Aug. 16, 2021

Left Of The Slash


Left Of The Slash, is an alt-rock band based in Los Angeles, California. Created by band member, Stephen Reid Nemeroff in his hometown of New York City in 2005. The bands riffs and melodies are inspired by a range of subgenres including, Psychedelic rock, blues, Indie-rock, Punk and Grunge. Their style of music is influenced by Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Sonic Youth, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, TOOL, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Pixies, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and many more. Their debut LP, WON, is scheduled to be released in the Winter of 2021.Leading up to this, they’ll be releasing a handful of singles in the coming months. Left Of The Slash have worked with some of the most well-known producers in the alt-rock space in order to create this album including, Wyn Davis (Sublime, No Doubt, Guns N’ Roses), Steve Ornest, J. Randy (311,Fever 333, DMC) and Thomas Queyja (Modest Mouse, Johnny Marr, Angelo Moore). With notable press around their latest singles “Call On”, "Two Minds One Head" and "Never Let Go" along with a national college radio campaign, the band is gearing up and getting ready for an incredible 2021.

Transcript

welcome to this episode of the wolf and

the shepherd today we have stephen from

the band left of the slash stephen glad

you could join us

thanks guys for having me

hey thank you for coming along today

buddy um now before we start i want to

ask the most obvious question which

possibly you've been asked by everybody

who's ever asked you a question about

the band

where does the name come from

um

so left of the slash originally came

from a seinfeld episode

um and i don't know if you guys are

seinfeld fans at all

yeah yeah

okay so do you remember the episode when

cramer uh is on a

mission to take the

the uh test drive car far

as far as he could go without getting

gas

and he goes to um i think it was i

forgot the guy's name and he goes at one

point he goes

we are

making history now no one's ever been

this far left of the slash ever and

they're at the gas station and he won't

like get the gas and i'm like

and i was i was young at that time and

i'm like wait that's kind of a cool like

idea and then i kind of took that and

turned it into something

a little bit more serious and left the

slashes about like perseverance and

when people say they have nothing left

in the tank you actually still do and

you have to kind of keep fighting and

use what life you have left so i kind of

used that as a play on words but it kind

of derived from uh you know michael

richards

seinfeld line so well you got to admit

though i mean slash being a great

guitarist that made his bones with guns

and roses there could be some kind of

attribution towards that right like is

it left of this great guitarist from

guns and roses is that some kind of

attack on him

oh yeah yeah and we get that all the

time um and you know at the time i just

you know obviously guns and roses were

prevalent uh but i wasn't really

thinking about that and i love slash i

love guns and roses but it's it's not

really as is anything to do with them

yeah

well at least we cleared that up i mean

it there could be people that are

thinking you know are you trying to turn

away from slash you know one of the

great guitarists in the late 90s and all

that good stuff so well i think if

you're actually standing left of the

slash be uh dying of lung cancer from

all the second hand smoke well it

depends if his hat falls off yeah and

hits you in the head yeah yeah because

he has that big hat

now

sorry did you find like with the name of

the band that

nowadays you're kind of under pressure

to find something which

hasn't been used doesn't sound like

something else or

hasn't fallen into that kind of area

where it sounds kind of corny because

you know when we go through different

musical genres the names of bands

reflect that genre a little bit

and you know you try and choose an edgy

name but then it gets to a point where

all the best ones are taken and you end

up with something on the outskirts and

you're kind of like

you know this i'm trying hard to fit in

the scene here but all the good names

have been taken so i mean you've got a

great name for the band but before you

came up with that were you

struggling for a while or

um

yeah i mean i was young at that i mean i

i probably this was going around 2004 i

was like 17 18 years old at that time so

i wasn't too concerned about like how it

was going to be perceived i was just

concerned about having something that

was original

and what i will say about slash about

originality if you wanted to think about

it you know he so he was in a band

called velvet revolver and there was

obviously a very more

famous band called the velvet

underground and

velvet you know i always thought i was

like you know

it's almost like having like pink floyd

and another band named pink and i didn't

think it was the most original name

but uh no offense slash or anything but

uh i will say that um you know bands

kind of borrow from each other i feel

like music in general in a lot of ways

is kind of like has been passed

the the torch has been passed over years

if you kind of like track the lineage of

how everybody has listened to black

sabbath and you know

from there it's like it just kind of

keeps going back and back and you know

if you talk to like you know any blues

guitarist they're always saying steve

ray vaughn but for that hendrix and then

buddy guy and you know so you could kind

of track it in that regard but i mean to

really answer your question

we

i so left the slash kind of derived from

um you know all the original music that

i was writing starting like 2005 um and

at that time i mean the bad name was

there was nothing really kind of like it

out in the scene we were based in new

york city that's where where i'm from

and we were playing you know a lot of

like you know the the bars and clubs

there and in the village um

you know and for us it was just kind of

about being original and doing something

that other people aren't doing and i

think we're still trying to do that um

and i think i mean if you listen to our

music you'd see that

uh it doesn't really sound a lot like a

lot of the music that's being like

released right now and we're trying to

do something a little bit different

yeah so going along those lines give us

a little bit of history about the band

right so you know how did you go ahead

and form the band

you know we talked about your first gigs

and all that stuff you know tell us

about the formation of the band

yeah so um i would say left to slash 1.0

was formed in

2004 2005 in new york um and that's

again that's where i'm from um we

i had a friend youth playing bass we

actually met our drummer off of

craigslist we started um

you know playing gigs around new york

city long island and uh just started

writing music

it was more of an instrumental trio at

that time

really because no one could really sing

the parts

um and we were kind of our voices

changed a little bit since then

i moved out to la about uh four years

ago now and got hooked up uh with with a

number of different people out here in

the music scene and we kind of just

started putting together

you know uh bass player drummer that was

kind of the easy part the harder part

was kind of finishing and perfecting and

writing the music

um which a lot of that i've done

throughout the years so

when i got hooked up with total access

studios in in

in redondo who actually tracked half of

appetite for destruction um i i would

have to say which was kind of cool

recording there and um those guys are

great for me we recorded half the album

there and they just said hey you know we

we have a bass player we have a drummer

as long as you have the music and you

know we're we're good um so that was you

know going from i guess the difference

between 2000 and

call it 2000 i'm sorry 2020 to 2005.

it's a lot easier to put a band together

if you would call it a band

now did

you kind of fall into the genre of old

rock or was that something you set out

immediately

when you formed the band that you

figured

that was the type of audience

you wanted to write for i mean with the

lyrics you were writing down early on

kind of did that speak more about

that type of movement in music or did

you leave it kind of open and

kind of see where as you wrote more and

more songs really where your style led

you

yeah i've always really been kind of

more interested in that um like

early 90s genre of music from ranging

from the pumpkins tool allison chains

nirvana soundgarden i mean those are

kind of like you know my boys i would

say like that's who i've always got put

up i mean my favorite band of all time

also was pink floyd and black sabbath so

i kind of wanted to take like

that type of music jimi hendrix and all

that and kind of combine it with the 90s

and then

pick up kind of where bands like queens

of the stone age were in like the 2000s

right um

and you know

all that kind of came together and you

could kind of hear different tones of

that throughout the record um

and and that's kind of like what we

you know we're trying to take a classic

approach to a modern approach to a

grunge approach and it kind of all comes

together which you know we find kind of

nice

so when you go in the studio are you

recording old school like analog to

analog to digital

you know are you hooking everything up

with the

the amps and the mics into the amp or

are you going you know pure digital now

which a lot of musicians are just

converting all the digital and right you

know everything has that it's less of a

warm sound so to speak

yeah totally great question um

well everything that you guys heard it's

all

those are all live amps live drums live

based um and vocals really with only a

couple of takes they're not cut that

many times that would probably explain

some of the imperfections in my voice

there um i'm not a uh you know trained

singer in that regard and you know

we kind of looked at it and we're like

hey there's a lot of bands and i

cliche i'm wearing a hat right now but

dinosaur junior neil young

and if you listen to their stuff it's if

they're not it's not perfect even

nirvana right it's it's rock and roll

and especially when they play live it's

never note for note um perfection and

and we kind of like that about music and

especially we're a trio

um and we're about to play our first

live show

as left of the slash 2.0 and i'm really

working hard on getting you know the

vocals as good as possible but at the

same time i'm not gonna be like hey

every everything has to be note for note

and

yeah everything was kind of analog and

you know we didn't do you know 15 guitar

tracks or you know vocal uh layers that

were just kind of dilute like the

overall production of it and we tried to

make it more like a trio rock and roll

and i think that's kind of how it came

out and sounded

yeah

it reminds me of the steve albini letter

have you read the steve albini letter

within utero

oh oh i i know i i know what you're

talking about but i can't i can't

reference it off the top yeah

yeah well well steve albini wrote a

letter to nirvana about wanting to

record in utero in his studio because he

wanted it to sound raw he wanted it to

be really good and didn't want to put

all this digital thing because like you

were saying

you know nirvana in 91 92 they released

never mind and then utero came over uh

just a couple of years after that

and that was kind of the introduction of

the digital music revolution where you

plugged a guitar into a computer you

plug the bass into a computer you had a

digital drum set and everything was

perfect

but

the perfect sound sounded so bad and

nobody who could figure out why this

perfect sound

sounded so bad and steve albini had the

solution and then he offered to record

their record and be and he doesn't like

to be called a producer or whatever i

can't remember what he likes to be

called i think it's like an engineer or

something like that but it was kind of

along those same lines that you still

have to record analog to get that warm

sound it's the same reason why i still

love listening to music on vinyl so kind

of along those same lines that's what

you're hunting for in your sound right

now

oh yeah i mean we were you know we were

playing through um you know

mesa triple rectifier i mean we were

playing through

the opposite of di let's just say direct

input um and you know i think it kind of

it sounds that way a lot of music these

days i mean even the rock music these

days it kind of has

it has that perfect

um you know

digital

you know landscape of what you're

talking about and for us it just kind of

it comes off as like flat and it's just

not as interesting i don't know

yeah i think the best illustration i've

heard describing the difference between

digital and analog is that

you know when you make music analog when

it's recorded analog it's like you're

standing there naked everybody can see

the imperfections

you know the rolls of fat they see you

as they are but when it's digital you're

wearing clothes you're wearing makeup

you've got the correct light in it still

you but you're getting kind of like a

version of you which is artificial and

almost like soulless it's like the

difference between ai it doesn't matter

how good

you know computers get a mimikin a human

character it's still going to lack a

soul it's going to lack that

vulnerability and that rawness that

learning from mistakes that learning

from mistakes but still repeating the

same mistakes

and

you know i think

it's hard now to really with the

overproduction

make something on digital sound

just live as it used to be because even

now live shows they're recording

equipment and they've got it down so

much and getting rid of you know the

background noise it's almost very

clinical some of the live recordings you

hear and it's not until you hear the

audience at the end that you even

realized it was a live recording but you

know those guys aren't playing at that

kind of level live it's just been so

overproduced that if you were there you

wouldn't recognize that song was played

at that concert that it's so different

from your actual experience being there

true

well that's

that was great i mean you just kind of

nailed it because i mean

we were talking about this the other day

rehearsal and

um

you know i mean a lot of bands they'll

just have everything pre-recorded

and it'll be all coming through ableton

live and every single part of the

you know set is kind of like done and

there's even a lot of bands that they're

playing and they have

guitar tracks behind the guitars and you

won't even know it right um

i mean i mean some people would know it

and some people could hear it but a lot

of times you can't um but i just find

that like you know

coming from like

playing on stage with two other people

and that was kind of my thing it still

is

you know there's gonna be stuff that you

[ __ ] up and

that sometimes is cool because it's like

it shows that you're vulnerable and

you're putting yourself out there and

it's not as you know clinical as as like

an edm show which is kind of like and i

love edm by the way i love that type of

music i love hip-hop i love a lot of

that stuff and

i think the difference between like rock

and roll these days is that once you go

see those some of these bands live that

are on xm that you listen to and

you know they're seeing through vocal

processors and there's auto tune and i'm

just like well it's just it's just not

the same you don't like walk away like

invigorated like you were seeing like

nirvana in winter it's just

it's kind of chaos on stage and it's

just what people it feeds off the energy

from being on stage and and being that

raw act um

and i think that's what we're trying to

recreate a little bit

well i think a lot of that problem is

everybody expects a bigger show they

don't expect to just go to a little club

and be amongst i don't know 150 people

and listen to really good music they

want pyrotechnics they want big screens

behind them they they're paying these

big

amounts of money for tickets and so they

want a show

i mean

not a music show they want a show and

they don't really care so much about you

know the music they can fake that i

remember when

i think it was the red hot chili peppers

did the

uh

super bowl

halftime show

and people made fun of them because

there was flea out there and you could

see he's playing the bass and there's no

chord in the bass

everything was pre-recorded now for a

musician you can look at it and say

there's not even a chord in the bass

this is all fake right it's all

pre-recorded they're just

putting on a literal show versus

actually

listening to the music and being out

there and saying hey this is live music

this is this is what it's all about and

i've seen so many bands over the years

that you can't

even begin to capture the live music

portion on tape or on digital or on a

hard drive or whatever and i think we're

suffering from that

well i mean i i will say this is that i

i actually went to the super bowl in

houston and uh that was lady gaga

and before that i was like you know i i

knew that she was very talented and

whatnot but like when you see like

a super bowl performance that kind of

has to be all pre-recorded

you know there's no room for error there

for for a myriad of reasons um but for

us like you know we're not at that level

of playing the super bowl yet or

you know but i think it's more about

like you said for like the bars and

clubs and and that kind of atmosphere um

you know it's that raw rock and roll

mentality of seeing something they're

like well that was original that was you

know they put everything into that and

there wasn't all this technology behind

them and it's okay to use the technology

but i think people overuse the

technology as well well yeah and that's

the exact point i mean

there are plenty of bands back in the

90s like say nirvana or soundgarden or

whatever that if they were getting

popular now they would use the

technology but part of

their draw was the fact that they didn't

have this technology they didn't use

that technology and that's where they

got this following because they could

put that show on over and over and yeah

i'm not faulting the red hot chili

peppers by any means of having that

pre-recorded because yeah it's a super

bowl and that's that's a different thing

right

but there are so many bands now that can

just get you know some cheap 250

laptop and record this stuff and just

plug it into the pa

and sit there and kind of fake their

performance together and if they have

some great producer they can all of a

sudden sound better

well yeah that's a great point too and

that's why it's hard for us to compete

with them because you know

we're an independent artist

and

we're funding everything out of our own

pockets at the end of the day

but we're also not going to go into the

studio and say hey for

you know i can make an album for two

thousand dollars

on a laptop like i have a home set up

here but i would never [ __ ] try that

you know i have way too much respect for

the producers and engineers that i work

with and and i am a producer myself and

you know but but there's a whole

different art in making a rock and roll

record um

that

you know you kind of can't cheap out on

and it has to it sounds full a certain

way and hits you a certain way um versus

something you could tell is you know on

a laptop and look a lot of the bands

that are that are popular and now are

making them in real studios and spending

real money but at the same time you can

hear how there's like you know

15 different vocal tracks and whatnot we

were talking about before and i i just

don't

to translate that live is is very

difficult to do now i think that you

know every generation that comes along

kind of craps on the previous generation

about oh your music sucked

and you know every generation craps on

the generation which comes after them

says with this new music sucks but

you know i think people who appreciate

live music it doesn't matter what decade

you're from always kind of come back and

have these iconic heroes some of whom

you mentioned earlier but do you think

especially among the generations coming

now that there's almost like a d

appreciation of live music that they're

so used to seeing these over produced

and like you said shows with fireworks

and all this stuff going on

and you know the super bowl things

you know just seem to be to try and

shock

you know the shock values for everybody

so it's trending on twitter they don't

care who they offend just as long as

they're being talked about and it's not

really about the musical quality as such

but

you know you do you think that it it

really is a dying art live music that i

mean there's always going to be a small

pocket of people who always can

appreciate it and you know young people

who come through still appreciate it but

you know do you think it's getting

towards the end of it where it's so easy

to make music digitally

that

the

you know it's only going to be the real

purists to remain

recording anything on an analog basis

uh no i think that live music is about

to make the biggest resurgence of in the

history of music because of because of

covin i think people are itching to go

see any type of live music and i think

that um

i i feel like it's gonna be bigger than

ever honestly um and i feel like there's

different types of music for example

like you know edm where it's about

production and it's about the

pre-recording and i mean look there's a

lot of edm

djs out there that are doing everything

live and they're doing stuff vinyl and

and that's cool also and i i love both

um but i think at the end of the day it

comes down to like what different

there's different levels of shows like

there's your arena shows and then

there's your

your bar shows right um

and and you're in your rock clubs right

so it's like it it depends of what type

of level you're talking about right but

i think that people in general right now

are just like dying to go see live music

and you know in your part of the country

it's been going on probably longer than

out here but it's it's starting to come

back out here um

but i mean we'll see we have our first

show on september 15th at a bar

in in la

bar club and uh i mean look every time i

see the news i'm [ __ ] scared like i

don't know if they're just gonna just

cancel it or they're gonna

make everyone wear a mask inside i just

i can't follow i can just only focus on

what i'm doing um but i know that people

out here are really dying to go see

shows and they just started doing it out

here again um

and it's you know been very well

received

yeah i know my my boy a couple of days

ago just went to the green day concert

and so is green day and weezer and fall

out boy and the interrupters and i mean

he's been a green day fan for years he's

learning to play the guitar and i said

hey you know start learning green day

songs because there's lots of power

chords and everything in there so yeah

you know you can you know hook up the

guitar and play these power chords and

you can start playing songs and he's

like oh my gosh i i can play like you

know nine green day songs in a day i'm

like you know yeah it's great and and i

love hearing him you know upstairs

playing green day songs but he got to go

to the show and he got to watch that and

yeah it was

you know one of green day's first shows

that's touring around and they were

excited about it

you know lots of bands they're now

reopening the tours they're saying hey

we can do that but going back to what

you were saying

i've been to a lot of concerts that are

in arenas but

to me

the little club is so much better i

remember one of my favorite bands by the

way and we didn't talk about this

beforehand but one of my favorite bands

is the mighty mighty boss tones and i've

listened to them for years and i

remember calling my wife at that time

she was my girlfriend

and the mighty mighty boss stones did a

quick show in dallas and

we went to that show and there were 40

people

in the galaxy club in deep element

dallas

and to me that's one of the best shows

i've ever seen to see

the nine members of the mighty mighty

boss tones up on stage a stage i played

when i was in my crappy little band

right

but to

look up on that stage and look around

and there's 40 people in here and they

put on one of the best performances i've

ever seen and there was

nothing you know no filters no fanciness

no anything it was a raw show and they

played for two and a half hours i mean

it was so great but there's so many

people that don't get to

witness some kind of a show like that

because they think you have to go to and

of course in dfw i'm going to name some

places you've got to go to american

airlines center you've got to go to some

of these arenas to be able to see a show

like that and you say

no you go to three links

on in deep ellum and you can see some

great shows and just actually witness

the music and

not worry about the fireworks or

anything like that

and i think that's what your music is

actually trying to drag back in here

that we're missing right now

yeah i mean for sure i mean i think you

nailed it i mean you know for us we're

more interested in playing you know

places like south by southwest and in

stages like that versus um you know look

i mean in the event that like in the

next couple years as we get you know

everything gets ramped up and we're

gonna start playing bigger and bigger

venues um it's a different story but

look it's a different experience at the

end of the day too right like i've seen

plenty of shows at the forum and some of

them are great and some of them suck

and i've seen some of the bands at

you know

lesser scaled down venues and they've

been better but i mean when you go to a

you know a concert of that scale you're

dealing with a whole different you know

you know there's so many more people

involved behind the scenes to to to

produce an event like that that it's uh

it has to be calculated to a degree you

know

now where do you think alt music stands

as a genre now because when it first

became

i guess what you want to call super

popular bursting on the scene

a lot of the music

in the charts at that time was

electronic you were getting the first

you know more lesser-known hip-hop

artists coming into the charts and so

alt rock was very easy to spot well i

guess in terms of listen you could hear

a song hear a riff and be like oh that

sounds like an old rock band but

now obviously with the way music has

changed over the last 20 years

what do you think kind of defines an old

rock band because i mean

when we listen to your music

i thought you sounded very much like off

the top of my head somebody like the

gaslight anthem in terms he had very

catchy riffs um it sounded like you know

you were at a live show some of it

and you know it sounded like i'd expect

an old rock band to sound but there's a

lot of bands now i guess who described

as old rock like panic at the disco or

something who i really wouldn't

consider an old rock band right i really

wouldn't know what label to put on them

but

all right it's it's actually funny i

gotta i'll try and send this to you but

there was um

i saw this on on either facebook or

instagram but somebody was showing

it was the exact point of what is alt

rock today versus

25 years 20 years ago whatever and

um well i guess it was like 30 years ago

i guess um but they were showing

the billboard charts

in like 1992

versus like

now right

and the bands it's like it's not the

same genre like it's like you're like

well

this band would never

be in that alt-rock genre so

i don't really know you know it seems

like that unless you're

not like making justin bieber type music

then that's i guess pop music but then

alt rock um i mean there are a bunch of

good bands right now that i that i

really listen to like ty seagal car seat

headrest i mean there are some good

stuff out there um that are more

alt-rock

ish but like it's such a

general

genre now versus a more specific one

does that make sense yeah and i think

also what you have to take into account

is that

the

i guess people with the money now who

buy music has shifted now it tends to be

young teenage girls with itunes gift

cards they got from grandmother whereas

before a game when old rock really burst

on the scene coming

i guessed out a little bit out of the

ghost of new wave i mean in england the

transition was punk new wave and then it

kind of went into old rock

over here i'm not sure if you had a

little bit of a bigger gap between the

new wave and the old rock but you know

back then i mean you look at the end of

the 90s

the majority of people were still buying

physical

copies of you know cds and and on vinyl

whereas now people want it electronic

but you know there's always been this

joke about girls and music girls don't

like music girls like music boys like so

boys will like them

and you know now you've suddenly got

eight-year-olds with a 20 gift card

buying 20 different songs of their

selection on itunes

whereas people are not so willing now to

take a risk on an entire album by a pan

they want to pick and choose

so i mean that approach is an old rock

band where if you had one or two good

tracks it used to be able to sell an

album

now one or two tracks isn't going to

sell you an album

yeah no no it's it's interesting i mean

it's a different world in a lot of ways

music wise i mean like i mean the only

way to really

compare it is and this is when i was

getting started in like 2005 i mean this

was

before

itunes and after napster and basically

after cd so the music industry was more

[ __ ] up then than ever

now it's

arguably pretty [ __ ] up after what

just happened in covid um with all the

money that they they everyone was

banking on making and touring in the

last year and a half and you know

look streams don't make you any money as

we all know um and that's where people

are really you know getting their music

from right so

i don't know i i think at the end of the

day you have the labels kind of driving

what's popular to people because they're

throwing money after stuff that's really

that could be marketable right and

for us like independent artists you know

it's like we're gonna make the music we

make and we're not just gonna just i

mean i've i've written a lot of songs

most of them four left to the slash and

i just i'm not gonna just be told to

just change the music for one way

because it may sell better to a

different demographic because i'm not

really concerned about demographics when

i make music does that make sense

no that makes total sense i i remember

and it's beautiful you bring up the

napster comment right so

i remember

uh

going back to the mighty mighty boss

stones so

i every time they came into town i would

drag my then girlfriend now wife to

every mighty mighty boss tone show that

ever came into town and i remember

sitting outside of a club in

dallas called trees

and there was a band that was opening

for the mighty mighty boss towns called

flogging molly

and i said i've never heard of these

guys you know what's going on with this

and we watched flogging molly play and i

fell in love with them i'm like what a

great band and so i immediately went on

to napster

and i downloaded every flogging molly

song i could find off a napster and i

made a cd

that i would put in my car and i would

listen to flogging molly so i i made my

own record so fast forward about five or

six years i actually met these guys and

i hang out with them every now and then

in fact they're coming to dallas in

october and i've told them this story i

said look

i've got to admit to y'all

i stole your music years ago off napster

and i shared this with a bunch of my

friends and they told me they said

that's the best thing you could have

done for us

because you you get everything spread

around that that people will actually

hear our music and want to come to the

shows because it's more about the shows

than it is selling those copies or

getting those streams because

it's all about the live shows it's not

really about selling those physical

copies because those physical copies or

the streams or whatever

even if you're independent you don't get

that much money but then if you're under

a label you get even less but

you can actually

make a living having people show up to

the shows

it's actually you just brought me back

in my head to um

my my childhood because

so at one point we were just downloading

all music on napster and then we had we

would we would

burn it and by we might my two me me and

my two younger brothers um we would

create like the discography of all these

bands so i got every smashing pumpkins

album and that's how i started like

actually really understanding their

music and how they developed and whatnot

and really studying um because there was

no way of like just going on spotify now

and just being like oh i'm gonna listen

to gish and then i'm gonna listen to

siamese dream like you had to like

literally build that yourself and there

was no way of doing it unless you just

had

unlimited [ __ ] money and you could go

to buy all these cds which nobody really

did um

but yeah no i think like i mean lars

ulrich really came down on napster

obviously and he was the guy

that um

you know

he just like went ballistic and you know

i mean a lot of people just didn't

[ __ ] know any better and there was no

real like

what is the fbi really going to come to

my house and like get me for getting

[ __ ] smashing pumpkin cd like they

don't have anything better to do so like

i never really thought about that but i

was also like you know a young [ __ ]

kid i didn't know any better um but yeah

you know what like if i was an artist

then and i would just say hey just

[ __ ] take it because you're not

really making much more money on the

streams anyway

you know

0.007 percent seven cents on every

stream it's like it doesn't really

matter anyway at the end of the day

you're not doing it to make money off

streams unless you're like ariana grande

and you're getting a billion streams you

know and there's only so many people

that have done that and you can count

them on your hand you know yeah not only

that but a lot of people don't realize

yeah it's like you say

.0007 cents a stream and so somebody

like me

you know i i went ahead and

bought spotify premium for the family

because

my wife kept buying these songs off

itunes for 99 cents and then listening

to them for a month and i'm like i'm

spending 15 20 a month on you buying

these crappy songs because she has

horrible taste in music and then she

listens to him for a month i'm like i i

would save money by actually going to

spotify but then in the other side of my

mind i'm thinking how are these artists

making any money

and then i thought well okay it's the

live shows it's the merch and all that

and we'll

get into that in a minute but

one thing before i forget

so we have this digital wave of music

right you know everybody's listening on

spotify they're listening on apple music

they're doing all that but behind you

you've got a vinyl record sitting there

analog vinyl versus digital music i mean

isn't it so much better listening on the

analog

versus listening on digital you're going

to hate this answer i got asked this

question recently and

i so i've really bad 80d and adhd and

what i love about digital music is i can

listen to like wu tang and

rush and steven ray vaughan and jeff

beck in the same five minutes you know

because i just was like i want to do

this do that yeah now the process of

doing that with

analog

is like more methodical and you got to

find the you know like by the time i've

already put in and set it up on the

queue and everything

i've already listened to a song so

um does it sound better

through

yeah for sure but like

for the most part i don't really care

about that as much from like in every

day but from like

you know there's two different sides of

like my brain i like to listen to music

and i like to study music right when i'm

studying music um i really like to do it

on digital because i could really

listen to it anywhere right over your

headphones or the airpods or whatever or

on my sonos or whatever um

when you're listening to it it's kind of

in the background and i can never play

it as loud anyway because everyone

always tells me to turn it down and i'm

a psycho so the good thing about the

headphones is at least i can control it

in its ears digital music is is great

for that as a fan because i always

consider myself a fan first anyway um

and but the problem i think

when you take away the live shows the

last year and a half for all the artists

it was really tough for them to survive

you know and a lot of people have moved

out of la to austin for example you know

um

and you're and you're finding that a lot

now i'm sure even in dallas you're

finding a lot of people coming in from

all over the country um for either

political reasons or financial reasons

but a lot of musicians it's just hard

to survive when you just take away

playing gigs three four times a week you

know so

um i think eventually that there will be

some sort of class action lawsuit

against spotify because

i just don't see how they can keep

charging so much money to the users

and

giving so

it's giving such few money

to the actual artist i mean it

eventually it's just gonna be there

there has to be something

but the real way to look at

spotify

um pandora all the digital service

providers

apple music if they're just good

marketing tools right

you know it's no different than being on

you know a podcast like yourself that

everyone's going to listen to and you're

getting yourself out there you're never

i'm not going to make money on this

podcast but maybe someone listens to it

and they listen to it and then becomes

there it's just all marketing you know

what i mean so i think that like that's

the way i look at it and i think a lot

of artists do but a lot of artists are

pretty pissed off about it too

because they're getting

a hundred thousand streams and they're

getting checks for peanuts and it's just

you know and all that money is just

going to

spotify who you know their market cap

evaluation is pretty uh

it's pretty substantial

yeah it's

it's kind of annoying or at least it

should be kind of annoying for bands

that start today

who

you know were prepared to follow this

well worked road map of

you know writing good music performing

good live shows building up an organic

audience

you know hopefully playing that one show

where

you know an agent from a record company

comes along hears you thinks you're

fantastic offers you to sign on the

dotted line and you go through that

traditional route but

now

you know it's possible to produce music

and luckily go viral and suddenly be a

big thing

with next to no talent

and you know not really having any type

of game plan and

do you find that kind of annoying that

you come from the traditional

kind of way of putting a band together

and you know trying to make it and

you know

and you get some kids who just put

together sometimes just by a producer

who just picks a few kids writes a song

put some production on it and all of a

sudden it's like number one and you know

these kids don't really have any

interest in music it's just a stepping

stone to get something else and yet you

know they're on every time you turn on

the tv and the radio and you're sitting

there like you know having played like

20 hours of live shows in this previous

month and yet

you know can't get 100th of the

airplayer attention these no talent

tick tock generation people are throwing

out

i mean honestly i'm

i'm so old school the way i think about

it i don't really understand the world

that we live in in a lot of ways right

now with with social media and tick tock

and house stuff and you know um

like thankfully i have like we have a

good team uh that helps you with this

stuff because i'm i'm like a [ __ ]

caveman out here you know i'm like

rubbing you know sticks and stones

together to make fire and people are

snapping their fingers and you know yeah

so

i don't i don't look at it in in that

regard that i get pissed off i i mean

look there's times where i'm looking at

i'll see a band live or at a festival or

whatever and i'm like well these guys

just like

i can just do better but if anything it

kind of

it it pushes me to just be like okay

you could do it better than [ __ ] do

it you know don't just like keep talking

about it and that's uh

that went on for a while because

basically

um

left in the slash like i i stopped

making music and and playing in a band

for over 10 years of my life

in the middle of it um and i was and i

and i would see live music with my wife

and friends all the time and like that's

like how my wife and i met and and

everything um

but i mean part of me was like hey like

you're gonna [ __ ]

you know criticize these people you

gotta do something though you you can't

be on the sidelines and criticize people

um

unless you're just uh a critic which i'm

not i mean uh so at the end of the day

it's like you gotta look at it like

in life you have to like either do

things or just

accept that you can't do them

um

and i feel like a lot of people think

they're critics and they think they know

everything and i feel like i know a

little bit about a couple of things um

but i always feel like that hey music is

is very subjective and

the demographic of people that are

listening to music as you said before

a lot of ways i i don't relate to a lot

of it and i'm not ever going to and i

feel like it's only going to get worse

as like older

and music is just going to go and you

know and i feel like in five years i'm

gonna have like a nirvana thing and have

someone you know interviewing and be

like who's that and i'll be like

i gotta go like i don't know how i'm

gonna [ __ ] answer that question you

know what i mean but like you know you

know it's coming

oh yeah yeah that's definitely coming so

let let's go into the releases you've

done and and it as much as we've kind of

pooped on all this right

uh we listened to your musics through

spotify so

you know it yeah we kind of crapped on

them a little bit but as a fan i just

want to say i love spotify yeah yeah i

mean spotify is great and and we listen

to that but one thing that i found kind

of interesting with the way that bands

now

put out their music is the album

is kind of dying

it's all about releasing the singles you

know it's not about putting the record

out and

to be honest with you i don't see

anything wrong with that right it you

know it's hey we wrote a song we

recorded the song we released the song

you know we you're not running out and

buying the physical copies or anything

like that and so most of the music that

you have out there on spotify you kind

of released as singles so walk us

through why you decided to go ahead and

do it that way

it's a great question the so initially

um

when we signed with symphonic

distribution

um in jason jordan's team

and i was talking to jason i'm like hey

man like

let's let's drop let's drop the album

he's like no he's like he's like you're

gonna release 10 songs

you're building a fan base

and nobody's gonna listen to it you

gotta create buzz you gotta get your

social media going you gotta do all

these things and the best thing you

could do is release as many singles as

possible so i started thinking about it

i'm like well okay you know what i think

all 10 songs on the album

in some way

shape or form could be singles so i'm

like why don't we just release a single

every month this year and then drop the

whole album

um at the end of the year is what we're

doing

and

it's been kind of well received so far

and and and in that regard but if you

ask me like

you know a year ago i'd be if i was i'd

be like you're [ __ ] crazy drop the

album

like all of the people you ever did you

know listen to and you know idolize

um but again it's a different world and

you got to adapt right you know and now

we promote each single

every month

um on social media and wherever we are

um

you know and uh

it's it's fun because now like my my new

goal and you know when you challenge

myself is to try and release a single

every month for the foreseeable future

including next year so we're going to

start recording the second album

um in the fall which

i think we just froze

what happened

that'll be a fun edit

everything really froze

what's up guys that's going to be pretty

clean just

cut yeah rejoin it

you come back in

i can't hear you guys

i think you're on mute

so

there that fixed that okay yeah every

everything just dropped like all of a

sudden i don't know if it was us or you

and you know it doesn't matter but it i

mean it was just boom it just stopped

that was weird

so it's probably those big record

companies you know saying yeah don't

don't yeah don't don't share our secrets

or whatever yeah yeah i mean it it

dropped

just quick fast and in a hurry so um i

don't even know where we were or where

it dropped so

sorry we'll have a gap and we'll just

continue right from here i'll ask a

question and we'll continue from there

yeah give me that's fine yeah give me uh

five seconds of silence

and then

you do your deal

now i think i'm a bit of a romantic when

it comes to albums and i miss

the whole concept of having an album

waiting for its release

and listening to each song on that album

but even though i feel that way i've

still fallen into that trap of really

just

buying the songs i hear and i like and

now on the platforms like spotify or

iheartradio or whatever

you're given 10 or 15 seconds to decide

whether you like a song or whether you

think it's a piece of crap there's no

real kind of growing time

necessarily but you know

albums remind me of a time in my life so

if i take something like rems out of

time

uh take you know u2's the unforgettable

fire it was a period during my life

and different songs on that album bring

up different emotions and different

events whereas i think

maybe a single or a

single song as such

maybe just rev remind you of one night

or one event or a very short period in

your life because it has no continuity

to anything else around it whereas you

know you'd listen through an album and

you might go through a range of

different emotions through that album

and yet there might be a message from

that whole album but just buying just

singles individually i think

you know bands lose that kind of

communication aspect

you know you don't really get that

chance to have maybe a theme album

anymore where people are going to listen

from start to finish

and you know part of the you know the

whole picture is more valuable than you

know the sum of its parts

yeah no that's that's really well said i

think you just nailed it i mean because

i was saying before that there's like

two different like i'll put on xm radio

on the background sometimes right and

i'll just like listen to whatever what's

ever on and then i'll put on like bad

motor finger sound garden and like study

it and just listen to that

um and that's how music was really

you know supposed to be listened to at

the end of the day like if you're

listening to

you know

dogs by pink floyd like you're not just

putting on that song you're gonna listen

to the whole album because it's it's

something like you said that there's a

range of emotions that you go through

throughout the album um

and for the most part bands

back then

i mean i guess

they weren't really releasing singles

you know it was just we're putting out

an album

and then no singles would be played on

the radio and that was just the way it

was right um but now i mean it's like

you could just record a single

and

it's like today for example i could go

in the studio today

i could have it mastered in like a day

and then i could schedule a release

as soon as

a couple days from now so i mean and if

you're an established artist

and you have the budget behind you and

the marketing and everything behind you

like why wouldn't you do it that way

yeah i think one of the best things

about technology is it has allowed bands

to provide their music for free

through youtube and various other social

media platforms whereas before

you know even if you wanted to give away

free music to get the music out there it

still cost you something in terms of the

channels of distribution in terms of

duplicating cassettes or cds so i mean

you do have the opportunity now to reach

an audience

where the really the only thing you're

spending is time as opposed to money to

get it out there so you do have that

opportunity i think myspace was the

first social media where bands really

embraced and were able to put the music

out there and you know people would send

each other links and you could check out

the videos and you know your computer

after about four tabs would freeze

because it's a piece of crap and myspace

you know didn't put any restrictions on

the quality of the video and stuff

that's true but i think i think it has

helped you know bands who may not have

the funds to find a quicker route but

you know again if you sound like crap

and you just

you know make crap then it doesn't

matter how many people you put in front

of

well unless you have a really good

producer right well that's then then

they turn around and make you sound well

let's remember that baby shark is the

most viewed video on youtube ever that's

true yeah

um yeah i

i mean look it's it's it's another good

point i mean

the good part about where we are now is

that the

cost to make music is a lot lower i

remember going back to the studio

15

20 years ago it was just it was so

[ __ ] expensive to do anything you

know um

not i mean stuff was becoming more

digitalized and whatnot but uh the

setups were not as like you know

portable and you know everything was

more just you have to be in a studio and

now i mean look you can get some really

great sounds out of you know a laptop

these days and do stuff that you just

couldn't do before so in in on the flip

side of it all you know uh if you wanted

to put out music these days and you

didn't have a big budget or whatnot um

there's a way of doing it and getting

your idea out there and your your melody

and your your thoughts out there you

know

yeah it's the same thing with podcasts

right i mean you used to you had to have

a fm radio station behind you if you

were gonna

put on a show like this you didn't have

the internet you had to have a fm radio

station that was gonna broadcast you

now all you need is the internet

yeah 100

same thing

yeah i think

also bands are a little freer to express

themselves because i think

record companies used to have a lot of

control especially in england they would

actually dictate which would be the

first single release from an album which

one was going to have the most impact

even if the band disagreed with it and

i'm sure

over here it was the same i actually

remember michael stipe saying the same

thing on a few of the early albums that

they weren't necessarily their choices

to release but

you know commercially it made the most

sense from the record company's point of

view but at least now

you know as a band you have a little bit

more control over

you know the creative direction where

you want to lead somebody it doesn't

have to

be what you know the money man says all

right this is going to be the most

commercially viable piece of music you

can put out you can put something out

which you feel is perhaps going to build

a deeper connection with your audience

and really convey who you are as a band

even if it wouldn't be the one which

might the song which would get the most

tourists in any place i also think about

the movie and i don't know stephen if

you've seen this movie but i remember

watching this movie years ago i think it

came out in 96 or whatever it's called

that thing you do and it was a tom hanks

movie and the whole premise behind this

movie is there's this garage band that

they say hey we're gonna play this

talent show

and this drummer comes along and speeds

the song up and now all of a sudden it

becomes a hit and then they turn around

and they're touring around the country

and everything and the lead singer he's

like hey i want to do this and back in

the day they're like no you can't do

that we're in control of everything you

do because we're selling you yeah we're

you know paying for your hotel bills

were paying for all this

but

were in control of this you really have

no creative control and i remember my

wife watching this movie with me and

she's like oh well jimmy he he's just

such a terrible person in this movie i'm

like actually no he's not he's actually

the hero of the movie because he's the

creative part of this

and this record company is telling him

what he's supposed to do

and he had the balls to walk away and

say no i'm going to do what i want to do

but back then

you had to be beholding to the record

company and of course nowadays you don't

need a record company and i think the

record companies are afraid of that that

they're they're dinosaurs they really

are they're really dinosaurs

no it's it's it's definitely an

interesting um

thought i mean

look i mean well first off i love that

thing you do a great movie i was

actually watching a show with steve zahn

in it yesterday he's kind of peaked at

that thing you do but don't you know

don't tell him i said that but uh a lot

of people did that that was that was a

good one

i mean look the record companies it's

interesting because it's going to be

interesting to see what happens when the

dust settles for in the last year and a

half or whatnot and you know see what

labels are really still out there

signing new acts and putting more money

into hacks and you know uh how much

money did the record industry really

lose in the last year or so i mean i

heard a staggering number

on that in 2020 the record industry lost

nine billion dollars

so

you know versus making money that that

sounds like a spa

yeah yeah yeah

i think they are sending the dogs in to

attack you right now oh yeah that's

that's my uh wolf dog oh yeah

lighter no quick now bring the dog up

let let's take a look at the dog i mean

he he's fitting he's the wolf and the

shepherd that we bring

yeah yeah absolutely yeah let's go ahead

and take a look at this this guy right

here

he's got to be better looking than the

wolf come on you know oh no it's got to

be a bit oh oh here we go oh oh yeah

look at that

okay

yeah definite definitely better looking

than you well and less gray hair he gets

an extra two out of ten for being a dog

though well we're probably on the same

attractiveness level if it wasn't for

that

that's good yeah i'm talking about me

being the dog right

oh no no

now what do you find to write about now

in terms of you know lyrics for not rock

band i mean they must have changed since

when you first started i mean

again like i said the map earlier going

from punk and new wave was more about

disaffected and disillusioned youth you

know not finding an identity or

representation within the system

and then when you know the old rock

movement which came

about you know kind of the mid late 90s

that part of it

it was still a lot about relationships

and seemed more aimed at you know high

school and college kids but now you're

at an age obviously where you've got

you know where you can have a family so

does it change the focus of your lyrics

and what you sing about

yeah it's a it's a great question so

when we're finishing the album um

well mostly the lyrics the music from

the album was all already done

um for years and years it's been in my

head and written but i realized that

some of the songs either didn't have

lyrics or

they had

they had the verse and not the chorus or

or vice versa and i'm like

[ __ ] i gotta go back to like 2005 in my

head and

finish this song about a breakup that i

had or whatever it was

and it was interesting because

um

you know now like years later what am i

writing about um

really everything you know it's it's

like i've always looked at music as

really an outlet for like expressing

kind of what's going on in my life in my

head and not really trying to make it

about anything and just kind of like let

whatever comes out come out and um you

know it's a good way of like dealing

with emotions and dealing with stuff

that um

you know

you you can't quite put into words

but it's a way of doing it and a lot of

people now are like well what is this

about and i'm like i don't really know

you know it just

it is what it is and it's it's hard to

kind of

sometimes categorize songs and what is

this really about and you know now i'm

being asked these questions and i still

don't know sometimes and you know some

of the stuff i'm writing about is about

you know happy things in my life the

depressing things in my life the pain

you know

it so it it all depends on what kind of

mood i'm in you know

being like i'm going to write a song

about this it's never about that yeah i

find it interesting how

you know it's very different the way

women and men write songs towards

certain situations i mean you take

i used to be a big fan of third eye

blind especially when the first album

came out the eponymous album

and you know how's it going to be i

think was one of the best breakup songs

ever

you know i remember at various times in

my life singing that you know kind of as

an anthem now not saying for you shepard

because you dating your wife when you're

like in fourth grade or something so you

probably didn't have that kind of angst

of a broken relationship to sing about

but

you know when women sing about breakups

it tends to be more kind of ballady you

know you take adele or somebody when men

sing about breakups for the most part

you know there's some anger which comes

out of it because we're taught to

you know reserve and restrict you know

extreme feelings

but there's no way to kind of let that

out and music can be so therapeutic and

that's why i really kind of got into

that old

rock movement at the time was a lot of

that angst which was still a hangover

from

going back to early music like the

smiths which i identified with because

you know where did you find other people

who sung about everyday things which you

had something in common with you thought

everybody lived like duran duran and

spandau ballet you didn't realize there

were people who felt you know lonely

depressed you know no friends nobody

sang about that stuff and then all of a

sudden the smiths came along and some of

the you know new wave kind of bands sang

about you know that disassociative

you know kind of uh right

self in society but

you know i think it takes a certain type

of music to express a certain type of

feelings and i think

alt rock does have the ability

to communicate in a certain way which

resonates

especially with males um certain

feelings which a lot of styles of other

music don't have

yeah i think that was really well said

honestly i mean um you know it's

it's interesting because then it's like

you know you could write something and

then other people could start to relate

about it and they're saying um well

you actually feel like this also and

i've felt like this before and then it

becomes something where you start you

know sharing it and then it becomes

uh i can't think of a song off the top

of my head but you know

you know some of these songs it's just

it's about relating the people and

relating to a feeling that you may have

um

and i feel like that connects with

people and i agree that um you know

the male breakup

songs a lot of the feelings that you you

that you go through there

you kind of have to bottle up a lot and

it's just the society we live in and you

know where

you know you could say the wrong thing

now and now you're like a pariah so i

just don't [ __ ] say anything and keep

my mouth shut because i don't know

who's going to take what out of context

and like you know think i'm like uh you

know i don't know but it's a it's a it's

an interesting point i mean you know

it's it's one of those things that you

have to kind of like

you always have to put yourself out

there and see how it's going to be well

received because you're never going to

write a song and preview it with someone

and go through the you know the the

whole production phase and mastering

phase and and just be like oh what do

you think about it oh you don't like it

okay let's scrap it you got to either do

it or not so

the problem with doing it is that you

actually have the balls to really

actually go out there and say well this

is what i'm going to say

and people are going to like either

buy into it or they're gonna challenge

it um and i think that goes into an

interesting like point of you know a

transition of the conversation if we

live in a world where it's it's tough

right now

to say things

that don't come across as controversial

where where if you listen to some of the

music or some of the shows you know 20

years ago like i was watching the

chappelle show for example recently if

that show is on now

i i mean how would how would he have

gotten away with what he did then you

know what i mean like there's just no

[ __ ] way

yeah i know that makes sense

so

what's next for left of the slash

yeah so um we're about to start playing

live shows in la we just did um a live

um

there was a live show at the troubadour

that we got invited to play and it was a

uh it was it was something called global

green

and

it was a it was supposed to be all at

the troubadour but then last minute

because of covid they had to you know

restrict how many people could go there

but it was an interesting thing to be a

part of because we you know we're on a

bill with lisa loeb

uh taylor dane

um

there was a couple of different artists

that i i just never personally thought

that i would be on a bill with lisa loeb

um for for a lot of different reasons

and i thought that time was kind of over

maybe in the 90s um so we did that that

was fun

um and now we're just uh we're playing

um at the mint in la

on september 15th which will be our

first live show in leftist last 2.0 and

then we have some other cool stuff to

announce in upcoming months and uh we'll

be playing south by southwest in in uh

next year assuming that happens live um

but yeah we're just and then we're gonna

start recording the second album

uh

in the next couple of months so that's

that's really it it's live music

recording

and uh marketing the music that we have

kind of simple in that regard

ah very cool so

tell all our listeners

and everybody watching on youtube how

they can get a hold of y'all and how

they can find your music all that good

stuff

yeah for sure so um i would say our most

active social media is instagram it's

just instagram at left of the slash

um we're also on facebook and our music

we have six songs that have been

released on

all major major digital service

providers spotify itunes

live by live

title all everything it's it's it's up

there um soundcloud as well

um if you don't subscribe to any of

those and uh yeah that's that's where

we're at

very cool well hey steven thank you for

joining us today and with all that said

thanks for tuning in to this episode of

the wolf and the shepherd and we will

catch you on the next one

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Left Of The Slash

Artist

Left Of The Slash, is an alt-rock band based in Los Angeles, California. Created by band member, Stephen Reid Nemeroff in his hometown of New York City in 2005. The bands riffs and melodies are inspired by a range of subgenres including, Psychedelic rock, blues, Indie-rock, Punk and Grunge. Their style of music is influenced by Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Sonic Youth, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, TOOL, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Pixies, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and many more. Their debut LP, WON, is scheduled to be released in the Winter of 2021.Leading up to this, they’ll be releasing a handful of singles in the coming months. Left Of The Slash have worked with some of the most well-known producers in the alt-rock space in order to create this album including, Wyn Davis (Sublime, No Doubt, Guns N’ Roses), Steve Ornest, J. Randy (311,Fever 333, DMC) and Thomas Queyja (Modest Mouse, Johnny Marr, Angelo Moore). With notable press around their latest singles “Call On”, "Two Minds One Head" and "Never Let Go" along with a national college radio campaign, the band is gearing up and getting ready for an incredible 2021.