INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
If a band or artist had such a thing as a bucket list, then Swiss punks Slimboy have pretty much crossed everything off of theirs.
Signing to a major record label: check.
Touring the world: check.
Supporting huge outfits: check.
Recording albums in Los Angeles: check.
Last year, after a break, the highly-regarded trio made a triumphant return with their fifth album, ‘Sail On Sailor’, which they will be re-releasing in August, and earlier this year, they successfully supported The Ataris on their UK tour.
To talk me through the incredible journey the Basel collective have been on since they first formed at the dawn of this millennium was their vocalist/bassist Joel Bader.
How did the band initially get together?
We met through friends, but over the years, the band has had a lot of line-up changes. This line-up met in 2007 and 2011.
How did the name Slimboy come about?
Well, we needed a name back in 2000. We took Fatboy Slim and turned it around to Slimboy Fat. After a year, we cut the fat, and went on with Slimboy only.
What would you say was your songwriting approach?
We always just listen to everybody’s ideas and jam. We record a demo version, listen to that, and then rehearse some more until we’re happy.
What inspires the band lyrically?
Your first two albums, ‘Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’ and ‘We Hate Slimboy’, were released to much success and acclaim. Was that something you anticipated, especially when you were recording the debut album?
Nah. not at all. It’s always good to see that people like what you do, but to me, it’s more important that we (the band) like it. The first two albums were fun, but we’ve changed a lot since then.
After that, the band signed a record contract with major label EMI/Virgin. How did that come about?
They heard our debut album and asked us. Simple. It was a fun time, but I like to be independent!
And how were your experiences with them? Mainly positive, mainly negative, or a bit of both?
A bit of both. They paid whatever we needed to be paid, but I wouldn’t miss this experience!
The band took a break between the release of the fourth album and beginning work on latest offering ‘Sail On Sailor’. Why was that?
I split up with the others, because I just wanted to do something else. Me and the drummer (Silvio Spadino) had a band for four years, called Cancer. That was fun!
And at any point were you considering putting Slimboy on permanent hiatus?
Yes, when we split up, but not for long!
This August, the band will be re-releasing ‘Sail On Sailor’. What are the reasons behind that?
A lot of people have yet to hear the album, so we thought we would do a re-release, so more people can hear it! Simple.
You recorded the album at Mike Herrera of MxPx’s studio in Seattle. How was that as an experience for you all?
It was fun. We have known Mike for a long time. His studio is great, and we really like the result!
For those who didn’t get to listen to ‘Sail On Sailor’ the first time around, what can they expect from it?
A simple rock/punk/pop album. We have different styles of songs on the record.
And you will be promoting the re-release with a European tour with American pop-punks MEST. How is it, for you all, playing live?
Well, Oasis was a big one. I’m a big fan, so I was nervous, but it was great! We toured with the Ataris several times. They’re nice guys, and always fun!
You have achieved a lot over the years. Did you ever expect it to happen when the band first formed?
Not at all. I’m very happy with what I was able to see and do!
Is there anything that the band would still like to accomplish that they haven’t managed to yet?
There’s always stuff you wanna accomplish. We wanna tour for as long as we can, and whatever happens and comes our way, we’ll take it!
And finally, what advice would you give to emerging bands/artists out there?
Just go for it and don’t stop, even if it gets worse and hard. The music business is a hard one. Keep it up!
‘SAIL ON SAILOR’, THE LATEST ALBUM FROM SLIMBOY, WILL BE RE-RELEASED ON AUGUST 10.
FURTHER INFO ON THIS, AND THE BAND, CAN BE FOUND HERE.