The Canadian quartet MODE MODERNE released their latest album Occult Delight back in October 2014. So the band’s meandering songs surely had enough time to sink into you like patchouli on a gothic cape. The shimmering guitar lines, the reverb and echo, the steady rhythm section, all desperate yet pleading lyrics. Commonly, songs using tricks like that go by described as dreampop or New Wave. It’s not generally a bad thing, we, here at the NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION funeral services, think. But others need a little more conviction, want to get closer to the individual character of a band, want to get inside, as they say. MODE MODERNE sat down to answer some delightful questions and shed a little light on their whatever dark they may hide.
How would you describe your music to a deaf person?
My understanding is that many deaf and hearing impaired people really love to experience music. Some frequencies – from high end to low end – can be felt and enjoyed. It really depends on the person. I suppose I would describe it as being emotionally diverse – from energetic to dour – and thoughtful. I would suggest that he or she give it a spin and describe it to us. That would be an interesting perspective.
Was there any initial moment or a certain artist that made you choose the dark path of ‘New Wave’?
I think that it comes down to the music you listened to as a teenager. Those years when you start to awaken to art and tragedy and sex, those times and that soundtrack they stick with you. Even though we listen to and love so many different types of music, when we try and write a ‘country music’ song it just comes out sounding like THE SMITHS. That music, or the feeling of that music, informs future creations, consciously or not. Just as sexual awakening informs future passions, consciously or not.
Imagine I got a first date with a crush and I’m out in Vancouver. Which romantically filled place should I definitely visit?
There is this lovely little bar in Gastown called Six Acres where my fiancé and I had our first date. They have an expansive drink menu and savoury food-stuffs, very romantically charged. It worked out well for us.
If ‘Occult Delight’ could score a specific movie how would it look? What genre and which actors would you love to have in there?
I see a Ballard-esque sexual tragedy with science fiction/near future, dystopic undertones. There is a JG Ballard short story called Studio 5, the Stars which takes place in a baroque-futurist-desert-oasis where the upper classes adore computer generated poetry. At night the sounds of passion and typing machines fill the cool desert air. Similarly I’d like to score the soundtrack to the cinematic version of Gary Numan’s Down in the Park. The anti-hero would be played by a misanthropic early ’60s Paul Newman, ’70s Iggy Pop would play Five and the female lead would be a nubile Angelica Houston.
Time to ask the essential question: THE SMITHS or THE CURE? And why?
This is agonizing. Still Ill or Play for Today? Leather jackets or cardigans? Liquor or pills? My answer is both – just not at the same time.
The music and culture industry is currently about to redefine itself on many levels. Do you feel like being completely and utterly at the its mercy, or should things be seen as a chance for artists?
More than ever it’s all about the artists, the music, the lyrics, the songs, and the images. I don’t believe that the artist is at the mercy of ‘the industry’ or ‘capital’ or ‘suits’. We are at the mercy of perpetually shortening attention spans. I’m so happy that our fans have been able to sift through an expanse of cultural detritus to find us – they hold our songs to their hearts with the same force as when they burst from ours – and we sleep peacefully.
What roles do ‘hope’ and ‘passion’ play in your life?
Passion and hope ebb and flow and spill at your feet and soak through the holes in your socks. Everything is rhythm and entropy. To will it, that’s what’s important. Just the thrill of it, that’s what informs us.