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Signing Story: Modoc

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Nashville-based hard rock outfit Modoc were doing the heavy touring grind until early this year when friend and manager Eric Hurt led them to a publishing and management deal with Zavitson Music Group.

“It is an unheard of deal, as far as bringing our manager in with us. It’s very extended family-like,” vocalist/guitarist Clint Culberson says. According to the Modoc frontman, the publishing deal has helped open doors for band as aspiring songwriters. He, lead guitarist Kyle Addison, bassist Caleb Crockett and drummer John Carlson each signed individual co-writing contracts and one as a band. Modoc’s eponymous debut as a signed act, a follow-up to 2011’s Fortune and Fame, features one such co-write titled “Devil On My Shoulder,” written with Grammy-nominated producer Paul Moak.

“Having a publishing deal

with our management tied in

really freed us.” 

Collaboration with outside artists was a foreign concept to Modoc, Culberson explains. “Sometimes it’s difficult writing with someone who doesn’t know you. But I had a great connection with Paul Moak the first time we sat down. He wanted to get to know me, and there was a connection. Some co-writes aren’t worth remembering, but you never know.“There are a lot of things,” he adds, “you can’t do on an indie level, but having a publishing deal with our management tied in really freed us from needing to share the pie with [unproductive] people.”

Together since 2007, Modoc have paid several years of dues before running into the right fit; for other bands in the due-paying phase, Culberson advises touring as much as possible. “We toured and we ended up paying to play, and sometimes that’s what it takes. You do have the Internet, which helps out quite a bit, but Facebook or Twitter doesn’t do any good if you’re not going to play a live show or you’re not doing anything interesting.”

Modoc are planning to tour overseas sometime next year.

Story by: Jessica Pace
Photo by: Solomon Davis