Exclusive Interview: It's A Panther Modern World. We're All Just Living In It.
If you're a festival promoter and you need a strong solid act to close out an epic weekend, who do you call upon on? For Phil and the people at Desert Daze there was only one answer. Panther Modern.
Photo by: Juan Perez
It's been a long road for Brady. Many of you will know him from performing in Sextile, but he has been making waves the past few years as Panther Modern. Both equally amazing music projects in my eyes. It hasn't been easy for artists and musicians the past few years after all the shit we've all have been through. It is really inspiring to see artists find some sort of strength to continue on. It gives people such as myself a reason or hope that we can all get through this by just doing what we love to do the most. Even through the trails and tribulations.
As I mentioned before, the 10th anniversary of Desert Daze came to a close on Sunday night with an epic performance by Brady, who was joined by Sextile band mate Melissa Scaduto. The dynamic duo that can get any room in this world to dance and jump around everywhere. This year's DD was phenomenal, as always. A who's who of some of the best artists and musicians from all over the world. No doubt being asked to send the people home on a happy note was a tall task. A task that only a group like this one can handle with ease. The set included all the Panther Modern hits we've all come to love, including never before heard new songs that I cannot wait to hear again.
You can catch Brady with Melissa and the rest of the members of Sextile in less than 2 weeks at Substance LA in Downtown. Do not miss that! As for Panther Modern, you can witness that on November 10th at no place other than the magical Lodge Room in Highland Park.
Photo by: Juan Perez
I sat down with Brady just a couple of hours before he hit the stage at Desert Daze. We talked about life as a musician, touring in Mexico, the state of music and plenty more. Read the full interview below.
Q: This is your first time playing DD as Panther Modern, and closing out the weekend, how exciting is this moment for you?
A: I’m really excited about it, particularly I feel very grateful that Phil came and asked me. He’s been trying to get me to come play Desert Daze. He tried to get me to play last year but it’s just something that didn’t work out. I really enjoyed my last time I was here with Sextile. So to be here for the 10th anniversary, it truly means a lot to me that he asked me. I just saw him and he’s a really nice guy. It’s really cool to play for nice people, who care about music.
Q: LA 2020 was released on vinyl this year. You had a huge response to that. Were you at all taken back by that?
A: Absolutely. I honestly get goosebumps. Coming out of the pandemic, being in my room and working on this music and everything, I don’t know if people will actually like or listen to my stuff. I’m just there in my room. Then when I get an experience like being asked to do Balenciaga or like my blue edition vinyl sells out in a matter of a week, all these experiences and what’s been going on, I’m like getting very emotional about it. To know that people care is crazy, man. It’s really nuts. I was backstage a second ago with Brit, who owned or was a promoter at the Hi-Hat, not too sure what her position was but she was running the show that’s for damn sure. Sextile had played the best shows at the Hi-Hat and her just talking about Sextile, seeing the way that she responded, just really gives me goosebumps. I don’t know that people are into it like that. That music is really emotional, it has a lot of history. So the fact that people connect with it is really cool, man. And you know what, I’ve really heard this year when I’ve been touring around that people have really been connecting to a song by Sextile called Visions of You. People connect with it in a way that a life experience they had was very similar to life experiences I had that led me to write that song, which was like a big death. People tell me they had that same experience so that song carries a wave length. It carries an energy that resonates with people when they have a death. That’s crazy to me, that’s wild. It blows my mind. You get to learn more about the universe through music, which is an interesting thing.
Q: Going further on the huge year you’ve had where you’ve been DJing for events, providing soundscapes for galleries, and performing just about all over the place, what’s been a huge highlight for you?
A: This year right off the bat I think I gotta go with the Balenciaga event with Panther Modern. It was a life experience I thought I would never have. That’s another time when I got emotional. When you’re riding in the back of a decked out Escalade that somebody sent to go pick you up at an airport, like I’ve never had that experience before. I didn’t think it was possible for me. It may sound a little materialistic but to me it was less about that and more about someone felt like I deserved this, you know. That meant a lot to me and was just a special experience. Also being in Mexico! Sextile Mexico tour was sick.
Photo by: Juan Perez
Q: Speaking of Mexico, did you guys run into any issues out there?
A: Yeah, actually. There were a couple of things. Well, I really wouldn’t call them issues but at 2 of the cities we had to change venues. One because of the cartel, supposedly. Apparently they had gone in there and asked the venue if they could start selling drugs. The venue said no so then they came back and shot the place up. So we couldn’t perform there because it was riddled with bullet holes. It was like pulling teeth to get that info out of the promoters, the people that were tour managing us. They didn’t want to freak us out I guess, whatever. I loved it though. Then another time in San Luis Potosi, the venue was shut down because the authorities in the city came up with a fine that the venue had to pay or something along those lines. If they didn’t pay, they couldn’t have shows. They couldn’t afford it so it was this whole thing.
Q: Sextile had two sold out shows at The Lodge Room. How special was that?
A: On so many levels. That was the place where we had our wake for Eddie, who was one of the original members of Sextile that passed away in 2019. So the last time I had been in there was for that and we sell it out. We had a bunch of fucking people partying in there. Dancing, jumping, going crazy and have a good fucking time losing their minds. It was really a powerful thing to sing this song Visions of You, which was originally about losing my father and just constantly seeing him in my dreams and thinking I would see him in person but he really wouldn’t be there. Now I have that for Eddie and to be singing that song in that room was fucking crazy. An emotional experience I didn’t think I’d go through. You don’t think about that when you’re writing it. The song can change meaning for you over time as well. Bring a whole new meaning to it. That was just one level. The level of the crowd was nothing but beautiful the entire time. People who performed with us like Soltera and 3L3D3P were amazing. To be quite honest, I didn’t think we could sell out the second day. I advised against it actually because I was very surprised we sold out the first one. They told me they thought we could have probably sold out a third, which is insane to me. I didn’t think that many people were into Sextile. I have a buddy who plays in VR Sex and is on tour in Europe at the moment, he tells me he hears Sextile in almost every room over there. That’s crazy when your music is everywhere. I grow up in fucking Virginia, the suburbs man. Nobody around in like Farmville, 40 minutes west of DC. It’s crazy but I’ve also been doing this for 17 years so I’m glad it’s happening. I’d be bummed. I’d really be bummed if nobody cared about my music after trying to do music seriously for that long. I decided at a very young age I’m going to do this. I’m going to make albums, I’m going to perform and I’m going to tour.
Q: Did you always start off wanting to work with synthesizer?
A: I started off with drums and piano. When I was in college, I was in a band that I played drums in. Playing a lot of shows and having wicked fun. Then the two dudes in the band were like “we have classes and stuff Brady. We have school work to do, we have majors, we’re here for school.” I was so confused. We had a band I was just like “what are you talking about? This is what we’re going to do.” Then I just said fuck it. I’m not gonna be at the whim of other homies if I wanna be able to make music. I needed to figure out how to make music and do it myself. So I got a laptop, got Ableton and started teaching myself that for like 6 hours a day for 3 months. Just trying to work with midi keyboard, the software synthesizers, producing, recording sounds and then looping them, cutting them up and taking samples to use.
Photo by: Juan Perez
Q: Immersing yourself into all these things we touched upon like performing, touring, writing and recording music etc… does it ever burn you out where you have to step away a bit?
A: Totally. 100%. I think I was burnt out about a year ago. I feel like I’m coming out of it now. I’m really happy that I’m coming out of it because it’s really depressing to be in a place where I feel like I’m having a difficult time making things or enjoying music or even connecting with it. But, I have been going to a lot of shows this summer, the past few months. Seeing a bunch of bands that I probably should have seen like a decade ago. I’m finally seeing them now though and it’s been really special. It has reinvigorated me to want to make music again and perform music again. During the pandemic, when I wasn’t performing or attending or not feeling a sense of community and a reason to make music, I just lost the drive. I’ve been having to figure out the past year why I decided 17 years ago to make music? Like what were my feelings then? What were the things I found cool with music that I needed to do again? I think what fucked me up over the pandemic was fucking around with money. Watching and learning about economics, watching where money is flowing to. It is not floating to the artists. It’s not floating to things we think should be cool. It’s a shit ton of money floating to really shitty things. I think it really depressed me, it really fucked me up. I know a lot of musicians and a lot of my friends live paycheck to paycheck. They play a show, or go on tour, and still have to get a fucking job. Usually it’s behind a bar or wherever really. They can’t take the time to hone their craft or research or get re-inspired. They are just in a cycle of like go on tour, come back, get a job. And while you’re at that job that you don’t want to be at, you gotta make a record and go back on tour. You’re making more selling your T-Shirts than you are selling your music. So what are you? Are you a t-shirt salesman with music promoting it? Like is that what we’ve become? It’s fucked up. I don’t want to live like that. Art and music mean way more to me than t-shirts and capitalism. It’s a tough thing to see. There are things that I’m trying to do about it behind the scenes. Like I started and founded my own tech company. We now have a studio in the Arts District in L.A. where we’re working on motion capture/virtual production solutions for musicians and artists to come and have virtual presences as long as a deeper reach. At the moment travel is just getting harder & harder for musicians. It’s going to be very difficult for all these musicians to survive. Something’s gotta happen really soon. I don’t know what it’s going to be. Maybe regulations, legislations, laws? You have to get every state to do it. Europe is not going to do it. Europe can barely afford to get their bands over here now. It cost 1 band member $5,000 to get that visa to come over here. You know what’s crazy though? The United States doesn’t have to pay that. I don’t know what they did to make that happen but I’m not even mad about that.
Photo by: Juan Perez