Modern Sons
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Modern Sons

Bozeman, Montana, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Bozeman, Montana, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Psychedelic




"Tickets on sale now for Spokane’s Tinnabulation music fest"

Spokane’s newest music festival, Tinnabulation, announced its lineup on Thursday, and it’s a doozy.
The three-day festival Sept. 8-10 will feature headliners OK Go, American Authors and the John Butler Trio. The rest of the bill features local luminaries such as Marshall McLean, Mama Doll, Lavoy, Hey! Is for Horses, Elephant Gun Riot, Modern Sons, T.S. the Solution, Folkinception and the Sweeplings. Regional acts include Seattle’s Porter Ray, Ravenna Woods and Naked Giants.
Then there’s the LA indie pop duo Frenship, English singer-songwriter Barns Courtney, the Austin alternative/electronic duo Missio, and Canadian singer-songwriter Coleman Hell.
But it’s the headliners who really stand out. The John Butler Trio, who was last here in 2013 to headline a night at the Festival at Sandpoint, is a long-running Australian roots and jam band that has toured with the Dave Matthews Band and John Meyer, and performed at Coachella and Bonnaroo. They’ve won six Australian Recording Industry Association Awards, the Aussie version of the Grammy Awards.
OK Go jogged the treadmill into pop stardom with the hit “Here It Goes Again,” and the viral, Grammy-winning video that accompanied it. They continued that trend with “This Too Shall Pass,” the video which featured a single shot and an elaborate Rube Golderg machine. Over four albums, the Chicago-born alternative pop rock quartet has thrilled fans across the world, and on television, appearing on everything from the childrens’ shows “Sesame Street” and “Yo Gabba Gabba” to “The Today Show” and “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.” The band was last in our neck of the woods in 2010 for a gig at Sasquatch.
American Authors, the alt-pop rock quartet from New York City by way of Boston, has played SXSW, Lollapalooza, Reading, and Bottle Rocket. Just two albums into their career, the band has scored big hits with “Best Day of My Life,” “Believer” and “Go Big or Go Home.” They were last here in 2014 for a show at the Knitting Factory.
Festival organizer Matt Meyer said the lineup isn’t fully set yet, either. They plan to announce another 10 acts in mid-June. Five of those, he said, will be national touring acts. Stay tuned … - The Spokesman-Review

"5 bands you just gotta see at Camp Daze 2016"

From June 2-5, the third annual Camp Daze music festival will take over the sleepy college town of Missoula, Montana. If anything, the event will bring back the all-ages show policy and do-it-yourself attitude that’s been missing from other festivals. It’s also hosting nearly 50 underground artists at three venues over the four days. Many local, Missoula-based bands will be present (Holy Totem, BOYS), as well as rockers from the nearby town of Bozeman, Montana (Panther Car, Modern Sons), Boise day-trippers (Western Daughter, Tisper), a few movers and shakers from Portland (Hosannas, The Hague), plus many more. Here are five you should know about. -

"Sci-fi, space cats and '90s rock"

Each time Ryan Saul practices his guitar, or works on songs, there is no way to escape an audience. His house, on South Ninth Avenue right across from the Bozeman Food Co-Op, was built in 1890. It is not at all soundproof. Each note can be easily heard from the street. Passerby stop to listen, ask about gigs and even leave notes.

"I'm the guitar guy," Saul said.

Long ago, Saul made the decision to embrace it. Posters for his rock band, Modern Sons, hang outside on a wooden sign that used to announce a business.

When Saul is joined by the rest of the band, the upstairs of the house barely contains the four men and all their gear, towers of amps, a full drum kit and a total of 38 effects pedals. Saul's giant tabby cat (and the band's mascot) Elmer Leon Jamal Saul, hides in the basement until the music stops. He likes the people and the attention, but not the noise.

Modern sons formed as a power trio in July 2012, when Saul, inspired by Bozeman's music scene and participation in the then-weekly Peach Street Studios jam session, decided to explore performance forms beyond the solo singer-songwriter.

After putting out one EP, "Shadows," Modern Sons first drummer JT Schmitt fell 30 feet in a climbing accident, breaking both wrists. He called Saul to withdraw the band before calling his parents. The original bassist, Dave Reuss, made a less painful move to Denver, where he writes for a magazine.

From there, the three-piece became four-piece, with a second guitar player taking some of the pressure of Saul and adding another layer to the sound.

Guitar player Dan Haywood and drummer Mitchell Martel joined as a pair in mid summer 2014, some 20 years after they met playing YMCA soccer in New Hampshire. After high school, they both ended up in Roskie Hall at Montana State University, but the music was a while coming. Nearly a decade after the dissolution of their high school bands, Question Authority, At Your Doorstep and Funky Skunk and the Limousine, Haywood and Martel again share a stage.

They also share influences, with roots in punk music and 90s rock. Haywood recently realized he didn't know "an embarrassing number of Blink-182 songs" and immediately set out to learn "All the Small Things" and "What's My Age Again."

Martel cites Chad Sexton of 311 as his biggest influence, learning from his dynamic style. His style also incorporates elements learned from Danny Carey of Tool and from funky tunes from the likes of Sly and the Family Stone and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

"Exploring new areas bloomed into a wider range, with lots of fills and obscurities," Martel said. "Predictability is what I don't like in music."

George invited himself into Modern Sons when Saul asked for recommendations for a bass player. He only picked up the bass six years ago at the request of friends who were forming a reggae rock band. He and Haywood still play with that band, In Walks Bud.

"Since Dan and I joined, more of a pocket formed," George said.

His smooth and subtle bass style blends with the drums, streamlining the Modern Sons' sound.

Each member of the band contributes to songwriting in what they say is an "organic" process. Saul begins with some bones of a song and sends it electronically to Haywood, who adds to it as he sees fit.

"I write so much better by myself at 3 in the morning," Haywood said.

They then bring the song to Martel and George, who give it underlying structure. Lyrically, Saul is the sole writer. His words are often emotional pleas focused on human consciousness, sustainable choices and living for experience.

"The hood is just as important as the world," he sings in "Sinister Romance." "Start local then if you would, and just believe you could.

Raise consciences, oh you really would."

"Sinister Romance" is the second track off "Moon Raccoon," the band's first full-length album and the first recording with the current lineup. It was released online this week and will be available in hard copy May 18.

"Moon Raccoon" was recorded at The Shed in Bozeman in the first week of January. It has eight tracks, though the nine-minute "Starting to Be Parallel" is really a combination of "Starting Over" and "Parallel Worlds."

The back cover features the cat, Elmer, in a space suit. it fits into a serious of "ludicrous theories" behind the album's name and with the first album cover with "a gargantuan astronaut about to crush a city," Saul said. Both relate to the band's sound, using effects pedals to create sounds akin to those in early Sci-Fi movies.

"It's pretty spacy," Saul said.

Still, ask them to define the music and they falter.

"I usually say 'alternative, indie rock,'" said Saul, who cites indie rock band Spoon as his biggest influence.

"I say 'post rock,'" Haywood said.

"I used to say 'post rock' too, then someone said we sound like bands from the '90s," Saul said.

"Well post rock is from the '80s," George said, ending the discussion. "We approach it differently. That's where the thickness of the band comes from. The way we think of the band is different. That's pretty cool." - Bozeman Daily Chronicle

"The Four Horsemen Of Modern Sons"

Modern Sons is an exciting modern rock band hailing from the great BIG state of Montana. I must admit, the guys in this band were a ton of fun to hang out with. I had a blast interviewing the band on Blab! The guys were easy to talk to and were eager to talk about their new release Moon Raccoon.
The band has some exciting things happening including heading south in March to network and play at SXSW. The guys say they are excited to start expanding their tour and fan base outside of the state of Montana. Modern Sons has gone through some changes in the recent past, but with the new lineup founder Ryan Saul is excited about the future.
Each of the four members (Ryan Saul, Casey George, Mitchell Martel, and Dan Haywood) bring their own layer to a ubiquitously sonic ambience in an attempt to cultivate something organic and new. The four have a dynamic in which they are continually pushing each other to explore new territory using a variety of technological complexities. Saul states, “It’s definitely loud rock, but it has distinguishable vocals and intricate melodies”.
One of the coolest things about Modern Sons is the atmospheric experience they create when listening to their music. Check them out on their YouTube channel to catch some live performances that are truly amazing!
As an indie music fan and founder of Indie Music Plus, I am always excited to find new up and coming acts that are making some waves. This group of fine young men are no exception. I hope you enjoy Modern Sons as much as I did. Make sure to check out the featured artist interview below to get more in depth with this excellent bunch of guys from Montana. - Indie Music Plus

"Bozeman People Choice Award: 2nd Best Local Album of 2015"

Your Choice Local Album Released In 2015
FIRST PLACE: Cure For The Common - The Squeeze
SECOND PLACE: Modern Sons - Moon Raccoon
THIRD PLACE: Hollowtops - It’s Nothing
By only 2 votes, Cure For The Common’s The Squeeze wins Bozeman’s Choice Local Album of 2015! These super talented musicians bring the funk and add the rock. The album is a good mix of what they bring to their live concerts; be sure not to miss them the next time they play in town. - Bozeman Magazine

"SLAM Festival in Bogert Park"

The sixth annual SLAM (Support Local Artists & Musicians) Festival will be at Bogert Park on Saturday, Aug. 6 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The festival showcases artists, musicians, dance performers, culinary artisans, brewers and distillers, and demonstrators from around the state of Montana.
Saturday musical performances include a Youth Musical Showcase, Dillinger Steel, Heather Lingle, Solidarity Service, Jason Wickens Band and Modern Sons. There will also be performances by Motion Athletics cheer squad, Zumba with “V,” Veronica’s Sizzlin’ Salsa, Aerial Arts of Bozeman and The Verge Theater.
Sunday musical performances include The Permians, Sean Devine, Acony Belles, Brianna Moore & the Sasquatch Funk and Bad Betty Organ Combo. There will also be performances by Youth Showcase Talent Show Winners, Bridger Beat Cloggers, The Tapper Tantrums, ealing Spirals Belly Dance and Guinea Exchange African Dance and a free community yoga class with Your Yoga and a musical score by Jake Fleming.
This event is free to attend and family friendly. A complimentary bicycle valet is available.
For a full schedule and more information, visit - Bozeman Daily Chronicle

"Sound Check: 2015 was a great year for local music, too"

Bozeman-based alt rockers Modern Sons’ “Moon Raccoon” also has a song about Austin and about heartache, but you could never confuse it for country. “Midnight in Austin” opens with a wall of fuzz and effects pedals before the driving beat opens into the lyric. “We’re walking the street,” frontman Ryan Saul (who is from Texas) sings. “New years just upon us and of course we can’t agree.” “Moon Raccoon,” the band’s first LP, is a perfect showing of Modern Sons’ textural approach to rock music, spacy sounds and all. - Bozeman Chronicle's 'Get Out'

"Rock music, but dancing optional"

When the Bozeman-based band Modern Sons performs at Machinery Row on April 25, lead singer Ryan Saul says they’re there to rock your socks off — not to help you dance with that cutie across the bar.

“‘I’ve been to hundreds of concerts all across the nation, and do you think when I saw Kings of Leon playing people were cutting a rug? No, they’re watching the band,” he said. “When Coldplay’s on stage are people boogying down? Or the White stripes? No we’re watching the music. We’re not a party band and I’ve never been one to sell out just to make people dance with each other, that’s not who we are.”

Saul said they never stop people from dancing while they play, just that their music isn’t meant to be something that’s just played in the background.

The band will be performing a free show with Hell City Kitty starting at 9 p.m. next weekend.

As for what they do sound like, Saul said their songs are primarily alternative, indie rock but in a way that in a way defies labels.

He said when their new drummer, Mitchell Martell, joined the group last year, Saul said even he had a difficult time explaining to people what type of music they played.

“We’re in the alternative vein for sure, it’s probably like alt-indie I call it,” he said. “It’s funny when our drummer Mitchell came into the band he was like ‘Yeah, I’m trying to explain to friends what genre you guys are and I can’t put my finger on it.’ I think that’s a good thing because it means we don’t sound like anyone else, that means we have more of a signature sound I suppose.”

Saul said the band’s sound has changed somewhat since they’ve expanded to a four-piece instrumentation and welcomed in Mitchell, Dan Haywood on guitar and Casey George on bass.

Modern Sons

“The band is definitely more dynamic now because it’s gotten to be where it’s not just me holding it down with the rhythm and the lead, we have more dynamic parts where two riffs are going on,” Saul said. “When we brought Dan in, he’s equally, if not more of a pedal geek than I am and his sound is completely different than mine. He likes a lot of D-tuning pedals and nasty buzz pedals whereas I tend to play those buttery riffs with a Santana-ey tone. It’s pretty neat now especially when we have our solos back-to-back because he’ll play and I’ll go into mine and it’s like a yin-and-yang thing.”

Saul added that the rhythm section has gelled nicely together lately as well.

“Casey plays bass much differently than the original guy did; he was into slapping and playing really loud whereas Casey is super smooth,” Saul said. “He and our drummer get along really well on the rhythms so that’s cool, too.”

Saul said not only are they touring the state on-and-off, they’re also getting ready to release their first full-length album next month called “Moon Raccoon.” He said after that they’ll likely release another LP in the future, too.

“We did the EP in 2013 and in May at some point our full-length album will come out with all new songs on there,” he said. “But we’ve been playing those songs for about a year now but we’re looking forward to the album since things have changed quite a bit since the first EP.”

Saul, who’s been playing guitar for the past 17 years, said they’ve stuck to performing all original songs because they found out early on that they weren’t comfortable playing straight covers.

“I feel too boxed in with and constrained with cover stuff,” he said. “I’m so picky when I hear a cover band because I want the solo to sound exactly the same as the original, or play it so different that you can barely comprehend what song is being covered.”

By playing their own songs, Saul said they’re free to change the dynamic of the songs based on the crowd energy, as well.

“There’s a lot of times our solos may be shorter than last show, or a little longer depending on the crowd,” he said. “It’s fun to play originals because you can kind of make your own rules with how the songs are played, for sure.”

Finally, Saul said he’s excited to start coming to Great Falls more often and is thankful that he and Cale Younce, lead guitarist with Hell City Kitty, were able to connect and start playing with one another and tapping into each other’s fan bases.

“I think awesome that we’ve teamed up with Hell City Kitty and you know Cale’s been like, ‘Let us pitch you a show in Great Falls, you should play Great Falls more often and then they’re coming here and playing on May 9 with us. We just want to see more reciprocal stuff like that,” he said. “I hope Machinery Row has a good turnout because it’d be nice to be a place to come back to every month to month-and-a-half. That’s the goal.” - Big Sky State Buzz

"The Sounds of Modern Sons"

Laying down an ambient sound is a central objective for the band, and the guitars play an important role. Each guitarist drives two amplifiers with different digital effects applied to each one. In addition, each guitarist employs both a U.S.-made and a British-made amplifier. - Great Falls Tribune

"Filling up venues for the arts: Julia Louis-Dreyfest VII"

In its seventh year, Julia Louis-Dreyfest descended on Billings, filling up venues for an arts, music, comedy, poetry, and performance festival that brought hundreds of performers and attendees downtown the weekend of Aug. 9.

Phil Griffin, who’s been one of a handful of people organizing the event for the past three years, estimated attendance was up this year, as was the amount of acts featured.

“In total, we ended up having 110 acts,” Griffin said, including comedians, poets, visual artists, and 55 bands from Montana, Washington, South Dakota, and as far away as Calgary.

Event organizers expected more than 300 people showing up to perform or traveling with acts for the festival, and Griffin guesses audiences totaled more than 500 people throughout the two days.

The festival was also sustained by volunteers. “I had a lot of help this year, and a lot of places had people making sure that things were going okay,” Griffin said.

Proceeds from the event went to expenses, including catered bars at several locations, merchandise, and gas money for out-of-town bands. All eight venues were donated or provided at a reduced fee.

Looking to next year, Griffin is optimistic the event will continue growing and run a bit smoother. “We had great crowds, crowds that could cut loose and have fun and dance. We had a nice community vibe going that set the tone for people to take care of each other.” - Billings Gazette

"Modern Sons Share ‘Art Party!’ “Show it off and let’s get it on!”"

Off of the upcoming full album ‘The Weird Years’, MODERN SONS, brings the artful machine gun riot that is sorely missing in today’s scene. Well, least we need more of it, right?? And that’s why MODERN SONS are here. To be our daddy. To be our hero. To become the salvation for all that is holy – cow.

Garage rock goodness flow from the sonic rapidity of the band’s single ‘Art Party!’ and the crunch-tastic guitars bleed with exponential excitement, as your blood curdles in expectations and desire for even more.

Rooted from the psychedelia that the music thrusts, it’s what you want for that perfect night out.

You know. That night out.

Red lipstick. Leather jacket.

Controlled mullet. Fabulous attitude.

It’s the way to go and take over the WORLD.

At least for one night.

Take a big glimpse of this fab band from Bozeman, Montana and feel the ripe classic draped in modern ooey-gooey-ness.

‘Art Party!’ is particularly fab, as it has an extra tinge of Scandinavian-rock hidden inside its energetic fantoms (in the likes of The Hives).

See them next at The Filling Station in Bozeman Montana on September 26th.

Let’s get it on! - Come Here Floyd



Rooted in garage rock the four piece brings a ubiquitously sonic ambience with crunchy guitars and sophisticated bass lines. Organic structures are not based in a particular style of music, but rooted in the expression of experience and the song itself. The Modern Sons effectively and skillfully uses textural changes of dynamic to step into another sub genre of rock they coin as  psychedelic post-punk.

Band Members