July 19th, 2018

No time for sitting with Sloan

By Medicine Hat News on April 12, 2018.


One person, one vote is the bedrock of democracy. For Sloan, it’s a little different. The Canadian indie-rock band went with one band member, three songs for its new album “Sloan 12,” which was released April 6.

Since Sloan’s first album “Smeared” in 1992, the band has always split the songwriting on its albums in varying degrees. It’s one of the things Chris Murphy is most proud of, but he knows it may have come at a cost for him and bandmates Patrick Pentland, Jay Ferguson and Andrew Scott.

“You could say that maybe somewhere along the line it held us back because maybe we would be easier to understand or easier to consume or sell if we had one recognizable singer but we spread it around and I think that’s one of the things that makes us special,” he said from Sudbury hours before kicking off this tour that will see the band at The Silver Buckle on Friday. The 7 p.m. show is sold out.

The Medicine Hat sports bar may seem like an odd venue for a band with Sloan’s bona fides — its catalogue of radio hits spans 25 years. But Murphy actually finds a comfort zone in that sort of venue compared to theatres, which Sloan will also play on this 33-date North American tour.

“As a group that comes from a sort of punk background and is really just into chaos and shenanigans, I was always nervous to play theatres because of the question of the vibe,” he said. “But now I don’t mind. I’m 49 years old so if I were going to see a band and I had a seat I’d be like ‘I hope these guys don’t make me stand up.'”

“So on stage the perception is that if people are sitting they aren’t having as much fun. But I think because we’re older I think a lot of the people who are there are probably happy to be sitting down. I don’t make people stand at the theatre shows because I would rather people were sitting in their seats wishing they could stand than standing wishing they could sit. I think that’s the worst vibe at a show, that ‘F*** I wish I could just sit down’ vibe.”

So don’t go to The Silver Buckle expecting to sit down, at least not until after the show when you may get a chance to sit with Murphy and other members of Sloan.

“I always come out and talk to everyone after the show,” Murphy said. “We never reached the kind of fame where that’s impossible. We didn’t get so big that I can’t go out and talk to anybody. I usually do it every night. That’s where I lose my voice on tour — talking in the bar to people. So I have to just not yell my head off after the show but I love to meet anybody who cares about the band.”

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