Dave Hillyard

Interviews | Feb 24th, 2005

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How have bands such the Skatalites, Bob Marley, and Lee Perry had an impact on your individually on the band as a whole?
Well of course, we listen to their records a lot. Also with the Skatalites and bob Marley you have the personal examples of artistic integrity. I was fortunate to spend time with both Tommy McCook and Roland Alphonso and they both gave me musical advice on a personal level.

I know you have been around since the early 90’s and not a lot of bands have the stamina to stick around so long. What are some of the qualities of the slackers as a band that has given you the determination to do so?
We are insane. Nah, its just we love making music and at the end of the day, its fun!!!

You guys are all from New York…… so I was wondering where you all like to hang out when not practicing or performing?
Yeah, sometimes. But we don’t have much time off these days to do that.

How has it been to work with Tim Armstrong at hellcat and has he influenced you guys as a band at all?
Tim made us much more serious about our music. He provided an example of someone who worked really hard and achieved things in what he wanted to do.

Who’s the biggest slacker (lazy ass) in the band and what does he do to win the honor?
Vic. Watch him walk somewhere sometime. See how easily distracted he is.

through the years you guys have shown your roots in ska, reggae, punk, jazz, etc……. what stage do you consider yourselves at now?
We are trying to find our own voice. A mixture of all our influences but still our own. Something that we are experiencing right now.

Is there anywhere that you haven’t gone on tour to yet, that you would really like to?
Sure. South America, Africa, Japan, Philippines, Australia, India etc. etc.

The side project you have is Dave Hillyard and the rock steady 7. What can someone expect to hear who has never heard you before?
The rocksteady 7 is jazz meets Jamaican rhythms. it is a big wall of sound. Horns meets percussion. We usually play around 6 or 7 songs in a set but that can last for an hour and a half. Extended jams.

What the single event that had the biggest impact on your life and why?
He he. I guess it was hearing the beat, cause that was my first exposure to ska.

The slackers latest release is wasted days…. what can someone expect on the album. how is it similar or different from your past releases?
We’re stretching out. Pushing the boundaries of the music. Not trying to just do the same old thing. We are rooted in ska, rocksteady and reggae but we want to put our own slacker twist to it.

“Ska” has undergone many changes since the establishment of the slackers in 1991. How would you describe the changes, and are they for the better or worse?
Do you want me to write a book???? He he. I guess for us, we’ve built up an audience whereas 10 years ago, we didn’t have much of one.

You guys have played such festivals as the warped tour and others. Which was you most memorable and why?
Lowlands festival in Holland. There were 50,000 people there. Wow!!!!!

If you could pick one hottie to Jello wrestle with whom would you choose and in what flavor Jello?
foxy brown, the original, miss Pam Grier in tapioca pudding.

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