MODERN ME | 5 MINUTES WITH + VIDEO PREMIERE

by Jodie Shepherd


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Music January 24, 2018

Laced with driving guitars and theatrical vocals, Modern Me channel the bombast of The Killers, the cunning of Young The Giant, and the whimsy of Joywave. They are an indie rock group based out of San Diego, California and they are ushering in a fresh new era of indie rock.

Having mostly met in high school, they played together in different projects throughout those years; Modern Me as we know it today began in the summer of 2015; “We decided that music is just too important to us to not pursue full time”, they said.

With “Dead To Me” and other new music, Modern Me delve into emotionally vulnerable territory. Directed by Adam Castilla, the video, which premieres here today, is equally led by emotions. But writing and tracking this song “was fun”, they said. “We had already been working on the song for about a month by the time we brought it to our our producer, Adam Castilla”, they continued. “We were sending him voice memos of updates we had on the track. We were in pre-production and I was sitting across from Castilla and he kept challenging me on the chorus; all of the sudden I just heard the melody in my head and I heard the words ‘Now you’re dead to me, now you’re dead to me, all of this emotion'”.

Focusing on a brooding sound, the band, consisting of Adam Lamah, drummer Phoenyx Jones, bassist Adam O’Nan, and guitarists Michael Paez and Shawn Kreitz, hit on the anxieties that plague millennials. Does moving on from lovers, family, navigating the cultural and spiritual complexities of life sound familiar?

SO, IN YOUR OPINION, WHY SHOULD WE BE LISTENING TO YOUR MUSIC?

Because it’s genuine and hopefully thought provoking.

YOUR INFLUENCE TAKES OBVIOUS REMINISCENCE FROM INDIE ROCK, BUT WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ENSURE THAT YOUR MUSIC KEEPS THE GENRE FRESH FOR THE NEXT GENERATION?

Honestly, we just try to mix the old with the new and find some space in between for  Modern Me. We don’t just want to stay fresh, we want our music to be timeless. We are still pursuing that perfect formula.

WHAT DO YOUR SURROUNDINGS, SAN DIEGO, GIVE TO YOUR CREATIVITY? MUSICALLY, IS IT A GOOD PLACE TO BE? 

Most of us grew up in the suburbs of North County San Diego. We didn’t have a lot to do, which in my opinion stimulates a lot of creativity. So I guess you can say growing up in San Diego challenged us as musicians. [Adam Lamah]

DO YOU FIND THAT HAVING BEEN FRIENDS SINCE HIGH SCHOOL HELPS THE DYNAMIC OF THE BAND? HOW DO YOU GET PAST ANY DISAGREEMENTS?

We all know each other so well, and have been playing with each other for so long, that it just becomes more and more easy to write with each other. We understand each other’s styles and strengths, and that just makes us stronger as a group

THEMATICALLY YOUR MUSIC IS ABOUT THE “ANXIETIES THAT PLAGUE FROM MILLENNIALS”. DOES THIS COME FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OR IS IT MORE OF A REACTION TO WHAT’S AROUND YOU? 

We usually just hash out disagreements over organized wrestling matches.

MORE RECENTLY THOUGH, WITH ‘DEAD TO ME’, THINGS GET MORE EMOTIONAL. WHY IS THAT?

We’ve all had our share of hard times throughout this life thing, and we know other people have to be going through the same thing. People like music that they can relate to and that’s what I go for as writer. [Adam Lamah]

 

WHAT WAS THE IDEA BEHIND THIS TRACK, AND ULTIMATELY THE ACCOMPANYING MUSIC VIDEO? HOW DID THE STORY UNFOLD?

I live in a small town called Fallbrook. Sometimes I’ll see my ex in town and it gets me somewhat nostalgic and unsettled at the same time. I think to myself that’s not the same person I was planning on spending my life with. That’s some weird distorted version of her, the real her is dead. More so, that’s what ‘Dead To Me’ is about. [Adam Lamah]

I READ THAT YOUR WRITING SESSIONS ARE ALMOST LIKE A HEART-TO-HEART WITH EACH OTHER. HOW DOES THIS HELP YOU BOTH INDIVIDUALLY AND COLLECTIVELY? 

It challenges our friendships and makes us feel what we’re singing about that much more. It’s definitely healthy and helpful for us to write this way. Adam writes the majority of the songs and walks around by himself just analyzing people. He also reads a lot which helps him to pump some decent content after a good thought provoking read.

DOES THIS CONSTANT SHARING EVER TAKE ITS TOLL ON YOU, OR IS THAT PART OF THE PROCESS TOO? 

It gets heavy sometimes, but that’s when we get the good stuff down.

DO YOU FEEL THAT ULTIMATELY THIS MAKES YOU RELATABLE TO, SAY, ME AS A LISTENER? IS THIS SOMETHING THAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU? 

Yes. That is our overall goal. We want to get inside the head of the listener and have them think to themselves, “holy crap, that’s me, that’s totally me”.

IF YOU COULD REWIND THE CLOCK AND START OVER AT ANY POINT, WOULD YOU WANT TO HAVE CHANCE TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY? [WHY OR WHY NOT?]

I’d go back and buy bitcoin. [Adam Lamah]

All joking aside, no. Everything happens for a reason and this band had to grow in a very specific way to become what it is and what is ultimately going to be.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE FROM MODERN ME IN 2018?

We drop our next single on February 21, 2018. That’s it for right now.

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5 minutes with Adam Castilla Adam Lamah Adam O'Nan anxiety California culture Dead To Me emotions Fallbrook friends generation genre guitars high school indie rock interview Joywave Michael Paez millennial Modern Me music music video North County San Diego Phoenyx Jones San Diego Shawn Kreitz spirituality The Killers video premiere Young The Giant