Believe in Your Decisions: An Interview with Modern Chemistry

by - May 25, 2023

Modern Chemistry has been going strong since Joe Zorzi and Brendan Hourican created the band while in college, and the last few years have given them the opportunity to create music in a new capacity.

“We’ve gotten to this natural progression of where we wanted to make music separately but we still work so well together that it didn’t really seem right to just stop working together,” Hourican said.

It was during the height of the pandemic that they were creating music that didn’t completely fit the typical Modern Chemistry vibe. Instead of scrapping it, they encouraged one another to release them as their own.

Their solo monikers, thepaintingcompany and Brendan the Navigator, just released singles as a split. “a little bit off!” and “Animal” are their chance to ignore the particulars of Modern Chemistry and abide by a “fuck it I just finished this song and I’m going to put it out next week” approach.

“I think we’ve both gotten a lot better as songwriters and artists,” Zorzi said. “We’ve been doing it for a while; I think we’re way more confident in what we’re putting out, so I think we’re just at a point where we both love so much music and want to do so much that it just makes more sense. It allows us to put out as much as possible.”

Zorzi said that when he recognized how personal the lyrics were for Hourican, it just made sense. However, their support goes beyond encouraging each other to release their own music. With the luxury of Little Hollywood Studios, the recording space that Zorzi opened with fellow musician Matteo DeBenedetti of Charlie & Margot, they were able to support one another from beginning to end of the recording process.

Having the opportunity to learn the production side of music really motivated them to try this on their own. It has also made the recording process a lot more exciting.

“With the speed in which we’re able to release stuff, we had this newfound ability to release a lot more so we had to create new avenues,” Hourican said. “We didn’t have to, but we saw that as the best way to do it. We can now do this all on our own; we can do as much of it as we want to, so we might as well have all these different projects as outlets.”

An important lesson they learned while in the studio is a major contributing factor to how they record today. Zorzi remembers a moment where a producer took what they considered a demo and kept some of it as the final track. It was something they had never done before, and inspired them to stop thinking about making music “the right way’.

“It’s really freeing,” he said. “It allows us to not put up walls for ourselves which I think is a thing that can easily happen. The biggest challenge in this is to believe in your decisions.”

For Modern Chemistry, there are no real limitations for what they plan to release. If Hourican wants to release five songs tomorrow, he can. If Zorzi wants to wait until next year to release anything else, he can. They have learned to stop holding back and let the music take them on the necessary journey.

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