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Interview with Cliff Sliger.
This week I interviewed Cliff Sliger. Cliff has been writing and performing in bands for years now, mostly in his native New York. Now married and living in California, he's been recently seen performing solo shows with his wife Kristen on backing vocals. His live sets include some sweet looping effects (see this blog) and Cliff's awesome mini-mohawk. Enjoy the interview, and be sure to visit Cliff at the links below.
Brax: Tell me about your last name. It makes me think of a space liger. Am I close?
Cliff Sliger: Well, I am pretty good with a bow staff, so you may be onto something. Either that, or it's German. I didn't choose it, it was given to me.
Brax: What music project are you currently working on?
Cliff Sliger: I'm currently writing some new songs and trying to get enough together to start recording. It's kind of an acoustic-driven, semi-soulful look at the journey God has taken me through in the past year or two. The songs reflect many of my own ups and downs, trials and frustrations, and my attempts to make sense of it all through the lens of God's love letters He wrote to me
Brax: What makes your music special?
Cliff Sliger: Every song I've ever written has been inspired by where I stand in my life, love, and faith at that very moment. Most of the songs are written in one sitting, then adapted, rather than written over long periods of time. I find I'm more productive if I remain in my train of thought, versus trying to return to it later. I think this creates a certain level of honesty and transparency in my songs that people can connect with.
Brax: What’s your favorite movie and why?
Cliff Sliger: Definitely finding its spot at the top of the list somewhere is Zoolander, probably because I'm really, really, really, ridiculously good-looking. Pretty much any brainless comedy is great for me.
Brax: What are your favorite bands to see live?
Cliff Sliger: I love seeing Third Day live, because they're just honest, humble and great. Tobymac has more fun on stage than anyone I've ever seen. I have also seen Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, as well as Victor Wooten as a solo artist several times each, and instrumentally it's the most impressive and mind-blowing thing I've ever seen.
Brax: If you could time travel and perform music in another time, what era would you choose, and why?
Cliff Sliger: I might go back and try my hand as a crooner... those guys were studs.
Brax: iPod, CD, Vinyl, or other? Why?
Cliff Sliger: I'm an ipod guy... all my music in one place, are you kidding me? That'd be A LOT of vinyl.
Brax: What equipment do you use to make those cool loops in your live performances?
Cliff Sliger: I use the Boss RC-20, the older two pedal version. I picked it up for 50 bucks from Craigslist, and immediately fell in love. It's a way for me to beef up my sound when it's only vocals and acoustic guitar. I also play through a POD 2.0 for my sound shaping, but you didn't ask about that.
Brax: What is your opinion on robots?
Cliff Sliger: I would like a personal robot, like that garbage-can shaped one that Rocky bought for Pauly in Rocky IV, after making it big by defeating Clubber Lang in the previous movie. I would not, however, buy one of the robots from I Robot that would attack and try to kill me. Not so good.
Brax: Any advice for others trying to “make it” in music?
Cliff Sliger: I might be a strange case when it comes to "making it," so I'm probably not the guy to ask. I made a decision a long time ago that I wanted people to be blessed by my music, whether I ever made a cent playing or not. I've had the opportunity to play music for over 10 years now, on a variety of stages in a variety of settings. In the course of that time, I've had the privilege of helping hundreds of people start their own walk with God. I'm not signed, I've never really cleared a dime playing music, but I'd like to think I've "made it."
Moral of the story? Decide what you believe in as a musician, and pursue it passionately. Get out and play, and don't waver on who you are as an artist or band.
Brax: Anything else you’d like to add?
Cliff Sliger: I have a strange affinity for hot dogs served on tortilla shells, the color orange, the smell of gasoline, and Matthew McConaughey movies. And on that uncomfortable note, I'm out!
www.myspace.com/commonvessel (Cliff's old band)
Tell him Brax sent you!
Thanks to Cliff Sliger for the interview.
Check back next Wednesday for another exciting band interview.