Who are the Modern Mods? SUBCULTURED interviewed Posted South, a young, positive Mod band from South East London bringing back the Mod music scene with a modern-day twist.
What is the Mod culture?
Firstly, you may not have heard of Mod culture, so let me start with the basics. Mod culture, is a subculture which emerged prominently in the 60s and has had extreme influences in film, music, fashion and Art. It is composed of a sharp suited look with the accessory of the classic Vespa/lambertetta scooter. The background of mod culture originated out of working class struggles and a need to identify yourself, particularly in an era of subcultures.
Who are Posted South?
Posted South are fairly new to the music scene being around for about a year. In this interview, we discussed how Mod culture is represented, and what challenges they face within the music industry as a Modern Mod band, as well as some insight into how their inclusiveness within the mod culture is symbolized through their clothing.
Why have you chosen to be a Mod band?
Leo: We all can agree that we all do love the Mod scene, the Mod look, and most importantly the Mod bands. We are all fans of the Who, Small faces, and grew up listening to this genre of music. Essentially, it all forms a part of us somewhere deep down.
In your opinion, how do you think the Mod image is represented?
Rob: The Mods originally was represented through the classic Vespa or lambretta scooter- you might have heard of the London to Brighton scooter rally- a chance for the Mod to get together and celebrate the Mod scene. For us, I feel like we represent Mod culture through the music we produce, and the look we have.
Leo: For me, being a Mod is how you present yourself more than anything.
Louis: I think the blue, white and red Mod target sign, is a classic Symbolism of Mod culture through art.
What would you say is your key influences?
Joey: I cut my tooth playing the blues guitar, jamming to the Small faces, 12 bar blues, and Jimmy Hendrix.
Leo: Think it is safe to say we all root from different genres, but we all do share the love for the mod music. For me personally I would say I was a big fan of 80s/90s rock, specifically grunge and various different metal bands, I was a big new metal/alternative metal fan.
Rob: Everything you can think of, I was brought up listening to the Beatles, Oasis and Ocean Color Scene. For me I think my key influence is Paul Weller and the music of the Jam. I also am very interested in the classic soul roots of Mod music-particularly Eddie Floyd.
Louis: My influence to come onto the Mod scene was more of the look, I really love the look. From a music perspective growing up I really loved the Beatles, and bands like the Clash and the Jam. I would say that my experience of looking in deeper at other music genres has created my own and individualistic style within the Mod scene as I have been able to combine difference influences.
On your website you say that you want to bring back mod music, but with a twist of your own- how are you guys doing this?
Rob: I think with a lot of modern day band, for example the Arctic Monkeys they have that modern groove that a lot of young people love listening too. What we try and do is combine the 60s feel with a modern day twist. In our interview with the Glory Boy Radio- we got a lot of feedback that our song, ‘The Climb’ is a key example of this.
Leo: Yes I feel like with a lot of the bands which Rob touched on, for example, Arctic Monkey and Kasabian they all embrace the fusion of the mod look but with an indie feel to their music. I feel that we stay true to the Mod sound as well as adapting to the tastes of modern day society.
As you all would label yourself as modern Mods, what challenges/ tensions do you feel you face within the music industry?
Louis: The Mods started to disappear or get lost in society since the 80s, I feel like a key challenge is moving past a cultural shift, and seeing the revival of the Mods once again and for the mods to have more prominence in our society through all avenues.
Leo: At the moment, I feel like we are adhering to a very niche market. In this way we are in a really good position as we are receiving a lot of support from the Mod scene, from all the old school guy, and people who want to see a Mod music revival – that’s an advantage. I would say a disadvantage is sort of bringing that niche to the masses again- as Louis was saying since the80s the mod scene has died down – so I guess our biggest challenge is really bringing it back.
Rob: I will add to that, for example a couple of years ago Alex Turner made a statement about rock’ n’ roll music is not being as appreciated as it once was or is getting lost in the popular culture which we live. However, I do feel that revival is on the up, and there is a Mod band presence which keeps the Mod scene alive.
You mentioned that the Mod culture is about how you look and how you represent yourself, what would you say is the statement pieces of clothing/accessory as a Mod?
Joey: Definitely the Fishtail parker.
Leo: I agree, the iconic fishtail parker really represents a Mod one and wholly, but I would say of course a Fred Perry polo shirt. You will never see a Mod without at least 10 Fred Perry shirts in their collection.
Rob: That’s tricky one, would say truffle shoes, loafers, and the Harrington bomber jacket.
Louis: A very smart and snazzy nice tailored suit with some dessert boots.
As most of you referred to Fred Perry, to my understanding they are quite pricey, where can you recommend kitting yourself out as Mod on a budget (specifically, a student one)?
Leo: You’re right, Fred Perry is a little bit more expensive- maybe try second and shops or vintage thrift stores. If you go back to the 60s every Mod was spending their entire paycheck on clothing- which may explain why the look is so pricey.
Rob: Definitely have a look on EBay- you can probably get a secondhand Fred Perry shirt for £5-10. I don’t think brands particularly matter, but the key thing is Mods prioritize how they look, and as long as you look sharp with a Mod edge that is most important. Overall, you want to look as sharp as you can on a budget or not!
Can you recommend any key Mod outlets or shops?
Adapter, Jump the gun, Pretty Green.
Apart from yourself, what other modern Mod bands would you recommend listening too?
The Spitfires are really good- we would go and see them live.
If you’re interested to hear about the latest updates from Posted South- keep an eye out on their social media pages.
Also, want to have a listen to their music? Posted South’s next gig will be at Amersham Arms in New Cross on 17th November- tickets available on their website!
Text by Nicole Bonner
Picture research by Nicole Bonner and Katt Skippon; featured image from Posted South’s official website.