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SLAUGHTER

INTERVIEW WITH MARK SLAUGHTER AND DANA STRUM

Vegas Rocks TV: “Ok. Sally Steele here with VegasRocksTV.com. We’re backstage with the Slaughter guys. Here we have Mark Slaughter. We have handsome Dana Strum here.”
Dana Strum: “Here I am”
VRTV: “How ya doin Mark?”
Mark Slaughter: “Doin great. Doin great. How are you?”
VRTV: “I have known you guys, what, 30 years?”
MS: “A few years. A few years.”
DS: “We’re all still alive.”
VRTV: “Amazing isn’t it. I thought I gotta do a video interview. I am here with my equipment. Just a few questions. What you guys been up to now. My first question is when you hit it big ’89, ’90 whenever it was did you think, and the 80’s music was over, did you think you would have a career? You’re still here.
ME: “I think it’s one of those things that a lot of bands stop touring and we continue to tour. I think this is what we do, and it is a natural process for us what we do. We’re a tiger that never changes stripes. We always did what we did.”
VRTV: “Still out there.”
DS: “I think our biggest thing was you gotta be who you are. We were big lovers of a lot of bands. From Black Sabbath, to Led Zeppelin to AC/DC. If any one of those bands didn’t sound like their band I don’t know why anyone is there. So for us we went through those lean times. Driven vans, driven rental cars.”
MS: “It wasn’t pretty.”
DS: “We kept playin and we played the songs we believed in. What’s funny is many of those came back around. And here we sit today playin those songs. We’re lucky we ever had them.”
VGTV: “Now do you have any other albums coming out? I know you have your solo thing.”
MS: “Yeah there is the solo stuff. For the most part it really is about art, for making art more than it is a money-making situation. Playing music live is what we love to do. Even if I had some new music and brought it out here. With the band even, people don’t really care. They want to hear the hits. It’s more of remember when. We aren’t running away from that. We know where we came from. We also know people want to hear those hits.”
DS: “if you saw guys from the Beatles playing or you saw Led Zeppelin finally does this reunion. Everybody in their mind has this setlist, Whole Lotta Love, Stairway to Heaven, Heartbreaker. They already made this up in their mind. Because these are the ones they love. And instead of running away and oh that sucks, why does that suck if people love what you did. No matter what group you are, every group out there have songs that people love that they did so do them. Don’t run away from them.”
MS: “We aren’t running away. Look we only get about an hour to play anyway. We still have to leave a couple of our hits off on that side of it because there isn’t enough time. But still we try to entertain. We try to make it as energetic as possible. One thing about this band is we never lost that side of it. We still have a love to go out there and kick some ass for sure.
VRTV: “I can’t believe your voice is till so strong after all these years. You still hit the high notes, everything.”
MS: “Yeah. I still do what I do. Have lived a very clean life. Again, I think it’s a, the dryness of Las Vegas has kept me young.”
VRTV: “Now with your solo thing, for people who don’t know, was that sort of a cross over thing? A Steven Tyler thing?”
MS: “No, it wasn’t a when I did all that stuff, I was writing songs, I had enough for a collection of music and I just put it out there. Again, an artist makes art. That’s what you do. I just go out there and make songs. I go home and write. I am excited about new guitars. New things. It’s just what I do. It’s almost like a hobby that I never feel out of love with. I still do it.”
DS: “There is never a time when I don’t call Mark and there is not a guitar in the background. There is always something in the background. He’s playing. That’s what he enjoys doing. How great us it that someone picked up the guitar when they were young and still actually likes to do that. The truth is when we’re all out there everyone can rewind the clock and be the kid that you once were. What a great thing. What a terrible thing to do to make people happy for a living. That’s everybody’s job. Everybody in the entertainment business job is to go be a stupid entertainer and make people happy for a living. What a great job.”
VRTV: “What do you want people to know, after all of these years, most about Slaughter that they might not know?”
DS: “We’re thankful.”
MS: “I say thankful and the other side of it is every time we play shows, we look at it with a thankful heart. We look at it as we enjoy it. Its not like something we’re just clocking in. A lot of people it’s almost like a job that their just clocking in. For us it never is.”
DS: “It’s fun to be amazed and I think both of us that wrote it, created it, recorded it are amazed that something that you do in a small room under circumstances that don’t seem like its ever going to work out actually don’t even last the test of time but it brings people a lot of joy and a lot of happiness. Again, what a great job to make people feel good and feel happy. It’s different. There’s many bands where those people didn’t make that stuff up. But we did. So when we play it and hear it you see someone singing or lipping along or dancing along, your like how lucky are we that something we made up in a little crappy room, almost 30 years later brings people a lot of happiness. With everything going on in the world how lucky are we.”
MS: “We’re the only band, from our genre, that wrote, produced and still perform our own music. It’s not us doing a song someone else wrote. So I think it’s a little closer to home. In that side of it we look at our statements. We know what the people are listening to and we take note. We try to play those songs for that reason. “
VRTV: “The is a question I asked Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons because you two are like, you talk every day. You’re the unit to Slaughter. If something happened to you or Gene would the band still go on? “
DS: “I’ll answer that. You can’t do Slaughter without Mark Slaughter. And it’s very simple. When Mark Slaughter decides he doesn’t want to sing Slaughter music anymore, it’s done. It’s that simple. It’s done. You wouldn’t do it. It’s not only a name sake it’s a style sake. It’s a vibe stake. Someone says, ‘look man I don’t want to’ then you know what, thanks for all the great years, I’ll still talk to ya.. ok.”
MS: “That’s the thing with Dana and I that first and foremost we started the band out of the of the VVI (Vinnie Vincent Invasion) thing, we were friends first. I think that’s the key point to have longevity at any side of it. I think that’s what carries into the music and into the performance.”
DS: “It is really different because we recorded under such bizarre and where we came from. We started with a guy that people looked up to that was from Kiss. We ended up doing our own thing and going on the Kiss tour and made our own way. Because we came from that weird place, we were appreciative of that weird place. So no matter what, there could be a moment or two I don’t think there’s ever been a show where one of the two of us or both of or even Blas (Blas Elias) with Trans-Siberian Orchestra right now doesn’t close his eyes for a minute and think do you know how fortunate we are, how lucky we are that this many years later people even accept us doing this stuff. You couldn’t get any luckier cause there’s so many entertainers and the rug gets pulled out from under them and they never do play again. Or there’s great musicians and there all over in clubs all over the place and your like ‘Gawd look how good that guy is but it never really happens. Never really works. So to know how lucky you are and I know we do. There’s kinda no better feeling. And so for us..yeah. If somebody says to us ‘No’ hey you know what. Nobody nobody said when we record that first song ‘what’s going to happen in five years’. Nobody even asked that question.’
MS: “We don’t even think about it. I think the key point even right now is just to go out and really keep delivering the music that we started with almost thirty years ago. Actually is thirty years ago. But but the truth of the matter is it wasn’t released thirty but at this point yeah it was thirty years ago.”
DS: “It was recorded thirty years ago and if you said to each other or anybody that listened, ‘So guys talk about ten years from now you say ‘oh go to hell’. “How about twenty years from now’ ‘We’re dead”
MS: “Who knows what’s going to happen.”
DS: “Definitely dead and gone.”
VRTV: “Speaking about the past did you ever talk to Vinnie?”
MS/DS: “Never”
MS: “We did our last show with him in ’88 and never spoke to him again or wrote a letter. We did get his bankruptcy notices saying he wasn’t going to pay us. That was about it.”
VRTV: “After that song you wrote.”
MS: “Yeah that was about it.”
VRTV: “You got the last word”
DS: “Yeah we got a few.”
VRTV: “Well we’re so happy that your back in Vegas and still out there.”
DS: “You know the greatest thing about our history was the kiss tour itself propelling Slaughter into millions of records sold, which is all we dreamt of. And the greatest thing was to work with a remnant offshoot of that group and end up being successful in the end partially because of that group. So we’re thankful to them and it’s just a wild story. Very few people could ever tell that story.”
MS: “Indeed”
VRTV: Well we’re proud od you and thanks for comin back to Vegas.
MS: “Always great to be in Vegas. In Frank Sinatra’s room. Frankie’s room.”
DS: “We were in Vegas when it wasn’t popular to be in Vegas.”
MS: “You guys live in Vegas? How could you do that? Everybody asks us. But it’s really cool It was funny.”
DS: “Thanks for the years.”
MS: “Thank you.”
VRTV: Thank you Mark. Thank you, Dana. Sally Steele VegasRocksTV. See you next time.
-Sally Steele
See the Video interview here: http://vegasrockstv.com/?p=589

Transcribed by Alzi Clanton