“When you’re young and impressionable, you pick your models…It’s like a candy store. There’s no such thing as originality. If you’re striving for it, you’re a bloody idiot!”
Save for a number of African dictators, hardly anything seems to last more than 20 years these days. However, there is one other exception to the rule: Canada’s very own, Sloan.
This year – 2011 – marks Sloan’s 20th anniversary as a touring, recording, and rocking band. Within that 20 years Sloan has produced 10 great records, toured extensively, and managed to keep the exact same lineup the entire time. For anyone unfamiliar with what it’s like to be in a band, and hang out with the same people 24/7 for months on end, this is a virtually unprecedented accomplishment.
So, what has been Sloan’s key to success, and holding it together? If you ask them, they might tell you that it has been splitting the profits of their business four ways. Though this is certainly true and important, I also believe that the creative freedom for each individual member has also played a big role. Many critics and fans compare Sloan to the Beatles, and although the music does have its similarities, it’s perhaps better grasped while looking at the makeup of the band. Sloan consists of four distinct voices and personalities: Chris Murphy, Jay Ferguson, Patrick Pentland, and Andrew Scott. Each one of these individuals contributes their own songs to Sloan records, and plays an integral part in the sound and image of the band. Through this set up each member plays an equal role, and is able to continue making exactly the records they wish to make. This has led to a very committed, content, and compatible band.
As a kid, there was no band as influential on my musical taste than Sloan. More specifically, Andrew Scott was one of, if not, the biggest influence on my decision to pick up the drums. Watching Andrew Scott playing drums with Sloan made drumming look like the most fun in the world; that assumption turned out to be completely true. With his free spirited playing, awesome drum fills, and confident demanour, he inspired me and a lot of other young drummer’s.
There is much I wanna know about Andrew Scott and Sloan, and I had the great privilege of visiting Andrew at his home in Toronto, where we conducted a video interview. Thanks to Peter Rowan for helping set this up, and to Andrew for his gracious hospitality.
From 20 years in Sloan, to Geffen Records, to drumming, to the Vancouver Riots, to Nardwuar the Human Serviette, we cover it all.
PART 1 – SLOAN, GEFFEN RECORDS, NIRVANA.
PART 2 – DRUMMING, VANCOUVER RIOTS, NARDWUAR, ALBINI