Making it Count: A Brief Interview with Slim Cessna’s Auto Club

Slim Cessna’s Auto Club from Denver, Colorado are a band with a vocabulary. With a knack for twisting and turning through complex narratives and weaving together a multitude of instruments, the band has surpassed the country genre and has managed to create something unique. Dual frontmen Slim Cessna and Jay Munly lead the crowd through an ebb and flow of emotions, and are as complimentary as butter and toast.

Formed in 1992, the past twenty-three years have seen several member changes. Today’s touring lineup features Slim Cessna (vocals, guitar), ‘Munly J Munly’ (vocals, banjo, harmonica, etc.), Dwight Pentacost (guitar, vocals, stringed-things), Daniel Grandbois (bass), Rebecca Vera (pedal steel, keys, vocals, etc.), and Todd ‘The Peeler’ Moore (percussion).

In a famous reference, the notorious Jello Biafra has referred to them as “…the country band that plays the bar at the end of the world.” They’ve been referred to as the “Best live band in America” (Spin Magazine), and have received their share of critical accolades. Bucketlist caught up with them in the wake of their May 23rd performance at Montreal’s Divan Orange to see what they’re up to now.

Your 2015 Spring tour threads through the beltloops of the midwest and the east coast, and buckles up in Nebraska, including one show for each of the twenty-three years SCAC has been together. Is there any particular stop on this tour that stands out to you, either in memory or in anticipation? (Or both?)

Canada! Take the Poutine Challenge. We did!

Have you played in Montreal before? What are you looking forward to the most about visiting here?

It’s such a beautiful city, and everyone is so nice and lovely. We really had a nice time, and a good show in Montreal.

With such a huge catalogue of tunes to choose from, how do you select your set list for live shows: are songs chosen spur of the moment, based on a collection of favourites, or prearranged via consensus / bibliomancy / divine inspiration?

One of the challenges is making sure the show has a flow, even during so many instrument changes. Eliminating time between songs is how we choose our songs.

Now that SCAC is UNincorporated, fans are looking forward to hearing some releases, new and old. With the SCAC 102 collection about to be launched in the USA, what’s next in the cards for SCACunINC.?

We have another band called DBUK. Our debut album should be released in September.

All of the members of the Auto Club are also involved in other bands and musical endeavours. As a particular outlet for musical magic, what kind of mojo do you think SCAC channels together that the other projects individually don’t possess? In other words, when your forces combine into Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, what’s different?

When we are all together, we try to make it count.

Bonus question:

If _______ is a _______, then the ______ of the _______ will _______.

If there is a bottle, then the mayor of the town will drink.

True! Thank you, Auto Club!

Don’t forget to read about their recent performance at Divan Orange here.

Written and Compiled by Kate Erickson

About Kate Erickson 12 Articles
Kate is a multidisciplinary writer, musician, and creator based in Montreal who also plays bass for a few local bands. She has been writing about arts, culture, and technology since 2007 and works as a copywriter and creative consultant. She has a hard time choosing favourite bands, but is always interested in discovering new talent across genres.

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