CITY OF ORIGIN: Upland
MEMBERS: Dt’s (vocals/guitar); Jr. (guitar/vocals); Hefe (bass/vocals); Topher (drums/silence).
RECENT RELEASE: Society as a Friendly Pusher (Onset Records, 2006)
KINDRED SPIRITS: Social Distortion, free PBR, Lagwagon, free Guinness, Motorhead, free Heineken, Rancid, free Budweiser, Bad Religion.
Musicians of a beer keg rock together? Have we heard that one before? If not, here’s the first application of such adage, with some incredible evidence to boot. Slab—our fearless Upland-based punk quartet now 16 years into dutiful, pit-inducing service—launched to play good music, play good shows, drink cheap beer, go on tour, drink free beer on tour and have fun. And though America’s musical hearts have gone from gravely grunge to goony emo slop since, according to drummer Topher, not much has changed with Slab: “We still drink cheap and free beer and we still don’t make any money.”
Whether it’s at Liam’s in Colton or Angels in Corona, Slab have become the elderstatesmen in a scene that’s now teeming with like-minded bands. With Dt’s cool, coarse vocals laid over a bed of double-timed rhythms and guitar riffs deftly derived from the Brian Baker/Greg Hetson handbook, Slab credits their longevity to not just being musical pals but drinking buds as well, in addition to keeping a firm grip on their D.I.Y. ethic. However, Topher admits that, as in any longtime relationship, there is the intermittent spat.
“I will be honest, here, it has come down to the occasional throwing of a beer can to the head—sometimes filled,” he says. “Luckily for us, the beer companies have spent millions in engineering safe containers that cannot be used as deadly weapons.”
But that’s likely the modus operandi for a band whose name is, “‘balls’ backwards, minus one L—we always wanted to be in band that had a lot of balls” (Topher’s explanation; we couldn’t come up with that!), and for a band who’d originally thought they’d get their own free kegs when they played shows.
If you’re still not convinced that Slab’s stance in the scene is as stout as ever, Topher adds this extra affirmation: “We never wanted to become rock stars and we never thought we would make any money, and you know what, we were right! That being said, we have a new album coming out (The War At Home via Felony Records) and we will once again be going on tour to support it. Our ultimate goal is to tour Europe and Japan someday before we start collecting social security.”
Slab at Characters, 276 E. 1st St., Pomona. Friday, June 20