Interview: San Diego’s Sluka Flies High on Music and Enjoyment of Life




Sluka and his crew - Courtesy image
Sluka and his crew - Courtesy image

By DONNA BALANCIA

Christopher Sluka believes that enjoying life comes first.

Sluka, whose solo moniker has become known through California as well as internationally, says he’s grateful for every moment of making music. 

“I’m so fortunate that I get to do what a lot of people wish they could do,” Sluka said. 

Sluka is a compelling performing musician. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and he suggests that people do the same if they want to have a more enjoyable life.

Sluka blends the past with the present. The San Diego creative grew up with the music of The Beatles as an inspiration and he has adopted a sunny attitude towards the music business.

“I’m one of those kids who discovered The Beatles and thought ‘This music is the greatest things ever,'” he said.

Sluka’s music is inspired by The Beatles, but this Renaissance man takes all his life experiences and puts them into the music.

Sluka Influenced by Bowie in Music and Attitude

During his international travels, Sluka has met a range of people in all walks of life, from street people to dignitaries. But for Sluka, meeting David Bowie had a big impact.

“David was one of the funniest guys, he was nothing like his persona,” Sluka said. “I remember him telling me ‘Fame sucks.'”

That phrase rang in his head over the years and Sluka adopted a semi-Bowie inspired attitude. He’s a self-proclaimed “nerdy guy” in the studio, but his personality will take command over any stage.

Sluka plays Dec. 1 at CIA in NoHo with Bonehenge.

Sluka plays CIA in Noho on Dec 1 - Courtesy image
Sluka plays CIA in Noho on Dec 1 – Courtesy image

Flying and Music

A top-rated pilot, Sluka said his two passions, music and flying are clearly intertwined.

“Flying and music to me are identical,” Sluka said. “The people in my band think so too. Both involve lots of repetition, no two flights are the same, like a show. With flying and music, you’re following a checklist, and they’re both unforgiving of the space.” 

Sluka’s been around and has experienced the ups and downs of a changing music industry. He had a good run in New York, with his band Fear of Ordinary Life from 1981-87. 

“We were being courted by Chrysalis as an American Duran Duran thing,” he said. But even after signing with labels, he was not satisfied for the sake of the art. “No one was giving me artistic freedom,” Sluka said. 

Philosophically Sluka says people should choose their idols and leaders more carefully.

“I make it clear I don’t know the answers to anything important and nobody else does either,” Sluka said. “We gotta stop turning to these leaders. Look, if you’re in a plane are you going to pray or are you going to find someone to fly the plane?”

Sluka is in the fast lane - Courtesy image
Sluka is in the fast lane – Courtesy image

Sluka’s Band

His band is comprised of drummer Lis Viegas, bass player Anna Eppink  and Alexandra Holt, who has a unique role in the band. Holt started off as roadie-merch but then Sluka added her for vocals and percussion. 

Like Bowie, Sluka thinks fame is weird too, but it’s a result of achievement.

“I only wanted sell enough records to survive, then I got established with the majors and now have my own label,” Sluka said. “I can fly all I want. I’m pretty happy go lucky.”

Sluka says his music reflects society. 

“In ‘Number One’ I talk about those who obsessively want to be ‘Number One,'” he said. “I can’t stand that people.

“Number One” has been getting radio play and his other recent song “Virgo” has been doing well.

 

Virga by Sluka:

What’s on Tap for Sluka

Sluka loves touring what many would say is a visually all-encompassing show.

“I think it’s boring to just get up there and play so we put on a visual show,” he said. “Time in front of the audience is so precious.” 

Sluka and crew are planning a European tour. The band just signed with a Eurpean agency to get them out for spring on a tour of continental Europe, with possibly a stop or two in London to launch the tour first and second of June. And the band plans to play Camden Rocks fest.

Sluka says his distribution preference is to release albums.

“Each song is a chapter and each chapter sets up the next one,” Sluka said. “The last album came to me in that order. I don’t like to say so much about it – it’s up to you to discover things. In a museum the artist is not there to explain about his paintings.”

Sluka videos include Number One and Virgo and they’re two songs he opens the show with.

“We open the show with those two also and we close with something from the past.” 

Number One by Sluka: