Posted by: Amy – Jul 21, 2015
Indie-punk band Model Train Wreck’s sound is not something you come across every day.
Fronted by Sophia Nadia, a strong female vocal lead and badass guitarist, and backed by bassist Griffin Low and twins Jasis (guitarist) and Tadeusz Mich, (drums) the Reston-based band’s sound meshes together really well to produce an authentic garage rock sound that actually doesn’t meander like a bunch of talentless teenagers fiddling around in their parent’s garage.
MTW just put out a new self-titled album and is currently on tour making stops all over Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New York. The band made a stop in Richmond last July 11 and put on one hell of a show at Circle Thrift and Art Space on West Broad Street.
MTW released “Everything’s Alright” a new music video for the new album June 19.
The group formed in 2013, but Griffin and Nadia are old school pals who started out playing angsty-teenage music.
“I’ve known Sophia since 6th grade,” Griffin said. “Before MTW we played in a bunch of little middle school bands where we tended to just cover blink-182 songs,” Griffin said. “It wasn’t until earlier this year that she asked if i wanted to play for Model Train Wreck, since it was just drums, vocals and two guitars.”
“Jasiu and Tadeusz I met my freshman year of high school,” he added. “They wanted to start a band and needed a bassist, so I joined them. We called ourselves Dolphin Rocket and mostly just covered Title Fight songs. That fizzled out after a while but im glad to be playing music with them all again.”
Drummer Tadeusz Mich said the band went through two different studios in Vienna and Fairfax to record the new album.
“To record the drums we went through Palmer Studios in Vienna with Brendan Stinson and to record the rest of our sound (bass, guitar, and vocals) we went through our friends house studio who goes by the name Aidan Brody,” he said. “Aidan helped a lot with the recording process by mixing everything as he's a recording student and is learning. Without their help we're not sure how the album would have happened.”
Nadia said she was really impressed with what the twins did in the studio.
“We were listening to the tracks they recorded and what they added,” she said. “At the end of Revenge, we hear this insane loop thing from Tadeusz which completely blew us away,” she said. “It was so intricate and completely out of the blue. Same thing happened with Everything's Alright. I think that it was such a pleasant surprise coming in after Tadeusz, simply excited to hear what he added next.
With Nadia writing the lyrics and drawing on her own personal experiences, she said she wants listeners to be able to relate to the music while drawing their own conclusions from her lyrics.
“I want our listeners to be able to interpret the poetry in their own way so that they can relate,” she said. “Everyone seems to have their own issues and I want them to know that they're not alone. I want listeners to be able to get hyped for our shows because it's not really about supporting us, I want them to get excited to dance and have fun with their friends. It's exciting to meet all of these great people and they come up to me telling me that they feel the same way about parents/spouses/etc. I'm glad we can do that.”
Nadia added growing up in Northern Virginia also had an influence on the band’s music.
“NoVA is boring for young people,” she said. “I think that due to the fact that all that people there really know is going to school, college, then a job, I felt really suffocated and cornered for my entire high school career. We're from a really small town so avoiding people is really hard so from these struggles, I wrote a lot about that.”
But she did say there are a few upsides to living up that way.
“We're about a 20 minute drive from Arlington, which has a DIY scene called GNARlington which has a lovely place called the Lab, where I saw You Blew It! and the Front Bottoms,” she said. “I think the fact we're so close to DC allows us to go to really cool rock concerts there as well as Baltimore like Charm City Art Space, where we saw Title Fight.”
Now with touring in other cities, they face the struggles that almost any musician goes through to pursue their passion.
“Finding a place to stay and making it work regardless of the money struggle is the hardest part,” Nadia said. “It gets pretty stressful with ticket sales because we're on the road so often. Also, trying to please venue owners and making sure we are absolutely flawless about everything is just hard to do.”
Model Train Wreck has played mainly on the East Coast, but Griffin said they have bigger plans for the fall.
“We're also going to be going on tour on the West coast and Canada during September and October, we're all excited about that as well,” he said.
Once they get back from touring, Griffin said the band will start working on a new album.
If you missed Model Train Wreck this time around, catch them here Aug. 23 at Strange Matter alongside Cat be Damned, Memnon the Black and Dropping Ugly.
Interview by Brad Kutner.