Jun. 27, 2012 - Issue #871: Edmonton 2012
For a band that only emerged from the greater Edmonton music scene in late 2008, the scrappy, melodic punks of Slates have managed to dot their passports with a veritable rainbow of stamps.
One of the band's earliest treks was out to Cuba—which partly inspired the 2011 LP Prairie Fires—and more recently Slates spent a month playing its way across Eastern Europe. The band booked the tour itself; operating as a DIY outfit seems to be an effective modus operandi for the band both here and abroad.
But for all that travel and independence, the place that Slates hasn't traversed to yet is here—the farther reaches of this country. Its members have certainly covered the territory in various other outfits, but never together as Slates, an oversight that drummer Dallas Thompson is looking forward to remedying in short order.
"It's kind of funny how that worked out, eh?" he says, a few weeks shy of setting out for the eastern side of the country. Slates is touring behind a new EP, the seven-inch Wangwee, which pairs three blistering scrapper-punk originals with a cover of the Dogs "The Most Forgotten French Boy"—a groovy, melodic '80s song from France that Slates' version sharpens up considerably.
It's also the first release to feature the band's revised lineup: unchanged are Thompson on drums and the guitarist/vocalist duties of James Stewart, but former bassist Stefan Duret has traded his four string for the electric six held by former bandmate Eric Dunn, with newcomer Lee Klippenstein—who had previous already toured with the band on its Europe trek—replacing him in the rhythm section. Thompson points out that Klippenstein's contributions have already proven to be more than just a fresh face.
"He was one of the first to bring some new ideas," Thompson explains. "One of those songs [on Wangwee] was him and James. [They] got in there one night super early on, and they just went to town. So, yeah, he stepped right into those shoes."
Sat, Jun 30
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