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A Dirty Dozen with JON SIEJKA from MAGIC DANCE – December 2020

| 8 December 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Long Island’s Magic Dance will return with their new album, Remnants on December 4, 2020. This album offers up more of the band’s signature 80’s influenced sound that they are now known for, but at the same time brings a distinct contemporary edge. Performed with absolute genuine emotion and conviction, it’s hard not to be swept up and carried away in these mesmerizing songs. The power of the melodies and the entrancing sound really stick with the listener throughout the entire album. Magic Dance is the solo project of singer/songwriter Jon Siejka, formed in Long Island, NY in 2012 as an outlet for his synthwave songs. A self-taught musician and producer, the project is heavily influenced by the iconic synth-pop and movie soundtrack music of the 80’s, as is par for the course with synthwave. Recently, the sound has evolved into a heavier and more guitar-oriented style, leaning more towards classic AOR, with strong hints of the sounds of the mid ‘80s.” We get Jon to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

I would say the lyrics. A lot of the lyrics are meant to be motivational and inspire change. I want people to connect with the lyrics and be moved by them. They might hear the melodies first and pick up on some of that later. Personally, I’m not drawn to lyrics unless I like the song to begin with. So that may be where other people are coming from.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I’ve always been a music lover, but it wasn’t until a friend left his guitar in my room that I wanted to be one. It was relatively late in the game; I was already age 21. Before that, I had no particular aspirations to be anything, really. Just kind of floating through life. But when I picked up the guitar something changed. It felt so good and I felt like I had a mission.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Too many to list! I would have to say Journey laid the groundwork for my love of AOR. I did not know what that genre was, but I knew I liked their sound. Later I found a whole bunch of bands that were doing a similar thing.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

It’s constantly changing. I’m somewhat eclectic with my musical taste but gravitate towards anything with melody. My influences seem to change every year, like phases I go through. But they all seem to have a reference to the past, even the new bands.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Maybe Desmond Child. Such amazing songs and I would love to learn from him.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

80’s radio rock with a soul. I see a lot of comparisons to John Hughes soundtracks. Not that I don’t disagree with that, but it’s the lowest hanging fruit to make a comparison.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

No band at the moment, so all of this would be done by me!

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I have never met any stars or celebrities. I’m usually in the studio and don’t get out as much as I should.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The feeling you get when you’re so lost in the work that it’s as if time doesn’t exist, and even you don’t exist. You are just totally in the moment. I don’t know if there’s another dream job out there for me, but if there was, it would have to deliver that same feeling.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Maybe some technical questions about what kind of gear I used or mix engineer I used for the record, etc. I won’t go into all the details but that would be it. …But then that might get tiring listing out all that gear!

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Probably taking my time as a vocalist and not pushing it too much. I wish I could go back to my two very first releases and re-do the vocals. I can barely listen to those records now!

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska. Would have loved to have been there when those songs came out of him.

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

Being able to go out and not worry. I miss a normal social life of venues, bars, clubs and city life in general.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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