I met up with Dave and Tom of Slam Donahue in Tompkins Square Park today and for rolling out of bed to meet me, they sure had a lot of pizazz! Dave was full of energy, like he had Fun-Dip for breakfast and Tom was super swanky in his cowboy shirt and hat with a little green monster (identity unknown). Their plan for the day was to dawdle around NYC, they have some time to kill while waiting for the release (this week!) of their new single off their upcoming EP Hemlock Tea [Cantora Records] as well as prepping for the Bushwick Walkabout Festival this Friday night.
Y&P talked to Slam Donahue and they informed us about their sticky fingers, their favorite parts of summer and how you’re a sucker if you pay more than $2 for a slice of pizza.
Who would you like to do a duet with?
On your bandcamp page it says your songs reflect your personal anxieties…what makes you anxious?
Tom: Social stress, relationships, romantic and other wise, performance pressure subconscious or not. Mostly internal and we try not to let it prevent us from enjoying ourselves. Poverty is always there biting at us but even that has some bright points. Walking home with your friends instead of taking the train, finally getting that shitty microphone to sound decent, there are some good moments.
Would you relive your high school days?
Dave: Nope. I couldn’t even live through my high school days the first time around. High school is horrible and teaches you that only through conforming will you ever be liked and accepted into the ranks of society. I couldn’t allow myself to do that and instead took drugs to cope with the feelings of alienation. After many trips to the guidance counselor and many parent-teacher conferences, I was finally relieved of my position as “student” my junior year. I pray that your high school was better than mine.
Tom: No, I did just fine. This question makes me think of Billy Madison and is embarrassing.
Dave: A tuna sandwich with lettuce tomato and pickles from Jessie’s down the street.
Tom: Pizza slice. I eat too many but it’s cheap and you’re a sucker if you pay more than two dollars a slice.
Who are your style icons?
Dave: I wear trousers and shirts based on the style of traditional man. I wish I could wear something more flashy like M.J. or Prince but I don’t feel I have achieved enough to be worthy of that type of excessive accessorizing yet.
Tom: I am a master thief of friend’s clothes. It’s hard to follow the trends with how I shop/steal. No idea what’s so hot right now and I write songs in my underwear.
Tom: Lying out in the park. Sunning like a lizard.
Favorite song out now?
Dave: I really like that new Fiona Apple song “Every Single Night”, it’s really delicate and close with quick musical/schizo snaps back and forth from sweetest sweet to helpless frustration. She is a beautiful woman and makes beautiful music, what a gem of a person.
Tom: “Hey Jane” by Spiritualized. The payoff takes a while but the beautiful/progressive music video helps you get there.
What are some current trends in music? What are some trends we can anticipate for the future?
Dave: Convenient that you ask because I feel like I just figured it out a couple of days ago. Immigration to America started long ago and slowly the cultures are following the people. America used to be the “it” spot for music, but we are getting bored of ourselves and are finally willing to welcome in these new ideas, like multicultural music with lots of electronic elements. That’s what is coming up. Of course it’ll all be compressed into short pop songs, but that’s natural and I’m excited to hear it.
Tom: It’s already happening. That mixing is already happening and sometimes it’s Bjork and sometimes it’s rap-rock. I hope it’s more interesting than what I’m hearing lately or Talking Heads still did it better thirty years ago. I think music is going to trend towards a lot of terrible collaborations as the money dries up. Waka and Bieber desperately releasing track after track trying to scoop each others’ audience.
Tom: I only ever go to venues. They are all the best/worst.
What is next for Slam Donahue?
A special thanks to Cantora Records and Andrew Briggie of EV2BK Productions & Management for helping make this interview happen!