“Back When” By J.R. Slayer
J.R. SLAYER’s debut EP, Not Rotten, is full of nostalgia and hopefulness while rocking amidst soaring guitar riffs and melodic indie-punk. One of the EP highlights is “Back When,” and today, the band––which also features Jason Klein (Deaf Club) and Ben Walsh (Tigers Jaw)––shares its equally wistful video.
Produced by Will Yip and released on his label Memory Music (Fantasy Camp, Queen of Jeans). Not Rotten sounds as opposite as it can from Votolato’s past work; it’s clear that the Seattle-born, LA-residing artist is at a new place in his life.
“There’s so much bad shit in the world, there’s a lot of bad things happening. But when you fall in love with someone, you have this feeling that all that stuff can disappear momentarily,” Cody explains. “Everything goes away but you and this person, and your feelings about them and yourself.”
J.R. SLAYER comes years after Votolato’s pivot away from full-time music work, on the tail end of decades between bands including beloved Seattle post-hardcore outfit The Blood Brothers, Jaguar Love, Head Wound City, Telekinesis, and Cold Cave. Blood Brothers began when Votolato was 15, and at the time was his main and only source of income. “I got fairly burnt out trying to make money as a musician,” says Votolato. “I was struggling for a very long time to have music make me money and be my career. It turned into this very toxic relationship with music.”
He vowed to leave that life behind but continued to write and play music at his own pace after moving to Los Angeles in 2016. Soon, friend and collaborator Andrew Martin pushed him to solidify J.R. SLAYER, and then another friend booked a show at the Hi-Hat (RIP), and Votolato started performing again. “I really wanted to reconnect with music in the way that I did when I first started playing music, which was more about just needing it to survive in an artistic and soulful way, as opposed to needing it to survive financially.”
1. Not Rotten
2. Back When
3. The Only One You’re Left With Will Be You
4. The Fade Out
5. You Will Never Be Alone
J.R. Slayer 2022 Live Dates
10/19/22 Roseville, CA Goldfield Trading Post Roseville
10/20/22 San Francisco, California Regency Ballroom
10/22/22 Las Vegas, Nevada When We Were Young Festival
10/23/22 Las Vegas, Nevada When We Were Young Festival
10/27/22 Garden Grove, California Garden Amp
10/28/22 Garden Grove, California Garden Amp
10/29/22 Las Vegas, Nevada When We Were Young Festival
Purchase Not Rotten by J.R. Slayter HERE
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