Magic! Singer on ‘Rude’ Fatigue: ‘I’m a F–king Dancing Monkey’
And yet the true reggae artists embraced it.
Yeah. They’re all friends of ours now, which is so funny. We got to Jamaica or Barbados or Trinidad and we’re embraced. They’re like, “Wassup, bros!” I think it’s because we’re good songwriters. I don’t think it has anything to do with the reggae part of it. I think the reggae part of it makes it easy for them to understand, but I think they appreciate the songwriting. Cause in Jamaica we have like four Top 10 singles. It’s different. America is one of the only places in the world where we only had “Rude” and parts of Europe. But in, like, Jamaica four songs were played all day over there.
Did you get the sense in America people felt you were a one-hit wonder?
Nobody ever said that. I think a lot of people are like, “Are you gonna beat ‘Rude’?” No and yes and who cares? Nobody cares. Do you care if I beat it? I think if you look at Aerosmith they had one Number One record and everything else were songs we all knew and loved and they sold out arenas. Even if you look at Coldplay, how many actual Number Ones does Coldplay have? Maybe one or two. Who knows? But they’re just making music and putting it out. The one thing with us is we write our own music so whether it’s Number One or Number 20 it’s already successful for us. Because we’ve put out music that we’ve created. It’s not fabricated.
You seem to emphasize being a long-running band and not burning out after a huge hit.
We want to make music for the masses for a long time. We want people to trust us. That’s not easy. But the consistency is how you develop trust. If we say, “We’re going to deliver more great songs,” and fans listen and they don’t like it, they’ve lost interest. We have a plan and that plan is to take people on a musical adventure. We’re going to get old and weird and our songs have to be something that transcends everything. We can already see the next three albums. “Rude” was just the introduction.
If anything you now have captive ears.
Yeah. They either want to destroy it or applaud it [laughs]. I don’t think we got any real haters. We’re musicians – we sometimes hate every song we hear. But I think that just come from being competitive. My thing is you can hate something but don’t insult anybody because it’s not nice. You can just say “Not my favorite song” or don’t say anything and just tell us what your favorite song is. Save yourself the energy, man.
How does one respond after such a massive hit?
At one point you have to wait until the song dies and then decide as a band whether you want to go back to the studio or you want to go play live. So we said, “Let’s go play live.” So for a year and a half or two years we just played live. And we wrote the new album on the road. We wrote in Manila, in Brazil, in Germany. “Lay You Down Easy,” a piece of that was recorded in Germany. We accumulated about 80 or 90 songs because we write every day.