One thing that’s always surprising to non-musicians is the wide musical palate of their favorite artists. I’ve noticed a lot of people think metal artists only listen to metal, or pop-punk artists never stray out of their musical scene. Mod Sun has one of the widest musical palettes I’ve ever come across.
Deep down, Mod Sun is just a guy who loves music. Granted, he’s an incredibly talented guy who loves music, and makes music that we love…but deep down, all that comes from loving music.
“I’m an incredibly huge music fan,” he said. “I listen to New Music Friday every Thursday night at 9 pm when it drops. I go through every song; every song gets a chance, and I end up finding a lot of amazing music.”
It’s not just about passively hearing new music, though, or giving a listen to whatever happens to cross your feed. It’s apparent when talking to Mod Sun that he really seeks it out, and does so with the enthusiasm of a kid on their first ever trip to the record store.
“I listen to everything that’s going on right now, and I get so inspired by the music I listened to in high school, and the music that comes out now, and these amazing artists that we’re not supposed to find, but we get to find… We get these songs that should never be next to each other, and we all come together and listen to this eclectic mix of music…and that is the future of music.”
It’s one thing to consume music but it’s another to take it into one’s soul, to process it, and to make something new out of it. But that’s exactly what Mod Sun does.
“I listen to everything that’s going on right now, and I get so inspired by the music I listened to in high school, and the music that comes out now, and these amazing artists that we’re not supposed to find, but we get to find.”
“This is not me remaking Hit or Miss by New Found Glory or What’s My Age Again by Blink-182, this is me being inspired by those things and the energy and the emotion and the feeling behind the scene. [This is like] the first time you heard a Fall Out Boy song off Take This To Your Grave and you heard these revenge lyrics—that’s the energy I capture.” You get the feeling that you could talk to Mod Sun for hours about different artists and inspirations (trust me, I almost did). But it all comes to a point—an end result of all the compulsive listening, the processing, and the energy capture. For Mod Sun, the result is Internet Killed the Rockstar, out today.
“Sound-wise, a lot of my youth was spent as a drummer in bands, bands that jammed in the garage at your parents’ house and recorded demos with the kid down the street,” he said. “Then I got signed to labels and toured the country in an 18-passenger van, sleeping on floors and playing for no money. This really captures what I felt growing up, and the sound of [the album] is a direct connection to my youth.”
It’s not just the distant past making itself known on the record, though. While the record breaks new ground creatively, it wouldn’t have happened without everything that came before, from childhood up to now.
“…the sound of [the album] is a direct connection to my youth.”
“Obviously over the past ten years as Mod Sun, I’ve experimented with a ton of different sounds. It’s the meeting grounds of my youth and everything I’ve done for the last ten years.”
It’s hard enough doing anything during a pandemic, with lockdowns and restrictions forcing artists to find new ways to do, well, everything. But as I realized about two minutes into talking with him, Mod Sun is nothing if not adaptable. Somehow, he managed to take a negative and turn it into a whole new way of working.
“At the start of the pandemic, a big shift in me happened, where I just started running four to five miles every single day. That just changed my whole routine; I was up earlier in the morning. Strangely enough on this entire album, the sound is because I made every single one of these songs between the hours of 9 am and 3 pm. It’s legitimately the first time I’ve ever made music during the day. Literally some days I was in the vocal booth singing at 9:30 am. Moving with the sun as opposed to moving with the moon… I think it really did something.”
Internet Killed the Rockstar really is something. You can hear the influences if you try but it’s more than a blending and remixing of pop-punk meets Bob Dylan (another favorite artist of Mod Sun’s). It manages to be something rare, something new and heartfelt while still being intensely listenable.
Hear Mod Sun’s Internet Killed the Rockstar Release Day Listening Party tonight at 5pm ET on idobi Radio: