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Modera walking in a street
Credit: Peter Nguyen


Seattle duo Modera speaks on unique house and classical music blend (Interview)

Modera is a cinematic house duo local to Seattle, Washington. Their growing catalog boasts releases on Nora En Pure’s Purified label, appearances on several reputable mixes such as Tritonia from Tritonal, Colorscapes Volume Four, and Nothing But…Progressive Grooves Vol 14.

Modera’s sound is unique, and hones in on ethereal soundscapes in their house tracks. Prior to Evan and Caleb creating the Modera project, they created songs and music together under various different aliases for years. We had the chance to chat with Evan of Modera and learn more about their latest release, their background, and what we can expect from Modera in 2023.

DMNW: Tell us a little bit about how you guys got started together and how Modera came to be.

Evan: We started maybe a year and 8 months ago or so. We were both living separately at the time and then Caleb and I decided to take things seriously. We ended up moving in together in Seattle in an apartment building named Modera, hence the name. There we lived together for a year, and that was the point at which the spark really took flame, for lack of better words.

We were working on music every day when we would get home from work and we were pumping out a new demo per week. Targeting labels, trying to find more of our sound, and going down that path. That’s kind of how everything got started and led us to where we are right now. We have kind of agreed that this is the end of phase 1. Now we have an audience and it’s time to grow the audience and monetize the platform a bit.

Modera performing

Credit: Peter Nguyen

Why is Modera important to you both, and what does this journey mean to you?

Modera is really important to both of us because it’s the first time that we have really seen some sort of success with music. It has always been a part of our lives to a certain degree. Caleb is a DJ and a very avid listener, and I am a pianist. It was the first time we were able to see some sort of success and potential monetary value in maybe making a living off of this at a certain point in our lives—which I think is every musician’s dream.

It is also special because we have been making music together for so long, this was the first of many aliases that has any traction behind it. It’s the most surreal experience waking up and seeing people actually listening to your music on Spotify. For us, the journey is just beginning and it’s going to be super fun.

Would you say your guys’ classical training has influenced the cinematic sound in your music?

Totally, that was the whole goal—to find a way to be unique in the market. We drew a lot of inspiration from a guy named Danny Olson, who does a lot in the future bass genre. He’s very similar to the Illenium and Seven Lions of the world. I was introduced to him through another mutual friend named Gabe, and his music really caught my ear and I thought, “This guy is the Hans Zimmer of future bass.” So what happens if we do this with melodic house music?

I didn’t hear anyone doing this, so we decided to give it a shot. This was right before we moved in together, so when we moved in together, I was like, “Oh my god I think we might have  struck gold here.” A fun little tidbit for the upcoming album on Colorize is that there is going to be a B side, so we have 12 radio mixes and 12 cinematic mixes. There will be a cinematic rendition for each track on the album, so that is pretty cool.

How would you say being based in the Seattle area has influenced your career thus far?

For about half of our career thus far we’ve been based in Seattle, but now I live in Arizona, and I’ve been living here for the past seven or eight months. We are at heart a Seattle-based duo, but now we’ve spread our wings a little down to the Southwest. For the time that we were both in Seattle, it was really cool because Seattle has a growing dance scene. It was a lot easier for us to find shows and connect with promoters, and network and interface with people we wanted to meet.

The local talent is pretty strong, so we were really happy to be in that scene. Now, Caleb is taking the Seattle side of things really seriously, and I’m starting to cultivate a network down here in the Phoenix area. This will be really helpful so we can split the workload. Since we are a duo, both of us can play a show on the same night in two different places in the world.

Modera performing

Credit: Peter Nguyen

Who are some of your other inspirations behind Modera?

I think I can speak for many melodic house producers when I say Nora en Pure has flipped [the entire genre] on its head. Obviously, Lane 8 is up there for us, and we also use a lot of arpeggiated melodies in our music. There are also guys like Sultan + Shepard and Le Youth who have greatly inspired us. There are also fellow Colorize artists like L.GU., or Leo Lauretti. I can send them a DM on Discord or Instagram and actually get a response. There is a bit of a community within the Colorize and the Enhanced families that is really accessible, so I do have to give props to them.

What is it like being on [Nora en Pure’s] label?

The Purified release was super cool. It was a dream. Caleb got to meet her in Vancouver and was hanging out backstage at one of the Purified events. Her manager is a dream to work with; they are a solid team and they did great. Landing the Paradoks remix was huge for us. We’re huge fans of Paradoks, and seeing her play that remix out in front of 40,000 people was absurd.

Could you tell us a little bit about one of your recent releases, Better Place?

Yes, that is a super deep song that [vocalist Lauren L’aimant] put together. It’s about her brother who passed away, so it’s a really, really sad song. We had kind of transitioned to breaks from the four-on-the-floor rhythm, and we contacted Colorize who put us in contact with Lauren. It’s such an emotional tune, I can’t even do it justice in talking about it because there is so much depth and emotion in it from her side. We’re just honored that she decided to tell that story with us.

It is a very sad but at the same time very hopeful tune. At least for me, I lost one of my best friends before this tune came out. Timing and coincidence that that happened to be the next release, and that track gained so much meaning to me once that happened.

What can we expect from Modera in 2023 and beyond?

Modera is dropping an album in November on Colorize [part of Enhanced Music] and we have a few singles leading up to the album! It’s been a bit of a grind to get everything done and this is our first big project that has big deadlines. Also, it’s the first big project that we’re doing remotely. It’s been interesting trying to work through all of those complications trying to figure out the best way to collaborate living in different states. We only see each other once every 2 or 3 months.

Better Place was the first single off the album, so that was really revealing some artwork theme and some typography for the logo, so that is cool. The album coming up in November is the big drop for this year, and then on to 2024!

Check out Modera for upcoming releases and follow along on their socials

Big thanks to Modera for taking the time to speak to us, be sure to stream Better Place and keep an eye out for Modera in the future! You can follow them on Instagram here.

(Interview was lightly edited for length and clarity)


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