We chatted with John Bobo from alternative/power pop rock duo The Slang about their new record Divide that was released on September 24, 2021.
We talk about their new album, their sound, and creative process. Check out what John had to say below.
How excited are you to release your new album?
JB: We are very excited because this is our first full-length album. There are a lot of songs and ground covered within the album so we hope people enjoy it.
How would you describe the sound of The Slang?
JB: We were recently described as “expressive, moody, and cathartic” which I think labels it accurately. We actually have a lot of fun and a sense of humor is at the core of everything we do, but that may not always come across in the music.
Who would you say are some of your musical influences?
JB: The decade of the ’80s is such a good intersection of production and songwriting so I tend to favor bands like the Cure, Tears for Fears, Genesis, etc. I like how the song remained the focus, but production also became a strong part of the equation.
Did you always know that music was something you wanted to pursue?
JB: Yes, once we both learned our first guitar chords it was pretty much a done deal that we’d be involved with music in some capacity. We feel very lucky that we found something we love to do.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
JB: Do it yourself. You have to be vertical and learn all aspects on both the creative side and business side. If you want to write for yourself and stay in the basement that’s perfectly fine, but if you do have the desire to get your music heard then you’ll have to learn the business side of things.
What is your favorite song to perform live?
JB: We love performing anything off the new album. “Hard to Forget” is a fun one because I get to play synthesizer.
Can you describe your creative process when you’re writing new music?
JB: It really changes depending on the type of song and mood, etc. I will say that we don’t have a formula. In fact, we have an anti-formula in the sense that we are conscious about repeating ourselves. Typically, either Felix or I will come up with an idea (lyric or chord progression) and we build it out together. The one thing that does stay consistent is that the song rarely ends up sounding like the original idea. We rewrite a lot. One song on the Divide album had the chorus melody rewritten five times until we were happy with it.
What has been the best advice someone has given you about music?
JB: I had taken a song out of the setlist that unbeknownst to me someone wanted to hear that evening. He came up to me that night and asked why we didn’t play it and I said, “Well, my girlfriend doesn’t like that song,” and he said, “Man, that one ain’t for the ladies.” That kind of stuck with me that I need to do what I feel is right and not try to please everyone.
Which musician would you like to collaborate with in the future?
JB: We would really enjoy writing a song with another artist that is an influence. Too many to choose from, but it would be a songwriting collaboration for sure as opposed to a moment on stage.
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