In addition to our “5 Questions” blog posts in which you can get to know a little bit about your next favorite band, we also try to give you a look at the movers and shakers behind the scenes of the music biz. You’ve heard from our friends at No Sleep Records and Mightier Than Sword, and now I’d like to introduce you to Chris Maguire—vegan and head honcho of the music news site

James Law

1. Introduce yourself! Where are you from? What do you do?

My name is Chris “MUG5” Maguire and I am what I consider to be a multimedia futurist. I am originally from a small town called Blackwood in South Wales, UK, whose most famous moment was when the Manic Street Preachers came out of there in the ’90s. Currently New York City based, I create art and crafts and produce music for myself and others, utilize photography, fashion, the written word and make movies for art’s sake. To make a living I am the VP of Creative for a top men’s Web property and own and run my own successful Web properties including the much respected musical opinions site I joined the digital movement full time seven years ago, opting to solely work in the digital realm from that point forward, and since then I have been feverishly honing my skills across all my utilized media.


I embrace the digital movement 100% and advise everyone to do the same. Keep your eyes peeled for a new EP from my band Bleed Electric before the end of the year. Let the invasion begin!


2. How long have you been vegan? What prompted you to make that decision?

I began a fully fledged vegan diet this year so I am still new to it all. I had always been allergic to dairy, but after doing a 2-week juice fast inspired by the movie Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead this summer, I decided to never go back to eating meat and become a vegan. Since becoming vegan I have lost 25 pounds and feel a ton healthier. I would advise anyone on the cusp to just give it a go. It will definitely change your life, and more importantly it will help save some animals’ lives and hopefully the environment in general.


3. Have you been able to use Altsounds as a platform to spark conversations about animal rights or any other social or political issues that you care about?

We have actually supported peta2 and promoted their work for many years now. Regardless of if I am personally a part of a movement or not, I like to support movements that are positive and are trying to change the world for the better. Now, as a vegan myself I will be supporting and pushing peta2 more feverishly, and with a more personal interest, through all my channels to help get the word out there about their great work.


Other social/political discussions are challenging to promote on AltSounds because there is really no musical connection in the majority of cases. We do, however, support To Write Love on Her Arms, which … aims to inspire and change the lives of individuals that are suffering from depression, addiction, self–injury, and suicide, etc. I feel strongly that if people are just given a bit of guidance and love their lives can be changed forever.


4. If a friend were to approach you with questions about how to get involved with animal rights or advice on going vegan, what would you tell him or her?

Weirdly, I am kind of doing this each and every day. I discuss how much better I feel since becoming a vegan with everyone that cares to listen. For me, helping people make this change is not something that would happen overnight—I mean it’s hard to give up something you have had all of your life. I might also help them by eating with them for each meal for a few days just so they realized that there is a plethora of deliciousness out there without ever having to eat an animal or its by-products. I would also advise anyone thinking of doing it that is in a relationship to try and persuade their other half to get involved, too, because if my wife had not joined me in my journey I may not have ended up succeeding.


5. What bands are you most excited about this year?


I am still in love with Thrice. They just released a new album, Major/Minor, which is a cracking album and should be checked out by all. Weirdly I have been digging on Alexisonfire again more than ever. Isn’t it funny how when something doesn’t exist anymore that you love it even more? If there was one Alexisonfire album you should check out, it would be Crisis.

Some people might not agree but I am keen to hear the new Coldplay record. Seems they might be back on their game finally (Parachutes was a cracking album). Also super keen on checking out Noel Gallagher’s first solo record because I have been digging the single outputs I have heard off that album so far. Let’s just say I have fallen in love with vocal melody again this year!


Thanks, Chris! Check out Altsounds for the latest music news and album reviews, and keep your eyes on the peta2 blog to get to know more industry insiders.