We talk to Chris Wilde of London-based band Magic & Fur. If you haven’t heard the band yet, make sure you download a free mp3 of “Do Not Toll The Bell” here.

R13: To start with could you tell me who’s in the band and what their roles are?
Chris: Well there’s myself on vocals, Gary on one guitar, Artur on another, Gavin on bass , Dominic on keys and Jules on drums

R13: When and with what intention did you form?
Chris: We formed late last year. Gary and I have been writing songs together for years now so we had a bunch of new stuff we wanted to try out. I guess the main intention with this band was to create something fairly atmospheric and rich in texture that somehow still fitted in with the conventions of a pop single. To cram a lot of layers into essentially basic, catchy songwriting structures so that different things jump out at you on each listen and you’re not sure why you keep coming back for more. It’s not a new trick, just a tricky one to pull off.

R13: Had any of you previously played in other bands?
Chris: Magic and Fur rose out of the ashes of two bands, Doloroso, that Gaz and myself played in, and The Corrections, that Gav used to be in. Dom occasionally plays bass in a band called The Shortwave Set, and Artur has his own solo project going on.

R13: You’ve acknowledged the fact that you’re masters of the art of love songs; do love songs have to be about a specific person, or would you also consider songs about places and moments to fit that genre?
Chris: The latter. A love song allows for a pretty broad spectrum of different subjects as far as I'm concerned. Love is applicable to just about anything: a moment in time, a place, a state of mind or a person. That sounds vague I know but I have fairly old fashioned romantic notions about each that I want to convey lyrically so I guess the term “love song” is a convenient banner to represent a lot of what we do.

Despite this I still believe the most effective yet difficult love song is one relating to another person. Sometimes, rarely, you hit the mark and others you begin to realise (hopefully at an early stage) that what you've conjured up is cheesy clichéd drivel.
Love songs always contain a sense of longing for something,someone, and the best ones for me are when that something is unattainable. You can spot that with the best of them, the writing has been a pretty intense form of therapy for a songwriter. Fakers don't get a look in.

R13: Which is the stronger emotion, love or lust?
Chris: Love,certainly. Lust is a pretty dark, primal counterpart that eats people up in a different way altogether. It’s definitely as interesting to sing about though.

R13: What’s your all time favourite love song?
Chris: I had a feeling that was coming! I have way more than one so I'm afraid I'll have to give you a few:
"How Can I Tell You" by Cat Stevens is up there, as is "I've Been Loving You Too Long" by Otis Redding and “Nature Boy”, the Nat King Cole version.
Then there’s Randy Newman’s "Without You" and Bob Dylan’s "Simple Twist of Fate”.
"Always Coming Back to You" by Scott Walker is another classic. The ones getting the most spins at the moment are "My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains" by Captain Beefheart, "Love Letter" by Nick Cave, Big Star's "Thirteen" and "Honey Hi", Fleetwood Mac. I could go on….

R13: The video for ‘Christine’ is surreal to say the least, where did the ideas come from?
Chris: A couple of friends of ours have a company called Duckeye that do videos for bands. Amazingly they did this one for free on the condition that they could have licence to do as they pleased and not work to a brief. We were happy with that - free stuff rules! Jey the director thought there was something of a western edge to the music; a lot of the big skies and wide landscapes that he wanted to capture. He wanted each scene to be like a miniature planet that contained within it a totally different world as the camera zooms in. As the song picks up pace the worlds appear to alter even quicker. The thing I like the most is at the end you can see me rolling round on the grass supposedly asleep. I don't know whether it was intentional but I always reckon it comes across like I've lost it on acid and dreamt the whole thing.

R13: Is art something that inspires your music or interests you as a band?
Chris: Well music is, or at least should be, an art form shouldn't it? It’s a form of expression so it has as much in common with any other art forms. So yes.
I come from a family of artists in the painter and illustrator sense so I guess it’s been hard personally not to feel inspired by art in different mediums. The crossover in terms of inspiration can come from anywhere though can't it? I'm as likely to be inspired by a song as I am a film, a book, a painting or an argument overheard on a bus.

I read an article the other day where the journalist was talking about the state of the music industry. There was a part saying that the only way you’re likely to get signed nowadays is if you can imagine one of your songs being sung by a bunch of pissed up wideboys on a Friday night. I guess that’s how much art has been sucked out of music over here. It’s quite depressing.

R13: You’re currently giving away a lovely song called “Do Not Toll The Bell” to fans (here), do you feel a particular connection with the people to appreciate your music and come to shows?
Chris: I feel a connection with absolutely anyone who shows an interest in this band, on whatever level. Bands are ten a penny and when it comes down to it you can't force someone to listen to (and like) yours.

R13: What are your future plans, is there an album on the way?
Chris: We've got enough songs to make up an album. Between now and the New Year the plan is to record a load more so we're a bit more freed up to pick and choose what goes on it.

R13: You’re based in London, which can be a big place for emerging bands to make a name for themselves; do you feel that the London music scene is a supportive one?
Chris: It depends, London is big so for a new band your situation can vary some. Sometimes promoters are genuinely supportive. They'll be into what we do and we'll get offered a decent slot where we can make an impact and win a few people over. Others are in it purely for the bucks. You'll be rushed on in between three other bands and the engineer will rush sorting your sound. Those are a disaster. This is a pretty big band so we're trying to be selective so as to avoid the latter happening too much. It’s as pointless for us as it is an audience.

R13: Who are your favourite bands playing around London at the moment?
Chris: My faves at the moment are The Last Sunset Rubdown record "Dragonslayer" and Bill Calahan's "Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle". I'm not sure if either of those have played London of late. I really like Deerhunter also; I can't stop playing "Microcastle".