by J.D. Reager
Hardworking local punk rockers The Angel Sluts will celebrate the release of their new E.P., Suesie Was a Nihilist, this Saturday night at Murphy's. The record is being distributed by local independent label Fat Sandwich.
We've got a story on the band in this week's Flyer, but The Angel Sluts frontman Harry Koniditsiotis had much more to say than we could fit in the paper. Here are a few select outtakes from our conversation:
On developing an interest in music:
"I come from somewhat of a musical family. I had plenty of relatives who were classically trained. My great grand mother Sarah Sheinart Yavis founded the first all women’s orchestra in America in the late 1800s. I always joke that she was the first "riot grrrl." My brother and I grew up playing piano and horns but when I turned 15 I wanted to play drums in a rock band. My folks didn’t want that racket so I opted for a bass guitar. All my friend’s bands needed bass players so I figured that was the fastest way to get into a band. I think my mom has a video tape of us playing a couple of high school fairs. I played my first bar at 16 - Muddy Waters' in New Orleans. I thought it was awesome. Like a lot of kids we couldn’t really play our instruments very well or other people’s songs because we sucked. It was easier to write our own songs. So I just started writing."
On running a recording studio (5 and Dime Recording) and maintaining side projects:
"I started doing the 5 and Dime full time in 2006. The motto is “keeping rock 'n' roll cheap.” It’s a Pro-Tools studio with tons of analog gear. I’m lucky to have been able to work with so many great talented people. I really love the recording process and helping people’s creativity. I’ve been told the 5 and Dime is the most laid back place to record. The walls are silver with golden chandeliers and white & gold velvet wallpaper. I was going for a Ziggy Stardust/Barbarella /Factory vibe.
I think of the studio as one big side project. I can’t possibly be in a band with everyone but it’s fun to work with people in the studio. I think it helps me creatively to work with so many different musicians. I’m defiantly of the philosophy that each song should be treated like the A-side of a 7” record. I generally like to get everyone in a room together and blast it out. Recent bands I’ve been recording: The Gloryholes, Secret People, The Bombay Alleys, New Madrid, Lazy Affaire, The Sonnets.
Twin Pilot is an ongoing noise pop/shoegaze band that I have. We play Murphy’s Thurs June 23rd and will have a new record out this year.
The Turn It Offs keep talking about doing a reunion so we’ll see if that happens. I really like our album “Too much Static” that was put out on Red Lounge Records in Germany a couple of years ago. We’ve all been too busy with other things to keep up with it. Bryan (Six string Jets) and I started the band to have another outlet. We had been friends for awhile and thought it would be fun to do a band together. The Angel Sluts were on a break for about a year so I did The Turn It Offs.
As for finding the time. . . I have no idea how I do it. Must be some weird subliminal time management thing. I like being busy and productive but I’ve been called obsessed. Part of it comes out of the MS thing. Once I got better I just went into overdrive to make up for lost time."
On living with multiple sclerosis:
"About four or five years ago it was pretty bad, but over time I’ve made some lifestyle and medical changes so it’s been under control. I couldn’t stand so I’d sit down and play with Twin Pilot. It was covered up pretty well during The Angel Sluts and The Turn It Offs because we were always falling down anyway (ha-ha). One night a guy stole my girlfriend’s purse and I physically couldn’t chase after him to beat his ass. After that I was determined to get myself together. I get a lot of rest which is sometimes hard because I’m a workaholic, stay out of the heat, exercise and eat right, none of which sounds very rock n roll. To be honest I just don’t let it effect me. I’ve never liked hearing people complain about their crappy lives and I don’t wanna complain about mine. Not trying to sound like a tough guy or anything but you gotta just suck it up and move on. I’m also lucky to have great friends and family."
On maintaining continuity despite line-up changes in the band:
"It’s actually easier than I would have thought to have a rotating line up. I think everyone has always been friends so that’s a big part of it. There have been local shows with 3 guitar players and people switching on bass and drums. It makes for some extra fun. It’s kind of a brotherhood. If you were ever in the band you’re basically still in the band whether you live in LA or Memphis."
The Angel Sluts Record Release Party
w/ Hosoi Bros and Secret People
Saturday, June 18, 10 p.m.
$5 (includes a copy Suesie Was a Nihilist)