Some of my good friends recently formed an indie rock band. They call themselves Modern Language. The Baton Rouge/New Orleans region has lacked a prominent indie rock act since As Cities Burn’s glory days. The scene is slowly evolving and gaining traction once again.
The day began slowly. Set up is always the most taxing and time-draining activity, in my opinion. From a video perspective, it’s a lot of wasted time - however, it provides a ton of b-roll. Not complaining.
Matt Harris, a good friend of mine and the band’s frontman and vocalist, asked me to film the couple of songs they’d be recording with Zack Graeser in Hammond. I called up a couple buddies and headed to Hammond a few weeks later.
These images are stills you may or may not notice in the coming film, shot by both myself and my good Scottish friend, James Rodger.
Rehearsals and soundchecks. Not sure if I know the difference yet. It always seemed we were on the brink of recording the final track when someone’d chime in and disapprove. These guys wanted perfection and wouldn’t settle for much less.
Knowing Matt, I’ve always known him as pretty reserved. He keeps to himself, but never fails to show a fair amount of genuine expression. His passion for music is steadily evident, and the footage we captured of Matt singing his heart out - his own, dear lyrics - is not something you’re gonna want to miss. Especially if you’re a fan of bands like ACB, Manchester Orchestra, or From Indian Lakes.
Nearing the end of the day, you’d think a group of musicians was burnt out on their music - maybe just ready to get things over with. Not Modern Language. Every new cut was filled with similar and even growing intensity. To feel your music is such a special thing, and I feel it’s one of my greatest privileges to capture an artist making art.
Maybe it’s just me, but you’re not a Mandeville band unless you’ve got a horn in your tracks. Mandeville is the small town I grew up in just thirty minutes north of New Orleans. It’s cool to me that the horn has made a distinctive impact on Mandeville’s indie rock history - it pulls right out of the Big Easy, just south of Lake Pontchartrain.
Listen to Modern Language here.