After nearly 2 years of silence Slow Mutants have released their long awaited self-titled debut album. It also happens to be their last. The Buffalo, NY based band consisting of members Emma LaQue (Bass/Vocals/Harmonium), Stephen Schmitt (Guitars/Vocals) and Stephen Floyd (Drums) went separate ways in 2018 shortly after recording a 12 song album with J. Robbins in Baltimore, MD. Today we honor this release as we bang our heads to “Hot Metal”, lift our lighters to “Dead Fly” and chat with Emma LaQue about the beginning, magnolia trees, mistaken identity and the concept of finality.
Artwork by Aleksandra Waliszewska
Before we talk about the latest release can you provide readers with “The Origin of Slow Mutants” ?
This Ka-Tet is comprised of the legitimate and well loved offspring of Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba.
Now, How did you all actually meet?
In a dark corner of a small screen printing shop in Mid World.
Was there any initial sound or concept in mind in the beginning? What were those initial writing sessions like?
We wanted to convey that we were writing songs that we thought sounded good and that we could all play.
The year was 2016 right? Your first record “Demo 2016” was released just weeks after Trump was elected President. Any tie-in?
Time is a flat circle, what’s happened before will happen again, you open the door and you’re back at the beginning …..etc, etc
Do you remember the first show?
Ahh yes, the Magnolia tree had just bloomed, the grass was wet, Milky was tired.
Your Facebook Bio says “Slow Mutants are from Buffalo and we sing about: a) Litigation. b) Vaguely threatening vortices. c) The ascension of the Queen.” Did you hold to these values?
a) Litigation. We’ve since moved past the need for litigation. Eat the Rich.
b) Vaguely threatening vortices. We’ve all succumbed to our own personal threatening vortices since this was recorded, so yes, this holds true.
c) The ascension of the Queen. See answer to A.
Which of these is Emma singing about in the song “Lawyer Spell” around the 2 minute mark when they appear to have been possessed and start speaking in prolific tongues!?
Emma is flattered to be mistaken for Stephen Schmitt, literally it’s all she’s ever wanted; However, Stephen was inspired by a tyrannical local patent lawyer who did him dirty.
Photo by Derek Neuland
I never had a chance to see the band in action. Were you guys pretty loud? I’m picturing full-stacks at a diy basement show?
Absolutely no full stacks were involved. Our condolences for your loss, though.
Who was your biggest supporter?
Probably that Patent Lawyer. It’s been really hard to reconcile.
Speaking of DIY shows / venues. Would you say that was your primary field of study? What does that scene look like today in Buffalo compared to just a few years ago?
We have all earned our Masters in DIY music. Bands in Buffalo were and continue to be excellent.
So this “new” record is a posthumous one? Before we talk details on the record itself can we jump right in (back) to the moment when you knew the band was calling an end to this chapter and perhaps a glimpse into what that conversation / decision was like for everyone involved?
We had an encounter with Blaine the Mono, and it, uh, didn’t end well. Threatening Vortices and all.
It’s been a few years since then. What new paths have opened up for everyone involved?
Stephen Floyd opened a successful comic book store, runs his record label, and continues to play music in Personal Style. Stephen Schmitt graduated from cosmetology school and made a career switch to Stylist at Crown Buffalo, while also playing with Little Summer……..and Emma has played at least 100+ hours of red dead redemption 2.
And for the actual recordings themselves, When / how did you all decide you wanted this captured moment to be released to the world? Had this record been something you planned to release while active or even something you ever considered putting on the shelf?
It was always the intention to release the record. A lot of time has passed as there have been expected shifts in priorities and circumstances with the record plant beyond our control. Life comes at you fast, you know? You wake up one morning and you’re already 22 years old!!
The Album Art for this first record particularly attracts my attention. Not the Gigantic fish so much as the gentleman in the back right corner. What’s the history behind it?
Well you see, he’s a scientist, and he’s very excited about the fish.
The new album cover is quite alluring as well. Who is the artist behind the painting?
The art for the LP is by Alexandra Waliszewska, a Polish artist. Check her out for a glimpse into those Threatening Vortices!!
Is it fair to argue that the 3 person band is the ultimate in Rock’n’Roll aesthetics?
It sure makes scheduling practice easier.
Perhaps a few words on the concept of Finality?
“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed”
*Emma LaQue interviewed by Frenchpressley