The Modules: like an old dusty relationship from your early twenties
“You can roll a slice of buttered toast down a back alley and it’ll probably still taste pretty good.” This is Corey Dahlen. He’s sipping a coffee while giving his best answer to “what is your favorite thing to spread on toast?”
It’s a good answer.
“I really like bacon jam. I make a fantastic bacon jam, and it goes very well on toast,” chimes in Andee, Corey’s brother.
Meet the Dahlens. Instantly loveable, the two of them, plus Terry Mattson on drums, make up the notorious three-piece The Modules. So elusive to the point where you can only find a handful of people who have heard of them, and even fewer who attended their shows. (Also, good luck finding their albums. I had to dig up a first generation iPod and bring it back to life like Dr. Frankenstein.)
The Modules are like an old dusty relationship from your early twenties. You remember them fondly, but only once they are dating someone else do your old feelings surface like dumplings in a hot pot. Tenderly singing one minute, making you believe that you never left their thoughts and then, without coercion, dramatically turning around and screaming into your face like you forgot to do the dishes for the past ten years. Making you melt and then telling you to straight up ‘go fuck yourself!’
Formed in 1998, the band released three immaculately crafted albums before breaking up. Their first album, Modular Forms, combines all the heartbreak of Eric’s Trip along with the creeping weirdness of The Jesus Lizard.
“A lot of those songs on the first album were a result of me listening to way too many bands like Sebadoh, Canadian indie bands such as The Kittens, Tristan Psionic and The Primrods,” says Corey. “I obviously was in grade nine once myself, and played a lot of Nirvana and a lot of Weezer. The only difference is nowadays I still play a lot of Weezer,” he chuckles.
“You hit a point where you can only listen to goddamn Nevermind one hundred thousand times and then you can’t listen to it even one more time after that.”
“Wanna know why The Modules stopped playing?” Andee asks. “It was around the time I found out about my MS.”
Andee was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in the spring of 2006. He was told by doctors that playing the guitar would eventually not be an option.
At one point he even believed them.
“Nowadays I am looking at if differently. Back then the disease had me and right now I’m treating it like I have the disease, and whatever, it can go do something with itself, I’m doing what I want to do.”
And so, after eight years, The Modules are returning to the stage.
“I’ve never really stopped writing Module songs,” says Corey, who hints that a fourth album may still materialize. “Some of the stuff I write with the intention of maybe starting a new band and I listen to it and it just fucking sounds like the Modules. I can’t really help it.
“It’s like when Jim Cuddy plugs in his acoustic guitar and starts singing, he’s still gonna sound like Jim Cuddy,” he continues. “Or what’s his name from Creedence? They can take the Creedence away from him but not really.”