What do a luthier, an elementary school teacher and a server have in common? Answer: they make up Alaska’s own, The Modern Savage. Inspired by The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Modern Savage are a delightful blend of indie-rock, new wave and goth pop.
“With this group you’re dealing with a pretty broad range of ages and having grown up in America at different times we’ve all be exposed to different stuff,” says guitarist Matt Eley.
“Like our drummer [David Devlin] is definitely a 90s kid and on the other end of the spectrum is Ivan [Molesky] who mostly identifies with the early 80s.”
With nearly 20 years separating the youngest and oldest band members, The Modern Savage may not be able to settle on a favorite genre but there is at least one era of music that they can all agree on.
“I think collectively we all love music from ’78 to around ’93. It’s a pretty solid era of music,” explains lead singer Jenni May Toro. “I would say that everything we do we try to make sure its purposeful and often there is an 80's influence that appears.”
That 80's feel is expertly conveyed through the effervescent vocals and stage presence of The Modern Savage front woman Toro. At a recent performance in conjunction with the NxN Festival, Toro nimbly bounded across the stage belting a variety of originals mixed with classics from Interpol and Florence and the Machine. To everyone in attendance, it was clear that The Modern Savage are one small step away from making it big.
“We’re sort of transitioning into being bi-coastal which is a big change for us but we are really excited about it,” says Toro. “We’ve been working with a publicist called Girlie Action and they are awesome and have worked with Santi Gold and They Might Be Giants! They do the things that record labels used to do for bands. They are based out of New York and that is what has kind of started all of this.”
If you’re already a fan of The Modern Savage, don’t despair as the band doesn’t have any plans to permanently leave The Last Frontier any time soon.
"We will always have a foot in Alaska,” Eley emphatically says. “Like I don’t think we are going to officially relocate or rebrand as an East Coast based thing. Alaska is home and we will continue to have shows here at least a couple times a year.”
*Originally published by the Anchorage Press