Slow Burning Car dedicated to creating a one-way source of “rock.” Through the compositional application within the audio world, they have come to unleash a unique style all their own, maintaining a source and feeling they can instantly relate too when making music. Their frontman, Troy Spiropoulos (Vocalist/Bassist/Catalyst), spoke to me about how the band came together, what’s in store for them, and what to expect from their latest achievement, “Vol.2 – The Scattering”.
NP: Tell us how Slow Burning Car came to be. How did you guys get together?
Troy Spiropoulos: I started Slow Burning Car back in the spring of 2007. I had originally conceived of recording a 12 song CD of my own original material (tracking all guitars, bass, vocals, keys, samples) myself. I had no plans of starting a band, it was just a hobby or personal project. I named that CD “Blowback” and named this one-man project Slow Burning Car (which was the title of one of the first songs I had ever written years ago).
Then my friend Mike Zimmerman, who tracked the drums on Blowback, suggested we start a band based on the songs off the CD. I was game. Our next step was to recruit someone who could play the keyboard tracks (which were minimal), and launch the samples used on the CD live. This turned out to be Mike’s childhood friend from Boston and one of my closest friends Victor Bishop.
We then recruited two guitarists, Corey Birkholz (who is no longer with us due to the fact that he lives in Minnesota and his wallet and sanity just couldn’t cope with the cross country trips) and Duc V Le (or as he told us upon meeting him “…just call me Jim”) who learned the material rather quickly.
NP: You’ve been off promoting your newest “Vol.2 – The Scattering.” Tell us about that experience.
Troy Spiropoulos: We didn’t really do much promotion for this CD beforehand with the exception of simply telling people we were recording a new CD. We played it close to the vest. On the final month of mixing I contacted a gentleman named Joe Scrocca and sent him a few tracks in hopes of getting established on his companies management roster (Scrocca Entertainment Group). He liked what he heard and signed us to a management deal and is currently booking us shows on the east coast to promote the CD.
This signing has had a positive effect on the band giving us confidence to really spread our music out to as many people as possible. We are doing this not only through SEG, but also by ourselves sending out press packages to secure as many reviews of the CD as possible in addition to garnering airplay on both terrestrial and internet stations.
NP: You are a metal band, and many people consider metal music as “evil”, what do you have to say to those people?
Troy Spiropoulos: Metal is actually less evil than some rap artists I’ve heard. The majority of it is fantasy based where as certain rap artists promote physical harm in one’s daily routine (labeled a lifestyle). The only true evil I’ve seen in Metal (and in other genres of music as well) is the advantages taken by representatives of artists who are supposed to be supporting, developing, and protecting their artists.
NP: How did you decide to play the type of music you play?
Troy Spiropoulos: I grew up on rock music and just basically wanted to pay proper tribute to my record collection. Whether it was Elton John, Kiss, Bad Brains, New Model Army, Love, or Queens Of The Stone Age, I just wanted to mix and match various sounds and vocal melodies til I could come up with something all my own.
NP: Tell us about the messages in your music. What is the goal with your music?
Troy Spiropoulos: The messages are primarily musical as opposed to lyrical. Writing and recording should be treated as a laboratory process. Try different tempos, different sounds, tempos, etc…see what fits what doesn’t. Write a fast punk riff and mix it with a bluesy southern rock breakdown…take a tribal drum beat and mix it with a waltz…see what happens!!!!
Lyrically, I tend to lean towards science fact and fiction. On occasion, I will write personal observations regarding myself and those around me. On this CD, Vic and Jim have each added one of their own songs to the mix and quite frankly those are two of my favorite songs on the entire record.
NP: You guys have built a big fan base and it continues to grow within the music scene. Tell us about your fans back home and how they’ve shaped you as a band. What have they done to help you get to where you are today?
Troy Spiropoulos: The fans we have, have watched us evolve over the last two years, not only performance wise, but recording wise as well. They’ve also seen us develop a disciplined approach to how we market the band, and how we carry ourselves as individuals. I think performing strongly and promoting shows every 7-8 months plays a role in their support for us as well, because they are not saturated with solicitations to come see the band every month. When we do perform at home its a special event for all involved.
Also, Mike and I have played together in 2 other bands. Some of our fans have been with us long enough that they saw us perform in those past bands. They have basically watched us develop musically and watched us mature as people over the last 10 years. With those fans we have now developed a lasting friendship so that helps as well.
NP: Tell us about getting signed by Slow Burning Records. How did that come about?
Troy Spiropoulos: The president of the label was good friends with a cousin of mine. He heard some demos I did 3 years ago and said if you ever get a band to play these songs I will finance your recordings. When I decided to record “Blowback” he was right there to pick up the tab without feeling the need to exert any serious control (and I thank him for that) over the project. Pretty innocent really.
NP: Your latest “Vol.2 – The Scattering,” is out now, what are your plans as of right now?
Troy Spiropoulos: Right now the plan is to create as much of a buzz about the album through as many interviews/reviews we can get through on-line and print media. We’re also planning a college radio campaign in September as well as lobbying for airplay on other terrestrial and internet stations. The album was pressed 6 weeks ago so we’ve got a lot of time to tour behind it as well.
NP: Do you have any upcoming tour plans? Tell us about your live show.
Troy Spiropoulos: The plan is to do a string of shows from late September to early October on the East Coast with some of the other bands on our management companies roster (Elysium, Ready In 10, Impulsive Decision). We’ll come back home and play the West Coast in the winter, then attack the Midwest early next year. The live shows are high octane and we usually like to recharge our batteries every 3 months before jumping back on the RnR rollercoaster.
NP: If you could pick a few bands to tour with, who would you choose?
Troy Spiropoulos:. Queens Of The Stone Age, Muse, New Model Army, Queens Of The Stone Age…umm…did I say Queens Of The Stone Age??
NP: Tell us something funny about each member of Slow Burning Car.
Troy Spiropoulos: HA!!!! That’s like asking if a pig’s ass is pork? My band members are nothing but funny. Hanging out with Mike and Vic for one night is like being the camera lens in “Good Will Hunting.” They both have an awesome sense of humor and are quick-witted. “Jim” is pretty funny too. He’s the kind of guy who stands up just as a plane is taking off and the fasten seat belt sign has been lit to go to the bathroom. They are serious comedy and I love having them as bandmates but even more so as friends.
NP: When it comes down to an interviewing who is the one usually stuck with answering the questions?
Troy Spiropoulos: When we’re all together we all take a question and pass the pipe around (so to speak), and when they’re not around…you’re stuck with me.
NP: One summer movie you just have to see?
Troy Spiropoulos: I’m a sci-fi comic geek so I’d say the Transformers sequel.
NP: Any final comments?
Come on out to The Brixton at Redondo Pier in Redondo Beach on Friday Oct. 9th at 9pm. We’ll be opening for Warrant that night.