Saturday, 8 February 2014

THE REAL ME: Our interview with West London three piece The Modern Means!

Below is our interview with The Modern Means, a mod-influenced indie band from West London! Enjoy!
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What is your earliest musical memory and what pushed you towards pursuing a career in the music business?
Tim: "My brothers sitting around our dad (who was also in bands), playing 'Yellow Submarine' on the acoustic guitar he made, wanting that to be my job. Grew tired of the nine to five some years ago."
Louis: "Similar to Tim, my first memories are watching my brother Alex and dad play guitar in the kitchen. Before then it was just staring at record covers. I got round to learning guitar about sixteen and hassled my brother to show me a few chords. Once I could string a couple together, that was it. All I wanted to be was a musician."
Sean: "Watching 'Tommy' and seeing The Fureys in Ireland."
What kind of records were on around the house when you were younger and would you say that these records still influence your music today?
Sean: "The Who, Ramones, Eddie Cochran, I think these have influenced me and are still some of my favourite artists."
Louis: "In the kitchen there would be everything from Motown, Otis Redding, Bowie, The Jam, Kinks, Dusty Springfield, Crosby, Still & Nash to opera and classical. Apart from the classical side, all those bands and records influenced me greatly and is still some of my favourite stuff to listen to."
Tim: "Not so much records playing, but always had the radio on in the background growing up. This defiantly influenced my musical tastes as I still listen to Capital Gold/Gold music to this day and have a wide spectrum of musical taste."
Had you been involved in any other bands or musical ventures before The Modern Means?
Sean: "Yep played in a few bands of various types."
Tim: "I've been in bands for years. My three brothers all play guitar, so I picked up the sticks."
Louis: "I’ve played in bands, on sessions and sporadically working as a solo performer since my teens. The main band I was in for many years was the Lieutenant’s Mistress from Brighton."
How did The Modern Means begin?
Louis: "I was in a band called Hands Make Fire, which came to an end and I found myself with about six or seven songs which I wanted to do something with. I had met Sean and he said his mate was a drummer (Tim) and we set about working on them. Didn’t have any pre-planned idea just decided to let the tunes dictate. In the end we naturally became a band as we’re all around the same age and have a lot of shared influences. We thought about adding extra musicians but the three piece setup really worked and suited the material."
Can you introduce us to the band and tell us what you play?

Louis: "I play guitar and sing, Sean is on bass and backing vocals and Tim drums and does backing vocals."
Where did the name The Modern Means come from?

Louis: "Loads of bands at the moment seem to just have one word for a name. So we wanted something short and with a 'The'. We really liked ‘The Means’ but there were too many bands called that. We settled on The Modern Means as a way of getting round that, but also cause it had a nice ring to it. It also seems to fit in with the lyrical content of some of the songs which draws from modern day observations."
How would you describe the sound of The Modern Means?

Louis: "Melodic, powerhouse indie combo."
You have released one EP to date. You released this as a free download. In the age of illegal downloads do you think this way of releasing music may be the way forward for up and coming guitar-based bands?

Sean: "I think music should foremost be accessible and this is the best way for us to get it to the people that matter, albums are a great way to showcase your art and style but I think people will get an album if they can first get a feel for the music."

Tim: "I think its the only way, isn't it? if you want to get out there and heard. Shame because there is a lot of crap to be sieved through."

Louis: "For us it was just initially so we could get some gigs. I’m not against free downloads as such, however I think it does slightly de-value what you do as a musician. I think if you’re a new band it’s very hard because no one has heard of you so you wanna spread the word."
We at AB Records are really enjoying the EP especially the lead track entitled ‘The Real Me’. What is this song about and what influenced it?

Louis: "It's essentially about different events happening in around your life and how this affects you. Does it change you? Have you changed and do you still recognise the person and ideals that you set yourself in life? Just raising the age old questions."
Are you a fan of The Who song of the same name!?

Tim: "Definitely."

Sean: "Brilliant song and at a great part of a great film, almost as good as 'Bell Boy'."

Louis: "Cracking tune! For our 'Real Me', I wrote the chorus last and wanted to change it once I thought of something better. However it just worked so nicely that it became part of it. Title aside though it has nothing to do with The Who song."
The EP on the whole seems to have a strong pop edge to it. Is this what you were aiming for?

Louis: "Not intentionally. We didn’t really know how we sounded and that is pretty much just how it came out. It was recorded live with vocals and a few guitar bits done later. I think having now done some gigs we are perhaps a bit heavier, but essentially we are aiming to do intelligent pop music with guitars."
Do you have any 'rituals' before you go on stage?

Sean: "Trying to adhere to the two pint rule..."
Any live dates coming up?

Louis: "Yeah, we’re supporting The Bishops at The Finsbury on Saturday the 8th of February. We also have a gig at the Camden Enterprise on 4th March as part of End of The Trail records showcase."
Any new songs in the pipeline?

Tim: "Yes."

Louis: "Got one that’s nearly done called ‘My Own Worst Enemy’ and I’ve got a few more in home demo form. So yes plenty more to come."
When can fans expect the next official release?

Louis: "ASAP – we have been in contact with a couple of labels who want to do something with us, so just a case of working out what format it will take. Watch this space..."
Who would be your dream collaboration?

Louis: "Dunno really, love to do something with a horn section at some point."
Who would be in your dream super group?

Louis: "Reni (The Stone Roses) on drums, Paul Simonon on bass, Johnny Marr on guitar and Paul Weller on vocals and guitar. Maybe also stick Ian McLagan on keyboards and the Memphis horns. Staple Singers on backing vocals."

Sean: "Bruce Foxton of The Jam on bass, Stevie Wonder singing, Hal Blaine on drums, Eddie Cochran on guitar and hair and Josh Homme for extra guitar and vocals Shangri Las on backing."


Favourite Beatle?

Louis: "George."

Sean: "George."

Tim: "Ringo."

Favourite band?

Louis: "The Cribs."

Sean: "The Jam."

Tim: "The Who."

Favourite new band?

Louis: "Temples."

Sean: "Arctic Monkeys."

Tim: "Supergrass (does that count?) Don't really have one."

Favourite song?

Louis: "Changes all the time, today it's Tin Soldier by the Small Faces."

Tim: "Hard to just settle on one. Late In The Day, Supergrass. (Went to their last gig in Paris. The guitar solo bit makes me cry)."

Favourite album?

Louis: "The Smiths - Meat Is Murder."

Tim: "22-20s - Shake Shiver Moan."

Vinyl, CD or download?

Louis: "Vinyl."

Tim: "Download."

When you press shuffle on your iPod, what is this first song that comes on?

Louis: "China Girl - Iggy Pop."

Tim: "Usually some ska or reggae as I have so much on there (android...fuck iPods)."

Style icon?

Tim: "Myself."

Louis: "Tim."

Favourite film?

Louis: "The Good The Bad & The Ugly."

Sean: "The 25th Hour, Failsafe or True Romance."

Tim: "Star Wars: A New Hope."

Favourite TV show?

Louis: "Spaced."

Sean: "Will And Grace or Steptoe And Son."

Tim: "The Simpsons."

Who would play you in a film of your life?

Louis: "Bradley Wiggins."

Sean: "Henry Fonda."

Tim: "James Corden."

Favourite food?

Sean: "Fullers London Porter."

Tim: "Chicken."

Football team?

Louis: "Don't support a team but have a soft spot for Brighton and Hove Albion."

Sean: "Team Sky-Froome."

Tim: "Arsenal."

All images taken from The Modern Means facebook page!

Thanks to Louis, Tim and Sean for answering our questions!

Hope you enjoyed this feature on The Modern Means! Check out our previous feature on Little Liam!

Check out The Modern Means here -
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