The Slurs - The Rock'n'Roll Solution!

By Jens Hellroute

Indianapolis' finest is the most exciting new combo I've heard this year so far. The Slurs have totally nailed down that classic snotty punk/rock'n'roll sound and their outstanding debut album, "The Problem With Rock'n'Roll", is packed with attitude and hooks that recalled the very best of the likes of Pagans, Infections, and The Dead Boys. We're talking major league kickass rock'n'roll here, only a fool would ignore the gutsy power of The Slurs, okay? So of course I had a chat with guitarist Jim "The Kooch" Kuczkowksi about the fierce creation that is The Slurs. The band's quest? Take rock'n' roll back to it's fundemental purpose; making girls' panties wet!! Other bandmembers include Brad Wallace (drums), Nick Pryor (guitar), Kris Messer (bass), and singer Justin Allen.

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: When did The Slurs form and what other bands have members been in prior to The Slurs?

Jim Kuczkowski: I guess Justin and I started trying to get this shit together as far back as 6 years ago. But it took us a long time to find the right bunch of guys to play with. None of our previous bands did much except Justin and Kris's old band had a reputation for trashing the bars that would let them play. They were all too young for the places to serve them alcohol legally. So Justin would end up walking on top of the bar kicking drinks off, climbing onto shit and scaring the 90s grungester crowd. Around the same time The Slurs really came together (3 years ago) Justin was playing guitar for The Mighty John Waynes. The Waynes recorded one really stellar 7-inch with me called "Kill That Girl". But Justin was more interested in being a front-man.

WC: What's the Indianapolis music scene like?

JK: It's actually gotten to be really cool here lately. There are a handful of good bands (Pizzle, The Jabs, America Owns the Moon, etc.) and a really hard-working promoter http:/// with a weekly night booked at this great dive bar called The Melody Inn. Almost every Saturday night is a fun night there with bands ranging from 80s hardcore-styled to garage blowing the place up with good steady crowds. Plus we have a couple new all-ages clubs. And that's all I can really ask for. We didn't have shit here for years. The fact that there are more than 2 bands here I can stomach now is amazing to me!

WC: You got a pretty good reputation as a live act, whats the wildest gig you've played?

JK: Indianapolis is a sexually repressed city where the gay and straight crowds are totally segregated in the nightlife. So we put on a big show at the biggest, swankiest gay bar in town! We had a drag queen introducing the bands. We had fag hair-dressers, fashion consultants, and make-up artists all glam us up back stage. We'd promoted the shit outta the show and over 600 people showed up. And my buddy in The Jabs (who were opening) ended up wearing nothing but his flying-V when he had a "wardrobe malfunction".

JK: "The Problem With Rock'n'Roll" is by far the best record I've heard this so far. You recorded it twice? The Record Records label?

JK: Thanks. Yeah, we recorded it twice because we played a bunch of songs too fast the first time around. Plus we'd written a couple newer good ones that we wanted to use. We got a lot of pressure at home to put out a full-length quickly, but I ignored it. Conquering Indianapolis was too easy. We did that. The album was to give to the rest of the world. And I knew the world could wait until it was good. Record Records was the fake label name used by The Mighty John Waynes for their stuff. So when we had no luck finding a label to put out the album, we decided to use Record Records. I figured it had at least ONE good release to it's name. If we start picking up decent distro for this album, Record Records might just turn into a real label along the way.

WC: Influences? I can hear Dead Boys, Angry Samoans, Pagans, Dolls....

JK: Yeah, all of those, especially the Pagans. You know, we like the same good shit everyone with good rock and roll sense likes: The Saints, Stooges, Ramones, etc. And we're really into the Stones. I do a lot of the writing, and I have big thing for 60s pop shit like Paul Revere, The Monkees, etc. But, you know, who doesn't?

WC: What's THE SOLUTION to Rock'n'roll then?

JK: It's time to take rock and roll back to it's fundemental purpose: making girls' panties wet.

WC: "What's So Bad About The Playboy?", is that about Hugh Hefner?

JK: Ha, no. I had a playboy-rich-ass boss a while back. He was a total scumbag. He'd play golf with his old men buddies while naked chicks caddied for them and straddled the holes when they putted. He was 50 years old and having ecstasy orgies with three 19-year-old strippers at a time! The thing was, he hid nothing. Everyone knew he was scum. But there were dumb chicks that would act like they had no clue he was not a gentleman until after he fucked them. They all just wanted his money.

WC: "Radio Ready", yeah we all want good music on the radio. Whats with that new satellite radio that Howard Stern is involved with, he got tired of FCC?

JK: I dunno, but I think it really shows how bad radio's gotten when you have over 4 million people start paying monthly fees to hear something better!

WC: You also worked as a producer on albums by Problematics, Stipjes, and probably my fave 90s band, The Infections, which ain't that far from The Slurs musically?

JK: Well thanks! I loved The Infections. Greg Lowery and Shane White were almost ready to kill each other through most of it, but that made chemistry for a great record! Shane White was my guitar hero until I started playing with Nick Pryor in this band. Nick is a bad-ass. By the way, I only mastered the Stipjes record, which is criminally under-rated.

WC: Many contemporary punk records are too overproduced, I prefer stuff from Crypt and Ripoff Records, what do you think?

JK: Yeah, I like "medium production"--you know, not lo-fi, not hi-fi. Since I make commercials for a living and use top-notch studio gear to do it, it would be pretty stupid and fake for me to make lo-fi records. But a lot of modern recording terchniques make punk too easy to listen to. The last thing I want is to wimp out a band's sound. And a lot of hi-fi shit just sounds wimpy to me.

WC: Which producers are you a fan of?

JK: Joe Meek, Jimmy Miller, I dunno. For the most part I don't care about that shit. I care about the music. And I've never thought the producer was THAT important.

WC: Do you think Phil Spector guilty or not of killing actress Lana Clarkson?

JK: He killed the bitch!

WC: Fave drink, Universal movie monster, and country star?

JK: I drink Jim Beam with soda water on ice. I'm not a monster-movie fan. I prefer horror movies with blasphemy! I was raised Catholic, so I like to see priests and nuns get killed and sacrificed to Satan. And Hank, Sr. is still the greatest.

WC: Describe the personalities of The Slurs..

JK: Personalities. Ah well, first off, Justin and Kris are 10-12 years younger than Brad, Nick and me. Nick and Brad are both married with kids--but have cool wives that are into their rock and roll husbands. And I've been with my girl, Shanna LeJeune (our photographer) for 7 years now.... So us older guys love getting butt-wasted after shows and watching Justin and Kris try to get laid. Justin is a smart and funny guy until he gets drunk and won't stop talking philosophy or some shit. Kris charms the girls and makes them think he's an innocent boy when really he's a man-slut. Nick is the quiet, practical and responsible father who's kids freak out when they see him smash things on stage. Brad is always looking for the joke--or at least the punch-line that makes things a joke. And me? I have a reputation as a hard-headed asshole--which is probably true. Some people think I'm a snob who's to good to say "hello" in public, but that's not true. I'm just always high and shit.

WC: Have The Slurs played outside America? Any plans?

JK: Not yet. We plan on doing Canada soon, but that doesn't really count, does it? Touring Europe is our next big goal, for sure. I've been there before , visited the Vera in Groningen. I want to play there badly. But we have a lot of touring to do here at home right now. Gotta promote the damn album!

WC: Anything to add?

JK: The Slurs are about SEX. And we are about being both fascinated with and repulsed by modern pop culture. But mainly we are about sex.

The Slur's Official Website