The Slackers are the kind of New York Ska band your momma warned you about, they live up to every expectation possible in ska love and you know damned well I was into ska in the 90's like every other good natured music geek. Getting to finally meet and sit down with Marcus Geard was nothing short of brilliant and the culmination of my 15 year old self's every joy. Marcus did not disappoint and I managed to capture so much of his life story he almost missed his ride out of town.
The Slackers are touring now - GO see them live, this is the kind of band you literally HAVE to see live to understand the depth of talent here. Ska has an unfortunate tendency to disappear in the recording - they are like the jazz of almost-rock, you will never see the same show twice and that's one of the few times that is a good thing. Its a living breathing animal on stage and I'm not talking about Marcus' stash. The music has to be lived to be heard properly. There, you will fall in love.
Marcus and I feel in deep deep like, making friends with rock stars is not something I ever anticipated with this little show but its damned sure a side effect one could get used to :)
The Slackers are self styled masters of Reggae, Ska and Rock’n’Roll from New York City.
The Slackers began in 1991 in NYC. After years of local gigs and rehearsing in a dingy basement in Manhattan’s lower east side, the band released its debut album, Better Late Than Never, in 1996. The band’s success resulted in the release of a second album, Red Light, on the Epitaph label in 1997. Since then the Slackers have released 11 more studio albums (The Question, Wasted Days, Slackers & Friends, Close My Eyes, Slackers in Dub, Peculiar, Boss Harmony Sessions, Self Medication, Lost and Found, The Great Rocksteady Swindle, and The Slackers [self-titled, 2016] ) 3 live albums (Live at Ernestos, Upsettin Ernestos, Slack in Japan), several EPs (International War Crimminal, My Bed is a Boat), and numerous singles and compilation tracks.
Since 1997 the Slackers have played over 100 shows every year in a total of 46 american states, 7 Canadian provinces, 22 European countries, 5 Latin American countries, and 2 Asian countries.
The band’s musical style is distinct from their contempories; a mix of early Jamaican music with classic 50’s and 60s American styles. There are influences from 50s and 60s Rock’n’Roll, Rythmn and Blues, Jazz and Latin music. Singer Vic Ruggiero has coined the term ‘Jamaican Rock’nRoll.’ to describe it. He says, “The band might play a classic Jamaican style but the vocals are distinctly American east coast, revealing the obvious connection of Jamaican music to the Doo-Wop of Harlem and the Bronx.”
With the demise of record companies over the last 5 years, the Slackers have successfully used crowdfunding (www.bigtun.es/theslackers.) to release new music including the latest release, The Slackers [self-titled] in February 2016.
That one time though, there was a snake.
But its a real thing to walk into a room of 12 rockstars and tell their tour manager (not quiet enough) that you need to move the interview to a different greenroom because there's a live, loose boa constrictor in the building and you can't record in the studio you'd booked because, well - the snake was last seen in that area.
Police were called. Animal control was called. More beers please was called, mostly to calm nerves but also because the fucking Sheepdogs were there to perform as BROS.
Let me clear that up: Sheepdogs frontman Ewan Currie started a side project with his brother and fellow Sheepdog Shamus and they are so big time that their first foray into this thing - they are traveling with a 9 piece band.
If you don't know what normal bands travel with I will let you know it is NOT even close to a 9 piece band. Most smaller projects, or bands in general, have trouble affording travel with the entire band itself. Let alone adding extras. These guys can add 9 extra dudes, each more bearded and tattooed than the last (also known as Paula's holy land) to travel across flipping North America and Europe. Oh maybe Australia too because its so cheap to travel there, hahaha...
Turns out these guys were born in Australia, which even as a music geek as massive as I am, I didn't know that about these guys until we sat down and talked gators. And parenting. And decisions you make when your kids are in danger.
Spoiler alert: snake is still at large.
Enjoy the interview and the two new releases from BROS. At the top of the show I play Tell Me and midway I play Brazil. You will love them both for different reasons, like the BROS themselves.