The Slants have today premiered their new video for the track titled ‘Drifting Pages’, featuring Lola Menthol, from their latest album ‘The Band Plays On’, dropping this Friday (June 14th). Set in it’s own immersive world, beautifully placed somewhere between imagination and passion, ‘Drifting Pages’ sets the bar solidly between animation and emotion.

The Slants have always been an original pop band, long ago finding it’s sound and evolving it into a beautiful cacophony of history and legend. To sound just as fresh and relevant with ‘Drifting Pages’, both the song and the video, is a magical feet of longevity and originality meeting, merging, and musing.

While there is a monster hook and a vivid musical backdrop to compliment the tunning visuals (or is it the other way around?), there is also the clear love of making music and collaboration that spans the globe and welcomes the listener to not just become a fan; but a friend.

Check out our other features with The Slants HERE.

About The Slants & ‘The Band Plays On’

“The Band Plays On is a logical evolution for The Slants. There’s a mixture of old and new songs, many reflective of Simon’s and my own personal journeys into music and activism, but presented through collaborations with extremely talented Asian American singers, musicians and producers from across the country,” says Jiang on the new album. “When the band retired from touring in 2019, our focus was on our foundation and supporting/connecting marginalized artists. It made perfect sense to do the same with this album.”

“Even though we were exhausted from over thirteen years on the road, our timing of stepping down from touring as a band right before the pandemic was serendipitous; that down time allowed us to really focus on what mattered for the band. For me, it was focusing on telling our stories, both literally through publishing my memoir, as well creatively through our music,” recalls Tam on how the album came about. “For the first few years, we connected with hundreds of other Asian American artists through the work of our nonprofit, The Slants Foundation, and it really helped us rethink what was possible with our art.”

With The Band Plays On set for vinyl and digital release on October 20, 2023, this year has been a very busy year for The Slants. While it may seem they’ve been dormant, with their last release being 2017’s The Band Who Must Not Be Named EP, if you know Jiang and Tam, dormant is not a word they know. Earlier this year they debuted their rock opera, Slanted: An American Rock Opera, via the New Works Collective program at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

The story of The Slants’ Supreme Court battle hit the theater with the opera. Stage directed by Rajendra Moharaj (Factotum), the rock opera was presented alongside two other groundbreaking operas: Cook Shack and Madison Lodge. These stories whisked audiences from 1920s Harlem to the modern-day Supreme Court, and from the exuberance of drag ball culture to the empowerment of a young female inventor. The world premiere for Slanted: An American Rock Opera took place March 16th-18th at Catherine B. Berges Theatre at the Center of Creative Arts in St. Louis.

“In the Summer of 2022, we were invited to apply for the New Works Collective program at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Even though we had no experience with opera itself, we thought that it could be an interesting concept to share our Supreme Court story while bringing elements of synth-pop and rock n’ roll,” recalls Tam. “Evidently, the opera agreed and we began writing very quickly, incorporating actual quotes from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the government, and me. Like our album, Joe and I mostly focused on behind-the-scenes work in writing and composing. Staying behind the curtain allowed us to leverage our strength of sharing ideas while allowing others to take center stage. Bass players are usually not considered the frontman but it was different with The Slants – I was often thrust into that position to talk about our activism, our legal case, or because I was the de facto original band member left. But whether it is the opera or our album, I’m finally doing what I’ve always wanted to for our community: create new roles that allow others to do what they do best. That’s my favorite kind of art.”

Adds Jiang, “The opera is definitely taking our band evolution to an extreme and it’s been as intense, challenging and exhilarating of a music experience I’ve ever had. Like the album, it’s telling very personal stories through collaboration, and it’s elevated by some of the best performers in the world. Just hearing my melodies sung by opera singers has been overwhelmingly exciting, and soon we’ll be seeing a fully staged production!”

Discussing the record and all the guests on The Band Plays On, Tam says the record was born out of the pandemic, and due to the pandemic, and not wanting to put another version of the band together, invited friends to guest on the album. The result is a record that redefines what The Slants are, as well as what constitutes a band.

“Through weekly Zoom calls and trading hundreds of emails, Joe and I began writing as much music as we could, without any real limits in mind. At first, we started seeing how it could become the basis of a new album. But with the many transitions and folks stepping down in The Slants, we knew we didn’t want to put together a new band in the middle of the pandemic. So, we started reaching out to other artists that we enjoyed working with. We brought Bao Vo (of Ming and Ping) on as a co-producer who really helped us shape the sound and we decided to feature different vocalists and performers on every track,” informs Tam. “It made me realize that in some ways, the idea of The Slants mattered more than the actual band itself – we could redefine what a band could be. For me, The Band Plays On is a literal title in that the work of our band continues because of this big community of artists finding expression through song.”

For a self-proclaimed troublemaker who took on the Supreme Court with his dance-rock band, The Slants’ Tam and bandmate Joe X. Jiang are ready to prove that yes, the band was about politics and reclaiming a racial term for empowerment, but that it was also always about the music.