According to Sebastien Grainger of Death From Above 1979, the lyrical concept of "Modern Guy" is driven by the opening lines:Progress
Not a promise
If you go too fast
In a Songfacts interview with Grainger and his bandmate Jesse F. Keeler
, he explained: "It's a bit of a warning in that as we progress socially, if you don't do it right, it doesn't stick because you're rushing through it. And maybe something that could have happened over the course of a few years, if it happens over the course of a week or so, maybe you didn't do it right and maybe you missed some big details, and maybe the outcome won't be quite what you intended. So, it's a bit of a warning."