If you’re a live music fan, chances are you’ve already seen Modern Colour shred it onstage. Together since 2011, the Philly-based quartet performs gritty, bluesy rock and is made up of Stephan Sirochman and Nate Ridgeway on guitar and vocals, Chris Boyle on bass and Tom Weir on drums. This weekend, they perform the 2nd Street Festival for the first time in its eight-year history. We talk with Weir about the festival, the band’s name and who Modern Colour most wants to go on tour with.
How did the band get started?
Stephan went on tour with Davy Knowles and Chickenfoot as their guitar tech the day after he graduated high school. He came back and he was bitten by the tour bug and was like, “I’m starting a band, I don’t care how.” I was playing along to a Black Keys song in my basement, with my drumset and Stephan pretty much stayed outside the house and one of the roommates saw him and they were like “Do you wanna come in and meet the guy playing music?” Stephan was like “Sure.” Started jamming, two weeks later we started playing together.
Wow, that’s amazing. I love that story. Why the name Modern Colour?
We didn’t have a band name for a couple of months. Our first band name was Permanent Press and the Dirty Lints because we practiced in the laundry room. [laughs] One day we were all listening to Rory Gallagher — a blues musician from the 1970s. Then one of our friends was like, “Yeah it’s like you’re sprinkling color into this stuff. You play funk, blues, rock.” Someone added, “modern color,” and we didn’t hate it. It stuck.
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Why the “u?”
We had to add it in because of how much English influence we were taking in at the time.
We didn’t do that for SEO purposes but it ended up working out really well. [laughs]
So you guys are performing at Second Street Festival. What can we expect from that?
We just recorded a new single yesterday at Studio 4 with Phil Nicolo and Ron DiSilvestro. And it was, by far, the best recording experience that we’ve ever had. We did it without a click — as a live band. It’s raw, it’s edgy, it’s big and more anthemic. It’s like a little less of the blues and a little more of that English rock and roll kinda thing. It’s called “Slippin’” we will be debuting it live in front of however many thousand people are at Second Street.
If you could go on tour with anyone in the world, who would it be?
I think it would be John Mayer. It would be a great learning experience [to go on tour with him.]
Modern Colour performs 2nd Street Festival on Sunday, August 7th. For more information, visit2ndstreetfestival.org.