An Interview with Eric Slick

By Andrew Daly
andrew@andrewvinylwriter

Recently, I caught up with veteran drummer, Eric Slick of Dr. Dog. Among other things, we touch on Eric’s upcoming reissue of Palisades, the writing, recording, and legacy of the album, what’s next on his docket, and a whole lot more.

If you would like to learn more about Eric Slick, the link to his webpage is here. Once you’ve done that, check out this interview with Eric. Cheers.

Andrew:
Eric, thanks for taking the time. Let’s dive right in. You’ve got a wonderful new reissue of Palisades on the horizon. Tell us more.

Eric:
Of course. The album has been out of print since it came out. We only made two hundred copies or so, the pre-orders sold out, and then the rest of them sold out by the album’s release date. Normally the label would immediately repress, but for whatever reason, the label I was on didn’t think it was necessary. Thank God for the fine folks at Org Music. They’re a great reissue label out of L.A. that has completely saved my back catalog. They also have ideas about how to improve the packaging, and they made Palisades look even better with the new vinyl color variants.

Andrew:
Palisades was released five years ago in 2017, what makes now the right time to remind the world of its presence?

Eric:
Everyone loves an anniversary! Plus the demand for Palisades on vinyl has been increasing since it came out. A couple of the original copies went for almost $100 on eBay, so we figured it’d be good to get it back into circulation.

Andrew:
Palisades was your first official solo record. Going back, what was the sequence of events that led you to decide to finally take that leap?

Eric:
I think I had always wanted to make solo records but was too afraid to do anything. I had a lot of encouragement from my friends, but I never had the confidence to do it. I left my hometown of Philadelphia in 2013 and moved to Asheville, NC. It was sort of a reset button on my life. I got really into different forms of meditation, and I wrote a ton of songs. It was a vulnerable time, but It taught me a lot. I finally felt like I could make music and share it with people. The community in Asheville was so supportive. I could play any kind of show and people would have constructive criticism. It never felt judgmental or awkward – I just had a solid group of friends. I met Rusty Sutton in town around that time, he was doing sound at this incredible venue called The Mothlight. He eventually became my manager in 2019. It was fruitful.

Andrew:
You’ve been the drummer for Dr. Dog for some time. This said, what did Palisades allow you to do as an artist that you couldn’t do in Dr. Dog?

Eric:
I love being in Dr. Dog. It’s a role where I get to help other musicians get their ideas across. I love doing that and it’s natural for me. However, I wanted to get to a place where I could express my own ideas. My own ideas are a lot weirder and darker than most bands would allow. I’ve had a strange and incredible life so far, so I feel lucky. I wanted my music to represent my world. I’m still figuring that out, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop.

Andrew:
How did the tracks on Palisades come together? What was your songwriting process like?

Eric:
I would sit on my couch and meditate. Then I would sit with a pen and pad, and allow words to come out. It was very much stream of consciousness. I had this beautiful old piano that I eventually sold to Angel Olsen, but I wrote all the songs on that piano. It’s a magic instrument. Things were just happening so easily, and I had a little four-track that Matt Schnable from Harvest Records let me borrow. I still don’t even know what those songs are about, but I think a lot of them have to do with letting go of a past life.

Andrew:
Break down the actual sessions for me. Who produced the record, and what sort of sounds were you hearing in your head?

Eric:
The record was produced by myself, Jose Diaz Rohena, and Michael Johnson. I think I was throwing a lot of ideas at the wall. We recorded the basic tracks at the Unknown Studios in Anacortes, Washington – Phil Elverum’s studio. We knocked it out in two days. My close bud Dom Angelella was with me, as well as Dailey Toliver and Ryan Neitznick. I sat on those basic tracks for so long. Then Michael Johnson helped me get the ball rolling on overdubs. I think I was trying to make the album sound like a David Lynch movie. I was hearing things as textures, and less like distinct drum rhythms. It’s a very floaty record.

Andrew:
Palisades was universally praised at the time. This said, looking back, what would you do differently? 

Eric:
Hah! Just about all of it. It’s a dark and reverb-drenched album. I’m not sure I’ll ever make something that again. I still can derive joy out of hearing it, though. It’s weird as hell.

Andrew:
How do you feel you’ve progressed as both a songwriter and drummer since the release of Palisades?

Eric:
I’ve taken a boatload of vocal lessons and recorded a lot of drums at my house. I’ve written hundreds of songs since then. I feel like I’ve gotten so much better. It takes a lot of work, and it can be very humbling to hear yourself, and I was ashamed at my singing voice, and my drumming for a long time. I finally feel like I’m learning to love what I do.

Andrew:
On the subject of new music, your last album, Wiseacre, was a stunning success. Are you working on a follow-up?

Eric:
Yes I am. I am having so much fun figuring out what’s next, and I’m experimenting a lot.

Andrew:
On the Dr. Dog side of things, what’s next on the docket?

Eric:
I can’t answer that, but we’re all great friends, and our friendship has only deepened since our farewell tour. They’re a great group of people, and I’m sure we’ll do something in the future.

Andrew:
Last one. What’s next for you in all lanes, Eric?

Eric:
Touring with Waxahatchee for most of this year, and playing some fun solo shows. I am focused mostly on making a new album. Stay tuned.

Interested in learning more about Eric Slick? Hit the link below:

Be sure to check out the full catalog of VWMusic Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interviews

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

With an immense passion for music, a disposition for writing, and an eagerness to teach and share both, Andrew decided to found VWMusic in 2019 as a freelance column under the column Idle Chatter. Over time, the column grew into a website that now features contributors who further the cause of sharing both a love of music and the art of journalism with the world through articles and interviews. While Andrew enjoys running the website, his real passion lies in teaching and facilitating others to do what they do best, and giving them the opportunity to explore their passions in the process. Some of Andrew’s favorite artists include KISS, Oasis, ACϟDC, Elvis Presley, Ace Frehley, The Rolling Stones, Rush, The Pretenders, Led Zeppelin, The Gaslight Anthem, Iron Maiden, John Lennon, The Melvins, Noel Gallagher, Regina Spektor, Rory Gallagher, The Stone Roses, The Strokes, Thin Lizzy, Elvis Costello, Van Halen, Neil Young, Blur, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and many more.
Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: