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Modern Life Is War

Jeffrey Eaton vocals
John Elch guitar
Tim Churchman bass
Sjarm 13 guitar
Tyler Oleson drums

Art is often a reflection of one's circumstances and surroundings. Consequently, artists of every kind are currently faced with a bevy of troubling conundrums facing the world - war, political turmoil, and media saturation being just a few of the problems. As a result, they either put on blinders or they immerse themselves into the tumultuous experience, make observations, and create something as inspiring as it is insightful, which is exactly the way Modern Life Is War approaches its music.

Hailing from the Midwestern plains of Marshalltown, Iowa, Modern Life is War (collectively, vocalist Jeff Eaton, guitarist Sjarm 13, guitarist John Eich, bassist Tim Churchman, and drummer Tyler Oleson) has garnered quite the following based on its tried and true D.I.Y. ethic, constant coast-to-coast touring schedule, and penchant for birthing the most punishing mixture of hardcore, punk, and heavy rock in underground music. Need proof? All of these attributes are proudly on display on the group's brand new Equal Vision Records release, Midnight in America.

Midnight in America follows the path established on Modern Life is War's previous two releases - Witness, and My Love My Way (Deathwish, Inc) - pulse-pounding, hardcore freight-trains that propelled just as many stage-dives and sing-alongs as they did critical analysis. Lyrically, front man Eaton's stories aren't just run of the mill verses and choruses; rather, he crafts lyrical portraits that paint a picture for the listener in a way that draws comparison to storyteller extraordinaires such as Henry Rollins or Bruce Springsteen.

As Eaton continues his patented thematic explorations, the rest of the band has churned out its most feverishly passionate and boundary pushing tracks to date. Produced by J. Robbins (The Promise Ring, Against Me, Texas is the Reason), Midnight in America is filled to the brim with contagiously head-nodding, fist-pumping tracks that are bound to force even the most cynical to pay attention.

So, how has Modern Life is War managed to ignite such a flurry of acclaim? Eaton, simply enough, feels it's his group's ability to stay true to its artistic vision, regardless of trends.

"We're not really striving to be different," Eaton says. "It's more about fulfilling ourselves and not adding to the bottomless pit of worthless music. Our band is fearless when it comes to what we do. We would rather crash and burn with our dignity than bite our tongues and play it safe."

It's exactly this confident attitude that allows Modern Life is War to foster the enigmatic creative process that pervades Midnight in America in spades by virtue of cacophonous screams, blistering guitars, thunderous rhythms, and some of the most intriguing lyrics any current hardcore band has to offer.

"These songs are all little tributes to people who make my life a lot easier just by knowing that they exist or existed," Eaton reflects. "But the main thing is I would rather not write a song than to write a song about nothing."

The sentiment Eaton speaks of is part of the bond of sincerity that holds the members together. Most importantly, Modern Life is War is a band united based on friendship, artistic exploration, and an admirable desire for sharing stories about their lives and the individuals who have affected them.

"Marshalltown is a place not so different from many places in the country," Eaton states. "It has its own quirks and curiosities. This is what is fascinating about life and music and art and people and places.. .all the little tiny details. They make life worth living. This is what Midnight In America is about; anchoring yourself to those little things because the whole thing is very dark and too much for me to try to change or understand."

The point Modern Life is War consistently makes is that the best art should always come from the heart. Lucky for the band and its ever-increasing cadre of fans, that's the only way they know how to make music.

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