Modern Eon were from Liverpool in the North West of England. They were a part of the "New Liverpool Scene" that sprang up in 1979-1980 around 'Eric's Club'. Others belonging to the "New Liverpool Scene" included Echo & the Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes, Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark, Dead or Alive, Pink Military and more. However, this categorization is likely to evoke a yawn from the band, "It is important that we come from here, but we've always stayed clear of the typical Liverpool connection. Being part of it in that we know everyone, Yeah, but staying out of it as well! And when you hear our music, we could be from anywhere -- but then I think that about the Bunnymen and Teardrop as well!" --Alix
The bands beginnings are a bit unclear. Alix (real name Alex Johnson), the band's founding member, had moved off to Canada and when he eventually returned, he found England in the middle of the Punk phenomena. Alix and Danny Hampson started out in a band called Luglo Slugs. "Ugh!" --John Peel on the topic of Luglo Slugs. Over the next few months they changed their name, first to Tank Time, then to One Two and shortly thereafter, Modern Eon was born. Their first vinyl release was on a compilation called Steet to Street: A Liverpool Album with the song 'Benched Down/ 70s Sixties in November 1978. Then, after one self released single, 'Pieces' on Eon Records in 1979, they recorded the single 'Euthenics' for Inevitable Records in 1980. In Early 1981 a re-recorded version of 'Euthenics' was released on DinDisc followed by two more singles and, to much critical acclaim, their debut album 'Fiction Tales' in June 1981.
Prior to the recording of the original 'Euthenics' single the bands line-up changed when Bob Wakelin joined the group. "It came about because we wanted special effects, but we didn't want keyboards, and to create special effects all you need is imagination, you don't need to be able to play, and Bob had that imagination" --Alix. Also, new recruit Tim Lever playing guitar and saxophone, and original member Danny Hampson on bass formed a restructured Modern Eon. "We've never had a settled drummer, which has been a real problem. I tend to like military off-beat drumming, I can't stand drums that just follow the tempo of what we're playing, and most drummers just aren't good enough" --Alix. A drummer that was good enough was eventually found in 17 year old Cliff Hewitt.
The songs are fueled by powerful tom-tom driven, inventive drumming. Their music defies the routine by occasionally adding odd analog electronics and saxophone. The vocals are bathed in reverb and delivered with smooth eloquence, barely intelligible. "There's been some pressure from DinDisc about that --Yeah, 'Euthenics' sounds nice but we can't understand what you're saying! -- but it's not that critical. because I know what I'm saying and if you take time to look into it, you'd understand anyway. You have to just look at it and get your own ideas from it." --Alix. Definite influences from Joy Division and Echo & the Bunnymen can be heard. Their music is moody, melodic and always leaves a certain mysterious impression. At times a harshness bursts through. "I see our songs as simple reflections, there's no answers there! I'm not pretending I have any answers. I don't think I'm any different from other people, so I make these observations, they might be able to relate to them in the same way. I think it must be said, some of them are doomy though! I just have to write the way the mood takes me and inevitably I sometimes fell down." --Alix. They are serious about creating very dramatic and sweeping atmospheric textures. "That's why I love Ennio Morricone, cos the emotion in that music really gets to me and I sit there totally paralyzed." -- Bob Wakelin.