Rule Your Radio
Photo by James BunoanDespite what most people think, freakishly tall Sean Sloan never served in the armed forces. He did, however, play football for four years at UNLV before falling into a career promoting illegal desert raves, so that's kind of the same. These days he's a non-speed-using pacifist who makes the scene by playing guitar and singing in the darkly melodic Daisy Gun and by promoting weird things involving art and music. One such weird thing—Swag Lamp, featuring all sorts of projection art—will take place Friday at La Cave.
OC Weekly: What have you been listening to lately?Sean Sloan: Surprisingly, for a musician, I don't listen to that much music. I'm afraid of being influenced. I'm kind of afraid of sounding like other people. If I'm going to sound like somebody, I'd rather sound like Stevie Wonder, or Parliament Funkadelic, or Sly & the Family Stone. I love that shit. I do buy CDs. You just don't listen to them?
I listen to them a little bit, and I play them at shows I put on. I always DJ before bands and between sets. There's this band, Playgroup: they have this song called "I Wanna Be Your Number One"; it's like a quasi-retro dance groove. And I like Air. I listen to KCRW almost exclusively.
So it sounds like you like that eclectic atmospheric shit?
Yeah. I really can't stand commercial radio—it feels like programming. There's an interesting quote in Primo Levi's book Escape From Auschwitz. He talks about the effect of music on people who are close to death. They would play music, and the people would come alive like puppets and fall into line and march into their jobs as slave laborers, and I'm afraid that some musical movements come from the top down and that they're really meant to direct people to obedience and compliance.
So are you afraid of your radio?
Not afraid. I'm in complete control of it, and I turn it off when it's spouting some jive.
Then what's some art you can get behind?
I don't know if you're familiar with the artist Kevin Lluellen. That guy is really fucking talented as a fine artist. He's a talented figurative traditional artist, but he also does fantastic imaginative stuff. He had a show at the Lab recently. He has a website [www.puddnhead.com]. He's a genuinely talented person and a righteous guy. I also really like the Blue Whales. When I hear them, I hear full arena rock, like lighters and everything. I can see crowds of people swaying. They have heavy, melodic, intricate things going on.
Any places you like to go?
To be honest, Detroit Bar is like a beacon of hope for culture in Costa Mesa. I've seen more good things and had more fun there recently—I'm really happy they did what they did there. It has given a whole new perspective to being from around here. That band Richard Swift plays there on Mondays, and they're very good, very talented arrangers and musicians.
Are they rock?
More like melodic songwriting influenced by '70s rock. And I always like Throw Rag. They have this raw elemental rock thing that's undeniable. I can relate to them because they've all been around the block a time or five like myself.
All time favorite band?
I think Parliament Funkadelic are underappreciated and not really understood. Those guys were so ahead of their time. They had songs about bisexuality and wife beating and Vietnam and all of these really bizarre topics. They have songs that are so fast they're like speed metal. They're great.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.