Written By Laura Curry
The Asbury Park-based alt. punk band, Lost in Society, is hours away from releasing its album Modern Illusions. They will be celebrating the release tonight with a show on the second floor of the Convention Hall in Asbury Park. Prepare yourselves for a high-powered, in-your-face performance and don’t be surprised if a mosh pit breaks out.
Lost in Society is Zach Moyle on lead vocals and guitar, Nick Ruroede on bass and back-up vocals and Hector Bonora on drums. Their sound is reminiscent of 90s punk and grunge rock with anthem-esque choruses, guitar solos, driving bass lines and gritty vocals that ooze angst.
Lost in Society has shared the stage with large acts such as Misfits, Bad Religion, Taking Back Sunday and SWMRS. They also played festivals including Vans Warped Tour, SXSW and Las Vegas’s Punk Rock Bowling. Once Modern Illusions is released, they will start preparing for a month-long U.S. tour.
Pop-Break had the chance to talk with Zach Moyle about Modern Illusions and their upcoming tour. He said that they are looking forward to their SXSW shows in March. They’re playing an Altercation Records Showcase with Cheetah Chrome from Dead Boys at the Vortex in Austin, TX. And they will also be a part of a 40th anniversary tribute to The Ramones, which is curated by the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.
The band’s upcoming tour will feature plenty of songs off their new release.
They recorded Modern Illusions quickly two years ago because their old label told them they had some bigger labels interested in putting it out. However, that never came to fruition, so instead they spent two years touring and finally decided to do everything themselves to get the album out.
Moyle said it was a no-brainer to bring in Pete Steinkopf of The Bouncing Souls to record Modern Illusions since they had worked with him in the past. He said, “I think we built a chemistry and he knew our music really well. We were very comfortable going into the studio with him. I think we all had the same idea of what direction we wanted to take the album.”
Steinkopf helped with the tones and guitars as well as with the writing process and lyrics. Moyle said, “There’s no pressure working with him, he’s very complimentary. He’s very easy to work with; I don’t feel like I need to nail everything right away on the first try. He’s always open to new ideas and has really good suggestions that a lot of us wouldn’t think of…It’s like working with an older brother.”
Moyle explained that Modern Illusions deviates from the sound of their other albums because they recorded it live, in seven 10-hour days at Lakehouse Studios in Asbury Park two years ago. This was a quicker approach than their other albums. All the instrumental and vocal tracks were completed by the third day. So by the fourth day, they just had the mixing left. It was an easy process, mostly because they practiced for 18 straight days before they went into the studio.
Moyle said, “I love being in the studio; it’s one of my favorite parts of being in a band, right next to touring.”
A highlight of the process was when Moyle sat down with Steinkopf, Erik Romero (the sound engineer who is also in the band dollys), and the rest of the band for the last three days to get the mixing done. They broke everything down to get the exact sounds they wanted. Moyle liked heading out to Steinkopf’s car to listen to each song in order to find any small details that needed tweaking. Additionally, he mentioned that it was really cool having a bunch of their friends come in to sing along on some of the tracks for the “gang vocals.”
The album was originally going to be called 70 hours, because that’s how long it took to record it. When he really thought about the album and songs like “I Want To Know,” Moyle came up with the name Modern Illusions and it just stuck. They all liked it and it gave Ruroede an idea of what to do with the artwork, which features a red, black and off-white retro image of a magician levitating a woman while pointing at the Illuminati symbol.
As far as the songs go, Moyle said that they’re more polished, the lyrics are stronger and the overall feel of the album is more mature. He said, “Obviously that comes with age—when we worked on our first two albums, we were still in our teens and very early twenties. So with this album, there’s a pretty good departure from the earlier stuff without completely changing how we play and what we do.”
The recently released single, “I Want to Know,” explores a divide between the classes theme. Moyle thinks that while there are more songs on the album that follow suit there is no common theme for the album as a whole. “I Want to Know” was placed on the back burner while other songs took priority. Right before recording the album, Moyle went through notes on his phone and came across the song once again. He brought it into the studio with Steinkopf and they “cut out the fat.” Now, fans who have listened to their album tend to say it’s one of their favorites.
There is a music video in the works for “I Want to Know.” Moyle said that it’s basically a spoof on the show Workaholics. It’s about three guys working together in a cramped office space, living together in the same apartment and having a boss who has it out for them. The band performs in the office as well, with people working around them as if nothing is happening.
Moyle mentioned two other tracks on the album that stick out in his mind.
“Generation Why” is about kids, or rather, millennials complaining about everything without actually changing anything. Moyle said, “It’s like reaching out and realizing that you have all this power to use for good, but you just want to sit back and complain.”
The song “Awake” is about sleep paralysis, which he experiences sometimes. Moyle said, “I don’t really write too much about my personal life, so a song like “Awake” delves a little bit into myself more than I usually do.”
Moyle said, “Overall, I’m really excited about this album. It’s definitely our most complete album, from front to back. There’s not a song that I’m disappointed in or wished we did something different with—and that’s the first time that I can really say that.”
LOST IN SOCIETY WILL BE JOINED BY DOLLYS, GODS, KYLE TROCOLLA AND DEREK ROSSI AT THE CONVENTION HALL IN ASBURY PARK TONIGHT. TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE AT HTTP://LIS.BIGCARTEL.COM/. SHOW STARTS AT 8.