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Slaughter rocks New Mexico once again

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The ‘80s rockers play Albuquerque on Saint Patrick’s Day

Slaughter rocked Albuquerque with fellow ‘80s band Great White over St. Patrick’s Day, with a Blarney Bash performance at the Sandia Resort & Casino March 17.

A native of the Southwest, the American rock band began in Las Vegas under the direction of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Mark Slaughter, and bassist Dana Strum. The pair formed Slaughter after leaving Vinnie Vincent Invasion in 1988. Slaughter reached stardom in 1990 with “Stick It to Ya,” a debut record that brought with it several hit singles, including “Up All Night,” “Spend My Life,” “Mad About You,” and “Fly to the Angels.”

That first album reached double platinum status in the United States. 20 years later, the band remains a steady act in national tours, including Rock Never Stops.

The Sun was fortunate to catch up with frontman Mark Slaughter, and find out the secrets of his band’s longevity.

Sun: Hey Mark, thank you so much for this, you guys still totally kick.

Mark: Hey there, thanks man it’s what we do, it’s what we do and we enjoy what we do, that’s the key point of it.

Sun: What’s been the key to longevity of what you guys been doing?

Mark: Well, we’ve been doing it a long time and we still love it, and certainly the crowd here makes it even more so. It was a great crowd and New Mexico has always been one of those places we look forward to. People are just awesome here, and as far as every city, town, has a certain vibe you know, there’s just a lot of love here and a lot of cool people here.

Sun: You’ve been here numerous times dude, you should just make New Mexico your home.

Mark: Yeah man, go build me a home on the hill and call it day (laughing).

Sun: Gotta ask the usual question, how’s the tour been so far?

Mark: It’s good man. it’s good, we’ve been doing a lot of flight dates, which means we do shows on the weekends. Fly out to do shows and fly out home. That’s pretty much it, take a little break here and there, then we hit the ground running again.

Sun: Thirty years rocking and that’s got to say a lot, as we were talking earlier... other ‘80s bands just hit their peak and then fade off, but you said something totally interesting and very true.

Mark: Those who do, do, and those who don’t… You know I get paid to travel and I’m still in love with making music. It’s the same thing with my solo records, I love to make music because I’m in love with music. It’s not a money grab, it’s something you dreamed of doing and we’re still living our dream, every one of us. We dreamed of it as we were learning our instruments as kids, to be able to go play. I said it earlier with the guys, you dream of this, you go and rock out, have a nice dinner afterwards, everyone breaks bread, and you go get a couple hours of sleep and go home. We’re all in different cities too, we don’t rehearse because we’ve done this for so long, it’s what we do.

Sun: Now you mentioned your solo records, lets talk about the latest album “Halfway There,” which dropped last year in April 2017.

Mark: I can’t believe it’s almost been a year, it’s crazy. The record has done really well. We’ve hit Top 20 on a couple singles. You know radio is a lot different now, yet we keep pumping away and people seem to dig it.

Sun: How did you come up with the title “Halfway There?”

Mark: “Halfway There,” you know I came out with about life, I just put it to song. You have your parents, then you let your parents go, they pass away. I lost both of my parents in the last 10 years. You watch your kids go drive away, it’s just how life is. The truth of the matter is that we don’t live forever, the time we live here you try to make your mark, and you try to at least touch a heart thread in your music that resonates to people.

Sun: If you weren’t doing this, what else did you want to do when you were a kid?

Mark: I think this was a natural flow for me to do, I’d always sang with records, I just liked music. You know you don’t think of it as kid, you just go, ‘hey I like to sing.’ I would be five years old swinging on a swing just singing away. It’s just a natural thing that I did, as I got into the fifth grade I auditioned for the school choir. They put me in it and I learned the guitar from there too. I just gravitated towards music. Senior year I was voted ‘Most Musical,’ and came out of that teaching guitar. I got a scholarship for music but I didn’t want to go that route, I still wanted to be the rock guy. I did three years teaching and right into [the band] Vinnie Vincent Invasion. That’s my whole story. It’s what I love... what would I be doing, my dad was an electrician and we made a deal, if I didn’t make it as a musician by the time I was 25, I would be an electrician. I was cool with that, it’s a cool job, it’s a good plan, you always make a plan.

Sun: Man, I could chat with you a long time, but I know you have a busy schedule. Thank you again Mark for doing this and hope to see you again. It has been very entertaining.

Mark: When the circus comes to town it should be entertaining, and that’s how we take our shows as – entertaining. As opposed to ‘hey lets just play our show and get the f-ck out,’ a lot of bands do that. That’s not how we do it. We want to get out there and be a part of it. Again, it’s very encouraging when the crowd is [like the crowd in] New Mexico. Always from the beginning of our career to now has always been amazing. We’re thankful for the people who allowed us to entertain them and believe in rock and roll.

For more information, visit the band’s website at www.slaughterusa.com.

By Dee Velasco
For the Sun