Band of the Week: The Modern Ruins

Meet the band: Andy Bopp (guitar, vocals), Ken Schopf (drums, vocals)

The early days: Bopp and Schopf have been making music since the '80s, and Bopp's band Myracle Brah was even signed to Universal Records for a minute. "He's well known in pop circles," Schopf says of his band mate. "The first Myracle Brah album is on the Mojo list of Top Pop Albums." About a year and a half ago, Schopf moved from Boston to Baltimore and met Bopp to do some recording on a tribute to alt-country icon Charlie Chesterman, the late frontman of cowpunk act Scruffy the Cat. They hit it off and the Modern Ruins were born.

Ohio roots: Schopf, who grew up in Lakewood, recently moved back to Northeast Ohio to be closer to his mother. He's hoping the Modern Ruins will play semi-regularly in town. "I'm just starting to get a feel for the city," he says. "The first place we played was Mahall's and it's funny because that's where my grade school bowling league was. That's a great room there."

rusty belt: In "Rusty Belt," one of the twangy tracks on the band's EP, Redeemer, Bopp sings about a Midwestern state of mind. "There's a real similarity between Baltimore and Cleveland," he says. "Andy's parents grew up in Pennsylvania. There's a touchstone around that. I have that too coming from around here."

Why You Should Hear Them: The band claims it seeks to channel the rawness of the Flat Duo Jets and the melodic sense of Big Star. "That's what we're shooting for," Schopf says. "There's something about the Flat Duo Jets back in the day. They had such a raw energy to them. On a good night, we're poppier and more complex." They recorded the EP at a studio they call the Cinder Block Mansion — it's really just a garage in Bopp's backyard. "He used to record in his house but now he has a devoted little garage," Schopf explains. "He gets really good sound." The duo also recorded its forthcoming album there, which is due out in October. "It's in the can and out being mastered right now," Schopf says. "It's 10 tracks and more diverse in terms of the types of songs. I hope it's something people like."

Where you can hear them:

Where you can see them: The Modern Ruins perform with the Lake Effect at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at the Grog Shop.
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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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