Modern Life Is War
From The Secret History of the Cedar Valley
Modern Life Is War began in early 2002 in the sleepy midwestern railroad town of Marshalltown, Iowa. We came together as five friends who had grown up together on punk music and DIY ethics; Punk because it was the music that spoke to our guts and Do-It-Yourself because there was nothing here and no one to help us. The Lineup was Jeffrey Eaton on Vocals, Chris Honeck on Bass, Tyler Oleson on Drums, John Eich on Guitar and Matt Hoffman on Guitar. We started Modern Life Is War with two modest goals…put out our own 7″ vinyl on our own record label and go on a tour all the way to the East Coast and all the way back home in a rusted out cargo van. We weren’t expecting to fit in, we had no connections and we weren’t expecting anyone to care. We planned to lose money and we laughed at the thought of actually selling the 500 records that we had spent our hard earned time and money getting pressed. Our mission was to accomplish our goals, play as hard as we could play every night and have a good time doing it. But the unexpected happened and a small number of people were genuinely excited about the music we were making and by the time we got home from that tour we had a deal to do a full length with Martyr Records and kids were starting to talk about a strange band from Iowa. But the spirit of those beginnings is a spirit that we have carried with us to this day almost five years later.
By the end of 2003 the ball was rolling. We made our first trip to the West Coast via a straight 36-hour drive from Marshalltown, Iowa to Sacramento, California. We had sold out the first and second pressing of our 7″ and took up an offer by Lifeline Records to do all future pressings. And most importantly we had recorded and released our first full-length record “My Love. My Way.” There has been a lot of different things said about that record and I will leave you to read what the critics wrote or listen to it for yourself.
In early 2004 Reflections Records took interest and licensed “My Love. My Way.” for European distribution and with their help we did our first European Tour. We played 13 different countries and our eyes were opened to different ways of life but more importantly how similar the struggles of youth are no matter where you were born or where you live. We spent the rest of 2004 touring in the US and Canada and working on writing songs for our next record.
In 2005 we continued to pound the pavement and play live to anyone willing to give us a chance. We took a huge step and signed a deal for our next full-length with Deathwish Inc. All in all, we had spent nearly a year and a half writing songs for “Witness” which we released on June 7th, 2005. The process of writing and recording that record was the biggest challenge we had yet faced as a band and it stretched us to our limit as individuals, as friends and as a band. Constantly being compared to contemporary bands and judged against them was our biggest frustration because we had never tried or wanted to be like anyone else. The challenge to create a truly original record that represented who we are and what we are about was one that almost ripped our band apart, but in the end we made a record that we knew belonged to us in every way. Whether it is good or bad is not up to us to say, but there is no other record like that one and there won’t be one like it again. Shortly after the release of Witness Matt Hoffman decided to leave the band to pursue his personal life. This marked the first alteration of the Modern Life Is War since our inception. He was replaced by the only person we had met along the way that we thought could fill the void that Matt had suddenly left: Harm Haverman, a Holland native, who had played in legendary European bands Reaching Forward and Razor Crusade. Harm roadied for us on one of our European tours and we felt an instant kinship with him. It was an expense and a risk to bring someone from halfway across the world into our small-town band but the risk was worth it and our current lineup is solid as a rock and we are more motivated than ever.
This brings us to the present year. Deathwish Inc. and Lifeline Records are re-releasing “My Love. My Way.” which has fallen out of print on Martyr Records. Alliance Trax in Japan licensed both of our records and we did our first Japanese Tour. We have recently released a live split 7″ with legendary New York Hardcore band Kill Your Idols. So what now? We progress. We solidify. We keep our hearts in our hometown and try to take over the fucking world. We don’t forget where we came from and the ideals that we started with. We get smarter and tougher and more honest. We take aim at all these pre-fab pretty boy bands who were spending mommy and daddy’s money in expensive hair salons while we were sweating in VFW halls with the rest of the real kids. We work on our third album, which will be out in summer 2007 and will be our best record yet. We are always on tour so come out to a show in your area and feel free to pack up front and have a good time and come talk to us after the show and share your own music and ideas with us. There are too many bands that have nothing to offer and nothing to say and are acting like rock-star jerk-offs. There are too many people buying in. If that’s what you want then look elsewhere. Otherwise we will be here fighting the good fight so come join us.
- Jeff Eaton – Vocals
- John Eich – Guitar
- Sjarm 13 – Guitar
- Tyler Oleson – Drums
- Chris Honeck – Bass
- Tim Churchman – Bass
2003 Lifeline Records
Re-released on DeathWish Inc. 2006
DeathWish Inc. 2006