The Slew / Kid Koala – Kid Koala Recruits Mike Patton and Jon Spencer For New Slew Record (PRESS, UK)

4 August 2010
Interview with Kid Koala regarding the second album by The Slew featuring Jon Spencer.
Kid Koala’s thirst for rock hasn’t been quenched just yet.

Last September, the Montreal DJ released ‘100%,’ a supposed one-off collaboration with Dynomite D under the name the Slew. Now nearly a year later, the project has expanded into a full band with a second album in the works. This time, however, they’ve brought a few more friends along for the ride.

“We’re going to have some vocalists this time around,” Kid Koala tells Spinner. “We’re reaching out to some people we think would sound good over this type of stuff, and we’ve already had some heavy hitters come in to do some screaming for us in the studio.”

These “heavy hitters” — Mike Patton (Faith No More, Fantomas and Mr. Bungle) and Jon Spencer (Blues Explosion and Heavy Trash) — add an extra layer of swagger to the hip hop-meets-hard rock recording project.

“Mike [Patton] has been a big supporter of the Slew since the beginning,” says Kid Koala. “He’s already joined us onstage once before, so it only seemed natural to have him on the record.

“As for Jon [Spencer], we’ve been meaning to do some stuff together for the last couple of years. We were originally going to do something just the two of us, but I think the Slew is better suited to his voice. It’s got this really kind of sludge-bluesy roughness that’s just perfect for him.”

While ‘100%’ was created entirely on turntables, the instrumentals for the follow-up will mostly be recorded live in the studio. The band’s rhythm section of Chris Ross and Myles Heskett (formerly bassist and drummer for Wolfmother) were originally brought in exclusively for the live show, but they’ll both play prominent roles on the next record. “We’ve already collected hours of grooves, drums and basslines from them in the studio,” Koala says.

But despite the more organic approach, the next Slew record will replicate the meticulous procedure employed for ‘100%.’ Each and every instrumental track will be treated as a sample, which Kid Koala and Dynomite D will spend months chopping and mixing.

“Basically we’re going to take all the parts we’ve recorded, cut them to vinyl, and re-assemble it all off the turntables. That’s where the DJs can come in and add the flavour,” he says. “We did a lot of jamming in the studio, but we’re still going to go through that same painstaking process.”

The laborious method might seem contradictory to the raw spontaneity of hard rock, but playing live is a different story.

“Once you learn your records, it’s like guitar frets — you just stop looking at them after a while,” he says. “Once the show starts, we just drop the needle and go. That said, it can still totally fall apart at any moment. That element of danger is still there.”