A Chat with Modern Guilt (22.02.2021)

With their single ‘Get Along‘, Modern Guilt has us lost in the dynamic sounds. Now, they have unleashed the official music video for the single. With a kaleidoscopic visual, the band have brought their genre-defying sound to visual life, with the help of Mathieu Colard. The video offers a lead-up to new singles and their first EP which is coming up in the next few months. We sat down with Jaz (vocals/guitar), Andreas Podda (lead guitar) and Scott Thomson (drums) from the band to talk about the single, creating the music video, working with Colard and much more!

OSR: How did the band first get together?

Scott: I met Jaz a couple of years ago through mutual friends and we got talking about starting a new music project. Thinking about who else to get involved I asked Andreas who I’d played with in many different bands, or as session musicians together, for many years.

The three of us initially met up to talk music, influences and I guess to see if we were roughly on the same page, which we were, so we arranged a rehearsal together the following week.

Going into that first rehearsal, the point was that no one came with any preconceived songs or ideas, so it was gonna be exciting to see which direction we’d naturally go if things worked together. Listening back to recordings of that first rehearsal, there were many “ideas” (laughs), but at the very end we came up with the foundation for ‘Hoping For The Hoping’, which would go on to be our first single and a bit of a blueprint for our initial sound.

We spent the next few months writing and demo-ing together until we felt there was enough material for a live set. That’s when we got Glyn and Dan onboard, both good friends of ours who Andreas and I had previously worked with on various different projects. They’re amazing musicians and have really helped give the band “our sound”.

Jaz: Bands are cool, and I’ve always wanted to be cool.

OSR: Your music is distinctive and genre-defying, is this something that you actively worked on or has it evolved organically?

Jaz: Firstly thanks. With no one having a set of tracks or a specific genre in mind when we began it allowed us to build our sound from the ground up. We write the backbone of our songs together, we are each hearing something from the initial ideas that we then bat between each other, eventually shaping into something that we’ve all had a deep involvement with.

Scott: As I mentioned in the previous question, when we first talked about starting this band together we didn’t go into the first rehearsal with preconceived ideas. We wanted to see if simply playing and jamming together worked naturally, and from there we were able to take our collective ideas and “write” them into songs. It’s been very organic which I really like and I think it probably gives us a strength in depth that we’re not purposely trying to sound like another artist. You can definitely hear influences in our music but the point is it’s come naturally through playing first and not sat writing a song to sound like someone else.

OSR: Is there a backstory to your single ‘Get Along’?

Jaz: Hmm yeah, there is a backstory to it and oddly it’s not a singular event. It’s a combination of two narratives that each ended up following the same path.

That path is being left by someone. The confusion that comes with it, the heartache, the loneliness and then the clarity.

Being given a set of reasons for someone leaving you that don’t quite make sense brings so much pain and confusion. But when you get through that limbo and find your feet you land pretty solidly and that’s where the power lies.

OSR: You have recently released the official music video for ‘Get Along’, what was your creative process for this?

Scott: We’re interested, for now at least, to create music videos that are a departure from the standard band performance video. Even when we write new songs we are simultaneously thinking about video concepts for the tracks, the plot, characters, scenes, locations etc, like a little film.

We’ll often create mockup videos for these ideas. I had put together an edit for a potential ‘Get Along’ video using old 70’s skateboarding footage with some other ideas which worked really well as the backdrop to the track, it’s upbeat and the footage had energy and excitement. The idea was to re-create this mockup video idea with a real-life skater and we had been put in touch with someone who was keen to be that lead character. Unfortunately, the lockdown restrictions meant we weren’t able to shoot this “real life” version, that’s when we turned to Mathieu to work with the same idea but animated.

OSR: How did you connect with Mathieu Colard to create the video?

Andreas: Scott and I met Mathieu about 10 years ago when Matt lived in London for a while and have been good friends since. We’ve always loved his artwork and animation, he’s into good music and skateboards too actually.

Mathieu had made a series of really cool short animation clips during lockdown number 1 last year. Then when we weren’t able to shoot a “real life” video we thought about Mathieu’s new animations and asked if he’d be up for making the ‘Get Along’ video. We sent him our mockup video idea as a guide, which he’s taken elements from and added his own ideas which work so well, particularly the kaleidoscopic visuals in the chorus.

OSR: Do you feel that the music video captures the essence of the single?

Scott: Yeah definitely, it’s probably worked out better than the original plan of shooting the idea in “real life”. It’s energetic and exciting, and having such a talented artist like Mathieu create the video is incredible, it’s interesting, different, and you really appreciate the talent from Mathieu that has gone into it. It’s what this band has always been about, the collaborations, whether it be music, artwork, video, photography etc.

Jaz: Skating just felt like a great way of visualising the narrative, rolling through the world, falling, crashing, flying, listening to music as it all melts away and the art style that Mathieu uses added a really hypnotic element to it.

OSR: This single is a taster for what is to come, can you tell us a little more about the EP you have coming out this year?

Scott: The release date is still TBC but it’s looking likely to be released in May, we’ll keep you updated. We’re really pleased with the tracks, they’re all bangers! I think it nicely bookmarks this first little chapter for Modern Guilt. You can hear more obvious influences like garage rock, psych, rock ‘n’ roll and soul, but they still sound fresh and exciting, the songs sit well together and it’s a great listen, even better live.

Jaz: The EP is like the first breath we have taken, we’re coming up for air and saying ‘how about some of this’ before we dive again.

OSR: What is the one thing you would like people to feel as they listen to the single and watch the music video?

Jaz: Peace. That joyful, elated sense that things are where they’re meant to be. You’ve weathered the storm and there’s that thrill inside again

Scott: I think it’s one of those songs when you listen in headphones and walk down the street it makes you feel cool, gives you swagger and confidence. The video equally adds to that and is visually stunning without being over the top.

OSR: If the band were pack animals, what would you be and why?

Scott: Maybe the vultures in The Jungle Book, they were based on The Fab Four.

OSR: Other than the EP, what else can we expect from you in the coming year?

Andreas: A little exclusive here, we’re in the studio next month recording another few tracks which are likely to follow the EP release sometime throughout the summer. We’ve got plenty more we want to record soon too. These tracks are shaping up really well and will probably have a bigger production.

Scott: We recently shot a scene in a film called ‘Giddy Stratospheres’ which I think it’s creators hope to release this year, so it will be great to see once it’s ready.

Thanks to Jaz, Scott and Andreas for chatting with us! You can find more about Modern Guilt on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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