An Interview with
pc: matt wagner
Who is Modern Nomad?
I guess me?! Haha. I don’t really think of it like that though. Modern Nomad is my recording project that I started in 2014. Later that year I recruited some bandmates to play the songs I had recorded live and we’ve been playing together since. The band consists of Matt Hurd (lead guitar), Kevin Buckley (Drums), Matt Wagner (Bass), and Jack Miller (Synth and aux percussion).
Where are you from?
A small town called Bel Air, Maryland which is about 30 minutes north of Baltimore City.
pc: Kathryn Defrank
What’s something cool about the east coast?
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Maryland kind of has it all as far as nature and weather goes which is kind of cool. We have beaches, A pretty big Bay Area, open farmlands, and a ton of forest areas. We also have extreme seasons which is cool in a way but can also be a drag. It gets up to 100 degrees in the summer with terrible humidity, and as low as 0 degrees with heavy wind chills. That’s not really cool, it’s actually pretty terrible, but it’s nice to have a balance of weather. It makes you appreciate the nice days ha
What was the inspiration for starting Modern Nomad?
I owe most of my inspiration to The Beatles which sounds cliche, but it’s true. My stepdad has always had a bunch of guitars laying around the house that I started toying around with at a young age too. The Beatles made me want to start writing, and more importantly, start recording my own songs. I discovered their early records first and couldn’t stop listening to them. Then, I started listening to Revolver and Sgt Peppers and their later stuff and I had to get my hands on some recording gear, which at the time was a rock band microphone and audacity. I eventually got a little nicer gear and started recording my first Ep which was called Wave. You can only find that older stuff on the Human Sounds Records Bandcamp. After obsessing over The Beatles for a solid 6 months or so I discovered Mac Demarco and Tame Impala which blew my mind. These two dudes were making music that kind of had that same vibe as what I was going for and they were becoming really successful, all by making their records in their own homes by themselves. That was super inspiring to me.
Listen here on spotify
What is the the recording process like?
For the most part it’s just me in my bedroom writing and recording at the same time. Writing and recording is one process for me. I rarely sit down, write a full song, then go and record it. I usually have a progression and melody in my head, then I lay down a guitar or synth track and build it from there. I try to get all of my ideas out at once while their fresh. Recording while I’m writing helps me visualize the structure of the songs better. Everything is always changing throughout the process too. I could have a full bass part that I’m set on, sit on it for a day, then hate it and redo it completely. The only time I didn’t record the songs by myself in my room was for the album I just released, or if I do some final overdubs while mixing at my friend Jamie’s studio. I recorded every song on my latest album “A Trip to Magic Hotel” like 3 different times all super different versions. Then, I finally decided I wanted to go out to LA and record the final versions with my friends Brylo and Jacob Summers (Avid Dancer). I spent a total of one week over the past two years recording the album with them. We did like a song a day. It was awesome, but I think I still prefer to record in my room by myself.
pc: Kathryn Defrank
Who are you a fan of at the moment?
Maggie Rogers, Paul Cherry, Clairo, Temporex, and Drugdealer
Last song you listened to ?
Harry Nilsson - 1941 (demo)
Who creates the artwork for modern nomad ?
A couple of people have created cover art in the past. My good friend Emma Mattson (Instagram: emmancipationx) use to do all the photo shoots for the covers. Recently I’ve been using Sean Kratzer, an amazing New York-based artist (Instagram: seankratzert). For the “Trip to Magic Hotel” cover, Tricia Stansberry (instagram: tj.ms) took the photo and Sean did the edit. Sean also created the 4 covers for the September singles.
Any new shows planned ?
None at the moment, but shows are always popping up so be on the lookout.
Favorite Beatles song ?
Oh boy, that is the hardest question. I don’t think I have a favorite, but two that always stick with me are “I’m Only Sleeping” and “Cry Baby Cry”
pc: Hannah Stimson