Q&A: Mod Sun talks music, sobriety and positivity

Mod Sun is starting a new chapter in his life as he prepares for his upcoming tour, kicking it off with a show at First Avenue on March 1.

Courtesy of Mod Sun.

Courtesy of Mod Sun.

Alex Strangman

Mod Sun has had a hell of a year. He’s been in and out of the public eye, gotten sober and returned to his musical roots.

The Bloomington, Minnesota native sat down with A&E to talk about this new chapter in his life, and finding the best version of himself.

Is there a full length project on the way?

In a short form answer, yes, there is an album coming very soon. At this point in my life I have the best narrative that I’ve ever had, which is that I’ve been very vulnerable over the last year about the changes in my life. I’ve had a big public eye moment. There’s moments of breaking down. There’s moments of all this stuff and it would be a shame if I didn’t document this in the form of an album. Where I’m at right now is I’m ready to offer the best [album].

You’ve begun to get back into more rock-oriented music; do you feel like you’re coming full circle as an artist?

I feel like this is the music that comes out of me. This music right here is really where I feel the most natural and I feel like for once in my musical career I’m not fighting so hard to be the outcast. In hip-hop, in rap, I mean you look at a picture of Mod Sun and you’re like, ‘No, he’s not a rapper.’ And that was great. That was honestly probably a big advantage of mine for a long time. But, at this point, it’s like, I feel like I kind of have a home in music which is singing alternative, obviously inspired by rap and hip-hop … totally inspired by it, but doing something that’s really natural to me. Like you said, full circle bro, this is what I was doing at the start.

How do you maintain a rockstar lifestyle while sober?

I’ve tried to blaze a different path with [sobriety], and make it so I can still live almost the exact same way I was living, as far as the environment and company I keep, and be like, ‘Alright, I’m really going to test my self control and I’m going to still go out. I’m going to go to the club with friends.’

I’m the designated driver now, let’s get it straight. I’m driving to and from the club, and my friends are wasted, and I promise you at the end of every night they look at me and they’re like, ‘Man, I think you just had more fun than me tonight. You just smiled the entire night, danced, and talked to everybody. And you didn’t even put anything in your nose or take a sip of anything.’ It makes me feel more like a rockstar. It really does.

I wanted to do that to show people that [sobriety] can be doable in a way that you still have fun. It’s not all sitting there missing out.

Sounds like a crazy past year. How do you stay so positive through it all?

This time around it had a little more to do with faith than it ever has … believing in God lowkey, believing in the statement, ‘Thy will be done.’ I really did have to believe not just in myself anymore.

I think that it takes this inner struggle that you have to get over. I mean, anyone who’s working to be positive every day — as positive as that is — there is this struggle that you’re forcing [yourself] to be positive.

I was starting to go down a wrong road, and it’s a blessing because a lot of people just burn out at that point, but I took it as a way to find the best me.

What: Mod Sun

When: 7 p.m., March 1

Where: First Avenue, 701 N. 1st Ave., Minneapolis

Cost: $20 (GA) – $125 (VIP)

Ages: All ages

This interview has been edited for style and clarity.