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Sloan Bio from the DGC WWW

Hello there, fellow fans of that popular pop music that we all love so.
How much?  So much that we will do anything to find out just one more
interesting thing about certain bands.  Since this is the "Sloannet", I
thought that I would post this for all of you who don't have access to the
World Wide Web.  It is from the DGC/Sloan WWW home page:




Jay Ferguson (guitar, vocals)
Chris Murphy (bass, vocals)
Patrick Pentland (guitar, vocals)
Andrew Scott (drums, vocals)

Sloan is an unusual band from an unusual place.

"We're four distinct songwriters evolving at different rates and in
separate directions," explains Chris Murphy.  "It keeps things democratic.
We channel our energies into the music."

Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Sloan is not a person but a four-way
relationship; a relationship that's made evident on the new album, Twice
Removed (DGC Records).  For those unfamiliar with Smeared, the band's debut
in 1993, Twice Removed will surprise with the poppy "Penpals" and "I Hate
My Generation," the tempting hook of "Coax Me," the melancholia of
"Loosens" and the romantic ballad, "I Can Feel It" (with Jennifer Pierce of
the band Jale).  Chucking the guitar-heavy vibe, Twice Removed is stripped
down, sparse, lean.

"It's a natural progression," suggests Andrew Scott.  "We weren't trying to
do a different album, but we didn't want to do a Smeared II either.  We
started toning down while touring, taking songs and playing them quieter,
slower, different.  The first album was spur of the moment.  This time, we
were more thoughtful about how to treat the songs."

Smeared was actually recorded in late 1991.  Twice Removed is the result of
the two-and-a-half years since -- of listening to different music and
non-stop touring.  "There's no question touring was good for us," says
Scott.  "It made us tighter."

Twice Removed doesn't sem as much a surprise to the members of Sloan
because they witnessed the changes.  "We recorded Smeared quite a while ago
and we've elvolved quite a bit as a band.  The change it normally takes a
band four albums to make, we've made in one," says Pentland.  "The songs on
the first album were written in a basement with amps and drums.  We were a
young band not knowing what we were doing.  Most of the songs on this album
were written on acoustic in our kitchens, and then transferred to the band.
Twice Removed reflects our personalities better."

The album also reflects the impact of vintage rock -- though certainly the
moodier, darker side of it.  "We tend to not follow trends," points out
Scott.  "We have diversity in our writing amount to anything [huh?]," says

Ferguson and Murphy played together in a local punk band called Kearney
Lake Road while Pentland and Scott played in various other Halifax bands.
Murphy and Scott attended art school -- the Nova Scotia College of Art and
Design.  Ferguson and Pentland earned university degrees in History and
English, respectively.  In fact, the band's debut show was in April 1991 at
the College of Art and Design.  Sloan was the nickname of a guy they knew
in Halifax.  Ferguson isn't so sure: "If that's what we wanted, we
should've called ourselves 'Smitty.'"

By December, the band membwrs had pulled together enough cash to record a
few songs. "We were practicing one Monday and We said 'We should record all
of this stuff,' and then we went in on Friday and did it," says Murphy.
"We wanted to record a few songs, maybe sell a tape around town or even try
for some indie distribution with hopes of making our money back."

The immediate result was Peppermint, an EP on the band's own Murderecords
label.  When the East Coast Music Awards (Nova Scotia's version of the New
Music Seminar) opened in February 1992, Sloan gave a show at a local art
gallery which spurred a cross-Canada tour the following month.  "When we
toured," Pentland recalls,"No one had really done a cross country tour
before and it made us heroes for having done it."

After a pair of shows in Vancouver, the band was signed to DGC.  "We're so
incredibly lucky that we got attention," says Scott, "but we're lucky too
that it was DGC because we wouldn't have signed to another label.  We like
the idea of being able to make records and tour and see them in stores in
Germany.  That's cool.  The inspriation still exists for a band to start
purely for the joy of playing and maybe making a couple of tapes.  But
before, they had to go somewhere else to vie for attention.  Now they can
stay here."  Ferguson notes that "it was an oddity that DGC signed us.  Now
there's a lot of attention focused here and a number of bands signed to

Sloan has helped to make that possible by not only blazing the trail but
actually starting a small record label of its own.  Murderecords has
released EPs by Eric's Trip, Hardship Post, and Thrush Hermit.

Smeared emerged from the same sessions as the Murderecords Peppermint EP,
though it was remixed in Los Angeles.  Released in Canada in October 1992,
Smeared reached the States in January of the next year.  After a small
Canadian tour in September 1992, Sloan performed a handful of shows in
England, followed by a swing through western Canada.  February of 1993
found the band in Europe once more, playing concerts in the U.K., Germany,
France, Holland, and Belgium.  Then came its first U.S. tour in the spring:
up the East Coast, across the North, down the West Coast, across the South,
and back up the East Coast.

Sloan also opened a leg of the Lemonheads tour in the United States.  That
April, the band's "Pillow Fight" appeared on a Canadian bands-only
double-single/EP called Never Mind The Mollusks on SubPop.  Sloan finished
the year with a cross-country Canadian all-ages tour which sold out at
every venue.

Though the band admits Twice Removed has a sad, pessimistic tinge to it,
they've been feeling more optimistic lately.  "We're on a constant journey
of finding ourselves," says Scott.  "We don't have an agenda.  Our songs
are not political statements.  They're based on personal experiences,
whether it's the sound a snowsuit makes or getting signed."  Pentland
agrees: "We can't help but rant and rave about what's happened the last two
years.  It's true to our lives."

Also true for Sloan is that whoever writes the song, sings the song.  The
band also splits into halves and quarters, musically and socially,
depending on the differences between individuals.  "The tension works,"
says Pentland, "because at the end of the day, we all want to do the same

What Sloan is doing is making music in its own unusual way, from its own
unusual place.


I double checked my transcribing and I didn't see any errors, but I'm real
tired so who the hell knows!  I think that an intern at DGC must have
written this cause it seems kinda "What I Did On My Summer Vacation"-like,
but I couldn't have done better necessarily so I'll go home to bed now.

Patrick Hawley