With their third record ‘Holy Ghost’ on the way, Modern Baseball look set to up their heartfelt credentials. Mammoth emotional rock is the name of these Philly punks’ game, and over the past few years they’ve swiftly established themselves as leaders of the pack. Their mind-blowing UK show at London’s massive Electric Ballroom is just the start.
It’s never an easy road to emo-punk credentials, mind. Below, we chat to Brendan Lukens, the group’s six-string stallion, about the influences and inspirations that got him to where he is today. Take it away, Brendz:
What was the first gig you ever went to?
The first show I went to without family was Say Anything, Motion City Soundtrack, Saves The Day and A Great Big Pile Of Leaves. I was a little late to the game since that was 2009, but whatever!
Were there a good supply of venues in your hometown?
There was a pretty good supply of DIY venues and fire halls but nothing too concrete. Still, Jake [Ewald, guitar/vocals] and I were only 45 minutes from Baltimore so there were shows always buzzing around.
Can you remember the first song you ever developed an obsession over?
‘Walk Through Hell’ by Say Anything, ‘Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts’ by Gaslight Anthem and ‘Time Turned Fragile’ by Motion City Soundtrack. All at the same time. Even now I’m still obsessed.
‘Walk Through Hell’ - Say Anything
What was the first song you purchased with your own money, and why did you choose it at the time?
Hmmm… I can’t remember the first song cause all I can remember is using Limewire all day everyday; regardless, I recall waiting for ‘Dusk & Summer’ by Dashboard Confessional to come out and buying that.
What’s the story behind you getting your first instruments?
My first guitar, a red Squier Strat, was purchased for me by my Mommom (grandmother). She bought it for me after visiting my cousin Justin who played all kinds of instruments at the time. His band at the time released a song called Pulsar, and it really stuck with me that someone I knew personally was writing music. And good music at that!
What’s your worst musical habit?
I bite my guitar picks to work them in a lil’, but then I just break them, end up eating pieces here and there; also now I grind my teeth. I’m convinced that’s why.
What kind of inspirations outside of music have an impact on your songwriting?
I am a really big film nerd. It’s probably the only thing outside of my personal life that has an impact on my songwriting. I also love referencing other songs and bands.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given as a musician?
- DO WHAT YOU WANNA DO
- DON’T BE AFRAID TO PUSH YOURSELF
- TOUR A LOT
- SAY PLEASE & THANK YOU
If you could be any band from the past two decades who would it be, and why?
Like anyone who has released a record in the past two decades? Black Sabbath, because it’s Black Sabbath.