Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Interview with Slushy from Chicago

I first met Chris Kramer, lead singer and primary songwriter for Slushy at my old work. We immediately started trading guitar gear... I think he still may have one of my old amps. Anyway, he as he explains below he first started playing guitar and singing solo in Chicago over a drum machine/tracks before building a full band. I really like his deceptively intricate pop/punk song writing, and he's got one of the best and most natural singing voices I've heard in a long time. We're excited to play with Chris, who will be backed by the Chicago-area Uh-Bones and will be playing songs by the Velvet Underground and Nico our Halloween Show at Exit. The show also features Cealed Kasket and Darkness & Goblin King, is FREE and starts at 9pm.

- Can you tell us a bit about the evolution of Slushy from Omaha to Chicago?

Slushy is a Chicago band. I started writing garagey/pop songs in 2007 when I was living in Omaha, and some of the songs that Slushy plays date back to then but most are newer. Shortly after moving to Chicago I started playing solo as Kramer Versus Kramer, but that we just a transitory phase. Then I got a band together, then after a bit we came up with a better name. The first real Slushy show was in July 2010 at the last ever Mopery show.

- I know you've played your share of house shows as well as Chicago venues. What do you think are the benefits of either, and is there any preference at all for either format?

Slushy has been lucky to play a lot of well known venues in Chicago, like the Empty Bottle, Schubas, Subterranean and Beat Kitchen. We've also played a lot of DIY venues. Big venues are cool because they feel like an important stepping stone. But it takes a lot more people to reach the "fun" threshold at real venues. People feel like they have to be more reserved at venue shows, and can only have fun if there are tons of other people and they can get lost in anonymity. Usually you have to play a lot of poorly attended, little-fun shows before the venue will have you back to play a well attended show. House shows and alternative venues seem to attract people who are already friends and don't give a shit about what everyone will think if they dance and have fun. So even if there are only 10 people there, those 10 people are having a blast.

- I love your song "Teenage Frankenstein" - are you working on any other holiday-themed songs?

Not actively, but I really like making up songs, so who knows what the next one I make up will be about.

- Why did you pick Velvet Underground and Nico as your Halloween Band?

They have a great spooky, creepy, evil vibe, but they really just wrote great pop songs. Plus I really like the guys in Uh Bones and have been looking for a reason to play music with them.

*NOTE: I'm hoping interviews and features with bands we play with can be a new ongoing feature or asset of this blog. In my opinion, although this blog's purpose is to inform people about Bully in the Hallway, a big part of who we are and what we do revolves around the scene we support and the bands/artists with whom we have the privilege of sharing a stage. - B.K.

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