Slash Need is a chaotic and experimental dark techno/post-hardcore group from Toronto. Their music is tense and feels like a machete hacking away at parts of your physical and mental body. There’s pain, resistance, and darkened joy with a live performance that looks part exorcism and part subjugation. The latest single from the group is a cover of “The Money Will Roll Right In,” by Fang and they hope to release an LP or EP soon. We chatted quickly with Dusty Lee and Alex Low ahead of their Suoni Per Il Popolo performance with Crasher and Laura Krieg.
PAN M 360: For our readers who don’t know of you, how did Slash Need form and who are the members?
Dusty Lee: Slash Need formed at a time when Alex and I were both helping run a venue in Toronto called Double Double Land. We were living, working there and basically spending all our time there. Currently, the band is made up of the two of us (Dusty Lee and Alex Low). That said, we have a steady roster of artists who we collaborate with and who dance with us such as Camille Jodoin-Eng and Tago Mago. We consider them members of the band too. Like Prodigy.
PAN M 360: How does the songwriting work within Slash Need?
Dusty Lee: We work separately on ideas and come together to build something that exists sonically between ourselves.
Alex Low: Even though I physically push most of the buttons live, the two of us write everything together.
Slash Need // Kirk Lisag
PAN M 360: Are the lyrics stream of consciousness?
Dusty Lee: Sometimes. Sometimes they’re poems, sometimes they happen on the spot, sometimes they take weeks.
PAN M 360: “The Money Will Roll Right In” cover, where did the idea to morph it into a dark techno banger come from? I remember the Nirvana cover from way back.
Dusty Lee: I was shown the original song by Fang a few years ago and became a bit obsessed. The Nirvana cover is cool too. Same with the Metallica cover. It’s inspiring that the simplicity of that song is what generates its timelessness. It’s been translated into so many different versions we thought we’d try our hand at it too. It was the first thing we worked on when we got back together after the time we spent apart during the height of the pandemic. We made it in one night.
PAN M 360: There’s this strange dichotomy in the music with this techno-electro and almost post-hardcore vocal style. Did it kind of just happen this way?
Dusty Lee: Fuck no. We started and we were like a drone noise band. Then we were kind of making music that was a little electro-dance/house influenced? I think it wasn’t until we wrote “Leather” and began pulling the thread of ideas written into that song that we really found ourselves. I was playing a lot of X-Ray Spex, Maria Minerva, Lucrecia Dalt, The Mo-dettes, Geneva Jacuzzi, Judy Nylon at that time. Just like, post-punk no-wave experimental and dance stuff but I was also listening to a lot of Deli Girls and became really inspired by them, I thought “How do I do that?” and just kind of figured it out in my own way.
Slash Need Live // Philip Monahan
PAN M 360: I feel like this music would serve to be live in some unconventional venues like an abandoned swimming pool or something. Have you played some more DIY venues?
Slash Need: We’ve almost exclusively played DIY venues and shows for the majority of our time together up until more recently. We haven’t played in an abandoned swimming pool yet but we’re open to it.
PAN M 360: Any plans for more music down the road, an EP or LP?
Slash Need: We’ve been working on an LP but maybe it will be an EP so we can release it faster and move on.