It’s a pleasure and an honor. I’m certain I’ll be introduced to some exciting music I’ve never heard before, I’m looking forward to spending the day there.
BH: I get a short story vibe from some of your work, do you ever do any longform writing?
RM: I haven’t done much in terms of long form writing, but I’ve been toying with the idea of doing some writing outside of just that in songs. Nothing concrete yet, though.
You can catch Rick performing at Hardcore Stadium in Cambridge MA at 10:20pm!