Talkie, talkie with Emily Massey!

Hey, hey! Good Wednesday to you. For today’s chat, I decided to ask the lovely and talented Emily Massey some questions about music and art and of course, pizza. Read on and thanks, Emily!

Photo Credit: Erica Somerson
Photo Credit: Erica Somerson

1. What is your name?

Emily Massey. Some people just call me Massey.

2. Where were you born and where do you live now?

East side Madison, WI… East side Madison, WI

3. What bands have you played in and who are you playing with now?

I played drums in a lil band in High School with some pals, we just kinda jammed in my garage for a summer and ate lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. A little later in High School I joined my current band, Modern Mod.

4. You seem to do a fair deal of awesome art. When did you first start getting into art and who are some of your artistic influences?

I always thought that I was bad at visual art, because I wasn’t conventionally good at drawing/painting techniques, and I didn’t really care about being proficient at it. It wasn’t until recently that I became interested in creating visual entities for fun. It was a usual winter night, where my mom and I were watching 48 hour mysteries lol, and I was like, I’m gonna start sewing pieces of plastic bags together and see what happens. So most recently I’ve been creating weird multimedia sculptures of shit i find around my house. I also have gotten into videography and editing, especially with old VHS cameras. Its like looking through some alternate reality which is really satisfying. One thing leads to another I guess and I find myself seeing art in angles and perspectives all the time, which is fab. As for artists, I really like Jackson Pollack and his use of random pattern and primary colors, its a marriage that works. My favorite renaissance painter is Botticelli, I feel like his sense of whimsy stands out from other pieces of his time. When I die I want to be reincarnated into a real life version of Birth of Venus. I went to MOMA in New York last month and my favorite piece was a writing on a wall of William Gibson’s theory of atemporality. It describes this new phenomenon in modern culture in which all styles of everything from every era exists at once through the internet. The wall said that art is created through an endless digital now. The artist creates from a place that is broad horizontal plane that invites exploration from any point. This really opened my mind to the method of the artistic process. It caused me to hate the internet less. That was a real long answer, props for reading my novel.

5. Who are some of your musical influences and why?

I have such a wide range of influences. Growing up I listened to so many different styles from my parents. My mom’s favorite singer is Kate Bush and I really resonate with her song writing. Also Patti Smith is a big influence based on her art and her personal style. I just finished her biography, Just Kids, and she has the most beautiful out look and observations of life, so I’ve been really digging on her. Debbie Harry was my idol as a kid, and she still is. I really like 60s pop and psychedelic melodies. The Byrds, Nancy Sinatra and Grace Slick when she was in Jefferson Airplane are really big influences for me when I’m creating melodies. Also New Order guitar and synth sounds are key.

6. What bands are you currently digging on?

For newer music, I’ve mostly been into some bands that I have seen live/played with here in Madison. I saw this band called Rupert Angeleyes out of Minneapolis at a dope house party that the dudes from Dolores threw. Both of those bands are neo psych dreams. My old drummer Emma turned me onto a band from Brooklyn called Baked who is giving me all the right lonely jams in my bedroom. I also just got into Tops, which is this band out of Montreal, also French goth babe Soko, look her up she makes her own videos which is really awesome, and a band from NY that we just played with at Mickeys called Shana Falana. They were such nice people with a transcendent dreamy shoe gaze pop thing going on. Also on da playlists are The Byrds, Sabbath, early Brian Eno, and Wire. ( I could go on and on)

7. Does Modern Mod plan on touring? Tell me about it!

YES YES YES. This would be our first tour, and we are hoping to go out to NYC and back in September. We are also going to do a midwest mini tour and hit up Milwaukee, Chicago and Minneapolis around August. There are so many cool bands out there, I can’t wait to see and meet so many people.

8. What is something people might not know about you?

I am 13 years old. But I can get into all the clubs. Also my thumbs are insanely double jointed.

9. How does the songwriting process work for you?

It usually starts as one line or melody that pops into my head often times with words already paired with it. I will then run to my phone and sing it into the recorder. Sometimes they pop up at the most random of times and I have to run to the bathroom and record it quickly. Then I look back at it later, and develop it into something. When I’m writing a song, its a lot of me recording a progression of some sort either on guitar or keyboards and then I will sing a part and record it with a different sound. Lyrically, I mostly write about nonsense things a one line statement, or stories.

10. And lastly, what is your favorite pizza?

The last time we played at the High Noon Tatum ordered a pizza with pineapple and blue cheese and it was one dank pizza. Never going back.

Thanks a ton to Emily for taking the time out and answering these questions. Hmmmm… i am going to have to try out that pizza you speak of. It sounds so good! Check Emily’s band Modern Mod live and also check the links she sent along! 

Modern Mod:



(for some reason i could only post the link to the vid.)