An Enlight­ened Musi­cal Expe­ri­ence Is No Myth


Dis­cov­er­ing some­thing new and dif­fer­ent is usu­al­ly an inter­est­ing or at least an enlight­en­ing expe­ri­ence. Doing this and real­iz­ing that you like it, well that is just is cool.  It’s like tast­ing an unknown choco­late in a picked over box Rus­sell Stovers’ can­dy and being pleas­ant­ly sur­prised. Tul­sa area band Mod­ern­Myth was just such a morsel in an array of the metaphor­i­cal box of musi­cians in the Tul­sa area.

Hav­ing a sit-down inter­view before a recent show in Tul­sa, I was drawn into an unex­pect­ed dynam­ic. Fired up to hear sto­ries about their meth­ods of cre­at­ing music and the philoso­phies behind them, I was instead exposed to a sense of broth­er­hood where uni­ty was the cen­tral focus.  All in their ear­ly thir­ties, the mem­bers are Aaron Har­ris singing vocals, John­ny Digges on gui­tar, Elliot Hett on bass, Matt Walk­er on gui­tar and Jake White on drums.  To my sur­prise, each mem­ber spoke about the oth­er mem­bers and their con­tri­bu­tions to the band.  The appre­ci­a­tion for the oth­er member’s tal­ents and the ele­ments each brings to the music was refresh­ing in a busi­ness not usu­al­ly known for such cour­tesy and loy­al­ty.

Mod­ern Myth play­ing at the Van­guard in Tul­sa.

Pho­tos By Chad J. Clark.

Per­haps, part of this men­tal­i­ty stems from the fact that each is a self-taught musi­cian. There­fore they share a nat­ur­al love for just music and the dis­ci­pline required to become inti­mate­ly engaged in its cre­ation. The mem­bers all agree as well that they are drawn to oth­ers who share a “pas­sion” for music. To break this down, they do all share some sim­i­lar tastes in music such as the Deftones and much of the music which came out of the nineties. But they also have var­ied tastes as well which their fel­low mem­bers embrace and invite into the music they are cre­at­ing and play­ing.

We are a 100 per­cent feel band,” Digges said. So when new ideas are brought in, the musi­cians bring them to the fore­front and exper­i­ment to see if they are all feel­ing it as some­thing wor­thy to pur­sue fur­ther.  Har­ris explained that they explore all music options. This allows them to evolve and grow in the music and in their friend­ships with each oth­er.

The band has been togeth­er for six years. Har­ris, Digges, and White played togeth­er in the band The Dawn Arma­da for five years before form­ing Mod­ern­Myth. That band released one album and then played the release show with Walker’s band at the time, Hail the Blessed Hour, as the open­ing band.  As fate would have it, The Dawn Arma­da broke up imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing the release, but the three kept play­ing togeth­er as friends with­out a band name.  A short time lat­er, a few mem­bers of Walker’s band quit, and he asked the for­mer mem­bers of The Dawn Arma­da to fill in for them. Friend­ships formed fol­lowed by the cre­ation of Mod­ern­Myth.

Digges explained that the band began look­ing for a new unique sound which they achieved in part through the use of sev­en-string gui­tars.  Both of the for­mer bands had played heav­ier met­al music and with their for­mer bands but decid­ed to go more melod­ic with Mod­ern­Myth. They found that by using the heav­ier equip­ment to for­mu­late a more mel­low music, they cre­at­ed some­thing that doesn’t quite fit into a spe­cif­ic genre. White calls it close to heavy clas­sic rock, but not in the man­ner known as acid rock in the 70s. Walk­er says, that to him, it’s a clas­sic heavy met­al sound with a twist of alter­na­tive.

They all agree it’s a “very Def Tone vibe,” but yet alto­geth­er some­thing dif­fer­ent found out in the no man’s land of post Grunge and the expand­ing land of Pro­gres­sive music.

We def­i­nite­ly don’t turn our noses up in the air to any music. We love all types of music,” Walk­er said. With each mem­ber hav­ing diverse tastes in music rang­ing from heavy met­al to smooth jazz to Indie Rock to even Pink Floyd, they can cre­ate with­out the lim­its of prej­u­di­cial opin­ions against any genre. Digges explained that the moments dur­ing prac­tice when all of the dif­fer­ent ele­ments from the instru­ments and the imag­i­na­tions of the indi­vid­u­als play­ing them come togeth­er in a chaot­ic rhythm to form a spark is the band’s favorite aspect. Although they do enjoy per­form­ing and record­ing, those moments of true cre­ation are what dri­ves them. As with their cre­ation of music, they also oper­ate on an enlight­ened lev­el per­son­al­ly as well through respect and humil­i­ty, accord­ing to all the mem­bers.

If you ask any of them which is more impor­tant, our music or our friend­ship, we will take our friend­ship every time,” Digges said. All of the oth­er mem­bers chimed in as well in agree­ment with this state­ment. They con­sid­er them­selves broth­ers. And as all broth­ers, they don’t always agree. How­ev­er, part of that enlight­ened sta­tus they have achieved and the mutu­al respect they share pro­vides them with the insight to keep egos out of the cre­ation process. With­out egos to get in the way, there is an oppor­tu­ni­ty to cre­ate some­thing new and dif­fer­ent that can’t even be clas­si­fied in a spe­cif­ic genre. Mod­ern­Myth has cre­at­ed a mod­ern sound one could say.

There is some­thing almost spir­i­tu­al about what we do with­in the chem­istry we share. They are moments in time encap­su­lat­ed into some­thing real that can­not be ana­lyzed or faked.” Walk­er said. This chem­istry pro­duced over 30 songs, ten which are due out this sum­mer on their new album.

We want to stay friends and play music. That is what is most impor­tant to me,” White said about where the mem­bers see them­selves in the future. As expect­ed, his fel­low mem­bers agreed. This is in line with their enlight­ened phi­los­o­phy. It goes with­out say­ing that there must be a lev­el of cama­raderie between mem­bers of any band with longevi­ty. But for Mod­ern­Myth, they take it to a lev­el where what is tru­ly impor­tant in life trumps what appears lack­ing in so many oth­er aspects of the arts. Per­haps this is why they can cre­ate unique and pow­er­ful­ly melod­ic music that may nev­er find its way into a genre. They are def­i­nite­ly a sur­pris­ing and fla­vor­ful taste with­in a box of assort­ed of treats that is as unique as it is ful­fill­ing.

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