Portland's The Slants are the only all-Asian American dance rock band in the world. They offer up catchy dance beats, strong hooks, and a bombastic live show that is "not to be missed" (The Westword) They've been featured on NPR's "All Things Considered," IFC, TV/Comast Xfinity, and over 1500 radio stations, tv shows, magazines, and websites. The Slants have toured/provided support for The Decemberists, Girl Talk, Men Without Hats, Vampire Weekend, Apl.De.Ap (Black Eyed Peas), and many more.
The band has toured the North America 16 times and headlined at festivals such as SXSW, MusicfestNW, San Diego Comic Con, and other events. They've toured overseas for the Dept. of Defense playing for troops serving in Eastern Europe.
Their music video, "You Make Me Alive" went viral and received over 200,000 views in four months. It is now being broadcast on television in over 80 countries.
The video for "Con Kids" premiered on the IFC Network in December 2012.
The newest video, "Love Letters From Andromeda," features martial arts choreography by Sammo Hung (The Matrix, Ip Man, & Enter the Dragon) and stars Daniel Wu and Shu Qi.
AWARDS AND HONORABLE MENTIONS:
- Featured in and on 1,500+ TV and FM radio stations, magazines, and websites.
- Won multiple "Best Album" awards from the Willamette Week, Rockwired Magazine, Portland Music Awards, Shojo Beat, and many more.
- First and only spotlight Asian artist from Fender Music in the world.
Thai Dao - Guitar, keyboards
Simon Young - Bass
Aron Moxley - Vocals
Will Moore - Lead Guitar
Tyler Chen - Drums
Ken Simon - crew
Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts (2007)
Slants! Slants! Revolution (2009)
The Yellow Album (2012)
"Kokoro (I Fall to Pieces)" and "Sakura, Sakura" (from Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts) have received airplay on over 800 FM radio stations nationwide.
The band has been featured on "All Things Considered" on the NPR network (700+ FM radio stations).
The music video for "You Make Me Alive" has been broadcasted in over 80 countries worldwide and received over 200,000 views on YouTube.
"Con Kids" premiered on IFC and is schedueld for international broadcast for early 2013.
The Slants' albums have won "Album of the Year" from Rockwired, Willamette Week, Portland music Awards, Shojo Beat, AsiaXpress, and many more.
Love Letters From Andromeda
You Make Me Alive
Who Shot The Radio
Love Within My Sins
Kokoro (I Fall to Pieces)
How The Wicked Live
All Things Considered: The Slants: Trading in Stereotypes
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In the 20th century, younger members of many minority groups repurposed offensive words that had be... In the 20th century, younger members of many minority groups repurposed offensive words that had been used as slurs and insults. African Americans and gays, in particular, transformed hateful brands into badges of pride or belonging. Now, in the 21st century, a few Asian-American musicians are trying to do the same, particularly in the name they chose for their band: The Slants.
It all started as kind of a practical joke. Simon Young had been playing bass in bands for years, but what he really wanted was to front an all-Asian lineup. Now, with The Slants, he's almost done it.
Young, both Chinese and Taiwanese, met The Slants' lead singer, Vietnam-born A-Ron, and later formed the band with drummer AC and guitarist Johnny, who are both Hispanic and Filipino. "Together, they make up about one Asian," Young says with a laugh.
The Slants' brand of Asian-American identity means breaking out, trading in the old stereotypes, and maybe living inside someone else's skin for a while. While Young and A-Ron don't write exclusively about race, they say it was something they wanted to tackle with The Slants.
"When I was actually a kid, the first racial slurs I heard were 'Chink' and 'Jap,' and I'm Vietnamese, so they didn't even get those right," A-Ron says. "They still scared me, though."
Growing up, Young says, he and A-Ron had similar experiences of being chased around and even beaten up by other kids. In its music, the band picks up on schoolyard rhymes that used to drive its members nuts as kids.
"Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees, look at these," A-Ron recalls. "That was the way I heard it at my school." That rhyme became the seed for the chorus that speaks to anyone — Chinese, Japanese, or anyone else who knows what it's like to be an outsider.
The Slants' breakout gig came last year, at a convention devoted to Japanese animation. These conventions draw thousands of young anime and manga fans, many barely into their teens. Often, they come decked out in costume, ready to spend and starved for music.
Inspired by anime's science-fiction and fantasy themes, convention wear can be pretty wild: kitten ears, demon wings, even the occasional radiation suit. It was here that The Slants began to build a fan base.
The convention-goers represent a real market: They're buying comic books, toys, and DVDs. John Lo, who came from Atlanta to sell CDs and posters, says that The Slants are different from the foreign bands who dominate the convention circuit.
"All the bands we deal with are Japanese bands," Lo says. "Some of them have ties with anime, because they do the anime opening songs. Others are just popular music that the kids like. It's kind of a crossover between anime and J-Pop music and stuff."
The Slants' songs about Asian-American alienation don't seem to have hurt their appeal to white teenagers. If anything, they resonate with kids whose geeky adoration for anime makes them outsiders in their own way.
Just one convention gig was enough to fund the band's first CD. Young and A-Ron say they'll never forget the screaming kids at that show.
"Dressed up like Sailor Moon, and kids dressed up like DragonBall Z ... It's amazing. It's like a big party like Halloween. It's great the kids are so genuinely enthused and excited about that," A-Ron says.
"It's definitely one of my favorite shows I've ever played in my life," Young adds.
Plans are in the works for some Slants dates in Asia next year.
CD Review: The Slants - Pageantry
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Chinatown Dance-Rock Heroes are back and I hope you’re ready to sweat it out on the dance floor beca...Chinatown Dance-Rock Heroes are back and I hope you’re ready to sweat it out on the dance floor because it’s time to get down dancing machine! With a high energy album that is sure to get that booty dancing, The Slants are primed to take their music to the next level with their latest release Pageantry.
This record is somewhat different from their previous releases as the album is heavy with guitar all throughout, giving the record a much more organic feel instead of lacing everything with synths. But don’t fret, their signature bombardment of delicious synth jabs and melodies are still in control. The best part about the guitars being added to the sound is that it now separates the band comparisons from Depeche Mode, something I’m sure the band would love to somewhat get away from. The injections of melodic guitars into the songs have fully given The Slants a new spectrum and although the guitar work is neither technical nor virtuoso-like, it serves a great deal of different purposes for the new tracks. Vocally, Aron Moxley has also stepped up his game and delivers a new facet to the overall music with a different set of ranges and delivery methods.
It seems that The Slants have also somehow managed to flash backwards into the electro guitar appeal of the 80’s while making this record as their musical layers seem to be greatly influenced by European indie electro music. Either or, the music is absolutely a step forward for the band. The bass lines are so clear and concise, the drums are right on point and everything else is as cohesive as it can get. The only problem I seem to be having about listening to this record is the production value. It seems to be on the lower end of things but did it hinder me in anyway? Not one bit. I can hear the incredible music push right on through. The sweaty passion, the hard charging grooves and the hook-filled tunes are so damned infectious, it literally takes you to another place.
Get your dancing bones moving to the earth shaking “Lucky Strike” or get your rock fix with title track “Pageantry,” which sounds like a slight off-shoot of a Cult song. Yes, The Cult. Dance the night away with the hip shaking “Who Shot The Radio” or feel the deep emotional connect/disconnect of “How The Wicked Live,” and you tell me if The Slants is not your new favorite rock band. My personal fave is the ambitious “You Make Me Alive” which reminds me of my favorite 80’s groups like Tears For Fears, Flock Of Seagulls and more. So the verdict is that Pageantry is simply fantastic!
There’s not a dull moment on the record and if you like movin’ and groovin’ to bands like The Bravery, Dearly Beloved and other indie 80’s inspired groups, you’ll love this record. Put on your dancing shoes on honey, it’s time to move to the music!
By: Gian Erguiza
Local Album of the Year (Portland, OR)
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"It's a great story: All-Asian synthcore troupe lands anime festival, achieves instantaneous notorie..."It's a great story: All-Asian synthcore troupe lands anime festival, achieves instantaneous notoriety from overpacked fireball-laden maelstrom, inspires John Woo and Dragon Ball Z fans toward aggro electro and just months after its first practice books gigs across the globe. As shadow-warriory as the Slants' rise has been, it's still all about the tunes, and the band's debut floor-filling synth pop bristling with all the menace and grandeur of its oft name-checked cultural icons is propulsive, cinematic and impossible to ignore."
Best Asian American Album (USA)
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"While most new bands require a grace period before being able to produce a cohesive sound, The Slan..."While most new bands require a grace period before being able to produce a cohesive sound, The Slants, who formulated their lineup in early 2007, sound like they've been playing together for years. Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts is a rich collection of head-nodding, feet-stomping dance tracks that will attract old and new synthpop fans alike."
Angry Asian Man says
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"Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts kicks some serious ass. They've got this throbbing synth-pop/dance-roc..."Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts kicks some serious ass. They've got this throbbing synth-pop/dance-rock sound with a badass Asian twist. Their vibe recalls bands like Depeche Mode, New Order, Joy Division...and more recently, The Killers...This band knows what it's doing"
Chinatown Dance Rock
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"They've been described as "Chinatown dance rock," but the Slants are far from a novelty act. The ba..."They've been described as "Chinatown dance rock," but the Slants are far from a novelty act. The band's infectious, urgent electro-pop has won fans of all stripes and colors, from anime aficionados to comic collectors to musos and beyond, and their rollicking live show is not to be missed. "
The Slants' Live Show Review
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The Slants hit the stage like a tsunami of new wave, synth-punk goodness. Their excellent album, Sla...The Slants hit the stage like a tsunami of new wave, synth-punk goodness. Their excellent album, Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts revealed a band that had mastered the art of writing catchy pop music utilizing creative electronic soundscaping mixed with more traditional instrumentation. Live, they were a forceful unit that rocked as much as they made you want to dance.
Singer Aron is a surprisingly commanding figure with a melodious voice that sounds as though he had honed it during his previous tenure in the punk underground. The guy has his moves down but none of it ever comes off contrived. Rather, it seems honed from having to deliver in front of people on the regular basis this band maintains during their extensive tour schedule.
The whole band was similarly impressive. Michael, aka Gaijin, played a Steinberger guitar of some sort and through his bank of processors and his amp, he was able to get a sound that was gritty and aggressive but atmospheric at the same time. Simon Young played a Fender Jaguar and was able to create tones and dynamics that some might have assumed to be a synth but in fact was just him playing more creatively than most bassists. The band wisely kept with an acoustic drum set and John, their drummer, played with keen accents on the rhythm that a lot of rock drummers don’t seem to understand as well. Jen Cho’s keytar and synth layers both uplifted the music as well as mixed in low end drones with bright, expansive sounds that gave all of the band’s songs rich atmospheres. Her backing vocals also added an element of dreaminess that truly gave the songs where they were present gilded edges.
Never displaying a dull moment, The Slants are easily one of the best bands I’ve ever seen doing this kind of thing. They reminded me a little bit of The Epoxies but they don’t parlay some kitschy science fiction thing in their songs, they just remind you that synth pop doesn’t have to be hopelessly retro and silly, it can be fun and have something to say.
Super Happy Fun Write: The Slants
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Sick of paying exorbitant prices for Asian import music? Wish there was something of quality to be f...Sick of paying exorbitant prices for Asian import music? Wish there was something of quality to be found here, locally, within your own home shores? You're wishes have been granted! No longer is Japan, China and Korea the only places housing quality Asian rock bands!
Welcome to The Slants. A US-based rock/synth/electro band that frequents popular anime and manga conventions, seems to have a fondness for the yakuza (Oh yeah, I saw that Ichi the Killer reference), and is getting geared up for their upcoming tours!
...Did I mention one of them knows how to breathe fire?
Hardest Working Asian American Indie Band Done Good
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With standout tracks like Capture Me Burning, Love Within My Sins, Kokoro, and the bitchin' Kokoro S...With standout tracks like Capture Me Burning, Love Within My Sins, Kokoro, and the bitchin' Kokoro SoR dance remix, The Slants don't just play and produce great music - they press the flesh and do whatever it takes to make sure their Chinatown dance rock gets heard.
From getting the right people to help promote them, playing an endless array of shows and conventions, keeping their MySpace pages and e-newsletters up to date and relevant, to making sure they get the word out with as many interviews and videos as they can - in just a short amount of time The Slants have been able to make a big Asian dent in the music scene, and it's looking like 2008 is going to be even better.
Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts Review
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An all-Asian synth-pop/rock band might conjure up certain stereotypes for most people, such as your ...An all-Asian synth-pop/rock band might conjure up certain stereotypes for most people, such as your typical J-Pop band. These are the very stereotypes that the group, The Slants, want to shake up.
Based out of Portland, Oregon, the band consists of A-Ron (vocals), Simon Young (bass), Jen Cho (keyboards), Johnny aka: Gaijin (guitars), and AC (drums). The Slants were formed by Young in 2007, who had always wanted to form an all-Asian group. The band started playing at various anime and manga conventions, where they drew their first wave of fans; their songs about alienation, solidarity, and Asian-American identity hit a nerve with audiences. In fact, everything about The Slants, from their name to their lyrics, seems aimed at debunking what it means to be different or strange.
If you appreciate the lovelorn lyrics of Depeche Mode and The Cure mixed with the synth-heavy sounds of bands like New Order and Joy Division, then odds are you will fall in love with The Slants’ sound, a sound they have worked to a fine polish on their debut album, Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts.
Listening to singer A-Ron’s melancholy voice on tracks like “Kokoro I Fall to Pieces” stirs up memories of singer David Gahan singing equally melancholy lyrics as front man for Depeche Mode. Yet, following in the tradition of their synth-pop heroes of yore, The Slants’ music is what I like to call “a downer you can dance to.” Sure, songs about alienation, loss, and pain can make you feel blue, but how sad can you get when the songs are packaged with driving drums and bass, infectious synth hooks, and deceptively simple guitar riffs? Just listen to the first minute of “Stranglehold,” and I guarantee your head will be bobbing to the beat (or, if not your head, then your feet or your shoulders or any other body part you choose).
The Slants’ sound has been dubbed “Chinatown Dance Rock.” The label is a bit misleading since each member of the band is a mixture of different heritages, from Chinese to Filipino. However, their music transcends the Asian-American community to touch on feeling alone, being part of the ‘out-crowd,’ wanting to belong – themes that can resonate with anyone, regardless of where you come from.
True, The Slants may remind you a little too much of synth-pop bands of the 80s. Some have even said they sound like The Killers, which has some merit. But as debut outings go, Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts is a solid album.
The typical set list is 45 minutes long (approx. 10-12 songs) of all originals. It can be extended to 120 minutes and include covers if desired.
PDF RiderThe Slants 2012 Tech Rider
There are no upcoming dates at this time.