The Magnificent Sevens (Nicole Magne)
After some serious hours on the road over the past three years, Winnipeg's The Magnificent Sevens (who are actually five) are back with their second full length album, "All Kinds of Mean."
Featuring some frantic bluegrass (think runaway banjos) mixed with some methodical country twang, All Kinds of Mean picks up were the band left of with Dirty Roads (2008), by bringing the people their blunt brand of bluegrass.
SCENE wrangled up these folk-slingers during rehearsals for seven quick questions in anticipation of their CD release at the West End Cultural Centre, Thursday, December 15.
1. You take your name from the iconic shoot-em-up Western tragedy The Magnificent Seven, itself a remake of the Seven Samurai. Aside from the fact that there were originally seven members, what is the significance of that film in taking its name?
We are a random group of string slingers, thrown together by circumstance. We each have specific weapons skills. That's the similarity.
2.The new album is called All kinds of Bad and you guys are usually described as particularly "badass." Is there no soft, sensitive side to the Mag 7s?
Well Mike, the album may be bad, but it's actually called All Kinds of Mean. Life can be mean.
3. The new album is a mix of different band member's songs. How did you decide which tunes make the cut?
We let Otto the dog decide. We played him the demo: one bark for yes two barks for no.
4. And, as a follow up, what comes first for you guys as you write, the music or the lyrics?
Neither.. first we start by picking up a five pack of crullers... coffee and smokes are next on the list. Sometimes, after that...
5. You also cover the Neil Young classic, Unknown Legend on the new album. How did you decide to do it?
We try to pay homage to Winnipeg music on every album. Last album was Propaghandhi, this time we chose Neil.
The song came as a result of playing Neilfest (an annual music series held at the Times Change(d) that celebrates Neil Young) which we played some years back. That was the song that seemed to stick with us for our live show.
6. You've all logged a serious amount of time on the road touring the last couple years. What's the hardest part of being on the road?
The endless hours sitting in a bus..just sitting.. with nothing to do but stare at each other. It does something to you. Like....for example, most people view Spinal Tap as a comedy.... for us, its more like a drama.. lots of truth there.
7. What are seven things your audience may not know about the Mag 7s?
1. There are only five of us
2. We can cook a 4 star meal in a 2 star hotel bathroom.
3. Four out of five of us have worked as janitors at the West End.
4. Dave has trained his cats to play piano.
5. Winnifred (our bus) used to belong to the boy scouts.
6. Andy is a certified Boat Captain.
7. We are all cyborgs from the future and we have a flying saucer.