Interview: Slow Death Lights

Slow Death Lights

Slow Death Lights brings together four musicians with diverse musical experiences, from veterans of the Toronto and international touring wars to talented new players ready to make an impression in the always evolving stoner rock scene. From the depths of their souls and in the take-no-prisoners landscape of Joshua Tree, California, Slow Death Lights  unleashed their debut EP Broken Desert Spirit Nightmare and have now more recently released their self titled full length. The band consists of Andre Skinner (drums, vocals, lead songwriter) who is well-known to music fans and fellow artists across Canada for his wide-ranging skills as a drummer, guitarist, songwriter and producer with bands such as Canteen Knockout, Pope Factory, Don’t Church, and Bronx Cheerleader with whom he has toured across Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Newfoundland native Devin Legge (lead guitar, songwriting) provides the rock-metal arrangement and melodically wailing guitar foundation of Slow Death Lights. On bass & backup harmony vocals, Luke Stackhouse is another well-travelled spirit of the road from his time with one of Canada’s most internationally-recognised and definitely its busiest touring musician Fred Eaglesmith. Rhythm guitarist Eric Alward is the fresh new face and energy in Slow Death Lights, bringing superbly tight backing axe and songwriting gifts to the band that are back with a vengeance after several years away from the scene. Check out a live show from the band below! You can purchase the self titled album here.

We managed to catch up with the band as they talked about the latest release and more!

So how has the release of your self titled release gone so far?
Great response overall from fans, different people are digging different tunes. City of Lights, our main single is a favourite across the board so far. We’re still waiting for reviews to start flowing in, otherwise social media has been rather kind about the release.
How were the guys at Brant Bjork’s studio helping you with this record?
Brant is a friend of the band’s, he has been close with our guitarist Eric Always since 2008 when Kyuss Lives reformed and started touring. To answer the direct question; Brant invited us to his Joshua Tree cottage studio for a three day weekend to cut our first two songs which were release as our 2015 EP/Demo. The decision to work with Brant was in part a PR move for the band to help kickstart our music and exposure and it certainly worked in our favour. Many people immediately took notice of us based on the BB name.

On a technical level, Brant Bjork oversaw the recording and overall vibe of the experience telling us he wanted us to record live off the floor like Black Sabbath would have in 1969 strait to tape. The Engineer was Harper Hug, a great guy from LA who’s worked with Beastie Boys, Vista Chino, Brant, John Garcia, Nick Olivery, Dwarves and many many more.

What is your favourite song from the release?
City of Lights – it’s our main single and strongest song across the board. My second favourite is the dark horse called Valley Road, that’s a full on stoner rock instrumental.
If you could work with any band on a new song, who would it be and why?
Queens of the Stoneage. I really dig Josh’s writing style and production, he’s very unique on both ends and never seems to run out of killer ideas. He also has the touch for big singles.
What does it mean to you when you see a fan listen to your music?
It’s the best compliment a songwriter and musician can have. It shows that all the hard work from singing original riffs into your phone, to writing lyrics, to the final mastered product is WORTH IT! The exact same feeling goes when you have fans at your show.
What’s the rock scene like in Canada?
That’s a tricky question. The metal scene is healthy, the indie rock scene is MASSIVE, however the stoner rock scene is very small. SDL is going against the grain with our style and we’re ready for the challenge. As with most markets, there’s very much a cookie cutter scene for top 40 that we want nothing to do it really.

What has been your proudest moment to date?
My proudest moment with Slow Death Lights came pretty early when Brant emailed us with an invite to California to record with him at his studio. It was an experience that was truly amazing for all involved. Second to that was the official release of the album, I personally produced and engineered all 7 other songs and the album sounds absolutely fantastic. It was a long road.
What was your funniest moment recording the full length?
There weren’t too many of those, it was all biz. There were some drunken antics down in Joshua Tree that were memorable for sure.  I suppose the burbon session was one for the books, Devin (guitarist) has a few too many and things went sideways.
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