Albuquerque’s Gnarly Slur play experiMENTAL music that combines hard rock, heavy metal, and industrial. The band’s debut CD, Animal Dance, was rooted more in industrial but touched on facets of rock and metal. Their second CD, Rough Offense, will have a more metallic base driven by heavier riffs and dropped tuning, as well as fewer keyboards. The busy duo of Vince Chavez and Nash Ramirez took the time for the Take Five treatment, the results of which are chronicled below.
Tell me about your band and its musical approach.
Gnarly Slur: “Gnarly Slur is a duo, with Vince Chavez handling the bass and Nash Ramirez handling the guitar and vocals. We usually start a song by creating a backing track with a software program called Reason. We never use any prefabricated loops or preset sounds. Every hi-hat click and keyboard note is an original creation. Nash has been creating music and doing sound design for over 10 years, and Vince is still new to bass playing and has already played shows opening for some of Albuquerque’s best bands. Gnarly Slur have existed for about a year and a half—we do all our own recordings and currently have around 30 songs we can play live. We have one full album—Animal Dance—completed and two more in the works—Rough Offense and Dedication.”
Tell me about your forthcoming CD, Rough Offense. What can listeners expect to hear? And where will they be able to score a copy?
Gnarly Slur: “Our listeners can definitely expect to hear something completely new with Rough Offense. We really can’t be compared to any other bands, and we truly have our own sound. Rough Offense is hard driving with sludgy riffs and odd textures. Guitars are tuned low in a custom B tuning. Vocals are raw and the bass is bone crunching, Drums are punchy and technical, with some very creative fills and fx. Rough Offense will also have some great artwork from friends of Gnarly Slur. Since the album is in the final stages of being complete, it’s not currently available, but as soon as it is you can email us for a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org. The album will be complete and available in January 2012. In the meantime, get yourself a copy of Animal Dance.”
Set the scene for a live performance by Gnarly Slur. What can listeners expect to experience?
Gnarly Slur: “Because we do not have a drummer, we run a multitracker to play drum sequences. For our live set, we incorporate a sampler to play samples of our favorite movie quotes and TV shows. We have a high-energy set that weaves tempos from fast and tight to slow and sloppy. You get two completely experiences from the CD and watching us perform live. Live shows have been crazy, and we have busted strings, fallen down, thrashed around, and expended all energy to try and keep the energy up. After shows, we are usually soaked in sweat and looking for a stiff drink. We play music to have fun, so we want our audience to have fun also.”
How has living in New Mexico influenced your musical approach?
Gnarly Slur: “Simply put, we would not have the material unless we lived here and experienced what we have with the people we have experienced it with. Most of our lyrical content deals with real stuff that has happened. Another thing is that we are heavily influenced by the local music scene. We want to network with all the rock/metal and industrial bands in New Mexico.”
What sorts of things inspire you lyrically? And how do you go about writing the words to a song?
Gnarly Slur: “I am inspired by the darker side. I have found myself writing about things that go wrong with the mind, addiction, paranoia, etc. I have had a lot of friends and family taken over by addiction. I have also had to deal with my share of enemies, so I like to write about revenge and punishment. Another great source for lyrical inspiration for me are pictures of oddities. One process that I’ve used to write is go through my notebook of lyrics and piece the best parts into what fits with the guitar riff or vice versa, write a riff that fits the melody of the vocal. Another way I’ve done things is to challenge myself and abandon all technique. We have all the lyrics on reverbnation.com, so be sure to check ‘em out.”