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Class Notes May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Sixties-style Rockers

Eric Killian, Warren ’03; Matt Sheridan, Muir ’03; Alex Smith, Warren ’05


Could I be yours? The Modlins certainly hope so. Made up of guitarists Eric Killian, Warren ’03, and Matt Sheridan, Muir ’03; bass guitarist Alex Smith, Warren ’05; and drummer Stoph Rhanor, these rockers sing about girls and the woes of love, in songs influenced by the Beatles, the Shins, the Strokes, Motown and anything before 1965. But why the ’60s? Sheridan says they are attracted to the period’s harmonic sound because of its simplicity— without it being simplistic.

Killian and Sheridan met in their last quarter at UCSD through mutual friends, bonding over a shared appreciation of Blur and Killian’s mouth-trumpet. The duo has been songwriting since 2003, but when they decided to add drums and a bass, they placed an ad in Craigslist and found Rhanor. Smith joined in spring 2005.

All four musicians maintain their day jobs—Killian is a computer programmer, Sheridan works at Village Hat Shop, Smith is a web designer and Rhanor works in finance—even though they stay busy performing across southern California, and as far as Las Vegas and Phoenix, playing as many as 14 shows in two months.

The Modlins set themselves apart from the otherwise punk and surfer San Diego music scene not only with their classic
harmonic sound, but also with their retro appearance. Their concert uniform is a suit and tie with white shoes and black belts—a self-proclaimed “major faux pas,” and they are fast becoming popular. They were nominated for Best Pop Album for the San Diego Music Awards and received rave reviews in San Diego Citybeat, the San Diego Reader and the North County Times, in addition to airtime on radio station Sophie@103.7.

While the Modlins are currently unsigned, they have produced three EPs and one full-length album and they continue to tour to get a strong footing in the industry before actively seeking a label. “People thought we would be signed,” Sheridan says. “We’re hoping it will happen, but we’re not active about it yet.” For now, they’re keeping their day jobs and enjoying the ride.

To check them out, go to: www.themodlins.com.

— Neda Oreizy, ’08

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