Modernage Gets Together for a Rare Live Performance at PAMM

There aren’t many Miami bands that reach the decade mark. Luckily for all of us, Modernage is one of them.

The rock outlet formed by singer Mario Giancarlo Garibaldi, guitarist Xavier Vazquez, guitarist/keyboardist Garcia Freundt, bassist Izzy Silva, and drummer Alex de Renzis has been composing tracks since 2005. Many locals over the age of 25 will remember them from the golden years of the Vagabond.

And, although looks and production quality have naturally changed with the time, the band's sound has always followed a Brit-rock path with a Miami twist. After a brief break, the band made its comeback in April with a new single and video. Tonight, Modernage performs at the Perez Art Museum.

We had the chance to catch up with Vazquez and talk about his band's new music, its upcoming performances (including a showcase at III Points), and a future tour.

New Times: You guys have been making music under the name Modernage since 2005, but you took quite a long break. What happened during your hiatus, and what made you come back?
Xavier Vazquez: Keeping a band together for this long means sometimes you need space to go off and work on other projects. These days, we feel like we’ve moved into a creative zone where the band’s musical chemistry is better than ever. Our only goal now is to get together often and create — everything else is gravy.

What has been the most important thing you learned as a musician in these past ten years?
When you’ve been playing for a decade, it becomes all about the art of emotion. At the end of the day, we’re red-blooded Latinos and passionate about what we do. Every song we put out is meant to reach the heart and soul. We just write the best goddamn songs we can, and less fucks are given. 
What’s the story behind your new single, "Scott Baio (Words)"? Why did you choose this song as your comeback single?
I woke up with the idea that the next song should be named Scott Baio. That night we had a writing session, and the first riff that came from my guitar became "Scott Baio (Words)" in a matter of minutes. The best songs are always written without hesitation and in about ten minutes. If a band overthinks and nitpicks a track, they fucked up. The song’s got a great hook and an extended goth-disco breakdown; in some ways, it’s a return to our roots. The real question is: Why wouldn’t we put it out?

Are you getting ready for a new album?
We’ve got several tracks in the mixing stage including upcoming singles "Tel-Aviv" and "Sideways." We’re looking forward to releasing new material for our local fans and international fans, especially for those in Mexico and South America.

This Thursday, you will be playing at the PAMM. What do you want to transmit to the crowd when playing live?
As with all of our crowds, we want to bring the PAMM audience in and have them feel electricity. It’s nice no longer being rookies. These days, we get onstage and bring it with no hesitation. We’ve got the best material we’ve ever played and are exploring themes and moods we haven’t explored before. I think people are noticing.

Any other upcoming news or events?
Our video for "Scott Baio (Words)" is on rotation on MTV-Tr3s’ La Hora Nacional, and we’re really excited at the outpouring of online support coming from fans in Mexico. We toured CDMX and Guadalajara with a band named Subterranea, and we’re currently scheming our return. We’ve got some exciting U.S. stuff in the works. We’ll be playing a showcase at the Soho House – Ludlow in NYC on September 23 and will be playing III Points on October 9 in Wynwood.

Modernage. 6 p.m. Thursday, August 18, at Perez Art Museum, 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-375-3000; Admission costs $16 and is free for PAMM members.
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Flor Frances is an Argentine journalist and marketer based in Miami. She has her own publication, Too Much Love; and a marketing agency, Raygun Agency.