Long Live ’90s Rock: A Look Into Seattle’s Sloucher

Album cover Jade Sotelo

’90s alternative rock is not dead, and Seattle-based band Sloucher  is here to prove it with their upcoming debut album, Certainty. This band is composed of a multitude of Pacific Northwest musicians: Jay Clancy (Makeup Monsters, Pale Noise, Hibou and Cayucas) on vocals and guitar, Kyle Musselwhite (The Globes) on guitar, and Jack Hamrick (Trans Union) on drums.

Although Sloucher has only released their two singles, “Flower Girl” (my personal favorite) and “Certainty” so far, they have already attracted attention from City Arts and Substream Magazine. Recently, they have been playing a bunch of shows with other local talents including Animal Eyes, Acid Tongue, Fauna Shade and more.

Their effortlessly laid back sound and reminiscent melodies make them a band you definitely wont want to miss.

I was lucky enough to interview Jay Clancy about the band before their album release party at Rancho Bravo on Friday, July 15.

AJ: How did you all meet?
JC: Jack and I were somewhat pre-determined friends. Our parents were friends before we were born. So we always hung out when we were little kids and started playing drums around the same time. We used to go to drum lessons together every week. Around the time that I was 13, we started our first band, Trans Union, which I played bass in with Shayne Weeks on guitar (later formed Makeup Monsters). Our first show was in Tacoma with Don’t Tell Sophie, a band which I later joined as lead guitarist. We (DTS) would play shows and do short tours with The Globes back when I was in high school, that’s how I met Kyle. I also met Lance (the current bassist) around that time (2007-2008) in Anacortes when we played with his band The Oregon Donor.

AJ: What made you decide to start Sloucher?
JC: I had written some songs on the guitar over a few years. I am a drummer first and foremost, and writing songs was something I was just doing for myself in my bedroom to keep myself occupied. I had friends suggest that I play the songs live, so I played a few coffee shop acoustic shows, and realized that I would much rather play the songs with a rock band.

Sloucher live %40 sunset
Photo by Peter Dervin

AJ: You all come from other great bands in Washington, from Makeup Monsters, to Pale Noise, to The Globes. Do you think the sounds and styles of those bands have influenced Sloucher in any way?
JC: Definitely. The Seattle/Tacoma music communities I come from are very tight-knit—we are all close friends, and though our bands may sound very different, I think that we are all inspired by each other simply because we are out there doing what we love. I was the live drummer for Makeup Monsters; I made creative contributions to the songs, but the basic skeletons were written by Shayne and Isaac, who are both incredibly amazing/proficient songwriters. I still don’t understand how they wrote golden pop songs so quickly, but I feel lucky to have been part of their process. I played drums on the entire Pale Noise album, Some Crude Grace. The record came together over a few years of recording sessions. It was amazing to watch Spencer Kelly work and agonize over every song, [and] I can definitely relate to him in that regard. Spencer is one of the truest “rock and rollers” that I’ve played with; that guy is extremely talented.

AJ: Who are some of your favorite local bands at the moment?
JC: Digging on Bod, So Pitted and Big Bite. We played with a band called Pleasures [last week] that totally slayed. 

AJ: What is your favorite song off of your upcoming LP, Certainty?
JC: Really hard to say. Each song has a special place in my heart. I get stoked every time I listen to the song, “Certainty,” because Kyle’s lead guitar parts are so sick.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=553352819 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small track=24107985]

AJ: Describe Certainty in 5 words.
JC: ’90s-esque, honest, personal, northwest, indie.

AJ: What is your favorite song to play live?
JC: Probably “Flower Girl.” It’s the fastest, most danceable song. We get good crowd response from it. It’s easy to play and sing; it always feels good. 

AJ: What is the weirdest thing you’ve experienced at a show you’ve played at or been to?
JC: I dislocated my knee in the middle of a set I was playing at a house show in Tacoma. This was about 4 years ago. I was doing the classic Ramones rock stance, I pivoted, and my freaking knee popped out. I fell in to the crowd and the band kept playing, they thought I was just partying. Meanwhile, I was on the ground screaming bloody murder, it was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced. My friend scooped me up off the ground, and then I grabbed my kneecap and popped it back into place instinctually. All of a sudden the pain was gone, I could walk just fine, I was super confused, I thought I had broken my leg. But then half an hour later, my knee had swollen up to about 3 times its regular size. I couldn’t walk for about a month, and I had to do physical therapy. Everything is okay now, but I am hyperaware of my knee, and I hope that it never dislocates ever again.

AJ: Do you have any favorite venues, or are there any venues you would like to play at in the future?
JC: I think my favorite smaller venue in Seattle is The Sunset Tavern. [My] favorite bigger venue is The Paramount. I want to play [at] all of the venues! 

AJ: Your record release show is coming up on July 15h at Rancho Bravo. What is your classic order there?
JC: I used to live right across the street from the 45th Street Rancho in Wallingford, and it got a little out of hand. I would hit Rancho 4 to 5 days a week at the height of my burrito benders. I would usually order a Bravo burrito, asada, black beans, extra cilantro/lime, and a lime Jarritos. I’m saving so much money now that I live in South Park. I can’t roll out of my bed into the Rancho Bravo parking lot anymore.

Sloucher press shot
Photo by Jade Sotelo

AJ: Along with that, are you a taco or burrito guy? How many can you eat?
JC: I probably order burritos more often than tacos. I usually finish my burritos, and when I go for tacos, I usually order 3 or 4. I recently had some of the best tacos of my whole life at a place called Lilly’s in Santa Barbara, CA.

 AJ: As a relatively new band in the PNW music scene, what do you hope to get done this year?
JC: We just want to play a ton of shows now that our record is out! I want to finish some newer songs that I’ve been working on, trade my truck and get a van, then make it stink really bad with my friends.

Catch Sloucher at their album release party at the Capitol Hill Rancho Bravo on Friday, July 15 at 8 PM, hosted by one of our favorite local production teams, Way & Co. Seattle band bod and a surprise guest will be playing in support of the release as well. This event is free and all ages. Buy a taco (or ten) and jam out.

Their debut album, Certainty, will also be released on Friday through Swoon Records, but you can preorder it here. They will also be playing at the Sunset Tavern on July 22 and at High Dive on August 10.

Keep up with Sloucher: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bandcamp

APRIL JINGCO | Bury Me In Burritos | KXSU Local Music Reporter


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