Nashville avant-garde electronic duo Slender Dan has released their latest album titled “GESTALT”. It’s full of experimental and unconventional pop music that explore different feelings and experiences that occurred around the world. We had the pleasure of interviewing Slender Dan, and here is what they had to say:
Q: How did the electro duo come together and get your name “Slender Dan”?
SLENDER DAN: We were in a group called Tiger Rider. Patrick has always made electronic music and at some point during the COVID lockdowns he asked me [Heather] to help him fit some songs into an album. I started hearing vocal melodies and lyrics over some of the tracks so we began writing lyrics and recording. One of our earliest songs had a working title of Slender Dan (a pun on Slender Man) but we liked it so we ended up making that the name of the band.
Q: The covers for your album, EPs, and singles are out of the ordinary and creative. How do you come up with creative ideas?
SLENDER DAN: Thanks! We like to experiment and try something different with each release. For “The Waking Life” EP and Singles we made an EP length music video and a lot of that album art came from stills of that.
“The Covers” EP album art is a heavily edited photo of a tree outside of our old house in Seattle. GESTALT’s album art was created using an AI generator. We love that it reminds us of the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey in that it’s ominous and geometric yet somehow organic as well.
Q:How would you describe your music?
SLENDER DAN: We typically describe it as avant-garde electronic or IDM (not to be confused with EDM). Our biggest influences include Thom Yorke’s solo works, Miike Snow, Billie Eilish, Sylvan Esso, The Postal Service, and Aphex Twin.
Musically we try to use unconventional rhythms, often deliberately avoiding the western “backbeat” in favor of more South American and West African rhythms. Lyrically we’re heavily inspired by dystopian fiction (1984, Brave New World, etc.) and the parallels we see in today’s society and leadership. Ultimately we try to write interesting music about interesting topics while still remaining accessible and catchy.
Q: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
SLENDER DAN: We want this album, GESTALT, to reach people who may have questions about what’s going on societally and let them know that it’s okay to have some skepticism. The world is a weird, divisive place that will try to shove you into one of two political ideologies, and it’s difficult to voice nuanced opinions without fear of retribution from your friends and family if you don’t agree with 100% of the current narrative(s).
In addition, it’s okay to still feel gratitude among so much confusion, frustration, and global tragedy. We only get so much time on this planet and we shouldn’t be forced to spend it in fear and despair. We are trying to make sense of this hazy time every day, and the more we talk about it the more community we find in this space.
Q: Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that helped mold you into the musician you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?re you working on now?
SLENDER DAN: As mentioned, GESTALT was heavily influenced by Thom Yorke, Miike Snow, Billie Eilish, Sylvan Esso, The Postal Service, and Aphex Twin. Growing up we also loved artists like DJ Shadow, The Mars Volta, Air, The Beatles, Wu-Tang Clan, Alt-J, David Bowie, Bjork, Fela Kuti, Bon Iver, Kanye West, Shpongle, John Cage, and Stravinsky.
Artists who push the boundaries of their genres have always been really influential on us as musicians. We’re also fascinated by modern pop music and Top 40 artists. We find it fun to analyze what makes something catchy and memorable which is an art form in itself.
Q: Would you like to send a message to your fans?
SLENDER DAN: Thank you so much for listening. It truly means the world to Patrick and me. This project is our baby and we love the inspiring conversations that have come from sharing it with our friends and online community.
Interviewed by Shertara Brazil
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