Photo by Jade Jeffreys
Located between London and Bristol, Modern Rituals are evidently fans of Leeds, having performed at Temple of Boom back in January, and now tonight at Chunk. I managed to catch them before their set:
Jack O’Halloran: You guys have played Leeds a few times in recent years. Is there anything about Leeds in particular that keeps you coming back?
Modern Rituals: Yeah. The whole community, it just works so well. The venues are perfect - you just have to look at that crowd of people over there, it’s really nice. You don’t get that around many cities in the UK. We’ve got friends here and we’ve played around Leeds quite a bit. The first Leeds show we played was Wharf Chambers a couple of years ago.
JO: What do you think of Wharf?
MR: Love it, absolutely love it. It’s so good, and not just as a music venue, even as just a place to hang out. The beers are really great, the foosball table - it’s just a nice place to be. I think Brudenell is a bit like Wharf in that respect as well. We went and hung out there for a few hours earlier, sat in the sun, had a pie, it was good. Pie and a pint for £7 - can’t argue with that.
JO: It’s not bad. If I’m going to get a pie though it’ll be Pound Bakery as they do a cheeseburger pasty.
MR: Just like a heart attack in a pasty.
JO: Can I just say that I would never eat a cheeseburger pasty.
MR: Good to know, good to know.
JO: I saw on Facebook that you’ve got your first album coming out in June. How did you come to the decision that now was the time for your first full length record?
MR: We were writing for ages and had enough songs for it to work, and we knew who we wanted to record with, Lewis Johns at The Ranch in Southhampton, which where, well we kind of grew up around there, and it just came together. We’ve been playing the songs for a long time. Since the beginning of 2017 our set was mostly those songs, and we really wanted to do a full-length. It was something none of us had never done before. And Holy Roar wanted to put it out meaning we could have it done properly and released on vinyl format. So we did it.
JO: What influences can we expect to hear on the record?
MR: I mean we listen to a pretty broad spectrum of music, but we wanted it to be quite a loud and heavy album. When Heff joined on guitar last summer he brought in his own kind of influences that came through a lot when he put down his parts, bands like Oceansize. When we write songs we never really go into them thinking ‘right we’re going to sound like this’, but I think Pile come through as an influence, very much that American Indie Rock. Their whole aesthetic is great; DIY to the core, which as an approach for us is really appealing. You’ve got Ovlov, with the way they go about having these big fuzzy chords with the also big lead line over the top of them is something that why try to do a bit. Bit of Neil Young in there.
JO: And with the release of the album, have you got any live plans? Are you going to tour?
MR: We’re going to do London, Manchester, and Bristol. We don’t see the point as a band of our level touring for a week or two, we’re not really enough of a draw for that at the moment. And unless it’s a band that you know or really like, you’re likely to stay in rather than go see a show on a Tuesday night, so we try to stick with weekends and key cities. Leeds is one of those cities that just really works and feels right to go to.
JO: Not that I have any immediate plans, but if I were to go down to London, are there any spaces like here, or Wharf, that I should be checking out?
MR: Well there’s DIY Space for London which has been doing really well for the last couple of years. New River Studios is where we used to practice, which puts on some good shows as well, similar to here and Temple of Boom I guess in that it’s also a practice room, and it’s used as a big art space as well.
JO: And now a throwaway question... Well, I say that, this is the stuff that keeps me up at night. Is there a film that doesn’t have a sequel that you’d like to see a sequel to?
(Immediately after saying this I feel embarrassed. Why am I throwing joke questions into the mix like some Z-list, T4 presenter. Is T4 still a thing? Am I too old to be doing this? Luckily the band get back instantly with a really strong answer)
JO: The Larry Clarke film? And it’d be like how they are now they’re all grown up kind of thing?
MR: Yeah. There’s actually a documentary being made now called The Kids about the kids who inspired the film, but yeah we’ll stick with that.
I thank the guys for chatting with me and wish them the best of luck with the set but continue to ponder about my throwaway question. For me it’d be Forest Gump. I just really want to see how they’d fit Gump into the last couple of decades of US history and make a light hearted, pro-Republican romantic comedy about his time in Iraq, or during the mortgage crisis.
Modern Rituals’ first full-length record, The Light That Leaks In is out on June 22nd and you can catch them in London, Bristol, and Manchester, performing alongside Vincent Vocoder Voice.