It’s only day four of forty and the guys are already getting into fights with poorly placed furniture. A stream of cursing is coming across the line of my conference call with Scott Sloan and Steve LaBate, the two slightly crazed souls who are on a trip of epic rock proportions. The sleep deprived gentlemen are on a mission from God…or the devil….whoever is in charge of the ROCK. The marathon is called 40 Nights of Rock and Roll. If they survive, it’ll be a miracle.
The deal is this: 40 consecutive nights of 40 different bands in 40 different venues. LaBate, Senior Contributing Writer at Paste, and Sloan, director of Inside Jones, are making their way across America in search of the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll. Has the genre finally bit the dust or are there little lights of hope hidden in the corners of dusty houses and hole in the wall bars? It’s a question they’re aiming to answer by watching and interviewing a whole slew of bands, from Sigur Ros to Third Eye Blind and everyone in between.
So who are they most excited about talking to? Believe it or not: RATT. But LaBate and Sloan have been lining up interviews and shows to document left and right. The duo are also fellow Grady College of Journalism grads and after some ribbing about my major (Newspapers, yay) they began explaining their plans for the Athens portion of their trip.
Instead of heading to a legendary venue like the 40 Watt, Sloan and LaBate are hitting the Secret Squirrel during their time in Athens. The Squirrel is one of the worst kept secrets as far as Athens house parties go. It’s legendary in its own right. But house parties are what the duo consider essential for making Athens the nutty little music town it is. This SUNDAY, they’ll be talking to the super-buzzy Reptar, Bubbly Mommy Gun, and Future Islands.
Many other Athenian bands will pop up in this great rock and roll adventure. After kicking off with the Whigs on their first night and the stop at the SS, the guys are scheduled to talk to of Montreal and the Drive-By Truckers. But plans change and random encounters with rock have already made their way into the musical journey.
And when it’s all over?
“We’re gonna sleep for 40 days.”
Now THAT is rock ‘n’ roll.