THE DRIVE INSIDE
KEITH SLACK of MOTHER ROAD
Interview by The Dedicated Rocker Society
Founded in 2011, MOTHER ROAD is the brainchild of Austin, TX (USA) based rock singer Keith Slack and Berlin (Germany) based guitarist Chris Lyne. Named after "The Mother Road", another name for the US' legendary, historic Route 66 highway, this international Hard Blues Rock band is impressively transferring the vintage sounds and the trademarks of the classic hard rock genre into the 21st Century!
Mother Road's debut release, 'Drive' comes out on May 23rd and will be released on the group's very own Road Songs label. Musically, Mother Road's sound is tailor made for all those fans out there digging 70’s kind of Classic Rock with bluesy influences!
We gave Keith Slack a call to talk about Mother Road and his past and future endeavors. Read for yourselves what Keith was kind enough to share with us....
Q: Keith, can you gives the 411 about your new band, Mother Road? How long have Mother Road been a band? How long did it take to record?
"The band's been together for about two years. As far as how long it to record the album. It's taken awhile to put together because we had to do everything ourselves, the slow road per say. It didn't that long to write the songs, that was the easy part. It was just getting it all together and finding all the right guys to play in the band. We did it the old school way. Doing it this way took a little more time, but it also gives you that safety net to have fresh years to go back, listen to it and say, "Ah, let's fix that." I am glad the way turned out the way that it did."
Q: Who are the main songwriters for the band?
"Chris and I wrote all the songs. I wrote all the melodies and lyrics. There were a couple of things Chris helped out on like some of the melodies. In turn, I help him out with some of the music."
Q: As far as finding the right guys, did chemistry play a big part?
"Chemistry putting the band together was detrimental. I've been in so many different bands and projects. If you don't have the right personnel or chemistry it just won't work."
Q: Did you feel that chemistry with Mother Road?
"Most definitely. I feel the chemistry in this band. I'm thrilled with it. We've got monster players. It clicked right away! When it happens like that you know right away, it's just incredible! I was just thrilled to death on how everything came together."
Q: How was the album recorded, the new way or the old school way?
"It started with us by phone. Both Chris and I are engineers and we're pretty proficient in recording. The great thing about it is, I flew over to Berlin and we ended up 're-recording it when I got there. It was like we had pre-production back and forth then we got together. It's always nice to have two sets of ears when your tracking stuff. We did it the old school way. I love when there actually an engineer and producer in the same room using each other as sound boards."
Q: Now that the album is done and ready for the world, are you happy with the results? Reaction to the response you've received so far?
"I am totally blown away with the response. Obviously, we are our own worst critics and I'm the worst. I expected, to hear people say how I should have fixed this or fix that. Luckily we put it all together with good vibes and made it happen. The response has been crazy! I've received so many reviews in the last few days and not a bad one among them."
Q: As far as promoting 'Drive', what do you have planned?
"I think it's going to be grass roots and word of mouth on how we're going to promote the album. We don't have a major record company to fund us. But that's okay, I don't think we need to have.that."
Q: Prior to Mother Road you were in Steelhouse Lane with Mike Slamer (City Boy/Streets) and then in MSG with Michael Schenker. How do you get those gigs?
"I'll start with the Slamer gig. James Christian from House Of Lords helped out with that. Mike Slamer wanted James to sing on some his back catalog that some European label wanted to release. James couldn't do it, so He referred me. That's how I got the Steelhouse Lane gig."
Q: What about hooking up with Michael Schenker?
"A friend of mine was recording an album for Kelly Keeling and they were having some problems. So my friend asked me to come over to play a drum track or two, so I did. Kelly and I hit it off really well and became friends. He told me, "Man, I did this studio album with Michael Schenker , but my management doesn't want me to go on tour because of prior obligations. You want me to throw your name in the hat?" I told him, "Absolutely! Does it pay! (laughs)". So, I did and that's where it all came from. I auditioned like everyone else did, but I got the gig."
Q: So you go on tour with Michael Schenker, the set list must have been overwhelming for you. Not only learning the MSG songs, but classic UFO songs as well. How did you do it?
"Thank god Susan Slamer had worked at Chyrsalis Records. If it wasn't for her I wouldn't have gotten all the lyrics. I learned all the lyrics off the internet. It was crunch time, I had 10 days to learn 43 songs. The thing was, got a call from Michael's manager he told me that "Michael doesn't want you to learn the lyrics off the internet, they are wrong!" I said, 'Great! Now I only have 6 days'. I told Susan and she was able to get the right lyrics from Chyrsalis and as soon as I got them, I went on the town with that stuff! I was literally on the tour bud splitting hairs to get down! (laughs)"
Q: Back to Mother Road, will there be a US release for 'Drive'?
"Man, I sure like to think so. I guess there is a market for it somewhere here in the States. I'm pretty sure it will be available here in the States."
Q: Will you be doing any shows here in the States to promote the album?
"That's a good question. Does Rock 'N' Roll even exit in America anymore (laughs)?! I've seen and heard so many great bands that can't even get arrested (laughs). Nobody can make any money touring anymore. It's not feasible unless you have a huge following. That just the sad facts of where we are here in America.I really don't have a definite answer. I would love for Mother Road to play here in America. We'll have to wait and see."
Q: What about shows in Europe?
"The great thing about Europe is that people there are either fans of mine or Chris and in rock music in general. The fans there are more loyal and very supportive. They are the fans that will buy your CD, buy a ticket to see play and buy your T-shirt. It just blows me away. I noticed the Japanese fans are like that too. Something that fans here in States don't do. Most of them buy their music off the internet. Not saying all of them do, but the majority of music fans here do."
Q: When you do start to tour, will your set list, as side from the Mother Road songs, be songs from Steelhouse Lane and Soul Doctor catalog?
"We actually talked about that and we're definitely open to doing that. It's just about having the support to do it. Then of course seeing what the fans want to hear, the folks that are buying the records, whatever they want to hear we'll try to put it together and see what we can do and see if we could pull it off (laughs)."
Q: What's next for Mother Road?
"Man, to get on the road and play some shows. We may be late to get on board with some of the festivals this Summer, unless we get a surprise, but at less we have a jump start on next year. Hopefully by then, we'll have a second album. We'd be happy with a loyal following. The goal of music today for me is just to be happy. If you can play music and pay your bills that's a godsend."
A big THANK YOU to Keith Slack for sharing his time to do this interview. Be sure to get your hands on MOTHER Road's powerhouse debut 'Drive'. It's guaranteed to get your rocks off as soon as you press play! Mother Road is the type of band you'd go see and there would be no fancy clothes, no half dressed chicks dancing on stage, just a bunch of guys in jeans and t-shirts with some Marshalls and their instruments. They'd plug in and they'd blow you away! - The Dedicated Rocker Society
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