Christopher Sluka is an American singer-songwriter, musician, performer, painter and aircraft pilot! We had the chance to talk with him about his latest album “Colorful Radiation” and upcoming plans. Let’s discover!
● Well, I’d like to start with knowing more about your music background. Was it classical and then shifted into rock?
– I never really thought of it in those terms. For me, music has always been this magical entity that I have found to be elusive in description and affects us all profoundly. I started off tinkering with guitar, then piano, then violin, and then many other instruments. When songs come to me, I just try to recreate what I’m hearing in my head. Some may be more classical, some more rock n roll. What I enjoy so much about rock music is that it can really encapsulate and also expand upon all genres depending on what the song conveys and how best to express the emotions inherent within.
● Wow! A painter, musician, aircraft pilot, among other skills. Do you think a musician should have different talents beside his music career and that could help his progress?
– I don’t think anyone “should” have anything in particular. We are all complex human beings gifted with certain talents and tasked with developing others. In my case, I was lucky enough to identify the activities that interested me and also for which I had an aptitude. I was fortunate to not have been pushed, or even guided, into a field for which that was not the case (such as becoming a doctor, lawyer, etc. for which I am not suited). In my opinion, music, the visual arts, and aviation all come from the same place. They are all beautiful, inspirational, and daunting to master. They are all foundationally based in science but artistically expressed. And they all require practice, repetition, rehearsal… and they are all very unforgiving of mistakes… perhaps more so in aviation!
● “Syncopated Gothic Groove Rock” I noticed this is how you classify your music, could you clarify more?
– People often ask musicians to describe their music. And it’s necessary to do so in order to make it accessible to an audience. But it’s a bit pompous to just state that it is “indescribable” or “really different than anything else out there.” So I felt I needed to say something relatively short that was also accurate. I had heard a critic mention the phrase, and I tend to like syncopated rhythms that have a hypnotic groove that anyone can fall into upon a first listen. Furthermore, I am drawn to classic Gothic style (not Goth) and Kafka angst prevalent in bohemian culture from where my last name “Sluka” originates. And then the music falls in the Rock genre for the reasons stated earlier.
● I found on many music sources; they described your music as the new David Bowie. Would you agree with the idea or against it?
– It is an incredible compliment for some critics to make such a comparison, although I have never consciously aspired to do so. I recognize we have a similar vocal range and are attracted to dark themes expressed in a pop rock sensibility. And as the rock icon that he is, one can’t help but be influenced to some degree.
● “Colorful Radiation” is an amazing ambitious album really and it’s have been acclaimed by critics and fans. Can you tell me more about the album’s concept. – The album came to me in about three weeks, all ten songs in the order on the album. I regard it as a kind of novella with each song a chapter in the storyline, individual, but dependent upon each chapter for the larger message of “Colorful Radiation” which refers to the double-edge sword (yin-yang, positive-negative, good-evil, etc.) we humans experience throughout our complicated lives. It ends with the advice to “Find the beauty within the horrors of your wonderful life.”
● In your opinion; what is the difference between the last 10 albums and the latest one?
– It is so different from my previous albums. And yet it still sounds like a Sluka album. I had never written, rehearsed, and recorded an album so quickly before. I was in a manic frenzy to rehearse some new instruments I didn’t know how to play very well, and get it recorded from start to finish, mostly in first takes, and without studio edits…. because it resulted in a very authentic performance… very emotional… and it still has a high level of production quality.
● After all those years; do you think technology helped the music production process and sales too?
– Yes I do. I love technology and new sounds, techniques, and recording methods. However, it has always been the case that some musicians & producers will sometimes hide behind technology (like auto-tune) or “fix” things in the studio, which I find disingenuous. That especially becomes apparent when you see the act “live” and their performance/ability is lacking.
● What’s your plans for the future guys? And are you planning for festivals soon?
– We would love to get on the festival circuit. I especially welcome the challenge of winning over an audience that may not not familiar with our music and dazzle them with our show, which is quite elaborate and integral to the music. We hope to keep touring throughout 2018 and 2019. After that, I suspect new visions & voices will enter my head to fertilize a new album.
Thank you for YOUR time and your excellent questions!