So, just who The Fuck is The Magic Mod? – Magician, Style icon, Rock and Roll Star -all of the above ?
We here at The Songbird recently had the pleasure of catching up with the man himself to find out exactly that.
Hey, Ben thanks for agreeing to spend some time talking to us. As the name would suggest, you’re a magician right, so tell us when did you first get into doing magic? and why magic?
Erm, Hi, yeah well I first got into magic when I was about 6 years old. My parents gave me a Paul Daniels magic set. I still say to this day, that when I lifted the lid off that box, that was the magical moment that changed my life and has led me to achieve so many of my dreams.
At what point, did you realise that “hey” I could actually make a career out of doing this?
When I went to my sisters’ party, I was doing a few card tricks. She said I was good, and I should do it for a living. I looked into how I could start performing, then made a Facebook page, then just practiced more and learnt as many tricks as I could and that was it!
What is it about performing magic exactly that sets your soul on fire?
It’s the buzz of being in-front of a crowd, you know you have them in the palm of your hand, they’re just watching waiting to see what’s about to unfold. No one ever knows what’s about to happen except for me and I just love that feeling.
It’s been a pretty impressive career for you so far hasn’t it, seeing you sharing a stage with the likes of The Libertines, Reverend and The Makers, Paul Weller?
Yeah, it has been pretty impressive. I’ve built up great relationships with people I used to idolise as a child.
Just how did it come about that you ended up on tour with these rock n roll bands?
I got to know Carl (Barat) as a friend through his DJ sets, he’d been an admirer of my magic. He called me and said that he would love it if I would come on tour with them (The Libertines), it was an offer I couldn’t refuse! Still to this day I thank them so much for having faith in me. I really do think that me going on tour with them gave me the confidence to perform in-front of thousands on stage. That goes for Mr. Paul Weller too, he put his trust in me first and gave me a lot of life changing advice.
That’s pretty mega though isn’t it. I don’t believe that it’s ever been done by any other magicians before you has it?
It hasn’t no and I take great pride in being the only magician who has done it!
How was it being on stage for the first time in front of what, like 5k people? Were you nervous?
Yeah I do get nervous before a gig but that’s just normal for me, I feel like it proves I care. But as soon as I walk on stage all those nerves go away because I know this is what I’m born to do, and I bounce off the crowds’ energy.
It’s a very vulnerable position to be isn’t it? standing up there on your own. How do you handle hecklers?
Yeah, it is very vulnerable. I don’t think I get the credit I fully deserve!! When I’m up there, it’s just me on my own. If it goes wrong, it’s basically fucked but when you’re in a band there’s always someone to cover you if you fuck up, but it’s just me and thousands of people.
I love a heckler, I encourage it. Because if there’s one thing about me, its that I’m very quick off the mark and I never struggle with words. It’s all banter though, its entertainment isn’t it.
Aside from the magic, you’re also a bit a style icon aren’t you, being an
ambassador for cult clothing brand Indie Girls Dream (which is endorsed and loved by the likes of Peter Doherty, Johnny Brown and many more) They even designed you your very own “who the fuck is the magic mod” t-shirt for you didn’t they?
Yeah, they did which was very kind. It’s lovely to see people wearing a shirt with my name on it. They’ve got some fantastic shirts out and I highly recommend people go check them out (IndieGirlsDream).
But going back to fashion, I absolutely adore it. Obviously, the mod subculture is something that I base my image on and you’ve got some fantastic people, like Paul Weller, who, in my opinion is the best dressed person in the universe. Liam’s a close third after me…….
So, you have a big love for fashion? Do you think there’s a possibility that we might see a range of “Magic Mod” clothing in the future perhaps?
I was in talks with a few clothing companies about me collaborating with them on some pieces a little while back, but it wasn’t the right time for both parties. Hopefully, in the near future this is something that will happen. I think it would be up there with the likes of Fred Perry and Pretty Green 😉
So, we’ve talked about magic and fashion, but isn’t it true that you’re a big music fan too and that you’re also a bit a singer yourself?
I absolutely love music, it’s something that gets me through the day. I listen to a wide range of music, but my favourite band is The Jam. They’re untouchable, their album ‘Setting Sons’ changed my life, I still play it every other day religiously. I do also love the occasional karaoke and singing in the bath!
We’ve heard a little rumour that you’ve actually recorded your own original material, is this going to be released?
The rumours are true! I have recorded a song called ‘Vacant stare’ that I was going to release last November but due to being flat out with shows I haven’t had the chance and I think I’d like to tweak a few bits first as well. I actually played it to Paul Weller in the studio and he was impressed with my lyrics so that was a real honour.
And we hear you’ve also just joined an Oasis tribute act as “Liam”! Wow, tell us more about this.
Well, it’s no surprise that I love a parka, so yeah I love Oasis. I’ve also got a bit of a swagger in my walk and I own a tambourine… so it just made sense!
So, it’s clear that you’re a man who works extremely hard and who is extremely focused and passionate about what you believe in. All that you have achieved is nothing short of outstanding considering it was all off of your own back with no formal management isn’t it! What advice would you give to anyone reading this who is considering a career in the industry?
I appreciate that, very kind of you. I am very proud of my own achievements. People think it’s hard to be in a band and get a break, try being a magician it’s 10 times harder. Every opportunity or break I’ve got has all been down to myself, so yeah for that I am proud for sure.
I would like to thank Mr Paul Weller and The Libertines for believing in me and giving me a chance to show everyone what I can do.
My advice to anyone whether they want to be a singer, comedian, footballer or magician is, just never give up on your dreams. You just never know when you might get a lucky break, it might just be around the corner, keep going and soon things will fall into place.
What’s your ambition for the future? your own TV show perhaps?
Just to continue this amazing journey and see where it takes me. Of course,TV would be great and I do really think that I deserve to be on there but if it doesn’t happen then I’ll just continue on my amazing journey.
You’re certainly a busy boy at the moment aren’t you. Tell us what have you got coming up next? Where can people catch you performing?
At the moment I’m doing a lot of Q&As with Shaun Ryder (Happy Mondays) and Alan McGee (Creation Records, Oasis, The Libertines), as-well as doing some shows with ‘Live Forever,’ the band I’ll be posting about up on my page. I’m doing a little mini tour in May as-well as doing a lot of other shows. Keep an eye on The Magic Mod Facebook page for regular updates.
So in summary, the answer to our question of “Who The Fuck Is The Magic Mod?” is this. He is an incredibly down to earth, hardworking young lad who simply doesn’t understand the concept of “can’t”. He puts himself out there and always gives it his all and does so with a massive smile on his face and an incredible sense of humour. It seems to us that everyone The Magic Mod ever works with ends up being a life long friend. There’s no pre-amble to him, what you see is what you get and that’s massively refreshing which is probably why his friends list reads like a who’s who of rock n roll royalty.
We were lucky enough to catch The Magic Mod in action recently when he performed at The Libertines resident bar The Albion Rooms. From the moment he took to that stage he had the audience hooked and in absolute stitches. In our opinion he should add “comedian” to the long list of credits already on his CV. The magic he performed that night was nothing short of mind-blowing and even involved the very real danger of a live bait trap at one point! Now, I don’t want to spoil the show, or give too much away here, but what I will say is that seeing The Magic Mod perform live is an absolute treat so go follow The Magic Mod on his social media links below. Also, do be sure to check out his Twitter feed on a Monday where he uploads a new trick each week.
Facebook : The Magic Mod
Twitter : @TaylorMod
For QnA Tours with the likes of Shaun Ryder and Alan Mcgee that The Magic Mod is hosting, he is working with tour promotion agents Toura Toura Ltd Click link for all updates and further details.
Finally, we’d like to say a massive thank you to The Magic Mod for taking time out of his hectic schedule and for talking to The Songbird xxxx