One of the only musical artists of his kind, Mod Sun has the unique blend of making hip-hop into a whole new breed known as “hippy hop.” This is the quintessential ’70s Woodstock-era music artist who has been brought to the future to make ultra laid-back hip-hop. Well-known for being a heavy marijuana activist, his image is simple: peace & happiness. Now read on and see what the future holds for the Rolling Stone cover-nominated musical artist who has no fans, just friends.
MEB: Being pretty much one of the only artists of your kind, what has the journey been like in spreading positivity to everyone?
Mod Sun: The vision gets more and more clear each day. When I started out, I had a vision to empower myself. I was in the same position as a lot of people were at in their lives like “What do I want to do?” I was kind of lost, and I was like “Man! I am going to do something that’s going to empower myself and I’m going to put myself first.” As I was going along, I heard so many stories from people about my music of how it helps them and is reaching people at such a level that is beneficial to what they’re going through. So now I’m transitioning into helping to empower other people and making music like, “I don’t give a shit about myself, I’m trying to empower you now!” So it’s a crossover, starting in a basement [and now] wanting the whole world to hear it.
What sort of experience have you taken from the Rolling Stone contest (that I honestly thought you should have won)?
It was amazing because it just proved this stuff I talk about, which is making your mentality a reality. If you think about it, you can make it happen. It’s all about patience and it’s all about accepting challenges and knocking them out. It was one of those where like, my whole life playing in bands and such, telling your parents “Hey I’m going on Warped Tour,” they’re just like “Oh, that’s cool.” But when you get to tell them “Hey I’m in Rolling Stone Magazine,” I mean, my grandma understood what that meant. So when I got to that point, a lot of people put more belief into what I was doing. It didn’t change my mind, I was and always will be doing it for the right reasons. But it really gave a lot of people a lot more faith in me and I’m very thankful for that. It’s also proof that winning doesn’t always give you the best odds. But you gotta take every opportunity that comes your way.
What’s the overall reception been like for your latest EP Happy As Fuck? How high did you climb the iTunes charts?
I hit #8 on the iTunes chart and we hit #50 on the Billboard chart, which is really fucking awesome. That’s the power of friend support and that’s why I put out so much free music. Whenever I drop a proper release on the table, the friends really come and show their support and actually purchase it.
What is the significance of the skull that covers Happy As Fuck?
It’s a take on the fact that you always see skulls in a negative context. If I’m going to die, I’m going to die happy. Hopefully if they invent a pill before that time, I will take it and live forever. But if not, I will die with a smile on my face and that’s what the cover signifies.
The Mod Sun grinder card is one of the coolest pieces of band merch I’ve ever seen, even though I unfortunately don’t own one yet. What inspires you to create your unique merch, also like your USB and dog tag?
It’s all about taking it to the next level and trying to break away from the norm. It’s really fun as well! I’ve taken a lot of chances on my merch because I really love art. Art, fashion, and clothing go hand in hand. I want to provide stuff that I would want to wear. I’ve taken risks and lost out on some stuff, but then again, some stuff like the grinder card caught on after a year because no one knew what it was. I will always continue to take risks because that’s life.
It’s just crazy that you used to be the drummer from Four Letter Lie and Scary Kids Scaring Kids. Do you miss those days?
It’s the world I grew up in. I’m making hip-hop music, but don’t think that I haven’t been listening to Taking Back Sunday, New Found Glory, The Used, and bands like that. I mean, those bands were my youth.
Have you ever considered drumming for a full band again?
Yeah! Me and Pat will start a punk band at one point, me and my boy Mikey Bryant might start a band, but I’m always just having fun.
So there’s word that you’re writing a book. Can you tell me more about this?
Yes I am. The book is titled Did I Ever Wake Up? It’s about the fact that when you get to a certain point in your life that’s so good, you wonder if you ever woke up from a dream or not. It’s about that concept of “am I even awake right now?” The real gist of the story is believing you’re the main character in someone’s dream and every time they go to sleep is when you wake up and every time you go to sleep they wake up. It’s just not a coincidence that you fall asleep at 12:56 and 13 seconds on a Monday night. It’s not a coincidence because the person that you’re the main character of their dream is about to wake up. I’m still writing it right now and it’s going to be really cool. It should be released around Christmas time.
Any new music videos coming from your live sets here at Warped? How has Warped been for you so far?
Yes, I’m filming a music video for the song “Stop Everything You’re Doing Right Now and Smile.” It’s going to be just like Limp Bizkit’s video for the song “Faith,” where they’re in between all of the buses and stuff.
Any last words for your undying friend-base and the ones who are missing out on hearing about you?
Please make your mentality a reality. I believe in you all and you can achieve anything. There is no such thing as hard, everything is easy when you put your mind to it.