Formed in 1998 by Wade Schuman, who writes and sings nearly all of the band’s material and forges their creative direction, Hazmat Modine seamlessly integrates primal, guttural blues, funky, unadulterated old school R&B and myriad sounds from other cultures, absorbed during their constant touring in more than 20 different countries across the world. Schuman says: “Hazmat Modine tries to get to the core of what makes American music work, and American music is informed by the immigrant experience. There’s an organic evolution that takes place. American music is world music in essence since it is a product of the all diasporas that have come here.”
HAZMAT is an American English word for Hazardous Materials. AKA dangerous materials, you see it on the sides of trucks or special trashcans. MODINE is the brand name for an industrial forced air heater unit, the kind that hangs down in garages and artists lofts… the company is in Muncie Indiana… they are both American words, but the sound of them together is rather exotic. People often think HAZMAT is Turkish.
Hazmat Modine’s Style
Hazmat Modine draws from the rich soil of American music of the 20′s and 30′s through to the 50′s and early 60′s, blending elements of early Blues, Hokum Jug band, Swing, New Orleans R&B, and Jamaican Rocksteady. A pointer to Hazmat’s methodology can be found in the band’s configuration. Schuman’s guitar, diatonic harmonica and intensely earthy vocals set the tone. A solid battery of sounds – tuba, accordion, trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone, tenor and baritone saxes, piccolo and duduk, banjo, mandocello and steel guitar – explores the textural and melodic outer limits of Hazmat’s meticulously woven compositions, while guitars and drums lock down a groove and provide sonic spicing.
Hazmat Modine’s Performances
Since their debut album – Bahamut (2007), Hazmat Modine performed about two hundredfifty concerts in 20 European countries, playing well-known festivals like Jazzfest Vienna, Copenhagen Jazzfestival, Berlin Jazzfest, Stockholm Jazz Festival and many others. Via multi-hour club and concert sets and countless festival appearances, the band has absorbed and processed all that they’ve encountered, emerging at a destination far from their embarkation point.
In 2016 they performed their 10th anniversary year of performances in Europe. As well the band appeared on festivals in Brasil, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.
2018 – The band was in 2018 on a global trip from India, Europe, Mexico to China in October. They will return there in 2019 as well as to India and possibly Australia. The next European tour with 28 concerts is scheduled for early summer 2019. The boom is unbroken, the love for the band does not go out even after many years. Hazmat Modine has been coming to Europe 22 times since 2007. After the completion of the CD BOX OF BREATH has been delayed by several months for personal reasons, it will be released as CD and Vinyl in time for the tour 2019.
These are strange times in the USA, but Hazmat Modine is doing his part to improve the situation with the release of his fourth CD „Box of Breath“. They try to be the new sympathizers of America ´s . Life and death, it’s all just a breather.
Hazmat Modine has brought American roots music to Shakespeare’s heights, songs, parables of human experience, condensed into a „TinPan Alley“ song format. With Wade’s characteristic voice and harmonica, Joe Daley’s indescribable sousaphone, classical horns, various strings, percussion and shimmering vocal harmonies, „“ is a „Sturm & Drang“ collection from the traditional American ensemble.
„Hazmat Modine: …this wild group led by the singer and harmonica player Wade Schuman. They play Blues originals, mostly, that are the product of Schuman’s limitless imagination. His voice, for that matter, appears to be bottomless.“ – The New Yorker
“A truly mysterious band about which the only sure thing to say is this: It is extremely New York. Only in that huge metropolis can collectives like this blossom and grow and could invent such an amazing combination of music based out of so many genres…” –TimeOut Moscow (Russia)