Hello, this is Elpida, greeting you from Thessaloniki, Greece! It’s an honor to have you with us at Metal invader! I hope all of you are well! What have you been up to these days?
A: A few shows here and there but mostly going to the gym. I like to stay in shape. I’m not getting any younger!
Slapshot has been around for almost 34 years, that’s quite a lifetime. What would you say has changed and what has remained the same for you and the band throughout all these years?
A: Performing is still fun. Travel isn’t quite as much fun as it used to be but I still like to go see friends and play shows.
Extending the previous question, you’ve been a part of the scene since it’s very early stages, so what would you say could be the most striking difference between then and today, especially concerning the music industry, the labels, the shows etc.
A: I’ve never really concerned myself with the “industry” since we’ve never really been a part of it. We’ve never gotten quite big enough to be noticed but that’s ok with me. We’re not everyone’s cup of tea but we have our fans and they’re loyal. Our fans are mostly an older bunch so they’re aren’t so many kids at the shows but they’re not so different. The dance styles are but kids are still kids. The internet has made the music world smaller, just like most other things. Bands can get more exposure right from the start.
When forming the band, what were your initial goals and did you ever anticipate to have such an impact in music in the following generations of Hardcore listeners?
A: I don’t think so much about our impact. If people are influenced by us, that’s cool but I wouldn’t want anyone to be like me. I just wanted to be in a band, write songs. Perform.
One of Slapshot’s best qualities (if I can use the term) is the utterly vivid, even explosive shows. One could say your fame precedes you when it comes to your gigs. Is the crowd the most important aspect of a band’s life?
A: Well, no crowd, no show. We’ve had crowded shows where nobody moved at all and that’s their prerogative. You pay your money. If you don’t feel like dancing, then stand there. I’ll still do the same show whether there’s 10 or 10,000 people. It makes me crazy when I hear a singer berate an audience for not moving. It’s not the crowd’s job to entertain the band, it’s the band’s job to entertain the crowd. If you aren’t motivating them to move, that’s YOUR problem. Maybe they’re enjoying it anyway. Leave the crowd alone.
Even though Slapshot have undergone many lineup changes, the band still kicks hard. What’s the glue that keeps us united and strong and keeps your flame ever growing?
A: The never ending thirst for attention. Feed us!!
Thousands of miles, countless venues; care to give us an example of the best and of the worst shows you’ve ever given?
A: I think my favorite shows are the basement shows. Small, packed, sweaty. That’s way more my thing than big rooms. Worst would be where we just didn’t belong. All metal bands on the bill or whatever. The crowd just hasn’t got a clue.
Talking about touring, how did you manage to be away from home for truly a long time, whole weeks and months even (well, not constantly, but you get me)? How did you cope and what made you keep pushing forward?
A: We don’t go away for very long stretches. I just don’t like it much. I like my comfort way too much especially now. I think the shows. The other 23 hours of the day generally sucks.
Obviously nowadays Hardcore is not like it used to be an probably will never be since time takes its toll on all of us. However, many bands have sprung out throughout these years trying to make a name for themselves. Do you keep up with the scene nowadays? Do you even believe that HC will be a part of the culture forever?
A: No, I dont really follow the day to day. Every so often I hear a band that we’re playing with that impresses me but there’s really none that I listen to. Yes, HC isn’t going anywhere.
As you have noticed yourselves, amidst the crowd that attends your shows or supports the band in any way they can, there is a certain lot that are quite young, even younger than the band itself. Why do you thing that happens and how does that make you feel?
A: Kids hear us, we strike a nerve. It’s cool if kids discover us. We have quite a few parents that say their kids got into us.
Since it’s natural for younger people who want to produce music and follow your path to have you as an icon, what would your piece of advice be?
A: Once you find out what you do well, stick to it. There’s going to be a point in time where you get tired and might want to try doing something different. It usually doesn’t work out so well. Start a side project instead. Even if it’s with the same members. You can really hurt your “brand” by doing something that your loyal fans hate.
You’ve seen a big part of the world, you’ve met numerous people, you’ve had your share in the history of extreme music; what keeps you motivated to this day? What’s the thought that crosses your mind and pumps you into keep doing that whole Slapshot thing to this day?
A: I like writing music and lyrics. I’ll probably still do it once I’m older and the band isn’t playing anymore. Performing still makes me happy for the most part.
Alright, thank you for the honesty and the will to answer everything; it means much to me! Possibly more will come when we meet in Thessaloniki, haha! You can end this conversation any way you see fit; with a message to our readers perhaps?
A: It was amazing to play on the Dropkick Murphy’s tour in Thessaloniki. It’s going to be great to play our own show. We hope everyone comes out. We’ll put on a show to remember.