Isaac and Mel drinking margaritas at The Lovin’ Cup
Young Magic's music sounds like its name – hypnotic, mystic, birthed from newborn spells – and the title of their recently-released full-length makes you want to do just what it says: Melt. I’m actually listening to it right now, sick in bed, and it’s serving as a nice soundtrack to these fever dreams.
It’s not surprising that the members of Young Magic were good friends from back in the day and have reunited in New York due to their love for creating orchestral psychedelia. The three members, though currently Brooklyn residents, are from Australia, which means they’ve had their illegal immigrant days, hustling the oddest gigs around town. Though Michael never made it to the interview (stuck in traffic or something?), Isaac and Mel filled me in on their pre-Young Magic days (waxing penis candles, hip-hop telemarketing, delivering lobsters to asshole lawyers) while shitting on Australian joints in America.
NOISEY: Hi guys! What do you do for a living besides Young Magic?
Mel: I work at a bar in the Lower East Side. You should come by! I work happy hour on Thursdays and Fridays. Hopefully I’m gonna start doing live sound there as well. But for now, I’m just slamming out frozen margaritas to all the thirsty people that get out of work.
Isaac: I DJ random, odd spots and I work at a bakery. I’ve had a long list of one-day jobs in New York. I can’t keep down a job at all.
Do you get bored easily?
For a long time, I was working as an illegal alien. So I was doing jobs that are right below the line.
Mel: The lobster one was probably the worst.
Isaac: Yeah, I was delivering lobsters around midtown on an old 70s cruiser – an old beach bike – and my first day on the job was in the middle of a crazy storm. I had to deliver lobsters to lawyers for lunch and they were just such assholes. And when the storm hit, a cab actually hit me and knocked me off my bike so I was on the curb in the rain, almost in tears. I fucked it up.
Mel: Drenched in lobster juice.
I’m sorry! How much lobster can you even carry on that bike?
Isaac: I didn’t even have a basket. It was just the worst bike. To give you an idea of how bad it is, I don’t have a lock for it and it still has never been stolen.
But you’ve been keeping this bakery job down?
Yeah, it’s been good. I’ve also done a 2-3 month internship at the New Museum. I’ve done some music stuff, art stuff, hospitality…
Mel: I do cheesy commercials sometimes – like, singing and writing music for them. It’s really embarrassing. The last one I did was for a cosmetic brand, so it was a lot of “nah nah nah nah” type of stuff.
Ha! At least you’re still doing music.
Isaac: We’re in this weird, gray area right now because we’ve been out of town so much and we’re going away again soon. We’re trying to convince our bosses that we’re going to come back.
Yeah, that’s always tough for bands. Are you legal now?
Is it safe to say the lobster gig was your worst job?
Mel: My worst job would be when I worked at this gnarly Irish pub. It was rough because weird people were getting fucked up way too early in the day. Also when I first moved here, I was doing telemarketing for this weird hip-hop company. They were these Brooklyn entertainers who had this sort of famous club that was popular in the 80s or 90s. They were trying to keep it alive, so my job was to call people and invite them out. For some reason, they had a database with people’s birthdays so I would be like “Hey, I see it’s your birthday. I have a bottle of champagne here for you. Girls get in for free.” Blah blah blah.
Did you ever get someone to come out?
Yeah, I somehow got really good at it!
Ha, that’s amazing. I would just hang up if I got a call like that.
Isaac: How long did you do that for?
Mel: For like two weeks and then I couldn’t take it anymore.
Do you feel sympathetic towards telemarketers now?
Yeah! It’s a really hard job.
Isaac: I’ve actually done some telemarketing for a couple weeks too, but it was for the government. One of the major parties would pay our company to survey people about what they wanted in the neighborhood, so they could change their legislation laws. So basically I’d be like “What’s the main issue?” and they’d respond, “Crime!” and I’d be like “What about crime?” and I’d have to prompt them more. “It’s bad! I don’t know, make the government fix it!” It was bullshit.
Where was this?
Oh, I love Melbourne. I visited two years ago and I vowed I would live there one day.
Yeah, summers there are really chill.
Sick. So you guys are touring soon – where to?
Mel: We’re going on our first tour to Europe. We’re really excited.
That’s awesome! Do you guys have any tour habits?
Isaac: We always make the sound guy play our mixtapes and they get really pissed off sometimes.
That’s your DJ instinct kicking in! What kind of music?
Mel: We make a lot of mixtapes, so just a bunch of different stuff. I can’t really think of other habits. I guess we all eat Subway a lot.
Oh my God, don’t even talk to me about Subway. I think I’m legitimately addicted.
Ha! There are more Subways now than McDonalds.
Isaac: Yeah, no other habits really.
Mel: A shot of tequila and a hug before each show.
What does Michael do for a living?
He works at this Australian café in Manhattan.
I've been to one of those. That place was super Australian.
Isaac: Oh yes, another one of my one-day jobs.
Mel: That place is fucked up. It’s just embarrassing because…
Isaac: Nothing like that ever really happens in Australia.
Mel: The owner is over the top.
Isaac: All the Australian cafés in New York are figments of imagination purely for marketing in America.
Mel: You gotta do what you can. Hm, I think I want to be a dog walker.
[Laughs] So random!
Isaac: Every time I’ve tried to apply for dog-walking, it’s been so suss. Like, drug dealer-suss.
Mel: My roommate makes a lot of money just playing with dogs. I think that would be good.
I’d like that, but I don’t want to clean up the poop. What were your first day jobs?
Isaac: My very first job was in a candle shop. It was a specialty candle shop, so they would make giant waterfall mushroom type candles, but they would also make adult candles. When I was 14, my very first day job was pouring molds of cocks and pussies. I got paid something like $4 an hour.
Aww, poor you! Did you get it anatomically correct?
Well, it’s a mold but you do have to shave the sides because the wax leaks.
So let me get this straight – when you were 14, you spent your time shaving cocks all day?
Mel: Oh my God.
My roommate has a penis candle.
Isaac: Maybe it came from me!
God, I hope so.
I got fired – well, let go – because I heard the owners talking about smoking weed and I told my parents and friends. They didn’t want to be known as pot smokers in the neighborhood so they sat me down and were like “Isaac, we don’t smoke pot. We don’t want to be known like that.” I was like, “But I saw you smoking pot.” They wanted to cover it up.
See, that’s when you say “If you fire me, I’ll tell everyone.”
Ha! I didn’t have the smarts. I just left.
How did that experience help you in your future career?
[Laughs] Very good question!
Has it shaped you into the man you are today?
“Has it SHAPED you?”
Mel: Has it shaped your own cock?
I don’t know, maybe it’s helping with the bread-making now.
Catch Young Magic on tour:
06/14 - 06/15 Toronto, ON NXNE
06/28 Brooklyn, NY Glasslands *
06/29 Washington DC Comet Ping Pong *
06/30 Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda's *
07/01 Boston, MA Great Scott *
07/03 Burlington, VT Monkey House *
07/04 Montreal, QC Divan Orange *
07/05 Toronto, ON Garrison *
07/06 London, ONT APK Live *
07/07 Cleveland, OH Happy Dog *
07/08 Chicago, IL Schubas *
07/09 Minneapolis, MN 400 Bar *
07/12 Seattle, WA Barboza *
07/13 Vancouver, BC Waldorf Cabaret *
07/14 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge *
07/17 San Francisco, CA The Rickshaw Stop *
07/19 Los Angeles, CA The Echo *
07/20 San Diego, CA Soda Bar *
07/21 Tempe, AZ Sail Inn *
07/23 Denver, CO Larimer Lounge *
07/25 St. Louis, MO The Firebird *
07/26 Bloomington, IN The Bishop *
07/27 Cincinnati, OH MOTR Pub *
07/28 Pittsburgh, PA The Brillobox *
07/29 New York, NY Mercury Lounge *
* = w/ Quilt
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