Raised around music addicts, Korn says, "My uncle plays in Soul Asylum. I was going to their shows at 5 years old."
At 13, Korn stormed out to coffee shops, playing solo acoustic gigs. In 2005, she formed the original Slant, then an all-female trio. Fiddling with the key hanging from her neck, Korn says, "We were a girl band then."
Not any more. Blue-eyed Sean Sullivan (drums) sits quietly; his too-long hair droops boyishly over his glowy, rosy cheeks. Around the same time the original Slant formed, Sullivan wrote a song that called for female vocals. Searching MySpace, he found Korn. After slapping her voice on his track, Sullivan started dating her.
Sullivan also plays guitar for The Minor Leagues.
Although no one in his family was drawn to music, he stood out like a full musical cloud, about to erupt. Then a downpour.
Starting with guitar in grade school, Sullivan played in a slew of bands, including Straight Arms, a side project of The Minni-Thins, and the now defunct The Silhouette.
Ben Berger (vocals, keys) played in The Silhouette with Sullivan, and the two have known each other since they were kids. Although there's talk of Berger being on his way to this interview, he's M.I.A.
Sullivan says, "Everything I do with music, Ben becomes involved in it somehow. He's just always around."
Sean Peters (bass) and Korn are childhood friends. Tall and wire-lean, Peters walks with a friendly swagger. Wearing dark jeans, with his snaky build Peters looks like a '70s rocker.
Peters' mom played guitar, and his Dad was in a New Wave '80s band.
"Our family time equaled music time," he says.
Peters' bass style holds influences ranging from groovy Motown to English Punk bands like The Clash. Recently, he picked up Ska influences while working as a roadie for locals The Pinstripes.
He laughs and says, "That was a lot of fun, sleeping in a different basement every night."
In 2006, the new Slant was official. Currently, the band is working with producer Ben Walpole (of The Minor Leagues) on a new CD that'll be out come summer's end. Collectively, they mention Guided By Voices, Robert Pollard, Velvet Underground, The Ramones and The Replacements as inspiration. And Bob Dylan pokes his head in there.
Three tracks are out on their MySpace. "Parking Lot" is a funky, hand-clapping cool song with no garbled similes. With Korn's confident lyrics, it's a "soft-angry" love song, no pussyfooting around. In the same vein, "Science Fiction" shows off the rhythm section, danceable and energetic 311-style.
"Sixteen" stands out. A memorable ballad, the song reveals Korn's promising vocal style mixed with Berger's delicate touch. Sweet and slow, the tune holds her trademark bold words, a style similar to Ani Difranco's Like I Said: Songs 1990-1991. Difranco before the anger of Dilate.
Korn openly talks about "having a panic attack." No hiding behind metaphor, it breathes like fresh rain, a journal entry.
"I write about selfish things that are in your head that you need to get out," Korn says. "(A) diary sort of thing."
"K.I.S.S.," Peters adds. "Keep it simple, stupid."
A journalist, Korn attends Western Kentucky University. Peters, also a journalist, goes to UC. Come fall, Sullivan will head to Middle Tennessee State for audio engineering, but Slant plans to reconnect on college breaks, continuing forward.
"Everyone has outlets for creativity," Korn says, "and this is the one thing we can all do together. We'll be friends until we're 95 years old."
Korn shakes her scarlet head, laughing again. Though her lyrics are clear and naked, she moves to the rhythm of a tornado of light, infectious smiles.
SLANT (myspace.com/slantband) plays The Gypsy Hut on Tuesday and The Poison Room on July 18.