Slug Shares Astral Visions, Genre-Fusion Process [Band Interview]

Originally just a passion project amongst three college friends, Slug has evolved into an exciting young group with plenty to offer, providing genre-breaking psych rock/trip-hop/lo-fi for a steadily growing audience. The group may have started with casual intentions, but after their success in producing an ear-catching and innovative sound, it’s getting more serious — you’ll want to stay tuned to see what they’ll do next.

Self-characterized as a mix of psych rock and trip-hop with a Skyrim-meets-Adventure Time presentation, the group is an exciting young band bursting with talent. They’ve released three EPs — Fixer Elixir, Loot Takers, and Origins, each representing a new foray into a sound they haven’t explored yet as a part of this collective.

But that’s the thing — they all have full-time gigs with other bands — a barrier for some, but a boost for Slug. Knowing that Slug as a concept came together with pure, creative intentions means the group is all on the same page, working as a cohesive unit. And that appears to be a serious strength – Chase Goldman, bassist, says the squad reminds him of the 73-9 Golden State Warriors, before Kevin Durant joined them and created an unbeatable beast of a team. 

“Our workflow reminds me of the pre-KD Warriors because we’re very efficient, and it’s very much a team,” Goldman said in a recent exclusive interview with Hummingbird Mag. “It feels very unselfish. We all come together and bring something unique and different to the table with our own expertise. It’s about the team instead of about the individual.”

With such strong bonds as a team, Slug is able to forge great records even when they’re so far apart. They met at college in Austin, but have moved around the world. Playing the piano and saxophone is Louk Cox, based in Rotterdam, on drums is Greg Clifford, living in Austin, and Goldman resides in Los Angeles. They meet up via Google Hangouts and are able to jam with each other without much virtual lag.

As Goldman said, they’re efficient as a collective, tossing each other audio files with a drum loop or some riffs, building on each other’s ideas and creative musings. Particularly entrancing about their music is their interest in world-building. Reading their Instagram captions and listening closely to their lyrics implies a wide world of mystery that underpins their music.

It’s not often the video game Skyrim comes up in interviews with musicians, but this one felt natural. Louk said the game has come up explicitly in the making of their music, a supernatural influence that likely brings a cosmic factor to their music. Especially on Origins, the group points in a jazz-hop direction, with winding horn sections and piano riffs. 

Loot Takers saw the group head in a more psychedelic rock direction, with highlights “You Shall Not Pass” and “Springtime Blues” bringing entrancing lyrics and bright instrumental color to the table. 

With Fixer Elixir, Slug set their sights on the lo-fi game, a sphere they have plenty of experience in. It’s also a bit easier to market — there aren’t really Spotify playlists that cater to the psych-rock and hip-hop crossroads. As a completely instrumental effort, Fixer Elixir doesn’t jump out at the listener, and the group chooses a more inviting and warm approach.

With three EPs under their belt and more in the construction phase, Slug is focused on consistently pumping out ear-catching music that blends an unlikely crossroad between hip-hop, psych-rock, lo-fi, and jazz music. Their world-building framework keeps them from being bogged down with the stereotyped understandings of genre and will allow them to continue to produce unique music for a steadily growing cohort of dedicated fans.

Many thanks to Slug for this interview, and best of luck to them going forward. Check ‘em out on all streaming platforms as well as their social media!

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