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Interview with Slings.
This week's interview is with the band Slings. I talked with Dustin, one of the two regular members of Slings. If you haven't had the privilege of seeing them play live, please do yourself a favor and be at their next show. Trust me, they are captivating and unique, to say the least. Please enjoy the interview.
Brax: Can you tell us about the name of your band, and how you got started in music?
Slings: The name "Slings" was inspired by the story of David and Goliath from the Bible. It recalls the notion that despite how inadequately equipped you might be to succeed in the face of sometimes intimidating obstacles, a strong sense of faith is ultimately what will get you to where you need to be. Of course, we've applied that way of thinking to our personal experiences as a band, but it's definitely a more universal idea too.
David's beginnings in music go back to 6th grade, when he first started learning how to read music in school. Throughout junior high and high school, he played drums in the school bands (symphonic, jazz and marching). Sometime around the middle of high school is when he first started playing in rock bands with friends in and around Ocala and Gainesville, Florida. In 2002 he moved to southern California and Slings was officially formed later that year. Dustin, who has been pretending to learn how to play guitar ever since junior high, joined Slings in early 2003.
Brax: What project are you currently working on?
Slings: Right now we're mainly trying to focus on playing shows and promoting our recently released debut full length album, "The Old Hopeful Trail." But there are always new songs in the works, which will hopefully show up on a future release.
Brax: What makes your band special?
Slings: One thing that's cool is that our personal bond goes deeper than just being in a band together. In addition to being band mates and best friends, we are brothers in law too!
Brax: What's your favorite movie and why?
Slings: Our tastes in movies are all over the place and we definitely don't always agree on what we like. There are so many great ones to choose from but for the sake of answering the question, we'll agree on one and narrow it down to The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. It really is a complete package of everything we like: original and creative story, amazing visuals and design, cool use of music, good acting and great dialogue. It's pretty impressive that it can be so funny and strange while at the same time making us want to cry.
Brax: Describe your dream concert. Include where you'd play and what other bands you'd play with.
Slings: Somewhere outdoors would be cool, maybe surrounded by big trees or rocks, and just squeeze us in somewhere amongst all of or any combination of the following: Old War Shirt, M. Ward, Neutral Milk Hotel, ((sounder)), The Blank Tapes, Deep Sea Diver, Yo La Tengo, Belle and Sebastian, Indianna Hale, Ann Lynn, Bears, Bob Rokos and let's throw in some completely unknown old timer who has been sitting in a rocking chair on a wooden porch singing old church hymns his whole life.
Brax: Where do you see your band in 5 years?
Slings: Wow, 5 years is an eternity in the life of a band. The only thing that's safe to say for sure is that we will still be a band and we will still be making music. Besides that, it's totally up in the air. We would be thrilled and amazed if 5 years from now, we could be making a modest living as a band, while still playing music we love with our friends.
Brax: iPod, CD, Vinyl, or other? Why?
Slings: We embrace all forms of media, new and old, past, present and future. Whatever gets music into people's ears is what we support. We use our iPods quite a bit simply because they're easy to transport and can hold so much music, but of course we're very attached to our CD collections too. For whatever reasons, neither of us ever got heavily into building a vinyl collection, though we do love the sound of music coming through a record player, especially something old timey!
Brax: Tell us about your best live show ever.
Slings: There have been a handful of really fun shows over the years, but honestly it would have to be the release party for "The Old Hopeful Trail," which was on September 5th of (2008). It was at eVocal in Costa Mesa, a humble yet very cozy venue/store/gallery that we love. We were playing with ((sounder)) and Old War Shirt, who are really good friends of ours and also happen to be amazing bands. Greater California from Long Beach also played and were great. There was a surprisingly big crowd that filled the room right up to the stage and the energy and vibe was just so fun and positive. That was probably the best feeling we've ever had onstage.
Brax: What is your opinion on robots?
Slings: Most of the little buggers are pretty cute, but it's kind of scary how they all (even the cute ones) could snap a human being's neck like a toothpick.
Brax: Any advice for others trying to "make it" in music?
Slings: Yeah, go to college and learn how to do something else! haha... Seriously, an aspiring musician should realistically define what "making it" means to them and then proceed from there. We all make music because we love it and of course, if we could somehow make a living doing what we love, that would be great, but there are so many intangibles and unknowns when it comes to this stuff. Our advice would be to just pour everything you have into making the music itself everything you want it to be. If you're truly happy with what you create, then anything that follows (good or otherwise) won't affect your ultimate purpose. Always remind yourself that success is a journey, not a destination!
Brax: Anything else you'd like to add?
Slings: Thanks for the fun interview and thanks to anyone who took the time to read it!
Tell them Brax sent you!
Thanks to Slings for the interview.
Check back next Wednesday for another exciting band interview.
These guys made it a long time ago. Your music has always carried a wealth of honesty and quality. I am still inspired anytime I hear anything from you guys
-Brian (Ten Year Gap, Son Of Cecil)