During Shaky Beats Music Festival this past weekend, The Connector had the opportunity to sit down with Charlie Thornton and Kyle Holly of Modern Measure, a local electronica group and one of the performers at this year’s festival, to talk a little bit about their influences, music and process.
The Connector: Where are you from, and how has this influenced the aesthetic of your music?
Holly: We’re originally from Alabama. Charlie is from Huntsville. I’m from Athens, the Muscle Shoals, Alabama area. Being from a musically enriched area such as North Alabama has definitely influenced our sound and our lives, to do what it is that we do.
Thornton: I think at the same time, where we’re from made us go other places and take influences from other places. Because there was the need to get out, see other things and be other places.
The Connector: When did you move to Atlanta?
Holly: I moved here in 2011.
Thornton: Probably a couple years after that.
The Connector: Do you think that moving to Atlanta has influenced the direction that your music has gone?
Thornton: Definitely, definitely.
Holly: In more ways than one can explain.
Thornton: Even with the new stuff we’re working on, with the trap breaks and just overall 808 sounds that we’re using — definitely influenced by Atlanta.
Holly: Comes from the ‘A.’
The Connector: What projects are you currently working on or are excited about?
Thornton: A lot of the stuff we played today is new stuff, we have a few we didn’t, like newer electronic dance music.
Holly: We’ve kind of come to this state in our production where everything that we’ve been influenced by over the years has come into this mesh of one sound. So, you have what Charlie was talking about: the trap, you have the future beat, you have the 808, you have the organic electronica sounds. Old electronic producers — we’ve been listening to electronic music for over ten years. So, there’s all these different styles that have influenced us over the years.
The Connector: Where else do you draw inspiration from when you’re creating music?
Holly: For me, it’s how my day is going, how the days affect me and what I’m dealing with day to day. If I wake up in the morning and I’m really feeling a certain way, I can go in the studio and I can make sounds until I find that right group of sounds that are going to potentially make a track, or the outline of a track, or maybe not even a track, just sounds that we’re feeling.
Thornton: The start of your day is the most important part in how the rest of your day goes. If the day starts off wrong, I’m not even going to attempt to write music that day. But, on the other hand, I’ve had days that were super emotionally trying, where I cranked out some of the best stuff I’ve made. It’s all about your state of mind.
The Connector: Any advice you would give aspiring artists?
Thornton: Don’t stop. Commitment.
Holly: Commitment, yeah.
Thornton: If you’re not committed, you’re never gonna do it. Don’t put things off ’til tomorrow. Do it now.
Holly: You’re going to have bad days where stuff is not going to go your way. And you’re going to feel like what you’re doing is not what you need to be doing. But that’s life, and everyone experiences that in whatever career they have.
Thornton: You’re going to have to make sacrifices. You’re going to have to not go out with your friends when you want to and work. And you’re just going to have to put time in that you might not necessarily feel like you want to, but you gotta keep doing it.
To see more from Modern Measure, check out their Facebook page.