Moderation, Bonds Keep Slaughter Rockin’ Across The Nation


July 3, 2008

Kari Knutson of the Winona Daily News reports that they may not be topping the charts anymore, but rock band Slaughter has done something few bands from their era have accomplished. They’ve survived.

“A lot of our peers have fallen by the wayside,” singer Mark Slaughter said. “Slaughter is a rare case.” Slaughter credits an everything-in-moderation attitude and a strong bond between members for the band’s survival.

“We just love making music. I can’t see us doing anything else,” Slaughter said.

Fans can see the band Saturday when Slaughter plays a 10:30 p.m. show at Riverfest. The singer celebrates his 44th birthday Friday.

Slaughter grew up listening to everything from Aretha Franklin to Led Zeppelin.

“Since I was 11 years old, I knew what I was going to do,” Slaughter said.

Slaughter was formed in 1988 by Slaughter and bassist Dana Strum, both who had previously been in the Vinnie Vincent Invasion, and guitarist Tim Kelly and drummer Blas Elias. Slaughter quickly found an audience with huge radio and MTV hits “Fly to the Angels,” “Up All Night” and “Spend My Life.”

The band has toured with Ted Nugent, Whitesnake, Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Poison and other rock giants. Touring is still a way of life for the band with the annual Rock Never Stops Tour. They’ve also taken on new endeavors.

Last January, the band played on a cruise ship with Skid Row, Ratt and Vince Neil of Motley Crue.

“The weirdest part is when you’re playing and the seas get rough. You feel like you’re already three drinks in,” Slaughter said.

Slaughter also is a camp counselor with Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp. He has helped everyone from kids to doctors and lawyers learn how to rock a little bit harder. It brings him back to his very early days as a guitar teacher.

“You have to have knowledge and patience,” Slaughter said.

The band has also had to survive the death of Kelly, who was killed Feb. 5, 1998, in a car accident. Jeff Blando, who has toured with Warrant, Saigon Kick and Vince Neil, joined the group. Slaughter has released a couple of compilations but hasn’t made a new studio album since 1999. Slaughter says the band is busy writing and plans to try out a couple of new songs live.

He knows the band brings back a lot of memories for fans. He says it also brings back fond memories for him.

“I look at music like an hourglass,” he said. “As soon as you turn that hourglass over, memories and things from that time come swarming back to you.”

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