Artist of the Month: M.A.G.S

After a long hiatus, we are bringing back the Artist of the Month feature with a fantastic musician who should be on your radar now, M.A.G.S. Learn more about him and read our interview with the Buffalo-bred, Los Angeles-based artist.

The musician M.A.G.S (Elliot Douglas) standing in front of a pink wall with barred windows scratching his head | Artist of the month feature | Eat Sleep Breathe Music
Photo by Migella Accorsi 
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M.A.G.S. is the solo project of Elliott Douglas, a talented musician hailing from Buffalo, New York. Throughout his musical career, he has gained recognition for his captivating songwriting, catchy melodies, and emotive performances.

Elliott Douglas started his journey as a musician at a young age, playing in various bands before embarking on his solo project, M.A.G.S. With influences ranging from punk rock to shoegaze, his music often explores themes of introspection, personal struggles, and human connections.

M.A.G.S. first gained attention in the indie music scene with the release of his debut EP, Cellophane, in 2015 which garnered critical acclaim and helped establish his unique sound. Over the years, he has continued to release singles and EPs, steadily building a dedicated fan base and earning praise from both fans and music critics alike.

Known for his energetic and engaging live performances, M.A.G.S. has toured extensively, sharing his music with audiences across the United States and beyond. His performances are characterized by raw emotion, powerful guitar-driven tracks, and a genuine connection with the audience.

As an artist, M.A.G.S. is constantly evolving, experimenting with new sounds and pushing the boundaries of his musical expression. His music often resonates with listeners on a personal level, as he tackles relatable themes with honesty and vulnerability.

If you’re a fan of indie rock, alt-pop, or garage rock, then you’ll definitely want to check out M.A.G.S. His music is fresh, exciting, and full of surprises.

We caught up with M.A.G.S to talk about touring, how he crafts his music, and what we can expect from his new upcoming release

ESBM: I know you were recently on tour and are going on tour again in August. What is the best and worst thing about being on the road?

M.A.G.S: There are a lot of levels to being on the road. Euphoric highs and sometimes, crushing lows. Sometimes performing is the best part of the day…sometimes it’s the worst part. I find that in most cases I really enjoy talking with the fans afterwards and getting to meet all the people who support my art all across the country. I also love being nomadic…I am constantly fighting these feelings of wanderlust in my everyday life so the tour provides some relief to that. 

ESBM: With just a few notes, I instantly fell in love with your music. When you write, do you think about crafting an infectious hook? How do you approach songwriting?

M.A.G.S: My songs take a long time to make, partially because I am a perfectionist but also because I write every single part on my own. I approach everything from a drummers perspective…Its all about the groove and tone of the drums, how the rhythm makes you feel and the kind of energy that fills you up when you’re listening. 

Occasionally a song will fall out of the sky into my lap and I just have to be ready to receive it…such was the case with my song “Drugs” that song was written in about 30 minutes when I got home from work one day. Others sit for years in the incubator…most of the songs on Destroyer are songs I started demoing upwards of 6 years ago. I may write 90% of a song but not finish it until a year later, just because it needs time to cook. 

ESBM: As an artist in the social media age, do you feel pressure to have songs pick up and go viral? Is this something that impacts your music?

M.A.G.S: No, I’m never been too wrapped up with trying to go viral. I’ve personally never been one to hop onto trends or really care much about getting that kind of attention. I think there’s more than one way to get where you want to go and where I’m going for doesn’t involve me begging for attention on social media. 

ESBM: Your previous release, “Say Things That Matter,” was said to be a reflective album inspired by the personal changes you were facing. Additionally, your recent singles (“Destroyer,” “Sins,” and “Elephant”) off your new album due out this August seem to be a bit grittier. Can we expect similar music on the rest of the album, and what inspired this shift?

M.A.G.S: I would say all my released music so far centers around personal changes I’ve faced. Sonically though I feel like “Destroyer” is very much in line with the type of music I was first inspired by. Heavy music has always resonated with me at my core, it took a few albums for me to feel like I was ready to explore it in a real way. There’s never been a better time to be making heavy guitar music, with bands like Turnstile and Knocked Loose gaining so much mainstream traction over the past couple of years, I think people’s ears are primed for it. 

ESBM: I saw on your IG that you will be playing your first festival this year Four Chords Music Fest. This looks like such an awesome show! What are you most looking forward to at this show?

M.A.G.S: This will be my first festival appearance EVER so I’m not sure what to expect but I’m definitely excited! Honestly, I’m most looking forward to checking out American Football and Alkaline Trio later in the evening.

ESBM: You’ve been doing music for a long time and seem to effortlessly move from genre to genre, creating your own sound. Do you have a favorite type of music that you like to play?

M.A.G.S: I don’t really pay attention to genre anymore. When I’m by myself making music in my spare time I’m usually working on some ambient, lo-fi type shit that doesn’t really have any semblance of rock or indie within it at all. But I still take a similar approach when it comes to song structure as I do with my rock stuff. Ultimately I think everything I make falls under alternative/pop but the lines between genres can get a bit fuzzy.

ESBM: ESBmusic is all about finding new music. Is there an artist or artists that you are loving right now?

M.A.G.S: Clams Casino, Sam Wilkes, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Duster have been dominating my ear drums lately. I spend a lot of time by myself and these artists’ music fills me up in all the right ways and gives me the “smooth brain” feeling I love.

For a taste of M.A.G.S listen below. To get more information check out his official website, Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter pages. Get his new album Destroyer out on August 4th on Amazon and wherever you can stream music.

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