The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

SHANE rockpit interviews SLOMBER's Billy McBarbie


G’day Billy, thanks for talking to The Rockpit

 

“Dirty Drinks and One-Night Stands”, is a great slab of sleaze rock – I rate it amongst the best 25 albums of 2009. How has the response been around the world?

 

Thanx a lot, Shane! We were really satisfied with how the album turned out, and it’s great that you like it. The response has been really overwhelming all around the world. “Dirty Drinks” has received reviews from several continents, and except for a couple of Scandinavian ones (!) they have all been from the top shelf.

 

Slömber - Vinnie Trashcan, Coolcat Casey, Billy McBarbie, Eddie D'Lizard, Randy Roxxx

What is happening in Scandinavia that has so much amazing music sleaze rock being produced in the past few years?

 

I really don’t know, mate. The underground scenes for rock ‘n’ roll and sleaze ain’t particularly big here. Very few bands get the chance to get their 15 seconds of media attention to break it into the mainstream. There is, however, a huge interest in Scandinavia for the good, old rockbands such as AC/DC, Mötley Crüe, Motörhead, Iron Maiden, and all those dinosaur-bands. In that perspective I find it hard to understand why so few bother to check out new bands in the same musical direction.

 


It seems that most of the Scandinavian bands, wether they play sleaze or punk rock ‘n’ roll, have to get attention in markets such as Germany and USA before they get acknowledged in Scandinavia. The great thing, though, is that these countries seem to love the Scandinavian sound of rock ‘n’ roll!

 

What is your home town Trondheim like and how is the rock scene there?

 

Trondheim is a small city with only about 170.000 people living here. Right now it’s freezing cold here, but when the sun is shining it’s really not that bad. Ha, ha. Trondheim has been nationally known for having a good rock scene. These days the Norwegian record-business and the local promoters discuss the lack of great, new acts from the city, but personally I think they’re walking around with their eyes and ears closed.


There are a handful of really great bands here that should be on international tours instead of being neglected at home.

 

Are there any other great bands from your neck of the woods that we may not know about but should check out?

 

As I said, there’s a handful. I would really recommend you checked out a punkband called Rehab Royale. They’re good friends of ours, and I really hope they get signed on Hellcat or some other good label one day. There’s also The Cute Crash Combo, which has a Zeppelin vs. Bowie thing going that is really exciting. The Reilly Express, Explicit Licks; just go to our myspace-site and enter the jungle! Ha, ha.


From the Norwegian capitol Oslo there’s also a couple of bands worth to check out. Go check out the sleazerockers from both the Gatecrashers and Hollywood Vampires. Great tunes, and tons of attitude.

 

What is the origin of the band’s name?

 

We get that question a lot, but unfortunately the answer is real boring. Nowadays we just tell people it’s a Norwegian word for “huge male genitals”. But of course it’s not. I don’t even think it’s a word at all. Ha, ha.

 

How did you guys all get together and start jamming?

 

The original line-up met at college in a small town north of Trondheim. We were involved in two different projects then, but we soon joined forces and started writing songs.

 

What sort of dynamic do you guys have when writing and recording? Is it democratic or
does someone take charge?

 

In the first five years I have done most of the writing myself, or together with Randy Roxxx. Some other inputs have come along, but that is how the majority of the songs have been born. In the last couple of years new blood has joined the band, and there are now more creative forces to be reckoned with. We are really anxious to get started on writing some new material, and to see which direction it all takes from here.


Although I have written about 80 percent of the material so far, there is always room for everybody to add their colours in the mix, and that is really how we have achieved our sound.

 

Since I’m also the manager of our label Naked Hollywood Records, I have a tendency to take charge in the studio. I book the studio, make the recording-schedule, and do a lot of the producing. I always have a vision of how I want the songs to come out on tape, and it’s gonna be both good and weird to give a lot of that responsibility away to another producer on our next record.


But no matter who takes charge, we all have a real good time recording. And since we’re pretty much financing everything ourselves, everybody gets the chance to front and fight for their opinions and ideas.

 

Who are your major influences personally and as a band?

 

There are of course the obvious musical influences such as Guns ‘n’ Roses, Backyard Babies, AC/DC and a couple of others, but we all come from really diverse backgrounds. Slömber is a melting pot of punk, rock ‘n’ roll and metal, and I guess that’s what makes it a little different than the typical genre-bands who play straight up glam, sleaze, punk, or whatever.

 

Not having had the pleasure, can you run us through what a live Slomber show is all about?

 

Slömber live is how Slömber is meant to be. Attending a show is like being run over by the airport express-train; not necessarily a pretty sight, but one hell of an experience. You really ought to try it sometime!

 

 

What has been the most amazing gig you’ve ever seen?

 

It’s hard to mention just one, but there are a couple of shows that always comes to mind. Chuck Berry in Sweden in 2008 was awesome. Suddenly being front row at The Rolling Stones in Oslo in 2008 was, of course, an adventure. I saw Chixdiggit in a private livingroom in Norway together with maybe 25 other people in 2007; that was special. And pretty much every show with Norwegian boogie-legends Backstreet Girls is amazing. Now that’s for sure a band you should check out!

 

You must have some hilarious (or shocking) backstage stories. Any that you can share with us today?

 

I’m not sure how much I can reveal here. Ha, ha. We had an amazing night off at the infamous Reperbahn in Hamburg, Germany, on our last tour. After a long day in sexshops, eating junk and drinking local booze, one of us had a little accident in one of the coolest rockclubs in the area. Let’s just say that we had to leave the premises in a hurry, due to what can best be described as a public digestive malfunction. Luckily no one got arrested. Ha, ha.

 

Do you have many new songs written? When can we expect a new album?

 

We have a couple of songs almost completely done, and some more who are still a little out in the open. “Dirty Drinks & One-Night Stands” is a collection of songs from the last five years, so actually sitting down and writing an entire new album this time, will be very exciting. There’s also the recent change in the line-up which certainly will affect how the songs turn out. When that is said, the next album will pretty damn sure be one of the best albums of 2011! So stay tuned!


Where should fans go to find out more about the band or to buy your CD and merch?

 

The best place to go is www.myspace.com/slomber. We update our blog at least once a week, and all new gigs and rumours are to be found there first. The site also includes links and emails for booking, and for pursuing CDs and other merch.

 

 

Your myspace page lists some musical influences including ”Gluecifer, Mötley Crüe, Motörhead, Backstreet Girls, Guns n' Roses, Turbonegro, Backyard Babies, Rose Tattoo” they are some mighty influences to have – do you feel your sound reflects any of those bands more than any other? How would you describe Slomber’s sound?

 

A UK webzine wrote that we have “the rawness of Motörhead, the attitude of a young Guns ‘n’ Roses, and the riffs of Mötley Crüe”. I guess that’s pretty close to the truth, as far as both influences and sound go.

 

And you also credit being influenced by “countless numbers of pornographic movies” – how do you translate porno into music?

 

How can you not translate porn into music? Ha, ha. Besides the fact that we all know and love our porn, there’s pretty much not a single aspect of society that isn’t affected and influenced by porn and sexualisation. Fancy classic authors use roses and red wine to describe their utter desires; we use one-dimentional adult entertainment to underline a society where everythings for sale. Just listen to “Slut the f**k up!”. Several songs on the album is about love and heartache, just like every other band. But instead of giving you everything in traditional broken heart-vision, we present our misery trough a motherf**kin’ pu**y-cam!

 

What’s the ultimate goal for Slomber?

 

An average Scandinavian rockband use approximately ten years to break as a headlining band in Norway, and in Europe in general. Our first goal would then be to last at least four more years, to see if what we have been doing for all these years was any good at all. Ha, ha. We really just want to have fun, see the world, and experience what it has to offer five poor schmucks from “the land of ice and snow”, as Zeppelin so nicely put it. It’s not like 50 Cent’s “get rich or die trying”, but it would surely be a dream to tour on at least two more continents, without going bankrupt while doing it! Ha, ha.

 

What does 2010 hold for the band?

 

We’re touring Norway all spring and summer to promote the album, and when the fall comes it’s all about writing new shit. With all the great reviews and interest from international media, we hope there’s a chance to re-release “Dirty Drinks” on a mid-scale, independent label with full international distribution. We’re also working towards managements and booking agencies in Europe and USA, to hopefully score some tours later in the year.

 

What makes a great song?

 

Unfortunately I don’t have the formula how to make a great song, but I can tell you what I personally appreciate in a good tune. For me very much is in the arrangements, and the holding back and building up. One of the most deliberating parts I’ve written myself is in the song “Running ‘round” from our first EP “Fire in the Jailhouse”. The almost spoken part halfway through the song makes a killer explosion when the guitarsolo starts. That’s really a favourite. The last chorus of “Livin’ in the Gutter” is also a great topping of a perfectly frosted cake of rock. Ha, ha.


An initial rule for me is that as long as my feet start pumping and I get a big grin on my face, the song is approved.

 

And lastly, the question we ask all our interviewees - what is the meaning of life?

 

Rock out. Drink, cheat and lie, if you must. Cause in the end we’re all getting fucked anyway!

 

 

Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

 

Stop by myspace to check us out, and go order our albums from CD Baby. It’ll be worth every dollar! Come see us live, and remember: Just as sure as U2 sucks – you’re all our f**kin’ Slömbersluts!


Thanks so much for talking to The Rockpit and congratulations again on a great album – we can’t wait for the follow up and hope to talk to you again then.

 

No problem, mate. Anytime.

 

 

Shane Rockpit