An Interview with Pat DiMeo and The Slacks

Since his childhood, musician Pat DiMeo had a love for all kinds of music, especially classic rock and roll. On March 20th, before playing a show with The Slacks, opening up for Starstruck Avenue, he took the time to discuss his favourite artists and venues, and his aspirations. We were later joined by his The Slacks bandmates; Angelo, Daniel, and Frankie (the “good boy”).

How long have you been playing music?

Pat: Since I was five years old. I started playing piano for a bit, but my parents told me I couldn’t handle it. Then, when I was nine, I played drums and that was my primary instrument. I was learning drums, taking lessons for about 2-3 years. Then I moved to vocals later on, when I was 14 years old.

How would you describe your music? 

Pat: It’s very raw rock. I tend to do a couple of different styles. With this band in particular, with The Slacks, we play rock and roll, basic straight up rock and roll.

How long have you been playing with The Slacks?

Photo by Kayla Ramacieri

Pat: It’s been since last February, so it’s a bit over a year ago. I met my buddy Dan back at Vanier College when we were with a band called Abigail Calling, and then we met our drummer Angelo, who is here tonight. Eventually, the band broke off and we didn’t really like the sound we were playing anymore. I think we needed something fresh and new, and we always liked old rock and roll music so we started studying Elvis and Buddy Holly, and all the old rock and roll stuff. Dan and I went into the studio together and said we’ll record all the songs together and get the other guys to play live, and they were all down.

What inspires you to make music?

Pat: I think just basically listening to music. I listen to a lot of genres and different things, and I really just listen and take a couple of hours and just think about what I should write about. A lot of it has to do with love and women and stuff like that.

Angelo: Beer, cigarettes, life, and passion. Music’s awesome. 

Frankie: My dad, when I was very young, showed me all kinds of music and I just thought it was the coolest thing in the world. 

What do you look forward to most when playing a live show?

Pat: When I play live, my favourite part is probably playing the songs I like more. I know that sounds selfish but there’s a couple of our songs that I really enjoy listening to on my own when I’m driving, and I love playing those as well, some of the more energetic ones.

Angelo: This one time, we got really, really wasted and played a set and I think my favourite part of the set was when my singer got pretty much naked and jumped on my drum set and we started wrestling. It wasn’t Pat. That’s really fun. It’s those sporadic moments that are the absolute best. You start ruining your drums, and you start throwing  your amps that’s the best part of playing live.

Frankie: The unexpected, even if it’s bad.

Daniel: I love when you fuck up and everyone on the stage knows it, but no one else does, and you’re just laughing to yourselves.

What’s your favourite song to play?

Pat: A song that we wrote called “Lay Down”. It’s my favourite song, and we’re going to play it tonight, so I’m excited. 

Angelo: I like “Wish You Were”. Hard rock, anything hard rock that these guys do is really fun. It’s really heavy, it’s played loud, and it feels better. 

Daniel: “Mountains”. I like playing “Mountains” live. It’s a song that we never really recorded. We just went in a room and started playing it. Pat wrote the lyrics, I think. It changes every time we play it.

Angelo: It’s a song about Pat’s love for women, it describes the shapes. 

Frankie: For me, it’s either “Mountains” or “Amy”. It’s about a real girl, named Amy. 

Which is your favourite venue out of the ones you’ve played? 

Pat: Campus, the best sound for us I think.

Frankie: It’s probably going to be here (Petit Campus), but I haven’t played here yet. 

What are your plans for the rest of the year? 

Pat: I’m actually heading to Toronto later this year to work with someone based out of Toronto, so we’re going to start working on two songs, and see where it takes us. Also, continuing with The Slacks and playing some more shows this year.

Angelo: I want to get a job, a solid job. And follow Pat along with The Slacks stuff ’cause it’s fucking awesome.

Frankie: Finish school and go to Europe.

What city would you most like to play?

Pat: Nashville. We took a trip down there last year and we brought our music with us and it’s just a very concentrated music scene. Everybody there loves music, so just by playing any venue, you have a whole crowd of people that just want to listen to you. They’re all very interactive and they’re all very supportive and I think it’s a good place to think about. 

Angelo: Boston. Come on, guys, this is where it starts. Boston or New York, those are the places. 

Daniel: I’d like to play New York. There’sa lot of attitude there, and interesting show. It has to be New York. Your car will at least get broken into. 

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?

Pat: Be serious about recording music, to put original tracks out there, and to put music on the road, even if it’s one hour away, or two hours away, get out there and play.

Angelo: Get drunk and have a good time.

Daniel: Play what means something to you, not what everyone else likes.

Frankie: Work very hard. I’m serious. If they decide they’re going to call themselves an artist they need to focus their whole life on that so be ready to sacrifice a lot. 

Written and compiled by Franca G. Mignacca
Header photo by Giulio Bomba

About Franca G. Mignacca 57 Articles
Ever since her toddler years, Franca has had a passion for film and music. Raised on classic rock, she will always keep the bands she grew up with close to her heart. Her taste in music has broadened throughout the years. Listening to a mix of rock, indie, blues, and metal, she loves hearing about new bands, and is always willing to give other genres a try. Her favourite decade of music is the 60s and her favourite bands include The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Kinks, The Damn Truth, The White Stripes, and, depending on her mood, ABBA. She is studying communications in college, in hopes of someday being either a journalist or filmmaker.

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