THEY were formerly Goodbye Chanel but changed their name…
to the even-more-intriguing, Modern Pleasure. The guys explain the derivation of the name – not the answer I was expecting! – and how things sort of started out for them. Being based in Leeds, I ask what the scene is like there and whether more attention should be paid to the Yorkshire city. They discuss new single, Bliss Up, and whether it was even intended to be a single. Comparing to previous songs like Messina and White Heels: the boys talk about changes between tracks and where they might be headed; how it feels being lauded by stations like BBC Radio 1. To wrap up, they select albums that have meant a lot to them and the new artists they recommend we watch out for this year.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Great, thanks. Hope you’re well. We’ve been busy.
For those new to you and your work, can you introduce yourself, please?
We’re Modern Pleasure from Leeds.
What is the inspiration behind the band name ‘Modern Pleasure’?
A previous problematic name (timesed-by) with a love for gay night clubs.
You are based out of Leeds. How did you all get together in the first place?
We met at the University of Leeds.
We’ve all been playing music together in various bands for years. We still love each other.
Leeds is one of those cities that constantly produce great music. What is the secret of its success and are there any local artists you’d recommend?
It’s quite small, so everyone tends to know and support each other. A lot of bands seem to collaborate too which is always inspiring.
Bliss Up is your new single. What can you tell us about the inspiration behind the song?
The song is quite old. It’s never quite seemed to fit in with everything else we were doing at the time but I guess that’s why it came back to us and why we love it – and decided to give it the light of day. It felt refreshing for us.
The track was produced by Grammy-nominee Bryan Wilson. What was it like working with him and what does he bring to your music?
Bryan is a lovely guy and really a producer to look out for in the near-future. He made the track work for us and we understood each other’s vision.
When we sent him a bunch of demos to choose from this was one he felt could be taken somewhere magical. We really re-discovered our love for the song after hearing his first mix.
Previous singles Messina and White Heels have been picked up by BBC Radio 1 and proved popular on streaming sites. Are you surprised by the success of the songs and how would you say Bliss Up differs (if at all)?
We weren’t looking for a single in Bliss Up. We wanted to maximise our creativity and capture our sound.
I notice there are more Electronic touches in Bliss Up. What was the reason behind this would you say?
We wrote the song electronically and we always intended to keep it that way. We tend to write a lot of our music this way – but this is the first time we’ve kept the electronic drum sounds on a recording.
What are the three most-important albums to each of you?
The Joshua Tree – U2
The Kick Inside – Kate Bush
Rumours – Fleetwood Mac
Emergency on Planet Earth – Jamiroquai
Born to Do It – Craig David
Definitely Maybe – Oasis
Two Dancers – Wild Beasts
The Queen Is Dead – The Smiths
Discovery – Daft Punk
Partied in Half – Party Cannon
Spiceworld – Spice Girls
Can we see an E.P. or album anytime this year?
What about tour plans? Any scheduled dates coming up in the diary?
Who are the artists you all grew up listening to and compelled you?
We can probably all agree on the pioneers of modern music like Peter Green, Roxy Music; Prince, Joy Division and Kate Bush.
We all love U2; ‘90s girl bands; modern classics from Bon Iver, Future Islands; Ryan Adams.
The War on Drugs always go down mutually in the van. We all no doubt dip into our own pots of the obscure and guilty pleasures.
Are there any new artists you’d recommend we check out?
Ménage á Trois (from Manchester) make a fresh sound.
Shadowlark from Leeds.
Finally, and for being good sports, you can select any song you like and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Homecoming – Ménage á Trois
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