Most of the guys here, who have been here for a few years, know that the 'modal advocates' - me being possibly the primary one - understand that I (JT, SP, etc.) talk about it with the assumption that you know major scale harmony, intervals, all your 3rd's, 7th's and b9's instantaneously.
For those that are newer here remember that those players that I mentioned in a previous post - McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter, Sam Rivers, Miles, Trane, etc. went through the be-bop era and gradually moved into more modal playing. These cats are the pinnacle of improvisational musicians. Any style, any era, any genre.
Personally I wouldn't even concern myself with a mode until I could name the 3rd, 4th, 5th 7th, and b9 of of any and all key/scale/chords in my sleep.