Julian Interviews Slim Cessna from Slim Cessna's Auto Club

Julian interviewed Slim Cessna of Slim Cessna's Auto Club, check it out!

Are you guys all settled back into North American life after your jaunt across Europe?
Yeah, I guess so! Yeah, seems like it. We're heading out again soon but we will be in North America this time.

Did it take you a while to get over the jet lag?
SC: I don't know, I was just sick anyway at the end of that trip so who knows if it was the jet lag or if I just had a bad cold. Hopefully I didn't get a fuck ton of people sick on the airplane!

Which show was your favourite?
That's tough, we had so many good ones! I would have a hard time picking.. attendance wise our best show was Prague and it was just us.. all of the shows we had in Eastern Europe were incredible actually. The UK was great.

I was reading that you guys have barely been there before?
Yeah we've been to London a few times but we hadn't been through that side until this trip.

Was it refreshing to escape the chaos and the lunacy of the US media?
It was really nice, I didn't even pay attention to Facebook or anything, we just kind of shut it all off and that was great.

Your newest record, The Commandments According to SCAC, has been out for a couple months now, did it get the reception that you expected?
We honestly didn't know what to expect because it's quite different than other things that we've done, but the reception has been great.. as far as I know at least, only positive reviews and people who are familiar with us are excited about it and it's been going over well live. So yeah, it's all positive which is great because we worked really hard to make a good record and we're happy with it.

I was reading that this is the first record that you did entirely yourselves..
SC: Yeah!

Were there any hurdles in doing that that you didn't really expect or plan for?
Well we found that we didn't really know completely what we were doing but we learned a lot and can't wait for the next one. We made a lot of mistakes but the next one will be a lot easier! There's still some songs on there that I'd love to have another crack at but I think that's always the case.

How long were you guys sitting on the record before you released it?
We went right to our deadline quite honestly. We needed to have everything finished up and mastered so that the vinyl could be pressed in time and all these things so we didn't sit on it, we went right to the last day.

I also read that Munly wrote all of the songs on this record. Is it difficult for you as the vocalist to add your own style and try to keep your autonomy while you're performing someone else's original music?
No, not at all. Munly and I work very well together and he's written most of the songs on the last several albums so it's just not an issue. It's kind of how we've discovered what our strengths are and he's an incredible songwriter.

Cool! What's the weirdest billing you guys have ever got?
SC: Oh I don't know, I think when it looks weird perhaps on paper those are some of the greatest moments. We don't like to be pigeonholed and we don't like to be told what kind of music we're supposed to be playing in how the opening bands are picked or who we're opening for, you know, whatever, I think the weirder the better so I don't even know what the answer to that would be! We've played with everyone from Johnny Cash to Primus.. it's a wide range and that's how we'd prefer it.

You've been conscious on this earth for long enough to watch music - both popular and underground - change at least I would say three times.. do you think music has grown artistically?
That depends.. I think that in popular music that's always kind of a sign of what has already been happening in underground music for quite a long time but to make it popular you have to rip the heart and soul out of it for the masses to understand it and not be frightened by it so I think in amongst everything that's happening there's always incredible music. And that doesn't mean that anything that's popular can't be good, I'm not saying that at all, but as far as genres of music I think that anything that is going to be extremely successful isn't going to be as artistic as things that are happening beneath that.

Is there anything about nowadays that you wish that you knew about back in the 90's when you first started out?
I don't think so because I think that we have tried to evolve and change along with the years.. I think that we just learned to survive.. the business changes constantly so I don't really know how to answer that. It certainly would have been nice to learn how to make money! I don't want to make a lot of money I just don't want to worry about it, I want to be able to pay my bills on time.. the simple things! I don't know how to make that happen nowadays. We just have to play a lot of shows!

Since downloading and sharing music and pirating music and that sort of stuff has become the norm have you guys noticed any hurt from that or do you think it's almost been beneficial?
I'd say 50/50. I know a lot of people have heard of us who wouldn't have known of us if that wasn't happening but then again people don't buy as much so it goes both ways and at the same time I don't even mind that it happened, it's just how it is, and you have to be creative and find ways to do it and that's one reason why we made our own label because it's just easier because now everything that's sold comes right back to us and the initial investment of manufacturing the press presses is all we have to come up with and it really has helped us a lot.

Now this is something I've always wondered both as a musician myself and from other artists in general: where do you feel art, both in music and visually in performance, where do you think if at all does it stop being art for the sake of art and art for the sake of being a commodity or a product?
SC: *
Laughs* wow, that's a good question! I think that it has to be and anyone else would say the same thing.. gosh, well maybe they wouldn't, maybe some people are happy just having a day job and making art for the sake of art, but when you're displaying yourself off a cliff which is kind of what we do just hoping for the best and hoping that somehow what you're doing can pay off you have to look at it as a commodity at the same time because you're in the business of selling a product... but we consider ourselves true artists at the same time.

It seems to be a pretty difficult line to walk, the balance between creating art for art's sake and for you but at the same time making it accessible for other people and getting other people interested and wanting to support it financially.
SC: That's true but the one thing that I can say about that is that we've never created anything that was for other people, I think that's where you draw the line, you need to be selling a product but you don't want to sell out your product.. or at least I don't. I think it's quite an accomplishment that we're always on our own doing our thing and nobody can really tag it you know, it's hard to figure out what it is we're doing and what kind of music it is because we're just doing it for ourselves.

Is there any advice you'd like to give to anyone who is thinking of starting a band that doesn't really fit into the predetermined genres?
*Laughs* well I don't know, I've tried to give that advice before to my son who also is a musician and is an incredible songwriter and has his own albums and I always say if you want to have money then don't bother! I mean, seriously, this is an interesting world that we live in and making music that gets to the masses and on the radio and on TV commercials is hard but if that's what you want to do then go for it.. but that doesn't come to everybody and it doesn't matter how good you are.

Catch Slim Cessna's Auto Club on tour:
Nov 17 @ Reverb - Omaha, NE
Nov 18 @ DG's Tap House - Ames, IA
Nov 19 @ Subterranean - Chicago, IL
Nov 20 @ Lager House - Detroit, MI
Nov 21 @ MOTR Pub - Cincinnati, OH
Nov 22 @ Beachland Tavern - Cleveland, OH
Nov 23 @ Club Café - Pittsburgh, PA
Nov 24 @ This Ain't Hollywood - Hamilton, ON
Nov 25 @ The Silver Dollar - Toronto, ON
Nov 26 @ Zaphod Beeblebrox - Ottawa, ON
Nov 27 @ Bar Le Ritz - Montreal, QC
Nov 29 @ The Met - Pawtucket, RI
Nov 30 @ Great Scott - Allston, MA
Dec 01 @ The Ball House - Brooklyn, NY
Dec 02 @ Johnny Brenda's - Philadelphia, PA
Dec 03 @ Metro Gallery - Baltimore, MD
Dec 04 @ Hill Country Live - Washington, DC
Dec 06 @ The Grey Eagle - Asheville, NC
Dec 07 @ Pilot Light - Knoxville, TN
Dec 08 @ Exit/In - Nashville, TN
Dec 09 @ Three Links - Dallas, TX
Dec 10 @ The Sidewinder - Austin, TX
Dec 30 @ 3 King's Tavern - Denver, CO
Dec 31 @ 3 King's Tavern - Denver, CO
Feb 06 @ Neurolux - Boise, ID
Feb 08 @ Urban Lounge - Salt Lake City, UT
Feb 18 @ Valley Bar - Phoenix, AZ

Thanks so much Julian, Slim & Melanie!