What if we told you this guy was with us when we started DJ’ing High School Dances, hanging out in computer labs and trading VHS tapes in the 90’s?

1996-1998: MM founder, Annie, meets future husband and future Evolution of Dance Guy at a party. The friends start DJ’ing High School Dances and making VHS tapes of funny SNL skits and musical performances. 

February 14, 2005: YouTube was Founded

March 3, 2005: Modern Material was Founded by Steve & Annie Weihrauch

April 23, 2005: YouTube uploads first video titled Me at the Zoo

April 28, 2005 : Modern Material uploads first videos for singer / songwriter, Howie Day, fans: The Tonight Show, David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, CBS Early Show & Live with Regis & Kelly

Apr 6, 2006: Judson Laipply uploads The Evolution of Dance

May 2006: MM founder, Annie Weihrauch notices video being passed around by co-workers at Bath & Body Works corporate headquarters of her co-worker from Domino’s Pizza from the 90’s

June 2006: Annie visit’s Judson in Cleveland, OH during the first few weeks of viral video fame to help him design marketing materials to capitalize on his instant fame



If you want to know where the name came from, look the words up in the dictionary. Technology. Modern Material was founded in March 2005 as the future format for music, art & design. We believe we were the first to start a video sharing, music streaming, social media and online shopping platform to support independent music. We launched this website before we knew about YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Pandora, Etsy and every tech company that came after. I did not intend to take business away from the artists, I designed MM to create business for artists….but I got a little distracted making $1 Billion for my employers and clients just so I could make a living to keep this going on the side.

I had no idea how little revenue was left in the music business until this year while I was putting a business plan together for investors. I never stopped to think about what YouTube and Spotify did to the revenue stream. No wonder people think I’m crazy when I start talking about making billions of dollars. I guess that’s what happens when you grow up working for retailers like Target and Walmart. You only know what you know. After connecting the dots a light bulb went off. I can do this without an investor and keep it for the artists like it was always intended.

I can’t rewind and think about the missed opportunity I had before the dot.com boom. How was I supposed to know what the internet was going to do when the world started gathering in one place? How does a college guy I hung out with at Domino’s Pizza became the world’s first Viral Video Star?Even 300 Million views on YouTube in 12 years only equates to a $0.00074 per view payout of $222,000 or $18,500 per year. At least Judson Laipply’s fame earns him a living traveling the world. So the tech giants get to kick it in Silicon Valley while the artists have all become vagabonds feeding them bon bons.

Given the long history of this company, and the dozens of relationships I’ve relied on to help me build it, there will only be one thing that will ever matter to Modern Material: Music. And not the old stuff or songs everybody knows, it was always a place to put the things that nobody knows. It’s that nervous feeling I had while eating pizza with two guys in a rural Ohio showroom full of sports t-shirts, that they were going to be rock stars some day. It’s the thrill of learning you are right when Twenty One Pilots grow from having twenty one fans to twenty one thousand to two point one million and soon to twenty one million.

I’m seeing a pattern here. If you ate pizza on the job with me, you might become a global super star. Connecting the dots to a story is really what I love to do most. When you can find patterns nobody else has repeated, that’s when the real magic of innovation begins.

When I was an artist and MM was just a hobby, I was happy. Nobody was telling me what to do. I was just spending money and making things…lots of beautiful things. I was a co-founder in 2 creative cooperatives in Columbus, OH before moving to LA to expand my horizons. I had all of these ideas and so many talented friends….what could we create together so we didn’t have to work for other people?

Living in LA isn’t cheap so I realized I needed to learn how to make money not art. I tried to train myself to swim in the Shark Tank but I got bitten, thrashed around for a few years, and lost a few limbs. Those limbs were all the people who were supporting me but I wanted to learn how to swim. When we finally got it figured out we had truly missed the boat.

Being an artist isn’t as fun or free as it looks. You constantly want to create more and learn more and nothing is ever enough. Nobody is ever good enough, especially yourself, so you just keep searching and starting over. I realized I became so addicted to failure that I never wanted to find success. On the other hand, competition is in my blood but it’s the thrill of the chase not the glory of the victory, that keeps me going.


I just had this nagging feeling that something from my past was more important than what became of my future. While the world watches every thing we say or do, making it possible to become famous (or infamous) over night, the only thing that truly matters is remembering who you are and what you always wanted to be when you grow up. A lot of people will try to change you. Corporate America will try to brainwash you so you follow the rules of the rat race working for the fat cats. But when you realize who you are, don’t give up. It took me TEN YEARS TO THE VERY VERY VERY SAME DAY to realize what a terrible mistake I had made for this company.

On September 17, 2018 I found closure and peace to what I considered my achilles heel in moving forward with this company. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders when the mask came off to reveal I was never going to follow the rules of Corporate America. I realized who gave up their dreams to share this dream with me and who just wanted to take this dream away from me. And then, at that very moment, I clicked on a link and read my thoughts from September 17, 2008. FINALLY, Modern Material was spot on.

It’s time to rewind the tape and record over all of the mistakes from the past. The Evolution of Dance guy is one of only two people who have a copy of a VHS tape that took me months to create but the entire world has seen his tape 300 million times. The techies gave us the tools artists and innovators didn’t have back then….a global connection to ALL of you. You each have something (talent, skills and resources) that somebody else doesn’t have. Or you want to buy something an artist has created.

Why are artists pretending to be clothing designers selling t-shirts to their thousands of fans? Why are clothing designers spending a fortune paying for runways and trade shows? Why should Modern Material go to an investor to get money to hire everyone to work for us? Why don’t we all just build one business together and everyone collect their fair share at the end? Let’s stop asking questions and being so negative. Take a risk and spend your life achieving dreams not living in a nightmare.

Modern Material will become that destination for innovators and influencers to connect the dots and perhaps no artist will be left starving if a few people in the world value their material.

Sound good?


Founder + Creator



Music community looking for new material.

First notification of video uploads on modern-material.com

Working through technical difficulties.

Tour Merch Marketing Campaign with Howie Day & Modern Material

Tour Merch Marketing Campaign with The Thrifters & Modern Material

Online Marketing Campaign with 30 Artists Featured on Modern Material

Modern Material / Rock & Royalty Collections

Modern Material Collections, Website, Music Streaming / Downloads

Campus Couture Pop-Up Show with Twenty One Pilots

Rock & Royalty Fashion Show

Modern Material Festival Booth w/ Music Promotion

Modern Material Festival Booth w/ iPod Listening Station