All Fired Up
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When Mark Magdich left the successful band Brother, he quickly began to suffer remorse. Not that he necessarily regretted his decision, but he did miss playing with his two brothers who had given the band’s its name. His brother Chris shared that desire to play with his big brother again, and together they sought to find a new way to make music. “I retired from Brother in 2014, and since then I’ve dealt with a few health things, cancer and back surgeries,” says Mark. “But I really missed playing with my brothers, so I said to Chris, ‘Let’s go find a couple more dudes to join us.’”
Those dudes – guitarist Brian Kinerk and drummer Beto Magana – are no strangers to local music fans. Mark called them to join the band, and Kinerk, who has known Mark since they were both youngsters, was quick to sign on.
“I’ve known Mark since I was 17 years old,” says Kinerk. “I know he’s a great player, and he’s one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever known.”
Magana, who was then with the band Sum Morz, was somewhat more reluctant.
“Beto was my first choice,” says Mark. “But he was happy with Sum Morz, and I totally got it. In the meantime, I called a couple of other people, but Beto gave me a call and said ‘I’ll take it.’”
The foursome met at Cheddar’s last September, mostly to see how they all got along together and found an immediate rapport, primarily because they all had the same vision for what their new band – All Fired Up – would be.
“I just want to get out and have some fun,” says Magana. “When we get together it’s like we’re kids. We’re like 15-year-olds getting together and goofing around. We love to play together. There’s no sense of competition among the four of us. We’re just doing what we love and having fun.”
“We all have the same sense of humor,” adds Chris Magdich. “We can be in the middle of rehearsal and just look at each other and fall down laughing. We work hard and take our music seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.”
The connection among the players went beyond clicking personally. It was also apparent that they knew what they wanted to band’s sound to be.
“I grew up playing this kind of music,” says Kinerk. “When we sat down to decide what we wanted this band to be, there was no variation. We all had the same idea.”
Mark Magdich says those who know Brother can expect a similar sound from All Fired Up, but a more pop-oriented variation on that theme.
“Our goal is to keep the dance floor packed every single minute,” says Mark. “We have about 40 songs we’re doing right now, and there are a few metal songs – but really more pop metal like Judas Priest. We keep adding songs to our list too.”
There’s also a hope that eventually All Fired Up will be featuring original material as well, and hopefully in the not too distant future, a CD will be possible. Making a growing set list of covers and the hope of new material possible is the band’s professionalism, something each member appreciates.
“We’ve all been in situations where there’s a lot of BS,” says Chris. “Here, we’re all a little older, and everybody is prepared and on time for rehearsals. Every time there’s a rehearsal, everybody comes ready to work.”
Kinerk echoes those sentiments, saying that “it’s the band’s work ethic that I really like. I’ve been in other bands where that hasn’t been the case …”
“Where someone is always late,” says Magana, finishing Kinerk’s sentence. “Where there’s a lot of drama and baggage. And with this band, everything just fell into place.”
At the core of that cohesiveness are the Magdich brothers, both of whom are just happy to be working together again.
“Mark and I are best friends,” says Chris. “Besides being in a band together, we work together at Sweetwater. Even when Mark was in California and I was here, we talked more on the phone than we talked when we were growing up. There are a lot of times when he and I know what the other one is thinking without it being said, but it’s also like that with the four of us on stage. We’re becoming like a family that way too, where we can just look at each other and know what the other one is thinking.”
With a few gigs already under their belt, All Fired Up look to expand their horizons and should build their fan base significantly this summer when they open for Night Ranger at the Three Rivers Festival. Mark Magdich recalls when Brother played at the Whammys and their Facebook page received 500 hits that night and the next day. He’s hoping for a similar boost to their Facebook page from their gig opening for a national act, but he says he’s also happy playing smaller venues too.
“At this point I think we are primed,” he says. “We’re locked and loaded, and we’ll do anything. We’ll play a 50-seat bar and be happy because that’s really a lot of our roots. I love that connection with the audience. I really think right now that the sky’s the limit for this band.”