“They've been described as "Chinatown dance rock," but The Slants are far from a novelty act,” writes Seattle’s alt-rock weekly magazine, The Stranger. NPR’s All Things Considered states that “It's tempting to peg The Slants in some existing Asian genre: Canto-pop, J-Metal, Viet Core…but they're not quite that simple." In case you haven’t heard, The Slants are one of the only, if not the only, Asian synth-pop bands in the North America and they have been melting faces off all over the globe.
Since the band’s first show in 2007, The Slants have been cited as the “Hardest Working Asian American Band” (slanteyefortheroundeye.com). They’ve also had their fair share of press for touring the nation eight times, rejecting a million dollar recording contract and being the first and only Asian band ever to be a Fender Music featured artist.
It was 2005 when Simon Young left punk rock phenomenon, The Stivs, in order to start a synth-pop outfit. It took several years to find the right blend of experienced and energetic musicians, but the key players contributed to the band’s out-of-the-gate success. Within three months of The Slants’ first show, the group released their first album, Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts, hit the road with their first tour and began receiving international press.
The Slants began touring and promoting their album relentlessly, playing at not only rock venues around the country, but anime conventions and Asian cultural festivals as well. This built a dedicated following of “otaku” – ardent fans of Asian culture: Japanese animation, manga, video games, and music – and landed gigs where the band often played for audience of more than 10,000. The decision to focus on anime events caught the attention of NPR and in 2008 All Things Considered featured the band for their unique work in countering Asian stereotypes as well as penetrating the mainstream market with their culture.
With a dark, yet danceable sound, the band’s unique music have won them several “Album of the Year” titles from Rockwired, the Portland Music Awards, AsiaXpress, the Willamette Week and other publications.
The catchy songs and ability to cross genres have also led the band to share the stage with artists such a Sir Mix-A-Lot, Vampire Weekend, Girl Talk and Mogwai as well some of most popular bands in Japan: Girugamesh, M.O.V.E and Ketchup Mania.
In 2009, The Slants headlined a SXSW showcase (other acts at the event included Metallica, Devo, Echo and the Bunnymen, Margaret Cho, etc.), starred in several independent films, conducted panels/lectures on Asian culture and the music industry throughout North America and have made appearances on multiple television and radio stations promoting their self-proclaimed “Chinatown Dance Rock.”
2010 saw the release of The Slants' third album, Pageantry. Pageantry featured a number of local icons including Cory Gray (The Decemberists), Krista Herring, Mic Crenshaw and Gabe Kniffin (Silversafe). The harder hitting, guitar-driven songs stilled featured The Slants' signature dance rock flavor and massive touring followed.