THE SLACKERS, whose latest “Don’t Let The Sunlight Fool Ya” hit #1 on the Current Reggae Charts in the spring, have released an animated music video for “Second Best.” The video was initially premiered on BrooklynVegan and is now public on YouTube. The record is now available on Pirates Press Records’ webstore. The band will be touring in support of the record all year long across North America and Europe.
“Spending time being the runner up. There’s always a bright shiny object that is more exciting than the one who is there year in and year out. The ‘impossible’ is always more exciting than ‘the possible’ because it never happens and thus can be a perfect ideal,” says saxophonist Dave Hillyard.
To create these illustrations and animations, the band enlisted the help of Brazilian designer Paulo Rocker who wanted to showcase theme of unity and peace with The Slackers playing a show in heaven.
Additionally, the band has released videos for other songs off of their latest album. “They Are Losing” features striking animation on hot-button topics that permeate today’s society. It was illustrated and animated by Phil Vandereyken who created the video for “They Are Losing.“
Overwhelmingly rave reviews have been pouring in for the new album, as New Noise Magazine exclaims “Seven years is along time to wait for new music, but The Slackers more than made up for it with their latest offering” and BrooklynVegan adds “All of the elements of their classic sound are present in this collection of songs that range from laid-back reggae to upbeat ska in the way that only The Slackers can.”
The process for bringing this chart topping album to life was one that was met with the COVID trials and tribulations that make this feat even more remarkable. The band used their sound engineer’s house to practice and record while also trying to accommodate everyone’s personal situations.
“The main challenge/s we had to overcome in making the record had to do with distance, finding a way to involve Vic and Glen, who live on the West Coast and thus 3000 miles from the rest of the band. We put half the band in one room, half the band in another, we continued to wear masks around each other, put a giant shield around the drums and just hoped for the best. Glen and Vic very graciously gave up their West Coast lives to live at Marc Critelli’s house for 2 months while we completed the majority of the record,” remarked drummer Ara Babajian.
Rolling Stone recently hailed The Slackers as “THE legendary New York City ska band” and this is by no means hyperbole. Having formed in 1991, The Slackers released their debut album in 1996, Better Late Than Never, and then signing with Epitaph Records and releasing their breakthrough full-length, Redlight, in 1997. From there, the band traveled the world and began to develop a prolific audience through their fun and energetic shows.
14 full-lengths later, countless EPs, singles, and touring all around the world playing to thousands and thousands of fans from Tokyo, Japan to their hometown of New York City, The Slackers return with Don’t Let The Sunlight Fool Ya. Marc Wasserman, author of “Skaboom! An American Ska & Reggae Oral History,” says The Slackers’ “…songs are about real darkness, depression, anger, sadness and loneliness, and some of the political songs as well are pretty vibrant.”
“In the middle of 2020, every time we started doing a livestream, we would stay after and start recording new music. By the middle of 2021, we had an album recorded. A lot of these tunes like “Don’t Let The Sunlight Fool Ya” were written right after we had just gotten out of lockdown,” says Hillyard.
The New York Times dubbed the Slackers part of ‘the sound of New York,’ and The Slackers just keep at it, only improving with age and experience – writing better and better songs, and continuing to build and strengthen that global Slackers family. Washington Post has described the impact The Slackers have left on the ska scene: “The Slackers have become the elder statesmen in American ska music, setting the stage for a new generation of musicians and a thriving scene….they remain at the top of their game.”
Catch The Slackers on tour:
09/26/2022 – Birmingham, UK – Hare and Hounds
09/27/2022 – Manchester, UK – Retro
09/28/2022 – Huddersfield, UK – Parish
09/29/2022 – Nottingham, UK – Old Cold Store
09/30/2022 – London, UK – Underworld
10/01/2022 – Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
10/02/2022 – Newcastle, UK – Think Tank
10/03/2022 – Bristol, UK – Exchange
10/04/2022 – Antwerp, Belgium – Kavka
10/05/2022 – Paris, France – Balajo
10/06/2022 – Haarlem, Netherlands – Patroonaat
10/07/2022 – Den Haag, Netherlands – Paard
10/08/2022 – Sittard, Netherlands – Ernestos
10/09/2022 – Freiburg, DE – Cafe Atlantic
10/11/2022 – Zurich, Switzerland – Komplex
10/12/2022 – Munich, Germany – Feierwerk
10/13/2022 – Vienna, Austria – Arena
10/15/2022 – Sluderno, Italy – Loki
10/16/2022 – Nuremberg, Germany – Desi
10/17/2022 – Hannover, Germany – Lux
10/18/2022 – Berlin, Germany – S036
10/19/2022 – Hamburg, Germany – Molotov
10/21/2022 – Koln, Germany – Gebaude 9
10/22/2022 – Arlon, Belgium – L’entrepot
11/11/2022 – Chicago, IL – Reggie’s
11/12/2022 – Chicago, IL – Reggie’s
12/07/2022 – Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst
12/08/2022 – Berkeley, CA – Cornerstone
12/09/2022 – Ventura, CA – Ventura Music Hall
12/10/2022 – Santa Ana, CA – Observatory
12/11/2022 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
12/14/2022 – Philadelphia, PA – Ardmore
12/15/2022 – Washington DC – Black Cat
12/16/2022 – New York, NY – Sony Hall