Magna-Fi - A Study in Musical Venting
"To me music is supposed to be about making you feel better," says front man Mike Szuter. "Every time we go on stage, we're venting and that translates into people saying, 'Yeah, I can relate to that.' To know that someone else can relate their feelings to our songs is a great experience." Just like the endearing anti-heroes that populate their songs, Magna-Fi continues to defy expectations. Resisting pop trendiness, the band has created an honest musical identity that flies in the face of conformity. The songs are written from the band's own unique viewpoint on life.
The members of Magna-Fi share similar backgrounds and upbringings. Brothers Mike and C.J. Szuter grew up in a small town near Cleveland and have been in bands since grade school, Drummer Charlie Smaldino was born in Buffalo, NY, and bassist Rob Kely comes from New Hampshire; each sharing similar garage band beginnings. Today, they all live in Las Vegas and boast a colorful assortment of day jobs, ala The Strip, such as slot machine repairman (C.J.) and evil pirate captain in the Treasure Island Casino Pirate show (Charlie).
When they are not contributing to the energy of one of the most wired cities in the world, Magna-Fi channels its abundant amounts of power into performances, song writing and superior musicianship. These guys keep fast company. They have shared bills and performed with Disturbed, Tonic, Cheap Trick, Oleander, Candlebox, Matt Cameron, The Fixx and Jason Bonham to name a few. They are regulars at venues such as The House of Blues and The Joint at The Hard Rock in Vegas, The Viper Room in LA, and The Whiskey and The Troubadour in Hollywood. They have also performed at The Rock Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, The Orbit Room in Michigan and The Odeon in Cleveland.
It was the band's latest independent release entitled "Burn Out The Stars" that caught the ear of Phoenix based indie label, Aezra Records. Produced by Paul Lani (Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, David Bowie), it masterfully combines a gravel spitting explosiveness with the edginess of punk. Equal parts working class manifesto and brimming with furious power, the recording has unforgettable songs that bridge the gulf between withering cynicism and bittersweet sentimentality. This recording was written for everyone that has ever loved and hated their hometown, their school, their job or their love interest. In short, this is a collection of songs about Everyone. Says Bret Vesely who scouted the band and brought home the goods to Aezra, " From the first listen, Burn Out The Stars makes you pay attention. The energy of each track, acts as a catalyst that binds them together and solders the albums separate components." They are influenced by straight ahead rock bands such as Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Soundgarden and Filter as well as a lot of great indie rock bands.
The members of Magna-Fi are the masters of their very own fate with Mike handling most of the song writing responsibilities and C.J. recording them. Both the other guys serve as in house promotional dynamos with Rob chronicling the band's trip towards destined fame in photographs and Charlie acting as the mouth piece with club owners, venues and promoters. Industry professional Henry Root handles the bands legal matters out of his office, which is located in Santa Monica, CA.