Currently up for a Nashville Scene Music Awardtheir song "Eyeliner" can be found here on our web sitelocal punk rockers Slack blend their infectious pop melodies with anthemic choruses, loud guitars and kick-ass drumming that equals pure pop/punk pleasure. Throw into the mix the trio's boyish good looks, charm and high energy, and you've got one of the city's best live acts. See Slack rock the night away at the Exit/In Saturday night for the release of their second full-length album, Nothing is Easy Enough. Here frontman Chris Slack divulges some Slack truisms.
1. The Slack story, briefly.
Wild sleepy hyper teenagers from Nashville and Murfreesboro who like short, catchy rock songs get together and make their own songs. Record label "Superdrag Sound Laboratories" of Knoxville releases first record, band plays shows in strange places, flirts with music industry, rocks Goldie Hawn, meets weird people, gets fed up and continues to play, write and record. And here we are once again, with a new record, new tour van, and the same bad attitude.
2. All albums are not created equal.
Most underrated record is "I Saw a Bright Light" by Nineteen Forty-Five, on Daemon Records. They're a great band from Birmingham that plays really catchy dark poppy upbeat rock with boy/girl vocals and a big helping of depth, without any cheese. They have one of the best lines in the chorus of a song called "She Takes Drugs" that just says, "Our love is like a style," over and over. I think that's so succinct and awesome.
3. Slack knows how to cram in the good stuff.
Well, basically our unspoken goal for now is usually to cram as much "good stuff" as possible in 3 minutes or less, and lyrically keep it as simple as possible without being stupid or uninteresting. Punk/pop is such a boring "genre" at this point so you really have to mangle anything even close to that to make it worth listening to, but we're past the point of being directly influenced by any one thing or band, so it's more about different ways of putting rock songs together without straying too far from the basic form that we all like so much.
4. Slack's next endeavor coming to a self-help section near you.
Well, it's always really funny to hear people's opinion on what you personally should or shouldn't do with your own music. Like, "You should do this and do that, and make it sound more like System of a Down." Um, no thanks. You know I'm going to write a book about all the bad ideas we've said "no" to in the last three years. It'll be in the self-help section of the bookstore.
5. Slack defies the odds.
Despite what they say, you can make a record with the flu and zero "walkin' around" money.
6. Frustration fuels creativity.
The whole record is mostly about frustration. It's a common theme in "rock," but this is our weird version of it. Other than that, there's really no love songs, except "Nothing is Easy Enough," which I wrote for my girlfriend, about being fed up with everything around us at the time. You know, the us-against-the-world mentality, which also happens to be the theme of our band. And the last song, "My Knife Is on Its Way," I guess is kind of a love song/serenade for the one you hate the most. And I've already talked about "Eyeliner." All the other songs are basically about the downside of dealing with people and all the frustration that comes with it, and most of the lyrics, although simple, are plays on words with lots of double meanings and such. Like the title/chorus of the second song, "We Can Get It Together." Now I've already explained too much. Ha!
7. If you like Slack
Well, the new record is songs written over the last two or three years, so it's hard to say, but here's a list of records we listened to repeatedly as we were "cuttin' the album."
Turbonegro - Apocalypse Dudes
Crop Circle Hoax - Tour of Nato Countries
Superdrag - Fabulous 8 Track Sounds of Superdrag
Mitch hederg - Mitch All Together
Superchunk - No Pocky for Kitty
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet - Savvy Show Stoppers
Verbena - La Musica Negra
Verde - self-titled
The Beatles - Please Please Me
Patsy Cline - The Patsy Cline Story
Man or Astroman? - Destroy All Astromen!
Glossary - Southern by the Grace of Location
Rocket from the Crypt - Scream, Dracula, Scream!
Nineteen Forty-Five - I Saw A Bright Light
The Cure - Pornography
Brown Towel - Slaghammer
8. On finishing the album:
Best Aspect: Don't have to drink any more Throat Coat. Worst Aspect: No more free coffee.
9. Slack keeps up with fashion trends.
Wow, there's so many to choose from. I liked when I heard that "no tattoos are the new tattoos."