There are times when planets come close to aligning but, for one reason or another, do not quite sync up the way you wanted them.
Such was the case with tracking down Bethlehem-based indie punk duo Slingshot Dakota. With an understandably busy summer schedule filling up their plate, what was meant to be a piece previewing the group's August return to Musikfest turned into a post-'fest chat.
Singer-keyboardist Carly Commando recently took some time for an email Q&A, touching on a variety of topics -- ranging from her and husband-drummer Tom Patterson's whirlwind tour behind their 2016 debut album Break, and conquering the planet one riff at at time.
DS: Between touring the country, releasing your album Break, playing South by Southwest and returning to Musikfest, the past year must have been a whirlwind for you. Can you put the last year into your own words and describe everything that's been happening?
CC: For some reason, even though Break just had it’s one year anniversary in March, we thought we were going to have a “chill” year. Basically when a new record comes out, you have a pretty busy tour schedule to promote it. The reaction to Break was overwhelmingly positive and folks reached out with show, tour and festival offers that we couldn’t refuse.
We mostly book ourselves, so when promoters reach out to us, we are more than happy to oblige. We were fortunate enough to tour with Ratboys, Petal in both the US and UK, and now we’re excited for our final tour of the year with Prawn, People Like You, Queen Moo and Us and Us Only. When kind people offer us shows, we generally take them. We keep pushing back demoing our new record because we’ve been incredibly fortunate to have a busy tour cycle.
DS: What are your plans for the follow-up to Break? What approach do you want to take with the next record?
CC: The next record could, in fact, be almost done but we’ve had no time to demo and put everything together. This summer was spent prioritizing our current set of songs for existing shows. The next few months are busy, and then we will hide away in the winter to get the next album completed.
DS: What lessons did you take away from Break that you want to apply for the next album?
CC: We learned the importance of simplifying songs to make them stronger and fuller. Also, demoing and writing more songs than we needed for the record was beneficial so that we only chose the cream of the crop.
DS: What is your take on getting music out to fans? Do you think sticking with just digital is the way to go or do you feel there is room for both (digital and physical releases)?
CC: Digital helps get your music out there, even if it’s at your cost. Although it’s negatively affecting artists everywhere, music streaming is the most popular way to listen to music. I would rather have my music out there resonating with folks than not at all. I just urge people to go out and support musicians on tour. Enjoy my free stream, but please buy some physical merchandise from me when I see you at my show that you bought a ticket for.
DS: Out all of the accomplishments, so far, which one(s) are you most proud of?
CC: It sounds corny but we’re most proud that we’ve been able to progress as a band without compromising who we are as people and our marriage. We know in our hearts how much we are growing, improving without “playing the game” in a way that’s gross to us. We do what we want on our own terms and work really hard. Also, slaying on live TV (WFMZ 69 News) in the same room as Godsmack was pretty incredible.
DS: What else is coming down the pipeline for Slingshot Dakota that you are looking forward to?
CC: After our tour with Prawn in December, we will be hunkering down to get the new record completed. Expect more hits and world domination.