1. Hi Magnolia Park, thanks for speaking to us! Let's start by going right back to the beginnings of the band, how and when did you guys come together?
Due to most of us growing up in the Orlando area we had all played together in other bands in the past. Josh, Tristan and Freddie started Magnolia Park back in early 2019. After a few line up changes Jared and Joe joined early 2020 completing the official line up. After a year working together we added a sixth member, Vince, to the band.
2. This interview is part of a wider piece on the return of pop punk we’ve noticed in our data - I’d be interested to know when you were introduced to the genre and what bands got you into it?
We were all introduced to pop punk at a pretty early age. Bands like Blink 182, Mayday Parade, Sum 41, Taking Back Sunday and more inspired us to pursue music and write pop punk music ourselves.
3. In such a short time as a band, you’ve managed to achieve a lot in a year that has been difficult for even the most established bands. What was your mindset going into starting the band and how did it change throughout the past year?
In early 2020 our goals were to release killer music and start touring. Once COVID started and concerts were banned we changed our focus to spending as much time creating music and building our presence on social media. We spent most of 2020 in the studio and our off days creating content for Tiktok. We shifted our priorities so that the band would continue to grow throughout lockdown so we could hit the ground running when the world opened up again. Now that we are so close to that reality we couldn’t be more proud of our progress.
4. As a fan of the genre myself, it feels like it never really ‘went away’, it’s just coming closer to the mainstream now. What do you think has caused this?
I couldn’t agree more. Pop Punk never stopped but was just in the underground waiting for another generation to take it back to mainstream outlets. I believe artists like Machine Gun Kelly, Mod Sun, Yungblud, KennyHoopla and Travis Barker really paved the way for pop punk’s return. Their combined success put the genre back in the spotlight and I’m so excited to see where it goes next.
5. Do you think artists like Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker combining the pop punk aesthetic with elements of more commercial genres like pop and hip hop is good for the genre, or does it make it more difficult for more authentic bands such as yourselves to break through?
What MGK and Travis Barker are doing with pop punk is absolutely a good thing. I know there has been a lot of back and forth among fans if their spin is beneficial but honestly they made pop punk relevant again and that is an amazing thing for all artists that fall in that category. People want pop punk bands now. It’s a great time to for the genre.
6. With the typical touring infrastructure unavailable to you early in your career, were you forced to get more savvy with social media as a way of promoting your music, or was that part of the plan naturally?
Having a strong social media presence was always a goal of ours but the absence of concerts definitely made it a top priority for marketing ourselves. We adapted to promoting ourselves constantly through social media so we didn’t have to stop and wait for concerts to return. Our members became content creators so we could pursue a new way to gain an audience.
7. We also mentioned you guys in an article about bands using TikTok really effectively, how has that platform in particular helped your band and what do you think the secret is to being successful on there?
In my opinion TikTok is currently the best platform to promote your music on. Everything changed for us once our song “Sick Of It All” went viral on the app. We gained thousands of new fans, millions of streams and built a dedicated audience across the globe who eagerly awaited our next release. Tiktok’s algorithm is difficult to figure out but consistency is key. It might take a while but if you continue to post incredible content eventually you’ll get picked up by it’s algorithm and see success.
8. Pop punk and emo has always been a pretty whitewashed genre - despite having its origins in classic punk hardcore, which was pioneered by women and people of color in the early days - how do you think the increased diversity bands like yourself, Meet Me @ The Altar and Pinkshift are bringing to the table will help the genre to grow?
I believe that the more diversity we have in the pop punk/emo community, the better the community will be. Growing up I gravitated towards this community because I was told it accepted anyone, however that wasn’t the case. Bands like us, MM@TA, Pinkshift, Action/Adventure and the many others that will follow will pave the way for a community that truly accepts and welcomes everyone. The next generation of pop punk/emo will be for everyone, and I can’t wait to see it.
9. You guys have really leant into collaboration from the beginning, with a variety of guest vocalists across many of your tracks, how do you network with other artists when face-to-face contact isn’t possible?
Having the power of social media and technology at your fingertips really makes contactless interactions easy. We’ve been fortunate to connect with many incredible artists without having to meet in person. Aside from Tiktok and Instagram, FeaturedX is a great platform where you can connect with other artists for collaborations.
10. Has seeing how much you and your peers have grown over the past year - and how much traction the genre seems to be picking up - affected your goals as a band compared to when you started out?
If anything all of this has kept us motivated to keep shooting for higher goals. Our fans mean the world to us and we want to keep surpassing their expectations with every single release. As for the genre’s newfound return to mainstream, this is the perfect time for us to make our move. We couldn’t be more excited.