LATEST NEWS FROM THE SLANTS

Pre-order the new album now 

 

Our newest (and final) album will be available in a special limited edition gold vinyl. Check out 11 brand-new tracks featuring nearly every current and former member of the band along with 14 guest artists. You'll also get access to the expanded digital version of the album. You can pre-order this album on our homepage now (expected delivery will be mid-October).

Fall 2023 Events 

This fall, we'll be doing a limited series of appearances on the East Coast and Pacific Northwest. From storytelling and music presentations to sharing excerpts of our opera, we're really excited to connect with you! If you're interested in having us at your school or event, please let us know by emailing theslants@theslants.com

Slanted: An American Rock Opera 

For the last several months, Joe and I have been writing the libretto and composing music for a forthcoming opera! We were selected one of the first creative teams for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis' New Works Collective program. We're excited to try help transform this art form by infusing our story and synthpop sound into the work. 

The world premiere will be March 16-18 in St. Louis, get tickets and information here - or check out slantedopera.com for videos and more!

Hanging with some Asian Aunties at NCSS 

We just got back from the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) conference in Philadelphia, PA, where Joe and I got to share stories and storytelling. This was the second time that I've done this event but I wanted to make sure that we could bring our guitars. (when the conference pivoted to a virtual one in 2020, Ronny Chieng graciously agreed to a fire chat with me). We made a lot of new friends, including a group of teachers who volunteered to be our Asian Aunties in the social science world.

I often get asked to speak at events of all kinds - colleges, law conferences, music industry gatherings, etc. - and while I've done my fair share of keynote speeches, I realized that I wanted to use art to bring those stories to life. So, I started sneaking in the occasional song here and there. But when I got accepted for an arts residency at the UNC Process Series, I started on a path to go all out - I didn't just play random songs in The Slants' catalog, I started writing songs specifically about my story and folding them in. 

Fast forward to the beginning of 2021: I started meeting folks in the Cincinnati community. One thing led to another, and soon, I was introduced to someone at the Know Theatre of Cincinnati. After a couple of conversations, they wanted to adopt this little project that Joe and I was sharing with the world and turn it into a bona fide songs + storytelling show. We wrote even more songs and made it even more playful, putting in little nods to Dolly Parton and those who embodied a punk rock spirit. We focused less on the law and more on the persistent fight for identity. And, we starting rolling that out at events like NCSS, much like a comedian workshops new material at underground clubs before taking it on tour or taping their Netflix special (speaking of Ronny Chieng, we got to see him test out jokes that he was developing for Asian Comedian Destroys America! while in New York...that same show, Jim Gaffigan dropped by to test out over 45 minutes of horse-related jokes on the unsuspecting crowd). 

It's been a lot of fun. We have some more appearances at universities and conferences coming up and some of the songs are going to be on our next album, too. I guess that's the life of a semi-retired musician for you. In either case, we'll have a full musical show to check out next fall. I hope you'll join us there.

~Simon Tam

Special Appearance for Songbirds Radio Hour 

We're making our first full-band appearance since we retired from touring for a special event at the Songbirds Foundation.  We'll be helping raise money for the Guitars for Kids programs by sharing our story and some of our songs. This lineup will feature Simon Tam (bass/keys), Joe X. Jiang (vocals/guitar), and Tyler Chen (drums). 

In addition to this event, Simon's custom bass guitar will be added into the vintage collection of instruments that have helped shape pop music at the Songbirds Museum. Join us in Chattanooga, TN on November 15 for this very special event!

Tickets available here.

5 Years After the Supreme Court 

This week marked five years since our historic win at the Supreme Court. The decision that day was unanimous, something that seems implausible in our deeply divided times. 

As you know, our band retired from live touring in 2019 so we could focus on other projects, including The Slants Foundation. But that doesn't mean that we've been inactive. Although it's been half a decade since our legal journey ended, we've continued to work in arts and activism.

In this year alone, we are:

  • writing and recording a new album (to be released by the end of this year)
  • writing and performing a new storytelling/music theatrical piece (being developed by Know Theatre of Cincinnati)
  • composing an opera as part of the New Works Collective for the Opera of St. Louis
  • launching multiple collaborations with artists across North America

And, we're still doing some limited appearances as an acoustic duo (with Simon Tam and Joe X. Jiang performing). We'll have more news soon - feel free to check in with us on social media or check back on this website.

Thanks for all of your support!

The Band Plays On 

During lockdown over the past two years, we've been busy writing songs. That's right: we're steadily working our way to a new album.

Many people think that the band completely retired in 2019, after our last show in Portland, Oregon but we didn't - we only decided to step down from live touring (no one knew that a major worldwide pandemic as coming that would make that decision for us anyway). There's a long history of artists who've kept on recording but who also put a pin on touring/live performances: The Beatles, David Bowie, The Talking Heads, Tom Waits...the list goes on. Many of them returned to the stage after a decade or two. While we're not sure if that will ever happen for us, one thing is for certain; we still have at least one album in us. 

So, we're pressing on. And in the spirit of our Foundation, we're focusing on collaboration and community: the record will be highlighting voices across our community. Joe and I have written/composed the music, but most of the playing/singing will feature other AAPI artists, new and classic. As Ray Arnold (played by Samuel L. Jackson) famously said in Jurassic Park, "Hold onto your butts."

Stay tuned for more updates on this soon.

Slanted: A New Show of Songs & Stories 

We're proud to be debuting a new experience with the International BorderLight Fringe Festival called SLANTED. It's a show of songs and stories, featuring new music that we've written just for this experience. The stories follow the experiences of Simon's memoir, Slanted: How an Asian American Troublemaker Took on the Supreme Court.

You'll be able to watch this show on demand from July 24-31. Tickets are available at a pay-what-you-can rate here. Proceeds help support the BorderLight festival as well as our nonprofit, The Slants Foundation.

Recent Happenings 

May 31, 2021 marks 14 years from our very first show (kicked off at the now defunct Tonic Lounge in Portland, OR). It's also the final day for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. 

Here are some recent things to check out from the month:

While we aren't touring and playing these days, we're still keeping busy!