An Interview With Modern Chemistry: Words That They Still Mean

Anyone who has been following The Aquarian for any amount of time knows that we are big fans of Modern Chemistry. Vocalist and guitarist, Joe Zorzi, updated us on their adventurous past year which included recording with Adam Lazzara, touring with Mayday Parade, and more! Check it out below.

Remind our readers of your members and where youre from.

Joe Zorzi – Vocals/Guitar

Brendan Hourican – Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals

Jesse Slachman – Drums/Backing Vocals

We’re all from central Jersey, which is definitely a real place.

Dreaming Adjacent is your latest release. Could you talk about what the writing and recording process was like?

We’d been writing songs for our first full-length for quite some time. We demoed out a few and sent them around to some producers and other people, including Adam Lazzara. At the end of the 2015 Taking Back Sunday Holiday Spectacular he told us he’d love to try producing a few songs. Obviously, we were really into that idea. I hit him up a few weeks later and within a day or two, we somehow had the whole recording situation scheduled (shout out to our manager Jillian for being the best). A month later, we were in North Carolina recording what would become the Dreaming Adjacent EP.

The whole process was incredible. It was pretty surreal getting to work on our songs with someone who’s inspired our songwriting since day one. We only had four studio days available, so the month leading up to it, I spent a lot of time on the phone with Adam, going over the shitty cell phone demos we’d sent him.

We were a bit nervous to work with a producer at first. We had never done it before. We spend a lot of time working on our songs, and it’s hard enough getting everyone on the same page, so the idea of having someone else in the mix was a bit scary. Adam was really great about the whole thing. He was super invested in the music and had some really great ideas. The whole experience was so positive and cool.

How has the reception of Dreaming Adjacent been?

It’s been really great. We hadn’t released anything in so long and we wanted to put something out there to show people who we are and where we’re at now. I think this fulfilled that. The songs bring some new energy to our live show, it’s always fun playing new stuff.

The music video for “Carolina” is more of a behind the scenes look at your band. Why this song, and why that concept?

Well, Jesse took a ton of videos in 2016… shows, the recording process, the “Part Three” music video set up, and more. I had been trying to edit it into something for a really long time and nothing really felt right so we stepped away from it. I went on my laptop a couple months back and realized that at some point I started putting the footage into a music video for “Carolina.” I legitimately didn’t remember doing it, but we really liked the direction, so I continued with it. Within a week, we had this brand new music video to share with the world.

We really wanted to give everyone a glimpse into our world. We figured this would be a nice behind the scenes look. It’s meant to be a recap of our 2016, looking forward towards 2017.

You recently supported Mayday Parade on their most recent tour. (So exciting!) What was that experience like?

That was just awesome. Those guys and their crew are so nice. Since they were playing smaller shows (for them) on this tour, it really felt like we were playing for their diehard fans, which was really special. We couldn’t have asked for a better time and I can’t wait to hang out with them in April at the Spring Fling Festival in Cleveland.

You were a part of the annual Taking Back Sunday Holiday Spectacular show again this year (2016). How was that show and how has your relationship with Taking Back Sunday grown since the 2015 Holiday Spectacular?

So, this was actually our third year playing their Holiday Spectacular. It’s so unreal. Since the first one, we went on a short tour with them and Citizen and we got to record an EP with Adam. It doesn’t get much better than that. Those guys have become some really great friends and we never take a second of it for granted.

I also have to say, Starland Ballroom and The Aquarian have always gone above and beyond to make us feel at home during these weekends.

I was looking at your merchandise designs and I loved the lip tattoo design. How did that idea come about, as well as your other merchandise ideas?

That’s probably our first or second piece of merch ever. Jesse came up with the idea and it originally seemed ridiculous, but our friend Rob Gnarly totally delivered with a really badass design. As for the other merch, we’re always talking about and arguing about designs. We love to be hands on when it comes to everything involving our band and our merchandise is no exception to that.

Has there been a most memorable time or event for Modern Chemistry in 2016?

It’s so hard to pick. Recording Dreaming Adjacent in North Carolina, recording our new full-length with Paul Leavitt in Baltimore, and going on tour with Mayday Parade were all just some unreal times.

What can we expect from Modern Chemistry in 2017?

We’re going to release our first full-length album this year. I don’t have the timeline yet, but definitely this year. Whenever I listen to it, I get really excited to show people. I think it’s a great representation of us and all the directions we’ll be going in the future.

Also, our Second Annual New Jersey World Tour starts March 10th at The Saint. This one’s going to be special.

On what music platforms can our readers find you?

Spotify, Bandcamp, iTunes, Pandora, and pretty much everywhere else!


Catch Modern Chemistry with We The Kings at the House Of Independents in Asbury Park, NJ on Feb. 22, and also at The Saint in Asbury Park, NJ on March 10.