Indie Mixtape 20: Eric Slick Goes Bonkers On ‘New Age Rage’

Eric Slick is a madman, and I mean that as the highest form of praise I can fathom. From his interview answers alone, you can glean the overall atmosphere of his latest solo record, New Age Rage. The Dr. Dog drummer, songwriter, and producer has indulged his most preposterous impulses to create an album steeped in psych-rock, ‘80s stadium pop, and delirious disco.

But even amid the unabashed bonkers-ness and bananas-ness of it all, there’s a scintillating glint of earnestness there. Across its 10 tracks, Slick explores the pitfalls of perfectionism, the comforts of time spent with the people you love, and the perils of people-pleasing. It’s all coated in a neon glaze of funky grooves and luxe synthesizers. Welcome to the new age rage, everyone.

Following the record’s release in late April, Eric Slick sat down with Uproxx to talk about Sarah Sherman, Pizza Hut, and getting the Dr. Dog logo tattooed on his leg in our latest Q&A.

What are four words you would use to describe your music?

Zesty, roasty, Flavortown, profane.

It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?

I’d like to think that people will still be listening to it and that they’ll hear the joy in it. I truly love making music more than anything in the world. Sadly, what’s more likely is that people will be listening to Enron Sluck – an AI repo-baby who only sings about salsa filled diapers and the Illuminati. Can’t really beat a pyramid scheme.

Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?

Mark Mothersbaugh. DEVO altered my brain in a way that I’ve never fully recovered from and I’m fine with that. I also went to see his art exhibit Myopia 3 times in two different cities. Plus, y’know, Pee Wee’s Playhouse. The list goes on.

Where did you eat the best meal of your life and what was it?

I had an all timer meal in Ferrera, Italy with Kevin Morby. It was a seared branzino. Second place goes to the vegan cheesesteak (with rutabaga cheese whiz?!) at Wiz Kidz. Natalie watched me cry.

Tell us about the best concert you’ve ever attended.

Dirty Projectors at First Unitarian Church with Vieux Farka Toure and Skeletons. Everything felt possible. Iggy Pop once said that great performances feel like flight and I think everyone at the show was flying.

What song never fails to make you emotional?

“Pure Imagination” from the Willy Wonka Soundtrack. There’s something about that melody/chord progression that burrows into my subcutaneous layer. I guess what I’m saying is if you’re sick in the head, you can put on that song to make me cry on command. That’s not very nice.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

“Is removing the back row of seats from a rental van illegal?”

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?

Oof. Let’s just say it was at the house of a super fan. The night was already going horribly. I was so exhausted. The front of house engineer yelled at me for accidentally putting my amp down on one of his precious XLR cables. After I was done, I cried on a dumpster outside of the venue and then walked a few miles to emotionally eat a Pan Pizza from – you guessed it – Pizza Hut. Not even a good Pizza Hut, it was like a Pizza Hut kiosk in a strip mall. Anyway, I was not aware of the super fandom until I got to the house. They were playing my music on the stereo as I entered the house. I made my band leave after 3 hours of non-sleep because we needed an “oil change”.

What’s your favorite city in the world to perform and what’s the city you hope to perform in for the first time?

I absolutely love playing shows in Chicago. There’s something really special about the attentiveness/rowdiness of the crowd. I’d love to perform anywhere in Japan or South America, specifically Brazil. I have a deep love for Brazilian music and I think they might get what I’m doing.

What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?

Don’t buy a pack of cigarettes the day you turn 18 just because you think it’s what you’re supposed to do. I tried smoking for one month and my friend Rachel saw me smoke a cigarette and she said, “Are you trying to smoke?” And then I realized that I am one of the few people who looks extremely uncool doing just about anything. One time I was growing a beard and my barber said “Are you trying to grow a beard?”. It devastated me.

What’s one of your hidden talents?

My Bill Callahan impersonation. I guess that’s not so hidden. I am really good at ice skating.

If you had a million dollars to donate to charity, what cause would you support and why?

I would donate to Creative Growth in Oakland. I watched a short PBS documentary about their program and I sobbed uncontrollably the whole time. They’re a non profit that showcases artworks from people with developmental disabilities. The work that they’re doing astounds me.

What are your thoughts about AI and the future of music?

Look, Enron Sluck is going to top the charts. I don’t make the rules.

You are throwing a music festival. Give us the dream lineup of 5 artists that will perform with you and the location it would be held.

Björk, Robert Wyatt, BOREDOMS, P-Funk, and Sun Ra Arkestra. It would be in Philadelphia.

Who’s your favorite person to follow on social media?

I love Sarah Sherman because she’s fucking hilarious but clearly a visionary. I don’t think we have a chance at survival if we lose our sense of humor.

What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?

Jesus Christ, you are gonna make me tell this story? I was having a rough year in 2015. I thought it would be a good idea to get the Dr. Dog logo tattooed on my leg. I was super anti-tattoo my entire life, like I’m some goddamn body purity weirdo, I thought it would be good to challenge my stubbornness and get a tat. The entire band was gonna come with me and potentially get the band logo tat as well. We played a sold out show at Stubbs in Austin and I ran offstage to go do the deed. No one from the band came with me to the parlor. The crew guys felt bad and started showing up one by one to hold my hand as I wriggled in pain. The Black Sabbath song “Fairies Wear Boots” played in the background while I was getting inked and it ended as soon as my tattoo was finished. I didn’t show anyone for 2 years and usually kept it hidden – until one Christmas my mom shrieked at me and said, “WHAT THE F*CK IS THAT?” and pointed at my leg. I was wearing sleep shorts and forgot to cover the tattoo.

What is your pre-show ritual?

Transcendental meditation for 20 mins and then usually some kind of caffeine.

Who was your first celebrity crush?

I know I’m not supposed to say Jessica Rabbit.

You have a month off and the resources to take a dream vacation. Where are you going and who is coming with you?

Natalie (duh) and we are going to freakin’ Japan bay-bee.

What is your biggest fear?

To be late for something important, especially during my album cycle.

New Age Rage is out now via Slick Records. Find more information here.