FIRST THINGS FIRST: MODERN RIVALS
On his first day at Washington University in St. Louis back in 2005, Erick Lee clearly remembers crossing paths with future bandmate Mickey Novak.
“We met right when I walked into my freshmen dorm for the first time,” adds Lee. “I was just bringing stuff inside, and he was literally bringing his guitar and amp up the stairs.”
Their initial band name was so terrible, according to Lee, that he won’t utter it now. After Lee and Novak wrote their first song, “Aphasia,” around 2007, the two guitarists subsequently recruited other musicians — among them keyboardist Alex Schiff, Lee’s childhood friend — and settled on a different moniker.
These days, they’re known as Modern Rivals, and the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based band is about to release its atmospheric, ambitious and absorbing debut album, Cemetery Dares (highlights include “Angel Bones” and “A Shade Hesitating”). Lee and Schiff recently checked in to discuss some significant music firsts, both individual and shared.