This Milwaukee based hard rock band’s music has made an impact well outside of the midwest. You may have heard them on TV (Discovery Channel, American Choppers, Anthony Bourdain, Restaurant Impossible, Ion TV & more) or read about them in publications including My Global Mind, Espy Rock, and Maximum Ink. The WWE is using the song ‘Flatlined’ as the intro music for wrestler Kassius Ohno for all of his matches. The band also recently signed a licensing deal with APM Music and just announced they will be a part of a nationally released Motley Crue tribute album titled ‘Down At The Whiskey’, in Best Buy and FYE spring 2013.
The bands debut album, Spirit In The Machine, was handled by Skillet guitarist Ben Kasica’s Skies Fall Studios and the songs cover a kaleidoscope of emotions. It was a very intense album to make, offers vocalist Jonathan Schweiger. Many of the tracks have light at the end of the tunnel lyrically, but some are more bittersweet. All of the change and upheaval in our lives before this record played a big part in the creative process.
To that end, the band was born out of the ashes of beloved local bands that had, for one reason or another broken up. Each established artists in their own right, the musicians in Modern Echo have shared the stage with Halestorm, Trapt, Crossfade, Damageplan, Eye Empire, and many other excellent artists. “The live show is something we’ve always been strong with, and we wanted to make a record we could bring on the road and that plays to those strengths,” states guitarist Michael Joseph.
From the complex, distorted guitar riffs and brutal drums in songs like Sleepwalker and Light Your Eyes, to the more subdued and nuanced Hold On and Spirit In The Machine, the band proves itself worthy of any hard rock band in the genre. However, amongst all the musical chaos is the powerful, melodic voice of vocalist Jonathan Schweiger. Schweigers unique vocal styling lends the band its own sound, very different from the stereotypical rock voice. The combination infuses a rare balance of beauty and power that is unique to the band.
The album also showcases Modern Echo’s chemistry and collaborative approach. Some songs were written complete or in part by a particular member, while others were written together. Each person in the band plays guitar and other instruments so it made the writing process wide open with everyone giving input and writing parts, states bassist Joe Alba. In fact, we had over 20 tracks before narrowing it down to the final 12 to make the album. We were able to take the songs, build them, spend time on them it was really important to have the songs sound huge, but also that we could replicate them live.
A killer live show and intense touring has brought Modern Echo’s powerful approach to hard rock to critical acclaim with fans, media, and other bands alike. Although grateful for the strong response to the album, the band considers itself first and foremost a live band. We feel most at home onstage, and these songs were written to be performed live, Schweiger says. The songs get an extra level of intensity through that performance.
Modern Echo is a band that walks the fine line between aggression and melody, between intensity and nuance. We’re all pretty different as musicians and people, but early on it was clear we were on to something special. It’s those differences in personality and past experiences that can actually bring people together. For us, it helped power a diverse record full of music and lyrics we knew people would relate to, states guitarist Michael Joseph.
And that is what memorable bands are all about.