There is at least one decade everyone in the present would love to visit in the past. For me it’s the ’70s, for Sloan Peterson it’s the doo-wop, poodle skirt, Elvis everywhere decade known as the ’50s. We talked at length about why she immersed herself and DIY sound with nostalgia. Her debut EP, Midnight Love, was also on the table. Which is what you can hear if you’re in Australia next week. That’s when she’ll head out with Alex Lahey. On the road throughout October, you can also see her at The Plot Festival November 18th and at Lost Paradise at the end of December. Before you get your tickets – check out our chat.
Kendra: The ‘50s gave the world so much in terms of music and sound, but what about it really grabbed you and wouldn’t let you go?
Sloan Peterson: I’m inspired by everything, fashion, style, personalities, words, movies, music — it all influences me in certain ways. The ’50s in terms of music and sound, though, had the best things going on. Elvis had paved the way for rock n roll — the guitars were slinky as hell, the lyrics fun and simple, the instruments and amps were crafted so immaculately (not that they aren’t now), but that all makes the sound so much more beautiful to me I guess. I love hearing slide guitar in songs, and dingy guitar solos, upright pianos, double basses…I am a sucker for love and I guess the ’50s were the years for all of those things.
Kendra: Your style, your sound. It’s all very DIY. Have you always been that way? Or was that bred from the time we live in – it being easier to do things on your own as an indie artist?
Sloan: Ha yeah probably the second thing mentioned…heck if I were a millionaire, not even if I just had a couple spare grand and a spare month free from responsibilities I would probably try and make things not sound as DIY I guess, but then again…we recorded the EP basically live, which was super fun and real!
Kendra: When you were creating your debut, Midnight Love, what emotions were influencing your lyrics and the overall sound?
Ivan: A whole lot of love and heartbreak for the lyrics overall sound… I was listening to a lot to Brenton Wood, Santo & Johnny, The Flying Lizard, and The Beatles.
Kendra: Let’s talk about “I Want You.” You wrote that when you were 17-years-old. Had you written it today, would it be any different?
Sloan: Haha I doubt it, otherwise I probably would have changed it before we recorded it… I still write super simple lyrics like this, probably why I kept it.
Kendra: We’re taking a time machine back to the 50s! If you had to make a mixtape of the best songs from that decade – what five would have to be on it?
Sloan: Ahh man, only 5? There are sooo many gems!
“Sleepwalk” – Santo & Johnny
“Earth Angel” – Marvin Berry & the Starlighters
“Mojo Working” – Muddy Waters
“Oh Carol” – Neil Sedaka
“Tequila” – The Champs
(2 more favs)
“The Girl Can’t Help It” – Little Richard
“Petite Fleur” – Chris Barbers Jazz Band