The Modern Savage
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The Modern Savage

Anchorage, AK | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | INDIE

Anchorage, AK | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Indie




"With 'Pull Me,' The Modern Savage Asks How To Make Love Stay"

How do you make love stay? That's the question at the heart of "Pull Me," a new song from Anchorage, Alaska's The Modern Savage. Singer Jenni May Toro told me in an email that this song came to her in the wake of her divorce. "As I navigated the meaning of love in this transformative moment, I leaned on the loved ones around me for guidance and support," she writes. "Asking the question to my community gave me hope and developed into a deeply meaningful spiderweb of human connection."

The responses she received often reflected what was on the minds of those asked. Sometimes the answer was personal; other times, it was political. "More than ever, our nation is struggling to pull together," Jenni May Toro says. "There's an aura of division and fear of the future. When these threads of connectivity are exposed, empathy happens, love happens."

You can see in this video for "Pull Me" that answers varied widely, from "Greet love with a kiss," "Compassion and patience" and "Show love a good time" to "Keep dreaming" and "Who knows?"

The question "How do you make love stay?" is asked in the Tom Robbins novel Still Life With Woodpecker, which was the spark for Jenni May Toro. "I'm a longtime fan of his work and it planted a seed to explore the question," she writes. "I wrote him a letter from the studio while we were recording the album. He hasn't responded yet..."

By the way, if you have an answer of your own that you'd love to share, you can post it to your social media with the hashtag #howtomakelovestay.

The second album from The Modern Savage, on which "Pull Me" appears, is titled Unwilling Participants and comes out Jan. 27. - NPR

"The 10 Best New Songs to Listen to in January"

The Modern Savage, "Dead Presidents"

When thinking about the home of rock 'n' roll, Alaska may not be what comes to mind. The Modern Savage is working to change that, though with their high-energy, unabashed rock. The quintet is fronted by Jenni May Toro, whose raw vocal power can match that of Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O, but is frequently used to guide listeners on a more soothing journey. Their latest single, which we are premiering today, shows the band at fever pitch, with a potent message to share and a driving rhythm to help convey it. - Elle Magazine

"The Modern Savage release third LP track "Dead Presidents" Read more at"

Alaska-based quintet The Modern Savage, released the third track from their Unwilling Participants LP, slated for release on January 27. Entitled "Dead Presidents," the track is an upbeat indie grunge delight, driven by grunge-pop guitar licks and a high-energy beat, along with seductive vocal flourishes.
Unwilling Participants focuses on lead singer Jenni May Toro's marriage and the terrible divorce that followed it. The album can be seen as Toro coming to terms with the disillusionment that often follows a failed marriage through creative healing.
The band have thoroughly established themselves in the music industry, and have shared the stage with the likes of American Authors, Jane's Addiction, Owl City, and Silversun Pickups.

Read more at - Northern Transmissions

"The Modern Savage - Unwilling Participants Review"

For an album thematically based around a divorce, The Modern Savage‘s sophomore effort Unwilling Participants is never angry or bitter. Said divorce belongs to The Modern Savage’s frontwoman Jenni May Toro. Taking an opposite approach to any Cursive album, Toro discusses her own shortcomings in her past marriage on the album rather than pointing an angry finger. She sings, “I keep to myself/ Don’t let my monster grow fat on that digital trash,” on “No Love Lost”, refusing to air dirty laundry on social media. On “Clorophyll” she sings, “He was the sun/ I was the clouds,” over an upbeat arrangement with a somber subtlety. Both songs resonate as the most powerful on Unwilling Participants.

The album plays like a grab bag of styles for the band, especially Toro. Throughout Unwilling Participants, Toro shows off her incredible vocal range that seemingly channels No Doubt-era Gwen Stefani (on the band’s cover of Interpol’s “Evil”) to Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O (on the crazy “Neon Tongue”). The band is mostly keen on guitar-based alt rock thrills, but they break it up with softer interludes. They’re also smart to lightly experiment as heard on the minimalist opening of “All Hail” that eventually becomes another rocker. Unwilling Participants is a strong showing from the Alaskan quintet and especially its frontwoman to leave listeners more than willing to revisit it repeatedly. - Earbuddy


Still working on that hot first release.



There is a fervor swarming around The Modern Savage. Based in Anchorage, Alaska this impassioned quintet formed in 2011. They have a deep connection to Alaska; a remote, sparsely populated, and unlikely place for a rock band with worldwide aspirations to call home. Those challenges have become the foundation upon which The Modern Savage has built their success. Alaska’s isolation has lead to unbound creativity and agency that continues to thrive and evolve. The band is led by singer Jenni May Toro, an indomitable force, who at one moment offers up performances that are poetically intimate and at the next relentlessly ferocious. The unique sound of The Modern Savage can be attributed to their varied influences ranging from Post Punk and New Wave, to 90's Indie and Hardcore. The sound emanating from The Modern Savage is electric, thrilling, and emotive. Stylistically, the band has been compared to PJ Harvey, Interpol, and Metric.

“The Modern Savage bridged Cyndi Lauper and Ra Ra Riot with sturdy cables.” - Jeff Weiss, Spin Magazine. Their songs fluctuate between confessional and tender to raw and explosive, mixing high energy indie pop, with melodic and crushing punk rock.

The Modern Savage has played sold out shows throughout Alaska, developing a reputation for live performances that electrify audiences into a frenzied mania. For five years in a row, readers of the Anchorage Press have named them the "Best Indie Band" in Anchorage. The readers are not alone. Despite not yet touring outside of their home state, The Modern Savage is gaining national attention. Among other notable acts, they’ve shared the stage with Jane’s Addiction, Foster the People, Silversun Pickups, Owl City, and K. Flay. They have been featured in Spin Magazine and highlighted in American Hipster Presents. The Modern Savage is rarified. “I like everything; songs, performance, look, nuance, vibe, and power.” - Jeff Castelaz, Elektra Records 

Their new album, Unwilling Participants, (independently released 1/27/17) is their fourth release and second full-length effort. It was produced, recorded, and mixed by Brooklyn’s James Frazee (Beck, Patti Smith, Sharon van Etten, Esperanza Spalding). It was influenced by the presence of duality in our lives. The light and dark moments aren’t exclusive, they bleed together and have an equal weight in the story. There are no villains. There are no heroes. This album depicts the grief of a marriage ending, the vulnerability in knowing you can’t always be in control, falling in love, and letting go. Unwilling Participants is not only more cohesive than previous efforts, it has grown up. This disarming collection is a natural progression for the musicians. It pulls you from the sidelines and thrusts you into a story that keeps growing. The Modern Savage is not scared of anything, and we’re listening.

Band Members