‘Modern Error‘ is breathtakingly raw with emotion. Conceptually, it is a deeply cathartic album that acts as a vessel for singer Tony Maue to organise his thoughts on the trauma of being taken into care at a young age.
Threaded through the album are the experiences that Maue has been through, how the five members of the band are all connected and why, at this moment, right now, is the right time for this band to exist. For themselves as much as anyone else.
There is a reason that the album has such personal themes. “I use songwriting as a tool to vent rather than be poetic,” explains Maue. He was taken into care from a young age, and that trauma and the experiences that followed are ones that he has battled with ever since. “The traumatic memories of going into care, losing my family when I was very young, and having to deal with that and adjusting myself to that kind of lifestyle, at the time was brutal. The only thing that helped me, and I’m not just saying this, was music.”
“We’ve always been told to strive for perfection, but I don’t think anyone can be perfect,” he considers. “We are all defects in a way, but that makes us all unique.”
This was the first time he could express these raw feelings in music. Scapegoat, Goliath and Echo Chamber are all about a family member but from different perspectives and Recurring looks at the mental loops that come with dealing with trauma.
All five members have their stories – Tony Maue (Vocals), Luke Genders (Guitar), James Threadwell (Guitar), David Silver (Bass) and Harry Jennings (Drums).
Jennings explains his entry, “I’d stopped enjoying playing music, which I had dedicated my life to since I was 7 years old,” he says. “It had all fallen apart. To feel like you’ve had a dream beaten out of you destroyed me as a person. It took me down a very dark path, and I did things I regret and am not proud of. I feel I’m in a position now where I can talk about it.” “It took a lot of help from the people closest to me, and these guys threw me a life raft; I was sinking,” he adds. “What connects us all is that we’ve all got our own stories, but in a different way.”
Genders says, “Having the freedom to write freely in a band whilst trusting and respecting each other’s vision is something I hadn’t had in a very long time; dismissive people helped me to fuel my instrumental contributions to ‘Modern Error’. For the first time ever, I learned how to channel negativity into something positive.”
‘Modern Error’ hits with the heaviness and aggression of Lamb Of God and Machine Head, a Linkin Park-like sense of melody, and a touch of Bring Me The Horizon’s fearlessness. For all its heavy subject matter, it burns with vitality, power and passion. Woven within is their outlook on the world. The title-track deals with “how the planet is going to crap“, Another Heart To Bleed is about bad relationships, End of Days explores where the world is heading with greed, and Dream Awake delves into being trapped in a digital reality.
The new single Lockdown is about the mental challenges of the pandemic. Maue explains,”The lyrics are probably some of my favourites on the album as it captures frustration towards a government and the rules we were made to follow.”
Getting back on the stage for their first tour was a colossal moment for the band. “It was overwhelming,” remembers Maue. “In Southampton with In Flames, I came off stage and broke down. I was crying because I was happy. I can’t believe I’ve been given another chance to do this. Not only that, I couldn’t believe that everyone was digging what we were doing.”
They flourished, catapulting them to performing at Bloodstock, 2000Trees, The Great Escape, playing with Bullet for My Valentine, Funeral For A Friend, and touring with Of Mice & Men. Jennings reflects, “I had times when I never thought I’d be here again. It was like someone put a defibrillator on me and woke me up from a horrible fever dream.”
What do Defects represent? It’s about believing in yourself. It’s a message to people to give themselves a break occasionally. Jennings remarks. “It’s fine to have bad days. I’ve had my fair share of times very recently. But y’know, everyone can pick themselves up, and go, I’m gonna do me.”
“I felt like I wasn’t worth anything,” Maue adds. “But now I look back, and that was wrong; I shouldn’t have been made to feel that way. When I got older, I realised I was a good person and didn’t do anything wrong. Bad things happen to good people, and you must find a way to make life worth living.”
In reaching out to someone, there can be change; in change, there can be hope. It’s in the hope that you can try to go forward and make something of yourself. We are all defects.
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