By Daniel Borgen, PQ Monthly
In Portland, we’re no strangers to great local bands; we’ve long been hailed as a music mecca. So we have a bit of a thick skin when Portland acts make it big — on tour, with a bestselling album, whatever the case. Regardless of our affinity for success, there are times when a band’s trajectory still impresses us. Such is the case with Magic Mouth: local club darlings to Queer Music Festival headliners to Gossip touring mates in a relatively short amount of time.
We chatted with two of Magic Mouth’s four — Peter Condra and Brendan Scott—on the eve of their departure with Beth Ditto and Co.
“When Ana [Briseño] and I first started playing, I mostly wanted to do a show at Burgerville — and maybe some queer parties,” Condra said. “Once things started to pick up, though, touring with Gossip actually became a specific goal we had in mind. I just didn’t expect it would happen so quickly.”
Brendan Scott (DJ Pocket Rock-It) joined Magic Mouth a little over a year ago.
“I am never surprised at what we as a group can accomplish,” he said. “There’s a spark when we work together that I’ve never really encountered in previous endeavors. Not to say that being asked to open for Gossip isn’t one of the most surreal experiences of my life. They are a band I’ve always looked up to and wanted to play with. Having high expectations and expressing them can really make dreams come true, as cheesy as it sounds.”
As of now, Magic Mouth will be hitting 14 cities on their tour — including Condra’s hometown, Los Angeles.
“Initially we’ll drive from Portland to Washington, D.C., then tour up the East Coast,” Scott said. “After that, it’s Canada for dates in Toronto and Montreal. I think I am most excited for shows in New York and LA. It will give us a chance to see and play for family and friends that we haven’t seen in a minute. Obviously, it will be rad to play here, in Portland, at the Crystal. It’s going to be a really big show for us, towards the end of our tour; everything will be sounding tight and there will be familiar faces all around.”
And in terms of dropping everything and heading across country to follow their dreams, that was obviously a no-brainer.
“Personally, I had to defer from school for a semester, but obviously it will be worth it in the end,” Scott said. “This is an experience no one could really turn down. It’s nice because everyone in the band is either a student or has an industry job that is fairly flexible. Besides that, I’ll miss my friends and family — and DJing at Bridge Club next month.”
Catch Magic Mouth with Gossip at the Crystal Ballroom on Oct. 10. Doors open at 8 p.m., show starts at 9 p.m.. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 the day of the show. Get your tickets soon — Gossip always sells out.