Listen to Modernage's New Single, Named After a Happy Days Actor
Last April, locals Modernage broke a hiatus with their first show in almost two-and-a-half years . The thrill of the single moment was enough to inspire the group — consisting of guitarist Xavier Vazquez, guitarist/keyboardist Garcia Freundt, bassist Izzy Silva, and drummer Alex de Renzis — to create again, which...
Last April, locals Modernage broke a hiatus with their first show in almost two-and-a-half years. The thrill of the single moment was enough to inspire the group — consisting of guitarist Xavier Vazquez, guitarist/keyboardist Garcia Freundt, bassist Izzy Silva, and drummer Alex de Renzis — to create again, which led to new material as well as an anniversary show in August. Eight months after that, the band is ready to debut its latest track, “Scott Baio (Words),” and its accompanying music video.
Vocalist Mario Giancarlo sat down with New Times to talk about the band’s progress since the comeback as well as the new song and video, which will be debuted this month during a show at Sidebar.
New Times: Quite some time has passed since you first started working on new material after your reunion last year. How has the songwriting and creative process progressed since? Mario Giancarlo: For most of the band's history, the primary songwriters have been Xavier and I, but with the addition of Alex on drums, we started jamming more during practice. These jams led to a whole bunch of new material that has been written as a band, as opposed to a bedroom demo. It’s evident in the evolution of the sound of the band. Back in the mid- to late '00s, right when the DJ began to take over nightlife programming, we made a decision to try to appeal a bit to the up-tempo nightlife of the time. It was a great time, and we had lots of fun, but songs that didn’t fit that mold would be shelved or not developed. We are older and more mature, so if we like what we are writing, then that’s where we go with it. There is a musicianship that sometimes can only be achieved with time and maturity. Our newest songs reflect that.
What’s the connection with the Happy Days actor and the new single?
Xavier woke up the day of rehearsal with the idea to name our next single Scott Baio. He walked into the rehearsal space that night, plugged in, and started playing a riff. Soon we all followed, and within a few minutes, 70 percent of the song was written. Structurally, it was all there. The chorus was born both lyrically and musically at the same time — one of those moments in the studio where it just comes together. We went with instinct. Tell us about the production behind the song’s accompanying music video.
We have always produced our own videos. Garcia has always taken care of us visually. We released “Four Eleven” as a single and video back in ‘06 and got airplay on MTV and MTVLA at the time, and since then, we have been very invested in the music-video creation. Garcia wanted to try a new stop-motion method and achieved it with this latest video. No after-effects were used, and a lot of what you are seeing are compositions set up frame by frame. We kid around internally because he goes through incredible pain to pull these things off, but at the end of the day, we are very appreciative of the end result.
Besides the new track and video, what is the latest update on the state of the band?
We've written and are recording the best material we've ever put together. These days, it's all about the art, and we can't wait to share it with Miami.
Modernage. 11 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at Sidebar, 337 SW Eighth St., Miami; 786-703-6973; sidebarmiami.com. Admission is 21 and up. No cover.
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Junette Reyes is a Miami native multimedia journalist with previous writing credits at FIU Student Media, South Florida Music Obsessed, and WLRN. She generally prefers chilling with cats over humans and avoids direct sunlight to maintain her ghastly appearance.