What's In Your Fridge: Brock Pytel of the SLIP~ons

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      What’s In Your Fridge is where the Straight asks interesting Vancouverites about their life-changing concerts, favourite albums, and, most importantly, what’s sitting beside the Heinz ketchup in their custom-made Big Chill Retropolitan 20.6-cubic-foot refrigerators.

      On the grill

      Brock Pytel

      Who are you

      I play guitar and sing in a band called SLIP~ons. I also played drums and sang in another band called Doughboys back when Appetite For Destruction was on the charts.

      First concert

      My first ever concert was Ted Nugent at the Montreal Forum in 1980. I was like 13 and had no idea about politics. Humble Pie with Steve Marriott opened and were awesome. My bandmates at the time told me the second guitar player was Mick Taylor, but I have found no evidence of this. Nugent had a wall of these tan tolex Fender amps that were searingly harsh sounding. Apparently the ticket was $9. 

      Life-changing concert

      Truthfully, probably the most life-changing concert for me was one I attended at Rang Bhavan in Mumbai in the early ’90s. It was L. Shankar playing this crazy stereophonic violin. Zakir Hussein was on tabla and Vikku Vinayakram was on the clay pot. It was a magical night outdoors and I had never seen anything like the drumming those two dudes were doing on these seemingly primitive instruments. It was also at a time in my life when I was living in a meditation centre and seriously considering becoming an ordained Buddhist monk. It was so emotionally charged and cathartic, and I realized then and there that I could not give up music.

      Top three records

      Black Sabbath Paranoid It’s pretty difficult to pick one Sabbath record. The first six or seven (I don’t hate Never Say Die) were all incredibly influential for me, but I first heard “Iron Man” on CHOM FM when I was maybe 11, so I guess Paranoid gets the nod. I used to leave the radio on in the background hoping that song would come on again, and when it did I’d drop whatever I was doing, dash to the radio, and crank it up. At 14, I started playing “Paranoid” and “War Pigs” in a band, and that led to Master of Reality, Vol. 4, and the rest.

      Neil Young Harvest I actually never owned this record, but had a cassette mix tape with most of it, plus a few choice songs from Decade and Tonight’s the Night. I left home when I was about 16, and for a while was living with my older brother in Dorval. He had a crappy classical acoustic guitar which I used to try and plunk out these songs on. That eventually led to my first attempts to write my own songs, so I feel a huge debt of gratitude here.

      Hüsker Dü Zen Arcade There really isn’t anything else that sounds like this record. I don’t know if it’s the buzzsaw compressed Fender/Roland JC120 guitar tones, the alternating sweet Grant Hart melodies and furiously anguished Bob Mould howls, or the rumoured crystal meth in the coffee pot at the beginning of the recording sessions, but to me, Zen Arcade still stands out as a landmark turning point. If I had to pick a favourite side, I would probably go with Side 1 because “Something I Learned Today” and “Broken Home, Broken Heart” can still cause me to start jumping uncontrollably up and down in joy ful abandon. That said, Side 2 is so utterly punishing that it could be the sleeper.

      All-time favourite video

      Red Fang “Blood Like Cream” I’ve never been much for music videos. My template would be the Replacements “Bastards of Young” which is sort of a non-video. That said, I like what Red Fang did with their “Blood Like  Cream”. It’s a great song, and it’s hard not to laugh at the band running from a pack of zombies with their arms full of 12-packs of Tecate and PBR.

      What’s in your fridge

      Oh geez...

      Pickles. A large jar of homemade dills from my ex’s garden. These have been in there for a while so I should probably eat them...

      Beer. Two de-alcoholized Heineken (complements of my cancelled Hello Fresh membership), a Lucky Lager, and a four-pack of Grolsch with only one left, which I am saving until I need another guitar-strap lock.

      Broccoli. My namesake. Three crowns of organic broccoli which may wind up being the centrepiece of my dinner tonight.

      Check out the SLIP~ons Heavy Machinery here.