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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos


Victim Of A Modern Age is out now!

Image: Supplied.

Brother duo Modern Error recently unveiled their exhilarating debut body of work, Victim Of A Modern Age. We caught up with one half of the duo, multi instrumentalist and producer Kel Pinchin to chat about the record, self-producing the body of work, their visual identity and more!

Existing as two halves, the conceptual body of work navigates and dissects the living in a digital world, whilst also questioning reality itself. Introspective lyricism is laced throughout, whilst the duo offer up profound thoughts that pushes up against the tropes of modern living.

Moving away from their post-hardcore exploration, the brothers push the boundaries of their sonic realm, introducing synth based influences into the record and creating dark maximalist soundscapes that brings a diverse palette across both sides of the album. Vocalist Zak Pinchin's compelling vocals stomp and soar above Kel's textural and sophisticated production, together creating a bewitching body of work that marks Modern Error's arrival as one of the years most exciting acts.

Tell us a bit about your background in music and what led you to pursue a career in music…

I’ve always been attracted to music from a young age. Much like any artist, it becomes a calling rather than a career, something I have to do. I picked up a guitar quite young but always cared about writing songs rather than being an incredible player. I was touring in bands within one week after leaving school, and I haven’t done anything else since. I value every musical experience I’ve ever had as part of my own journey.

Congratulations on the release of your debut album, Victim Of A Modern Age. The record presents itself in two halves, one that navigates living in a digital world, and the other questions reality itself. What prompted this juxtaposing conceptual exploration?

Thank you! It’s something we were interested in on a few levels. Zak and I always wanted to make an album in two halves, and we knew we could create something special within the message, concept and sonic with the two sides against each other. Much like the album's ideas, it also acts as a comment on what’s being made right now, which generally we see as ‘single based’ albums that don’t serve as a body of work. The subject of the concept is something me and Zak are really interested in. Displaying a sign of the times and invoking introspection is something that will probably be quite fundamental in future work.

How did you arrive at the sonic realm Victim Of A Modern Age exists within?

I have had a growing love for large layers, synths and textures throughout the making of the record. We wanted to incorporate this and break out of the ‘post-hardcore’ place we were almost backing ourselves into. Finding the sonic language of the record possibly took the longest; as soon as we had it, the album seemed to start to flow.

You self-produced the album, what are the advantages of having that control over your own music?

This wasn’t an easy decision to make, mainly because I hadn’t made a record before. We tried a few sessions with producers to see how it went, and we quickly realized that Zak and I were so specific on what we wanted to make it wasn’t serving any benefits having another voice in the room. So after a few weeks ad a conversation with Zak, we decided I’d take the roll on, and we would continue making the record ourselves, which was a little longer than someone who has made records before, but ultimately far happier with what we created and far closer to what we set out to make.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about producing your own music whilst making this record?

To trust yourself and your impulses. Not give in to the self-doubt that I know a lot of artists have, and let yourself go within the space knowing that you are in control of what people ultimately hear in the final version.

Could you tell us a bit about your creative process when writing and recording?

It seems these two processes have blended into one recently. We write a lot whilst recording it. The only thing that seems to remain constant is that we have a concept first to anchor our ideas. So it is really useful to look at everything you work on and ask the question if it works within the ‘guidelines’ we’ve made for ourselves. We also like to experiment with the processes that lead to the creation, as we believe how you write things also dictates what you are feeling and playing.

How did the album evolve throughout its creation, both sonically and conceptually?

It always started as a dual album concept, but we ended up using a single album format with the idea of two halves. The concept we have stayed pretty firm throughout and is just something we feel passionate about to want to make a comment on. The sonics changes dramatically from where we were. Although I had a huge appreciation for synths, I didn’t know how they worked all that well, and I’m still learning. So the second half of the record came out of me exploring that side of things. The idea was that we would just show this progression instead of trying to hide it. The album is loosely in order of when we wrote them.

You’ve shared some great music videos throughout the albums rollout. How important are the visuals for you in terms of representing the thematic exploration of the song?

Visuals have always been important to this band. As Zak is a filmmaker, it's almost like he and I are two sides of the same project. In a great worry that handing this project to anyone else would make us look and sound like everyone else, we keep it within ourselves. The things we create must always represent the songs and vision of the band, and we pride ourselves on how meticulously and purposeful this project is constructed.

How involved are you when it comes to conceptualizing and developing the visuals?

It is still just Zak and me. Zak is a film director. I’m a music producer and a graphic designer. So far, few people have touched any conceptualization of what we have made because we are so tight nit we feel it’s much better to keep it between ourselves.

Which three songs off the album would you pick to play to someone who had never heard your music, to make them an instant fan?

I’d take Curtain Call, Only One and New Age Vibrance. They're like the three I think are the most different to each other on the record, which gives more of a scope of what the whole sonic is.

What’s one line from the album you find at times could be stuck in your head? Or a line that you come back to?

It’s tough as there are so many moments in the record that are important to me. I’d say "Feels Like Violence". As for me, it invokes a lot of abstract images. To say something feels like violence almost suggests it is not violent but has similar qualities.

You’ll be hitting the road with Trashboat this March, what is in store for audiences experiencing a Modern Error performance?

There are many sounds that happen with just three people. The tour is quite intimate, and we hope to give a slightly different representation of ourselves than when we do in larger settings and hope people connect more being up close with the band.


Biggest influences?

Nine Inch Nails, HEALTH, 30 Seconds To Mars, Bowie.

Dream collaboration?


Album that has had the most impact on you?

Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral.

How do you define your musical style in 3 words?

Euphoric, Introspection, Evolution.

Best song of 2022 so far?

Dimorphous Display - Loathe

If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?

It is difficult as most of the films I like have incredible scores that would ruin the film if it parted with them. I’d personally love to score a film like Eraserhead.

First concert you went to?

Red Hot Chilli Peppers and James Brown – Hyde Park 2004

Best concert you have been to?

Nine Inch Nails – Royal Albert Hall 2018

First album you ever bought?

Lamb Of God – Ashes Of The Wake

Most memorable show you’ve ever performed?

Supporting Enter Shikari in Lincoln Engine Shed. Biggest show we have played so far, as was the most eye-opening and learning experience that was invaluable.

Guilty music pleasure?

Never guilty but most shocking to people: Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake

An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.

David Bowie.

What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?

Trust yourself.

The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?

Watching Red Hot Chilli Peppers at the age of 11, in Hyde Park, on my dads shoulders, turning round and seeing about 70,000 people.


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