Ladies and Gentlemen, the second chapter of Visual Satiation draws to a close!
During our trip, we’ve had the pleasure of showcasing many interesting artists from different countries, and I want to thank each one of you for having made this all possible. Though, before saying “arrivederci” there’s someone else I had the joy of talking with…
Last but not least, this article is dedicated to:
SLACK, a diy Italian power collective born in 2016 whose members (as written in their statement) define themselves as “a syndicate of people who are trying to make this world a little bit ducky”
SLACK is a record label, a screen printing lab, and a booking agency composed of amazing musicians, artists, crafters, inventors, and even ninjas. So, today we’ll have a chat with Yuri and Giorgia, two of SLACK’s members who’ll take our hand and lead us into their underground world…
Hello people of SLACK, and welcome to Visual Satiation!
Let’s start by introducing yourself: what’s SLACK and what’s its mission?
Yuri: Hello to you dear! SLACK is a team of 9 people trying to express themselves in a diy way. Our main activities usually deal with music, screen printing, artworks, live shows, recording, booking and record label.
Who are SLACK’s members?
Yuri: We are Giorgia, Paolo, Gio, Steve, Luke, Enrico, Marco, Ernstl and myself.
Let’s explore SLACK’s “art department” first. Who are the masterminds behind your irresistible graphics, and how do you realize all your shirts and stuff?
Yuri: Thx for the “irresistible”. Usually all the graphic stuff comes out of me and Giorgia, we screen print our t-shirts in our basement with an old, rusty 70’s machine.
Can you give us some insight into your background and how it shaped the kind of people and artists you are today?
Yuri: I’m not into art enough to be named artist. I’ve just watched tons of silly movies.
Giorgia: I’m not an artist, I just graduated in Fine Arts but felt uncomfortable in most of the classes I attended.
I wrongly chose a “contemporary” address mainly based on Conceptual Art. It affected me a lot showing me what I didn’t like at all.
Who are your favourite artists?
Yuri: Tom Cruise and Alan Moore.
Giorgia: I’m a lot into vintage American underground comix, I started to collect them while I was in the US.
What triggers your creativity, and what themes do you find yourself returning to in your art?
Yuri: Usually sexuality, movies and randomness.
Giorgia: I’m sometimes impressed by some words or sentences that condense an idea and evoke images in me.
For the rest total randomness. Recurring themes: childhood and fire.
In 2017 one of you were selected for the “Best Italian Album Cover of the Year”… What’s the story behind that?
Yuri: I’m a good friend with the guys from Bee Bee Sea, and they asked me a drawing for their new record.
After it came out it was selected for the “Best Italian Album Cover of the Year”, I’ve also made another artwork for their first LP reissue.
Bee Bee See “Sonic Boomerang”
Bee See Deluxe
We all know that the advent of social media like Instagram has changed the way people interact with art. How have you personally adapted to this new landscape?
Giorgia: I’m in charge of SLACK social media because Yuri rejects them in any form so, in his case, the answer is NO!
He hasn’t adapted and doesn’t want to.
As for me, I’m torn between love and hate.
I hate them cause I’m an old-fashioned type… I like the old school version of almost everything.
And in the specific case of art for some reason it’s a great loss; for example we design a lot of flyers for gigs and clubs…
Seldom they’re printed because mostly they’re shared on Instagram or Facebook.
And every time I feel they’re wasted.
I miss the good old days when schools were wallpapered with lo-fi flyers promoting lo-fi gigs. It was a lot more magical.
On the other side socials are an easy fast and democratic way of promotion, even if you’re a shy guy you can exhibit your work and your world that might be appealing for someone who decides to support you.
For this survival reason I chose to use them trying not to abuse them.
Talking about music now, SLACK is composed by lots of very talented musicians who all play in more than one band. Can you tell us who they are and which bands they’re in?
Yuri: Sit down and relax, here’s a list:
I play in Antares and Defect (together with Paolo and Gio), Deaf (together with Enrico, Marco and Gio), Tree House Society (together with Paolo), Guts (together with Steve), Fango (together with Gio), Replicants (together with Paolo), Bavosa (together with Steve and Enrico) and Yuzz.
Gio plays also in Hell Brood and Flaming Gene, Paolo plays in Dots and Flap Slap too, Steve plays in The Monotapes, La Bornia, The Dick Dastardly’s (together with Enrico and Marco) and Bluesscadore as well.
You guys have been playing and touring all around Europe for at least a decade. You must have seen a lot! So far, what’s the funniest and the worst experience you guys have had during one of your gigs or tours?
Yuri: We’ve been hosted by a cannibal in Finland, I got shocked by 380v in Milan, we’ve been robbed by Ali Mustapha in a Berlin autobahn and finally we blew up in Switzerland.
The Italian radio is full of crappy music, but you guys have a radio show called “Slack Attack!” to try and help rescue the situation. Would you like to tell us a bit more about that?
Giorgia: Near our place we have this old underground radio called “Radio Talpa”; back in the days it was a real radio station that now has turned into a web radio.
Usually it’s me and Yuri that select the playlist in the way of a “stream of consciousness” with arbitrary associations between songs.
And sometimes the other “slackers” come to visit us.
Which band was your first love as a child? And what bands influenced you as a musician during your adolescence, and later in adulthood?
Yuri: My faves as a child were Oasis, Nirvana and Green Day.
In the last years I’ve listened to a lot of different stuff, I’am a music eater. Only exceptions are Ska and Reggae.
Which independent bands would you recommend we have a look at?
You guys are also working on the “Blue Studio”, your own recording studio. How’s the process going, and what do you have planned for it?
Yuri: The studio is ready to record, we’ve finished all the little works just a few days ago.
It’s a pretty unusual studio since it’s equipped with old, analog tape machines due to the kind of music we play.
What are the pros and cons of being DIY heroes in a country like Italy?
Yuri: I think the pros are total control over everything, about the cons I dunnow…
Maybe the time.
With all the bands, recordings, shows, drawings, screen printings, etc, I got no time at all for myself.
Giorgia: One pro is that being a few left we all got to know each other, we support each other and sometimes we cooperate.
So it’s a nice way to spot cool people in the neighborhood.
On the other side you have to struggle way harder to survive in Italy rather than in other countries like the United States where the “diy culture” is way more appreciated.
But maybe the harder the mission the bigger the prize.
Besides being brilliant musicians, artists, crafters, inventors and ninjas, what other passion characterizes you?
Yuri: Listen to good records, analog recording, golf, movies and food.
Giorgia: I love objects, I’m a vintage collector, and I love photography too.
When and where will be SLACK’s next event(s)?
20th December / Mt. Zuma / Bar Diamond
27th December / Antares / Bar Diamond
3rd January / A.I.D.S. / Bar Diamond
10th January / Black Gremlin / Bar Diamond
19th January / Deaf / Wave Club
Let’s give you just a few minutes to draw a caricature of yourself and see how it goes! Ready? Go!
Lastly, let’s dedicate a song to say goodbye to our readers!
Thank you very much for your time guys!
We wish SLACK all the best!