Recommended if You Like
Devo The B-52s The Cars

Genres You Will Love
Moods: Mood: Quirky Electronic: Electroclash Rock: Punk-Pop

By Location
United States - New York United States - NY - New York City

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The Modern Airline

Frontman, guitarist and songwriter Lee Chabowski arrived home one night after The Modern Airline had finished a set in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and opened the band’s Facebook page. There he found a post from an enthusiastic new fan who, along with his friends, had approached the band after the show. It read, “I just saw perhaps the best band I’ve seen live in Brooklyn.” Not bad for a city that hosts literally hundreds of bands a night, 365 days a year. “It’s such a high to connect with complete strangers over something you’re passionate about,” says Chabowski. Since hitting the stage in 2008 with its jagged and angular neo-wave, this group of power-pop veterans has elicited praise from fans, critics, fellow musicians, and DJs alike.

Chabowski's vision for the perfect band was realized when bassist Amy Brown decided to move to New York City in 2007. "I was rubbing my hands together like a mad scientist," laughs Chabowski, who’s called NYC home since 1996. "It's all coming together!" Chabowski and Brown packed clubs together for years as part of Rochester, NY's Dog's Life, and had long talked about working together again. Hard hitting drummer Gary Langol and Chabowski first played together in Brooklyn’s New Delhi Monkey Man, which they formed with Negative Approach drummer Chris 'Opie' Moore. “Gary’s this incredibly versatile musician up for anything,” says Chabowski. “He played bass in New Delhi Monkey Man, but Margaret (Chabowski, synth player for The Modern Airline) and I talked him into drumming with us when Amy arrived, and of course, he’s perfect!”

The explosion of late 70’s new wave formed the bedrock for The Modern Airline’s sound. “Bands like Devo and The Cars unlocked a world I knew I had to be part of,” says Lee. “The power and quirkiness of it all spoke to me like nothing before.” Lee combines his addiction to new wave with elements of hard rock and EDM. "Kraftwerk and Thin Lizzie are always doing battle in my head, and artists like Skrillex are pushing me to get even more creative with new sounds,“ says Lee. With the addition of Josh Hunter on guitar, The Modern Airline’s sound was complete. "You could immediately feel the crowd's response intensify when we added Josh," says Lee. "He rocks too much to keep his damn pilot's hat on!" Decked out in flight crew uniforms, the band has a vaguely authoritarian look onstage. “The uniforms somehow seemed to fit with our sci-fi and surrealist lyrics,” says Lee. While The Modern Airline has strong musical influences, it definitely flies into new territories. When the band came off stage after a recent set at The Parkside Lounge on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, soundman Taylor Scott Elliot exclaimed, “You’re the most original band we’ve ever had here!”

The band’s eponymous 2012 full-length release grabbed the attention of college and internet radio, with spins on freeform radio giant WFMU, and a week as the featured artist on AOL/Spinner’s Full CD Listening Party, among others. Print and online press also spread the word with music reviews in The Big Takeover, Skope, Jersey Beat and more.

The Modern Airline’s Fall 2016 release of the “Bus Trapped Underground/Mimic the Prayer Sounds” 7” follows its first release with even more bounce and intensity. “We’re thrilled to be in the land of vinyl,” says Lee. “It sounds so much bigger on 7”, and it’s just plain fun to drop the needle on a disk!” The band plans a series of 7” releases on its own Alien Orb label. But the main goal is to keep playing live shows in and around NYC, while continuing to build its growing audience. “It’s thrilling to see our crowds grow from friends to strangers who become fans,” says Lee. “Now we’re focused on getting opening slots for some of the larger acts playing New York.”

Chuck Foster’s glowing review of The Modern Airline’s first release in issue No. 71 of The Big Takeover magazine ended with this: “Choose The Modern Airline and have one of the best flights of your life.” That sums up the band perfectly. Get onboard!