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QRD #40 - Happy Father's Day! - June 2009
about this issue
interviews with:
Nicholas Slaton of slicnaton
Shaun Sandor of Promute
Jeremy M Lange, photographer
Chris Bonner of THe BAcksliders
Matthew Kendall of Rogue Motel
BevanHurdof The VeryFoundation
Michael Jarmer of Here Comes Everybody
Chris Williams of Maple Stave
Brian John Mitchell of Remora
Kyle Monday of Carta
Bill Tollner of Amadan
Sacha Galvagna of Carta
RobertBrownof Northern Valentine
Benjamin LÝzninger of LÝzninger
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Interview with Nicholas Slaton of slicnaton 
June 2009

Nicholas Slaton has been a professional musician & a father for years.  He does everything from playing bass in straight rock & jazz bands to no-input glitch based dark atmospherics.

Name: Nicholas Slaton
Band: Slicnaton
Website: www.silbermedia.com/slicnaton

QRD – How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be a professional musician?

Nicholas – I knew for sure when I was 15.  I played my first paid gig & I knew. 

QRD – What are a few highlights of your musical career? 

Nicholas – The highlight for me is that I have been able to continue playing as my main source of income for as long as I have.  At this point I don’t know what else I could do.  Another is being able to be part of a scene of musicians in the NC area.  I have a lifetime’s wealth of friends & memories.  Also, that I’ve been able to record & release a body of music which represents me & my thoughts on music & composition. 

QRD – At what age did you decide you wanted to become a father? 

Nicholas – Teenage.  Tyler was born in 1998.  You could say I was a young father, but I decided to BE a father to him, which is different than just having a child, & my daughter Cora was born 2009.  I mean you can decide, plan, & try; but when it happens you realize you are just along for the ride.  Even if you do decide, once you have the baby, it is so different from what you though it would be like.  I took it as a blessing & a challenge & it has been!  I wouldn’t change a thing. 

QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your family has had on your career? 

Nicholas – On the positive end, I have an unlimited source of inspiration.  I have also been motivated not only to make great music, but to commit to making a living at it.  I try to approach the music & music business in a professional manner as it will need to sustain not only mine, but the lives of my family of four.  On the negative side, I haven’t really slept in ten years, between the late nights & early mornings there are precious few minutes for myself.  Also, I may have stayed closer to home in order to follow through with my responsibilities as a father.

QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your career has had on your family?

Nicholas – I think the best example I can set for my kids is to follow through with my life goals... to instill a strong work ethic & diligence in refining your craft.  These are the things I was taught from my parents & I plan to set the same example for my children.  Tyler happens to be interested in architecture.  I want him to have the same passion, commitment, & tenacity for architecture or whatever he becomes interested in.  As far as negatives, we have our downs along with our ups; but for the most part we have it pretty good.

QRD – Has your child effected the music you make &/or listen to?

Nicholas – No.

QRD – Have you had problems with the lack of steady money from a musical career providing the security you feel necessary in your household?

Nicholas – Sure, it’s not easy for anyone trying to make it as a musician. 

QRD – Given the limitations having a family has on being a touring musician, would you have toured more earlier in life if you’d known?

Nicholas – I’ve had the opportunity to play many fine places.  There are still places to go, but I definitely got the travel thing out of my system.  I would like to explore Europe in the near future.

QRD – Do you think being a father or a musician has a greater impact on your community?

Nicholas – I’d like to think they’re different communities.  But I will say that fathering & composing are very similar.  You are forced to boil down your ideas to only the most important information, this becomes what you try to pass down.  Your personal culture if you will.  But also there are the parts of you that only others see.  & this comes out in your music & your children.  Then your behavior & actions get committed to history either on record or in your child.

QRD – Would you rather see your child eventually become a musician or parent?

Nicholas – Parent, but I’m in no hurry for that.  Tyler has no interest in music right now, so time will tell.  I think Cora is getting mandatory piano lessons.

QRD – Both family & music seem like things that will take up as much of your time as you’re willing to put in.  How do you end up dividing your time?

Nicholas – I work when I’m getting paid, the rest of the time I’m a family man.  When the family isn’t around is when I work on new music things.

QRD – What do your kids think of your music?

Nicholas – Right now Tyler likes folk, old country, & Clear Channel Radio.  He wants an iPod so he doesn’t have to listen to my music in the car.  Although Tyler has logged some hours as a roadie.  He comes with me all over the place.  Cora seems to really like music, but she is picky.  She likes old school RnB & funk, she is also interested in the dark ambient & electro-acoustic musics.

QRD – Do you think you could ever do a musical project with your child?

Nicholas – Sure.  Tyler & I have actually.  His monicker is Artech & his first song was called “Forest of Death.”

QRD – Any words of advice to young people?

Nicholas – Grow Slow!

Links:
Official slicnaton Website
slicnaton on MySpace
slicnaton on Facebook

Other QRD interviews with slicnaton:
slicnaton interview (March 2009)