Sluka is an dynamic band out of San Diego that always gives their fans their best. So much so, we wanted to share a piece of their world with ours. This is why we connected with their own Christopher Sluka to talk not only about the music, but coming up in NYC during the ‘80s, how his travels have impacted his craft, and more. So sit back and enjoy this rocking ride.
Kendra: We often don’t know how great a moment is until we’re years removed from it. Is that how you feel looking back on your time in the ‘80s amid the NYC music scene or was the energy so vibrant then – you knew magic was happening around you?
Sluka: It’s interesting to me how most people looking back at that scene romanticize it, especially CBGB and other similar venues. I guess it is natural for humans to romanticize past experiences and suppress unpleasant memories.
But quite frankly, I remember that time as putting up with dangerous and filthy environments that smelled of human waste and lost dreams. And yet it definitely forced me to either mature and craft my own music or give it all up. As the lyric goes, “If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.” And I am grateful those clubs even existed and allowed us to perform our own original music instead of being forced to be a cover band, etc., like many of my contemporaries still are.
Kendra: You spent some time in NYC but you have called so many places home. Do you think all those moves throughout your life have contributed to your outlook on music and art as a whole?
Sluka: They must have. We are all a product of our experiences that occur at different times throughout our lives, both positive and negative. And not just the locations, but the people we interact with, animals, machines, environments, exposure to different ideas, languages; the list is endless and unique to each individual.
Kendra: Other than music, what do you feel is the most memorable aspect of a culture when you move somewhere new?
Sluka: I am always fascinated by the differences and the similarities of human-constructed culture, and especially the human need for answers to their questions and problems, whether through religion, philosophy, politics, art, science, conspiracy theories, or even just gossip. Humans really struggle with accepting “We just don’t know” when it comes to life’s biggest questions…Who are we? Where did we come from? Where are we going?
Kendra: Perhaps the philosophies of an area because your single, “Happy in Your World,” has this grand philosophical feel to it. Where was your head when you worked on that one?
Sluka: As with most of my songs, the ones I like and end up recording, are songs that just popped in my head complete. So, for me, it’s like learning a song on the radio, only it’s mine.
Alluding to your previous question, I acknowledge that the ideas must have been influenced by my life experience, except I’m not very conscious of it. It is important to me though, that anything I do is relatable to others, in the way music that I listen to relates to my life, and I am able to be taken somewhere in my own imagination, perhaps very different than what the artist had intended, and yet is still a shared artistic experience. This is one of the reasons humans need music, and the other arts, to help make sense of those unanswerable questions and share the common angst, energy, and emotions.
Kendra: “Happy in Your World” is on your latest release, ‘Figure It Out.’ Being that you’re based in San Diego at the moment, if you had to compare ‘Figure It Out’ to one landmark in your area, which do you feel would best fit the vibe of the album and why?
Sluka: The San Diego sky.
I’m a pilot and I love flying over this beautiful part of the planet. I’ve lived in urban places and rural areas. San Diego provides the right mix for me between the two. And the wonderful weather is a helpful contrast to the dark places my mind often resides.
Kendra: Since it’s January, I’m asking everyone…not for a lengthy resolution, but for a resolution, a goal they have for this month. What’s yours?
Sluka: Since we are all ultimately doomed, just getting through January would be a triumph in itself.
Kendra: What more can fans, new and old, expect from Sluka as we get into the new year?
Sluka: I have absolutely no idea. But I will do my best to not be boring, repetitive, or pontificate. If I had ever done anything like that at CBGB, I would never have gotten out alive.