Recently we had the pleasure of chatting with ‘Modern Guilt’, a London band with just one single under their belts and that was making waves even before any music was released. Just before lockdown they impressed a large crowd at London’s 900 capacity venue Islington Academy and they’ve been enjoying an increasing fans and blog’s support since. With the like of Chalkpit, Hard of Hearing Music and many more praising the band’s sound and attitude, the least we could do was checking them out.
After being hooked to their track (and brilliant video) Hoping For The Hoping for a few days, here we are, sharing the lovely chat we had with the three members Jazz, Andreas and Scott.
On the 27th of November they will cheer us up once again with the follow up single ‘Get Along’. We haven’t had the pleasure to listen to it yet but we are definitely keen to hear what this eclectic garage trio has come up with.
Definitely a band to watch in 2021, pandemic or not, live gigs or not, we have the feeling that we’ll be hearing these guys a lot in the coming months.
Check out their brilliant debut Hoping For The Hoping and the great accompanying video by Carl Fox and starring a “Jagger-esque” styled Ekhaletruo.
The track was recorded with producer Mikey Buckley, ‘Hoping For The Hoping’ is a swaggering falsetto- infused guitar anthem that’s sure to be played on heavy rotation
Get to know a bit more the minds behind Modern Guilt.
We loved their answers to our questions, funny, direct and insightful at the same time.
Make sure to listen to Hoping For The Hoping while reading the interview.
Hey guys thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, we first heard ‘Hoping For The Hoping’ from a mate’s playlist, soon after on a few blogs and then we bumped again into the track while scrolling through Musosoup and we are very glad we did, what a debut! I know you’ve been going for a good year before releasing your first track so let’s start with some background questions to introduce yourselves and Modern Guilt to our readers.
Tell us a bit more about your musical journey, when and how you started getting involved
with music and how the band started?
The band started by chance. Planets aligning, meeting each other like a musical rom-com. Scott and Jaz met in a queue. Essentially we found everyone at a time when we wanted to start something new, and we’ve really run with it.
What was your favourite artist/band as a child?
Andreas: My first absolute favourite band was Pink Floyd, it was the first gig I ever went to, but I also loved trash-metal and grunge, so you had Soundgarden and there was Black Sabbath in there too.
Scott: I remember hearing The Beatles, early Madonna and Wham! when I was really young. But in the 90’s it was bands like Ocean Colour Scene and Oasis that really led me into music and made me want to play.
Jaz: It’s about to get significantly less cool. I’ll start strong… Bruce Springsteen and The Beatles, but also I was slightly in love with Shania Twain, hard to know if it was her or her music… My mum had the tape and whilst driving that’s what we would listen to.
What was the first music you bought/downloaded?
Andreas: A couple of albums I bought with giftcards my brothers gave me – ‘The Colour and the Shape’ – Foo Fighters, ‘Odelay’ – Beck, ‘Spaceman’ by Babylon Zoo, and Bob Hund… Swedish Alt-Rock that I still love to this day.
Scott: I think mine’s pretty cool haha, I grafted as a kid, got a paper round at 12, then I bought The Fugees’ first album (The Score)
Jaz: I can’t remember what came first, but it was either the Maccabees’ first album or ‘The Queen is Dead’ by The Smiths… semi respectable after the Shania Twain reveal.
What are your main influences now? Is there a particular artist or an album that inspired you
more than others?
With us as a band we have many different influences, but we overlap through 60‘s / 70’s Soul and Garage Rock, retro sounds in the 90’s; Primal Scream, The Hives, The Stooges, Bowie (It’s hard to not be influenced by Bowie). We can’t incorporate all of our influences into one set of tracks, but if you look at some of our songs, it’s clear that as we are listening to certain bands like The Doors, listening to ‘Morrison Hotel’ on repeat for few weeks, it’s reflected in our new track ‘Get Along’.
Are you guys working independently or is there anyone helping you at the moment? Label, management, booking? Anyone approached you with anything interesting? What would be your short pitch to any label or companies interested in working with you? Too many questions in one? 🙂
Let’s answer the last question first… “Yes” haha… But we are professionals – as you can obviously tell from the grammar 😉
We are working independently, it’s lonely out there, it’s cold and lonely and we have no money.
We honestly haven’t really tried RE: Management/Labels etc… We’re in a time where artists can release music without a label…We’re building our profile just now and we’ll see what happens. (…but we’re open to offers, and will happily share our 45 year campaign plan with anyone interested over a bag of carrots).
We’ve been asked to play in a film about the music scene in North London! …and especially at a time when we can’t play live shows, it’s great to be able to mime it out like a budget ‘Top of the Pops’.
Can you tell us a bit more about your local scene? Any special bands or special places that
are worth a mention? Or anything special that happened to you guys since you formed the
band? Give us something special!
If it weren’t for a global pandemic that is threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people around the world we would have been playing shows this year and had a chance to be adopted by a particular scene.
We’ve each played some great venues in London over the years with different projects. KOKO is a highlight and we hope it will re-open, but sadly the likes of The Borderline and 12 Bar Club have been taken away from us all.
There’s a lot of interesting stuff that’s come out relatively recently… coming out of South London you’ve got bands like Black Midi and The Ezra Collective…and up North, Desert Ships have a special place in our hearts.
Linked to the question above – how is it looking out there? Is there much happening in the
live shows front? We’ve been to the Windmill in Brixton a couple of times and it was great
but we haven’t really been anywhere else yet. Are you doing any socially distanced gig or
have you at least been to any?
There’s always rumours of live shows, who knows who’s whispering them, and a few socially distanced shows have kicked off. For some artists it would really work, a real art-piece show, the balladeers, it’s given a quiet stage to be seen which is great.
…so we haven’t done any socially distanced shows yet, it’s really hard to get excited about playing to the venue equivalent of a post office waiting room, where no body is allowed to move or make noise.
We worked on an online 2-day festival over the summer, it was a brilliant production and the shows were great but chatting to the artists it was very clear that the main issue was about them finding it hard to deliver to a certain standard without any audience. What’s your take on live streaming gigs? Do you think it can be a viable alternative for musicians for the time being? Have you been involved in any or are you planning to?
We’ve been in conversation with people about some live streamed shows, but we haven’t been particularly keen. Right at the outset we made a decision to wait it out until we could do a proper show, but as it drags out and the vain hope of live shows becomes even stranger and further removed, we are reconsidering our stance.
Fontaines DC recently did a live stream of their new record that fans could access exclusively if they they had pre-ordered the new album… it’s amazing to see the new material for the first time on screen, but it’s nothing quite like seeing them live is it?
Live shows are a real symbiotic experience between the band and the crowd, and so much of going to a show is about that, being with people, experiencing it in that moment and the whole night.
Is it a viable option? For the sake of the musicians and the industry we really hope so (for now), but it’s hard to see it being sustainable for anyone. It would take us time to recalibrate to that new world, we’re not ready for that level of VR living.
This is something we ask pretty much everyone we know, not just during the interviews… we are massive fans of movie soundtracks, what is your favourite movie soundtrack (if any). And what existing movie would you like to recreate (or even just curate) a new soundtrack for?
Oh, where do we begin…
Scott: My favourite film of all time is ‘Stand By Me’, but that is partly influenced by the soundtrack which I bought on compact disc 😉 . Otherwise, I’d say any Tarantino film…
Andreas: Yeah, like ‘Pulp Fiction’, everyone I know had that soundtrack in their record collection, mixing together two mediums of pop culture and garage rock blaring out behind a fight scene. There’s also Trent Reznor and Jonny Greenwood’s bespoke work, and The Joker soundtrack is stunning, the Icelandic composers are making wonderful apocalyptic sounds just now.
Jaz: I’d love to write a soundtrack to some sort of heist movie, like the ‘Italian Job’, or a film like ‘The French Connection’. It’s something about driving for me, that’s so deeply tied to music, most of my earliest memories are of that.
(***… we then sat in silence for a good 7 minutes whilst Andreas tried to remember the name of a niche composer…he couldn’t)
Free question – please ask yourself a question that you have always wanted to get asked.
Could be a question about your future plans, or a statement or just a story you’d like to share with us and our readers.
Is there any cheese that you’ve ever been unsure of how you pronounce? Scott always likes being asked for ID.
Andreas: Tell me more about your guitars.
Jaz: If you could have one song that played every time you walked into a party, where it freeze frames on you, what would it be?!?!…
Andreas: George Baker – ‘Little Green Bag’
Jaz: David Bowie – ‘Jean Genie’
Scott: I’m not that cool, so anything George Michael probably?
Before we let you go, can you recommend a couple of great new bands/artists you are into at the moment? Any new artists we might not have heard about?
Desert Ships, Eddie the Wheel, pigspigspigspigspigspigs…
LA Witch are a real treat at the minute… pretty sure they’re based in LA… 😉
There’s a band called Wooze channelling a Korean Artpop vibe.
Thanks so much for your time and looking forward to hearing more music from you.
Follow Modern Guilt at the links below:
New single ‘Get Along’ is out on 27.11.2020