Recently I had the chance to sit down for a phone interview with Sean Huber of Steady Hands (and ex-Modern Baseball) and discuss what went into making his new album, Truth in Comedy. The album is available via Lame-O Records everywhere.
Jake Ewald of Modern Baseball has released a new song called “Building the Ark” under the moniker Slaughter Beach, Dog. You can stream that below. He also talked with Fader about the future of Modern Baseball and his upcoming EP Motorcycle.jpg:
We had a talk a few months before it happened — I don’t know if we’ve told anyone this. We all sat down and said, “We’re getting really tired. This is kind of crazy. We should slow down soon.” And then we did that European tour where we announced at the last-minute that [co-frontman Brendan Lukens] wasn’t going to come. When we made the decision to slow down, we already had a lot of tours booked. We were like, oh yeah we can make it through all of this, we’ll be fine. But then as we started to be confronted with those tours we realized we didn’t know if we were going to be able to go through with all of them. We were so burnt out, and ready to be done with it for a little while.
Hey everybody, Jake here. As much as it pains me to say this, we have decided to cancel our upcoming U.S. tour dates and festival appearances to take a break from Modern Baseball for a little while. If you already bought tickets for the tour, refunds will be available at point of purchase.
Over the past few months the band has become an immense source of anxiety for me, and it wasn’t until I opened up to Sean, Ian, and Brendan about it that we realized we were all feeling the same way. The project we started as a source of joy and positive expression had become something that was slowly eating away at our mental health and our friendships. We have been championing the importance of mental health for a while now, and we recently realized that it would be wrong for us to ignore our own health any longer. Please know that we don’t take a tour cancellation lightly, and under any other circumstances we would not even consider it an option, but in this instance we have to put our health and friendships first. You’ve supported us unconditionally throughout this crazy ride and we could never thank you enough. We never really learned how to do this whole “rock band” thing the right way, but you kept coming to the shows and talking to us and assuring us that we’d figure it out sooner or later. We could not have done any of this without you. Be honest with those you love and don’t be afraid to lean on them when you need to. Odds are they’ll need to lean on you pretty soon too.
“We would hear horror stories from fans,” said Lukens. “The easier ones would be like, ‘I got kicked in the face.’ Then there’s the more intense ones like, ‘I put my drink down and now I’m feeling odd,’ or, ‘I was crowdsurfing and guys pulled me down and started groping me.’ We realized that it was as much on us, as it is on everyone else, to make everyone safe and make sure all these venues are safe and accommodating.” These new policies have not only added more work for Lukens and Holt, but they’ve led each member of the band to look inward and find ways to become better allies to the non-white, non-male people at their shows.
This is a really fascinating article, even for someone that’s admittedly not a huge fan of the band. Not sure what’s going on with the typography choices for links though.
Modern Baseball have announced a free help hotline for their upcoming tour in an effort to keep fans save at their shows. If you’re feeling unsafe at a show you can text (201) 731-6626. A video detailing the new hotline can be found below and an interview with Brendan Lukens from the band goes into more detail on MTV:
I feel like enough people were just coming up to us after shows and hitting us up via Twitter in general and just giving us subtle hints or just flat-out telling us that they were having a weird time or an uneasy time at our shows. So after we saw bands like PWR BTTM and Speedy [Ortiz], all these sick bands, do really great things to help their fans out, we thought we could hopefully do something similar.
I love seeing stuff like this.
About halfway through “Note To Self,” the third track off Modern Baseball’s new album Holy Ghost, Jacob Ewald earnestly proclaims: “There will be no more fucking around today.” On this particular song it’s mostly about Ewald taking control of his life, but that line can be applied to the Philly quartet’s evolution as well. The band’s first two releases (Sports and You’re Gonna Miss It All) catapulted the band from humble beginnings into playing shows with punk stalwarts like The Wonder Years, The Menzingers, and Say Anything. This rise set them up as the premier band on Run For Cover’s roster. But there was also plenty of fucking around on those albums while they blurred the lines between pop-punk and emo. On Holy Ghost, there are no more assholes with iPhones or songs about Chloe’s Twitter handle. Rather, Modern Baseball’s third LP works as a split release – Ewald writing and leading the first six tracks while Brendan Lukens undertaking the last five. On the surface this may seem like a recipe for an uneven listening experience; however, Holy Ghost rolls through its eleven tracks beautifully while touching on topics like finding love, battling depression, fighting addiction, and coping with mental illness.