MOD SUN: The 10 songs that changed my life

From pop-punk staples to folk classics, scene revivalist MOD SUN shares his life in music…

MOD SUN: The 10 songs that changed my life
Jake Richardson
Pretty Puke

Following the release of last year’s excellent Internet Killed The Rockstar, MOD SUN has established himself as one of the most exciting and positive names in pop-punk’s new generation. The drummer-turned-frontman has collaborated with the likes of Avril Lavigne, Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker in recent years, but his latest single Rich Kids Ruin Everything sees him stepping out in his own right, delivering a buoyant dose of pop-punk that’s a joy to behold.

Here, MOD SUN takes Kerrang! through his life in music, and discusses the influence that artists including Bob Dylan, blink-182 and Something Corporate have had on his creative output…

The first song that I remember hearing…Bob Dylan – Like A Rolling Stone (1965)

“When I heard this song I would’ve been four years old, living on a farm in Minnesota – Bob Dylan famously has a farm in Minnesota as well, quite close to where I grew up. It was ingrained in me from an early age that Dylan was the greatest musician of all time. I remember running around outside the house while this song was playing and my dad was rocking out – he was a great air guitar player!”

The song that reminds me of being a teenager…New Found Glory – Hit Or Miss (1999)

“I remember seeing the name ‘New Found Glory’ and assuming they’d be some kind of anti-establishment band, and then I listened to Hit Or Miss and those sweet melodies just hit me. There was something about that song that pulled me in right away, and I’d listen to that album [Nothing Gold Can Stay] every night. Discovering melodic bands like New Found Glory was pivotal for me.”

The first song I bought on CD…Third Eye Blind – Semi-Charmed Life (1997)

“I remember setting up some pots and pans in my room when I was a kid so I could learn how to play this on drums. I had Semi-Charmed Life on repeat non-stop when I bought the CD, and I’d be hitting the pans over and over before I eventually got a drum set.”

The song that reminds me of young love…Something Corporate – Cavanaugh Park (2002)

“This song is everything to me. It takes you on a total journey, it’s so raw and I just connect with it so much. When I was 16, I used to sneak out of my house and drive around in my car while screaming this at the top of my lungs. Cavanaugh Park was the first song I learned to play on the piano. I really wish I’d written it!”

The song that reminds me of my first gig…blink-182 – Dumpweed (1999)

“It was Warped Tour 2001, and I was front row at the Main Stage all day. The line-up was insane: Alkaline Trio, Alien Ant Farm and New Found Glory were all playing, and then blink headlined. They opened with Dumpweed and that moment just solidified for me that that was what I wanted to do with my life. It was an amazing moment.”

My favourite song to play live…MOD SUN – Karma (2020)

“There’s something about gang vocals that just incites people to scream! On my last tour, I opened with this song and the energy in the room hit the top right away. Karma is a great revenge song, and I think everyone, whether they’re willing to admit it or not, has those moment where they’re seeking some kind of revenge. So many artists hate playing their ‘hits’, but, man, I love playing this one.”

The song that was the hardest to write…MOD SUN – Smith (2021)

“It was a tribute to my dad who passed away, and I really struggled to get through a take without breaking down and crying. It was so hard to make – I’d never tried anything like that before. Eventually, I was able to work through it with some breathwork and meditation, but Smith showed a real different side to me. With that song, I found a place for my dad to always stay with me.”

The song I’m most proud of writing…MOD SUN – Internet Killed The Rockstar (2021)

“I heard this song in a dream. I was back at 16, driving around in my car – like I described with Cavanaugh Park – and this song came to me that starts out acoustic and then explodes at the end. It’s a larger statement about the scene, the people in my life and those feelings of vulnerability and not being accepted. I woke up out of my dream and immediately went to the studio at like seven in the morning to record it. Acoustic songs don’t always cut through in a live setting, but when I play Internet Killed The Rockstar I get mosh-pits starting. I’m so proud of it.”

The best song I’ve ever heard…Goo Goo Dolls – Iris (1998)

“Seeing as though I’ve already mentioned Bob Dylan, I’m going with Iris, because that song will forever be considered one of the greatest of all time. Who can’t relate to, ‘I don’t want the world to see me, ’cause I don’t think that they’d understand’? It’s such a simple lyric, but it resonates with everybody. It’s undeniably one of the best songs ever written.”

The song that I’d like played at my funeral…MOD SUN – Bones (2020)

“I think I’d want it to be one of my own songs, and I can see Bones being the one that would bring tears to people’s eyes – it’s a song that says a lot about me, and it has a great turnaround. There’s a hero’s journey in Bones; it starts out with me saying, ‘I’m falling apart on the inside’, but ends with a celebratory moment. I definitely want it playing at my funeral.”

MOD SUN’s single Rich Kids Ruin Everything is out now via New Hippys / Big Noise Music Group. He plays Slam Dunk Festival in June and has a show at London’s Dome on June 7

Check out more:

Now read these

The best of Kerrang! delivered straight to your inbox three times a week. What are you waiting for?