Slaughter heads to the DeJoria Center Saturday
When: 7 p.m., Saturday, March 23
Where: DeJoria Center, 970 N. S.R. 32 in Kamas
Cost: $35 and $95
Fans of ‘80s metal will get to “Fly to the Angels” and party “Up All Night” when Slaughter plays those songs and more at the DeJoria Center stage Saturday.
For lead singer and guitarist Mark Slaughter, the concert will be like a homecoming for the band.
“Utah has alway had a special place in our heart, because it was the first place that the band was played on the radio,” the band’s frontman said. “It’s like this is where it all started.”
Slaughter said the band, which includes its co-founder, bassist Dana Strum, lead guitarist Jeff “Blando” Bland and drummer Zoltan Chaney, will perform a high-energy set filled with their hits, deep cuts and solo works.
“When people see us, they will see a very entertaining show,” Slaughter said. “It’s a high-energy concert, and anyone who has seen the band knows this.”
Part of the energy comes from the fact that the band members love music.
“When we’re not touring, the rest of the band goes off and plays shows with Vince Neil of Motley Crue,” Slaughter said. “When you play music with other musicians, you definitely are influenced by what they bring to the table. And if you’re open to things, I think you embark on a better musical journey.“
Also, Slaughter is one of those bands that not only wrote and continues to write its own songs, but also produces its own albums, the band leader said.
“I enjoy making music,” Slaughter said. “I enjoy the songwriting aspect. I enjoy mixing and recording and getting songs out to people.”
The band formed in 1998 when Strumm and Slaughter decided to form their own group after their former act, the Vinnie Vincent Invasion, got into a dispute with its record label.
Slaughter’s double-platinum-selling debut album, “Stick It To Ya,” peaked at No. 18 on the Billboard 200 in 1990, due to the strength of its first two singles, “Fly to the Angels” and “Up All Night.”
Songwriting flows more naturally when the writer lets the ideas take over, Slaughter said.
“For example, I had an idea of what ‘Fly to the Angels’ was going to be about, but it found its own way,” he said. “When I start writing a song, I try to follow where the song will take itself. It’s more of that than it is of me trying to write something about a certain thing.”
While Slaughter continues to write and record new albums, he does know it’s more difficult to get those products to his fans than it was in previous decades.
“The hardest thing for all artists right now is that we’re dealing with an attention-deficit society, and people are just getting onto their phones or cameras to get that morsel of food like mice do when they go through their labyrinths,” he said with a laugh. “So it’s all about trying to get people’s attention to tell them where the shows are and get them to listen to the full songs.”
That paradigm shift has only made Slaughter work harder to reach his fans.
“You’re always trying to write better songs and perfect your live performances,” he said. “There are some bands who go out and clock it in, but we really take this seriously. Everybody goes in and puts their minds into the music.”
The payoff is when fans tell Slaughter what the music means to them.
“It’s always great when someone has a story about how the music has helped them out of a rut, or how it has helped them move on through their life,” he said. “That’s how music had always impacted my life while I was growing up. To me, music is life.”
That love for music sent Slaughter on his own artistic journey.
“As I got older, I started playing guitar and enrolled in all the music classes in school,” he said. “I think music chose me more than I looked for it.”
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