Monday, September 10, 2012

Cheater Slicks: Interview

25 years on and Cheater Slicks are going strong, really excited to be able to offer an interview with Dana from the band where we chat about their new live records, scooby doo and a frat house that covers guests in cow shit...

Cheater Slicks! Dana! I wanted to start these questions by asking about your 25th year anniversary show in July - how was it?

It never happened because I was sick but I'm fine now and we're playing live again.

How did the 'Our Food Is Chaos' release with Almost Ready Records come about?

Harry Howes wanted to release it because it was the first album we recorded but it never came out. We also had Allen Paulino of the Real Kids on bass then so that was another point of interest.

Columbus Discount have put out a second LP of songs made from some shows in Columbus, how important to you was it to have your songs available to hear live on record?

Being able to do everything over in the studio makes it hard to capture the raw feel of a live show and we wanted people to hear what we really sound like.

What's been the most memorable show you've ever played?

Tricky question because the best shows I can't even remember the next day. I'm gonna say the Earl in Atlanta two nights ago. We played with Gentleman Jesse who were really good and everyone treated us great and we got blitzed.

Do you like touring?

I love it, good or bad, it's always an excellent adventure. It gets harder when you get older and have financial/familial obligations and don't want to sleep on floors anymore but we try to get out there as much as we can.

Best and worst place you've ever stayed on tour?

The best was a chicken coop in Groningen, Netherlands. The worst was a frat house in Oregon where we woke up covered in cow shit.

Brothers in bands have a strong history of some pretty incredible music - The Stooges, Sun City Girls, The Kinks, Creedence Clearwater Revival.... working with Tom and Dave do you think there's anything special about siblings writing music together?

AcDc, Red Cross, Meat Puppets, the list goes on and on. I guess there must be something to it but I have no idea what beyond them being less likely to break up since they've always been stuck with each other. I guess they have a jump on the telepathic communication musicians develop between each other.

When I think about music from America first thing that comes to mind is rock 'n' roll, Ike Turner, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and even going further back to bluesy folks like Charlie Patton and Robert Johnson - do you think this spirit of rock 'n' roll is around in the US today?

No. Those guys are all dead or dying and I can't think of anyone doing anything new in traditional rock and roll or blues. I see lots of young bands rocking out but it's so hard to keep a band together these days that few get the chance to develop their thing fully.

I read some of you are artists/painters - what/if any were the first visual artists that made an impression on you?

Dave's really the visual artist in the band, Tom and I dabble a bit. To venture a guess, I'd say Big Daddy Roth, EC comics, Mad magazine, that kind of stuff.

To me Cheater Slicks from the outside seem like a band that have a very specific concept and sort of create your own world to exist in. I think I can hear 60's garage-rock sounds in what you do, this genre has seen a resurgence over the last few years - what do you make of these shifts in 'music scenes'? Do you even pay attention to them?

We pay attention but it doesn't influence what we do. Garage rock was definitely our jumping-off point but wimps from the West Coast judged us to be insufficiently reverent so we got louder and harder. We never seem to be on trend but whether we're ahead of things or behind, who knows?

The area in and around Boston has churned out some great bands - Dinosaur Jr, Mission Of Burma... I guess all the way from the UK and not being there at the time I can romanticize it a bit, did you enjoy what was going on musically in Boston when you were living there?

Nope. Not a bit. The feeling was mutual. We were dying on the vine until we got a record out and people elsewhere discovered it.

I read that the 5 main characters in Scooby Doo are supposed to represent 5 colleges based around Boston, Scooby - UMass Amherst, Daphne - Mount Holyoke College, Velma - Smith College, Fred - Amherst College and Shaggy - Hampshire College. Have you heard about this - is it true?

I haven't heard about this, I can only tell you our first gig was at Hampshire College and it was pretty shaggy.

The band moved to Columbus, Ohio - do you think your song writing would have been different had you been based there all along instead of Boston?

Probably. The desperation of living in Boston and the wall of indifference we were up against must have come out in our music.

What are you most proud of so far being in Cheater Slicks?

I'm proud that after 25 years our music is more extreme rather than less.

What's up next for the band? Any releases we should watch out for?

We have a new studio album coming out real soon called Reality is a Grape on Columbus Discount Records. And Almost Ready is almost ready to re-release our first album On Your Knees.

"I'm full of dust and guitars" - Syd Barrett, if you were sliced open what would be inside?

Not sure but I would recommend smoking it!

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