A couple of things I always look for in a band’s debut single is a bit of swagger and a statement of intent. Manchester’s The Modern Business pass the test with star marks on both, with their ballsy first single Velvet Thunder.
The Modern Business are Jackson Buckley (vocals and rhythm guitar), Olly Morrow (lead guitar), Ethan Eades (drums and backing vocals) and Tom Bradbury (bass). There’s a defiant bluesy rock edge to this indie tune, and the rock choruses and rolling riffs have a nice hard cut against the general landscape of the song. I can only imagine there’s much more to come from this young band.
There’s some solid traditional Americana rock imagery in the lyrics (going out to the desert and being out on the road) and the track is a honorable homage to the glory of the forever young, fast lifestyle of rock and roll.
Those liking the kind of Stones/Primal Scream vibe, a solid wall of guitar and a big strut tune will find much to like here. I also really get some of that bold and solid late 80’s- early 90’s US new wave rock vibe with this choon.
Given we are all starved of interaction and social contact during the era of this pesky little global pandemic thing, I got to hold an on-line chat with lead singer Jackson to find out more.
Things inevitably moved to the surreal times we are in at the point of writing, and how it might feel to release a debut track in the middle of a sh1t storm.
Well obviously it’s very strange times for everyone at the minute but we have tried to handle it as best as we can. We didn’t want to delay the release like some other artists have because we’re very proud of Velvet Thunder and wanted as many people to hear it as possible. We’ve tried to think that everyone is in lockdown and there is currently an opportunity for people to discover new music.
Another thing that has been tough is all of the gig cancellations. We had a good run of gigs coming up including our headline show at Rebellion, which have all been postponed. We wanted to celebrate the release of our single and show everyone how much we have progressed as a band, but its out of our control and we are working on a rescheduled date for later in the year.
The Modern Business have been around for a couple of years, and I asked why it seemed to have been a while before a first track was released, and how much the change in line up had affected the guys.
Our old lead singer leaving definitely had an impact on the band as a whole; mainly because he and I were the ones that started the band and had always wrote together and played together. But these things happen and you’ve just gotta go with it.
I feel like we were still finding our feet when he was in the band but now we’ve really found our own sound and come into our own. I actually wrote Velvet Thunder after he’d left and the first time playing it with the band, it just felt right.
We were all a bit down after he left and this song just restored our faith in the band.
We wanted our first single to be perfect and to be something that we’re proud of, which is why it took a while to come out. I guess we were just kind of waiting for the right song.
I next asked the band about their influences. I got a strong American vibe within Velvet Thunder and I wondered if follow up tracks would likewise channel in a similar direction.
Our music influences are extremely varied. We try to stray away from the typical indie band and write more blue based songs. For example riffs and our guitar licks are all blues rock based. However, I do feel like our lyrics and chorus’s have the big “American anthem”, fist in the air kinda vibe, which I like.
At the moment, there’s no really huge classic rock bands in the UK, with catchy singalong choruses and huge riffs and motifs. That’s the gap that we’re trying to fit into at the moment. We try to incorporate a bit of everything in our songs.
I do really like Counting Crows and Blondie and lots of 80s US rock and it’s clear to see in the style of the guitar driven music we play. Add that with Led Zeppelin style riffs and The Stones’s swagger and that’s what we’re going for.
Usually I’d close a review with some gig details but as we have an open ended shutdown at the moment, I wanted to know whether there were more tracks to release.
We are currently arranging some studio time to record our next single which is another guitar driven, blues based, rock n roll tune.
We also have another tune already recorded but we don’t feel it represents what we are currently trying to portray ourselves as a band, so are going to hold off on the release until we feel the time is right.
Our songwriting has evolved so much in the past 6 months so it is hard to keep up with which song we want to release next!
I know from my own emotional roller coaster over the past 2 weeks in isolation and the normal world closed down, how hard it is to stay positive, and keep the eyes firmly on the prize of better things ahead. Thinking of the single release, and speaking with Jackson of The Modern Business shows they have all the right ingredients for a good future in music, and more importantly a hugely positive attitude which see them through difficult times. Make sure you follow The Modern Business to look out for those rescheduled gigs and catch em early, as this band can really only go upwards.
* Images snaffled from the band’s social media