When I was asked to write a brief bio about MagellanMusic it turned out to be more formidable than I thought. An independent band thats been together since 1975 didnt make any sense. Especially considering their mélange of unusual work originated in a Midwestern town in the Bible Belt when young hippies werent very welcome. MagellanMusic started as a 2-man acoustic duo, worked into 3 men, and by 1978 they were a full bore electric rock n roll band touring the club circuit which we know is standard boot camp for rock and country bands alike. All during this time they were strong on recording because they were songwriters. Prodigious songwriters. It all had to be preserved and in the can. Its why MagellanMusic was possibly the first at selling their tapes at live gigs. They were also probably first at passing around their song list for requests, and newsletters to keep fans interested. They would pull weird stunts like play with their backs to the crowd, or wear goofy costumes just to make fun of themselves. They even used bizarre stage names, different ones every night, to keep those laughs coming.
As so often happens, bar bands rarely get lucky breaks. Neither did MagellanMusic. By 1984 they were tired of breaking their backs to play for rowdy drunks whose hangovers obliterated memories of the night before, so they called it a night. So long, and thanks for all the fish. And nobody expected them to come back. All went their separate ways, as the story goes. But by 1988 the MagellanMusic fellows found that home recording was a fast growing trend. They tried the idea of sharing songs. Each member would record their touch to each song, sending it from one member to the next, circling back to Per Jensen who would complete each to compile an album. To their shock it worked. Their double album R from 1988 may have been a rag-tag answer to the Beatles White Album, but its how MagellanMusic still does it today.
In the mid 1990s digital recording and home computers were a very serious happening. It changed not only MagellanMusic, but revolutionized the entire music scene. The whole world for that matter. The Big 5 record companies were no longer the Masters of the Universe. Independent artists, indies, no longer needed them. MagellanMusic was at the heart of it, and their first release was in 1997 called A Strange Traffic of Dreams. Even their old fans were amazed, and it meant that after all those years MagellanMusic had finally come to flower. 2001 saw Ghost of a Living Twilight. In 2004 came Phanus Phallus Phobias. In 2005 and 2009 were different versions of Yesterdays Children. In 2011 came Whispers. Each are distinctly different from the other, but expertly played, tight, and presented well. Listen to the body of this work and its hard to believe that a band, any band, this old, could be better than their glory years. No artist is without flaws, but some of MagellanMusics work is so good that its classic, as good as any major artist you can think of. Maybe the record labels should be grateful that indie bands like MagellanMusic are unknown. Because if they and other indies became famed the labels would have to reach for smelling salts and re-think the whole business. From the hearts of those who know what artists are supposed to be, carry on MagellanMusic, carry on.
The Indie Chronicle
The best place to visit is www.Magellanmusic.com and there is plenty to see. There's a detailed history, discography, individual bio's, a brief bio of each song, even lyrics. It's very informative.
We were a live band until 1984, had a lengthy sabbatical, then went on with studio work in 1988. By then we lived in different parts of the country anyway, so we would send basic tracks to one another to add our contributions to the songs, then final production with Per Jensen. That's how we continue to work together today.
We have been influenced by so many it's impossible to list all of it. If any artist is good, we listen.
MagellanMusic uses all sorts of things. A variety of guitars, keyboards, processors, and recorders are all used in different ways.
We try to present music of every kind. There is no need to stay with a particular genre as most artists do, it's much more creative to speak our minds as we see fit. Which is much more interesting to listeners. Their joy is why we're here.