You may have heard Tripped or Over Againtwo really rad tracks by MODERNS featured here on NRW's enormous YouTube channel. I'm looking to hear more voices from artists in this scene, providing more definition and clarity as synthwave discovers itself and what it's capable of as it goes along.
I got a chance to talk a bit with Alan Oakes and Christopher Fudurich, the duo that is, MODERNS...


Thanks for doing this Q+A! As a lover of the synthwave community, I believe hearing from artists is a huge part of shaping the genre and scene as it matures.

ALAN: Thank you for the opportunity

CHRISTOPHER: You're welcome.  Hello!

Why MODERNS? Any background to the name?

ALAN: The MODERNS name goes with the "Future Modernism" idea which was a recurring theme during the 80's in synth music and the cyberpunk world. The music is heavily influenced by those genres, so it seemed fitting.

CHRISTOPHER:  Yes, which works out nice since I equate the music with that of a clean, linear mid-century architecture style.  I like architecture. 

How do you guys view or position yourselves in the synth scene? Or do you consider yourself electro-pop?

ALAN: The music is primarily synth-based while the songs do have some pop structures. We could generalize MODERNS as a Synthwave, Synthpop, or an Electro act, but I like the idea of keeping the lines blurred. It keeps things interesting.

CHRISTOPHER:  Blurred Lines?  I'm happy with making music and sounds and hopefully whoever likes it, likes it regardless of scene or whatever labels it gets stuck with.  Honestly, I like so many different types of music from all over the place, I think our music is just going to kinda go with whatever we are feeling or inspired by at the time.

Knowing you both have background with bands and music, why such a strong draw to synthwave?
Are you both pulled to that nostalgic 80's/90's zone that many of us millennial RetroWave fans are?

ALAN: It's partly nostalgic, I must admit. The music and bands from that era are the reason I wanted to become a musician in the first place. But I must say I'm also inspired by today's Synthwave artists. Some of the more progressive artists are doing really exciting things with their music.

CHRISTOPHER:  Totally nostalgic.  And synthesizers are cool.  I really, really like synthesizers as well.  Yeah... I want to grab all that 80s stuff up and wrap it around me like a warm blanket.  I'm on the last season of Miami Vice on Netflix.

How did you get started with this five-track EP?

ALAN: I don't really consider it  an EP at the moment. We've been adding songs to our catalogue track by track over the last few months. We're working on a proper release.

CHRISTOPHER:  It's more of a collection of songs that started with a track I had laying around and Alan had a vocal melody from a tune he wrote.  His track was used for something else and so we put the orphaned melody on to this track idea and really liked the result.  So we decided to see what else was floating around and finished writing a few more tracks.  We have too many ideas we like and just keep writing and finishing them off.  I def think putting a proper "album" together is close.

I just heard your new track, Atlantic Sudden. MODERNS are producing sounds more pop than electronic. An opportunity area of synth that's perhaps ripe and untried. Do you guys see yourselves as aligned with the aesthetic of someone like Trevor Something? Or anyone?

ALAN: I'm a big fan of the retro scene. Each artist adds their own touch to the genre which is one of the reasons why I'm such a big fan. We all have that main sound in common which is where our similarities end. Whichever direction we take that sound is up to us. I think it's exciting.

CHRISTOPHER:  I'm waiting to get into dark gothic minimalist.  Not really.  (Kinda).  We've added this singer Rosie into the mix and she is on Atlantic Sudden a bit.  The next track we're putting together, she sings herself.  I can't align us to anything else, really, but I'm sure there will be similarities to others here and there.  We're creating whatever we find pleasing and enjoyable to us, so some might be pop oriented and some will be instrumental.  All will be electronic.  No horn sections in our future.

You guys have a great sort of 80s synthpop wave sound. I'm always pondering the notion of synth artists playing more live shows. Any plans?

ALAN: Yes, definitely! I would love to see more Synthwave artists take their music to the stage. I had the honor of performing with Arcade High and Bourgeoisie earlier this year. It was an amazing show! We need more of that!

CHRISTOPHER:  OH man I'm really into the live thing.  I've been out touring doing FOH and really want to put together a great sounding and looking show.  That idea makes me happy.  Any electronic visual artists out there want to do something?

Thanks for talking with me! Looking forward to new releases from you guys. Any final words?

Alan: Thank you. We're excited to share more music with you.

Christopher:  Thanks!  I am happy and humbled people are interested in what we are creating.

Stay connected with MODERNS

- Andy Chandler