The Slime
by Interviews

Later this week, Toronto-based hardcore punk band The Slime will be releasing their new EP Trapped on Blood Island. The EP rips by in just over 3 minutes as the band tears through three killer tracks full of huge riffs, inventive arrangements, and abstract lyrics that peer into our society. Along with showcasing how fun and creative hardcore punk can be, “Beyond Dead”, “Blood Island”, and “Nude” also gives listeners a taste of what’s in store on their upcoming yet-to-be-named album which is due out later this year. Trapped on Blood Island will be out everywhere on April 27 via Cursed Blessings Records. The Slime will be playing their album release show that same day at SeeScape in Toronto, Ontario.

Punknews editor Em Moore caught up with lead vocalist Andy Mc and bassist CD Grind to talk about their new EP, their upcoming album, horror movies, what the best non-punk song to two-step to is, and so much more. Read the interview below!

This interview between Em Moore, Andy Mc, and CD Grind took place on April 09, 2024 over Zoom. This transcription documents their conversation and has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

You recorded your EP Trapped on Blood Island with Dylan Frankland at Candle Recording Studio and Wychwood Recording Studio in Toronto. How did you decide where to record? What was the recording process like?

Andy: I think it was my idea to reach out to Dylan. He plays in a band called Head Crack that we saw and they were really cool. Then we heard some of his work with that band that they had recorded and we liked it. We thought, “Ok, let’s try it out”. It turns out that his newer studio, the Wychwood Sound, is right down the street from us on the west side here in Toronto so it was great. All our songs are pretty short so we were able to do everything in pretty much one day. They put a lot of attention into the sound setup which was great.

CD: We also listened to some of the other releases that Dylan worked on like Imploders which is another local Toronto band. We liked how it sounded and we figured it would be interesting to test some new grounds. We’d been recording in School House Studios near Mississauga in the past with Scott Middleton. We did the last two releases in that studio and we wanted to try something a bit different.

What was the biggest difference between the studios?

Andy: Honestly, distance. [laughs]

CD: [laughs] Distance is definitely the biggest difference.

Andy: I think the process was really similar. We really liked all the previous recordings we did with Scott at School House. My perspective with the band is to try to get different people involved so it was nice to have someone’s different ear on the music to present it and compile it in a different way. I like the way it’s layered in this one. We appreciate having different takes on the sound, there’s a lot of different ways to interpret it.

How would you describe your songwriting process?

CD: Usually our songwriting process is pretty collaborative overall and it usually starts with one person having an idea. For example, our drummer Derek will have a rhythm or some kind of beat he has in mind, and usually either Junior, our guitarist, or me will build on that idea and think of a riff. Then after we get the instrumental part down, we jam it around a bit and see how much we could develop it. Andy eventually starts writing lyrics on top of that. Then we go through the little details and see if there’s anything else we wanna change - add another part, make it longer or shorter. We all like working together. When we’re making a song it’s very much all of us together as opposed to one person having a set idea on what’s to be done. We’ve maybe done that once or twice but even then it was still a collaborative thing, it was not just one person writing a whole song. That’s usually how we go about writing our new material.

Do you write all together in your practice space or do you go about it digitally?

Andy: In the practice space. It’ll start like CD said, with the germ of something and we’ll work on that for a while. Sometimes it can take a couple months for a song to evolve into what it is. I would say that even playing it live a few times, things can change a little bit before they’re recorded. It’s not until it’s been recorded that it’s really set in stone. It is a very collaborative process.

CD: It’s a lot of experimenting to see what we like and how we want the song to sound. Originally when one of the newest songs was first demoed it was a completely different structure and different speed. Now that we’ve recorded it, it's different from what the original idea was.

What went into changing the ideas?

CD: When I was showing the riffs to our guitarist I played them slower. Originally it was supposed to be a really fast part but after playing it slower we were like, “Ok, wait. What if we just did it slower instead of doing that part fast? That’s kinda like a breakdown”. Then we were like, “Yeah, this sounds good! It sounds better than what the original idea was”. That’s how it stuck, basically.

Would you say that song is the one that changed the most over the course of working on it?

CD: It’s “Nude”. I’d say yeah, that’s one of the songs that’s changed the most in terms of what the original idea was. That one is certainly one that’s deviated the most from what I can remember.

The name of the EP, Trapped on Blood Island, the name of the title track, and artwork all pay homage to the Blood Island movies.

Andy: [laughs] There’s a movie poster in Derek’s house for Beast of Blood which are these Filipino movies from the ‘70s. It shows this guy and he’s holding his own decapitated head above him. For some reason, I thought that movie was Blood Island. Derek, our drummer, is a big horror nerd so he’ll be real mad at me that I have all this wrong but that’s where it kind of came in. We worked with a great artist Andrew Wright who’s in another cool band called Choices Made and he’s a good tattooer too. Andrew has done a lot of our art and he’s been really good at taking our ideas and putting them into images. So that’s the image of the single that’s coming out on the 27, Andrew did that for us. We were like, “Let’s do it like a Blood Island, tropical-themed thing”. The lyrics don’t really go into that. The lyrics are a little bit all over the place but they’re not inspired by that movie directly. [laughs]

It’s like CD was saying, we’ll be jamming and those guys will be working on riffs and playing the parts and I’ll be there scrambling down a stream of consciousness. The bits and pieces that fit and that I think are cool lyrics like, “trapped on blood island”, I’ll take home and then I’ll write the rest of the lyrics from that. At the time I was really pissed off at people during COVID who were doing this digital nomad stuff. All these people being like, “Ahh I guess I’ll just live in Mexico! Everybody else has to work and fight the pandemic in Canada but we’re just gonna go here instead”. That was really making me mad and that’s what the lyrics of that song are about. I don’t want to be too political but it’s kinda this neo-colonialism thing where I see people being like, “Oh yeah, we can get all the benefits of being a Canadian but be in Columbia! If anything happens, then we just go back to Canada and we’re fine!” That’s what I was thinking of when I wrote those lyrics. That’s the inspiration. If you read into it a little bit you’ll hear that story.

That’s very cool. It explains one of the quotes in the EP announcement too.

CD: Neo-colonizers can break a leg or something.


Andy: Yeah! That’s kinda what I was thinking. We’re not a super political band but we are political people and we think about things that work into the music or when we come up with the lyrics. It’s a really fun song for us to play and there’s kind of a neat little sardonic message in there.

You can keep it fun and have more meaning to it too.

Andy: Yeah, much like the horror genre itself. We’re very inspired by those types of movies. A horror movie, if you think about it, you’re there for the ride and the sensory feel. That’s what the music is about as well. But in those horror movies, a lot of times in the subtext there’s something else happening if you read into it. My lyrics aren’t overt but there is a subtext there and if you read it, you’ll see that.

CD: Yeah, it’s like if you’re looking for some kind of political commentary or something a bit deeper then you can read into the lyrics and interpret it that way. But obviously, the main attraction of Trapped On Blood Island is the music. Music comes first. But if you want to look into the whole horror aesthetic, the blood, the violence, and stuff like that - if you want to look more into it and have your own interpretation, it’s there to be found.

“Beyond Dead” opens with a clip from Plan 9 From Outer Space and you also open “Arms Race” from your previous album Living On Borrowed Slime with a quote from this movie. What does this movie mean to you?

CD: [laughs] In the past few years of knowing Andy and Derek and Junior, I’ve only just started getting into horror movies. Plan 9 From Outer Space was a movie that I’d heard about as a teenager because I just heard it was objectively one of the worst movies of all time and it had a terrible rating. I was like, “Yeah, this seems pretty dumb!” After watching it, I was like, “This is amazing!! It’s the best thing I’ve ever fucking seen!” [laughs] Honestly, I think the reason why we chose to sample it so much is because there’s so many moments in that movie that are so iconic and hilarious that it’s hard to ignore it. There’s so many lines in that movie where you’re like, “What!?” It’s just so mind-blowing. That movie is so iconic that it’s hard to not sample and to take a lot of inspiration from it.

Do you have a favourite part of the movie?

CD: Any scene with the very big guy, Tor Johnson, who was originally a wrestler and who has clear eyes. Every time he’s on screen like that I’m like, “YES! I love it”. Those are some of my favourite scenes. Also, the end is very confusing to me but I think that’s why I like it so much. Just seeing the ship crash and being like, “Oh they’re dead now. That’s it?” and it’s like, “Yep, that’s it! That’s the end of the movie”. [laughs] Those are probably some of my favourite moments. It’s just an amazing experience that I think a lot of people are missing out on. [laughs]

Don’t listen to the critics!

CD: The critics were wrong after all. That’s not a bad movie! [laughs]

Andy: Honestly I haven’t seen that one. We like to put in samples and when we’re doing the recording everybody comes up with some. When our full-length release comes out later this year you’ll get to hear my picks. I don’t think any of my picks were on the EP that’s coming out on the 27th. I did pick a sample from The Exorcist 3 that I’m really happy about because I’d never seen that before this year. I always thought, “Exorcist 3? How can that be any good?” [laughs] But I watched it and it’s probably one of my favourite horror movies now. I think we’re going to be the only punk band that has a George C. Scott sample on there. [laughs] That will be fun. But Plan 9, that’s not really my bag as much.

You need a mix of all the different types of horror.

Andy: Yeah, exactly.

CD: We’ve got a solid mix of samples on the full release.

What are some of the other ones?

CD: One of the other ones is from Pink Flamingos. It’s a Divine sample and I don’t wanna spoil what the sample is but I think everyone will enjoy it because anybody who listens to that sample will be like, “Yes, this is great! This is everything I would have wanted in a sample”.

Andy: Exorcist 3, Divine, Plan 9 and Death Race 2000? From the '60s or something like that, right?

CD: Yeah! It’s from the first Death Race movie. The sample from that is incorporated into one of the songs as opposed to being at the very beginning or the very end which is different.

Andy: Yeah, that’s a fun one.

CD: That was my pitch. I thought of a sample from a movie that nobody thought of. [laughs]

In your opinion what makes a good horror movie or a good B-movie?

Andy: It just can’t be boring, I just can’t be bored during the movie. Typically in a movie I was gonna say, “Yeah, I really like good acting” but in horror and B-movies, you don’t even really need that as long as it’s not boring. [laughs] I think that speaks to our opinion on the music as well. I don’t wanna be making music that is always the same. Same with horror movies, even if it’s too frickin weird like, what’s the one with the brain worm thing that we always watch?

CD: Oh, Brain Damage?

Andy: Yeah, it’s by the same guy who made Frankenhooker and all that. It has this brian worm thing. I like weird stuff. I want it to be original. So it's bad acting, not necessarily a good movie, but you’ve never seen anything like it before. That’s what I think makes a good horror movie: to see stuff you haven’t seen before and originality.

CD: A horror movie can have terrible acting and bad effects or be very cheap but as long as it’s engaging and not boring I think that’s what can make a really great horror movie. Like with Plan 9, the acting is terrible and the effects are pretty shoddy but I think it’s just the absurdity of it. Just an absurd horror movie that makes you go, “Wow! I wouldn’t have even thought of that”. I think that’s what keeps me entertained a lot is the shock factor. Even if it doesn’t particularly scare me or offend me or something like that as long as I’m on my toes and surprised as the movie goes on and I wanna see where it keeps going then I’d say that’s what makes a great horror movie. And also blood, lots of blood.


What makes something “too weird”?

Andy: I think too weird is sometimes when it’s a little bit too artsy for me. I still need a narrative, I still like a story. A lot of people really like the movie Skinamarink that came out in 2022. It wasn’t really my cup of tea because I like originality but of course, I still wanna know what the hell’s going on. [laughs] So it could be too weird if you’re trying to be too avant-garde. I am not always into that. You still need to keep things in some sort of familiarity, in some kind of box of the genre or of storytelling. I think that the challenge is how do you keep things in that box but keep them original. It’s the same with the music. We don’t want it to be so weird that people don’t understand it or you can’t dance to it or you can’t mosh to it or you don’t have parts that make sense to you. You need to keep in a certain formula but you wanna be original within that.

What helps you stretch your creativity and push for originality?

CD: I think it’s just the fact that we listen to so many different kinds of music and different kinds of artists overall. There’s inspiration to be found in all kinds of genres especially electronic and Latin music like samba and salsa. Everywhere there’s something interesting to be found and take inspiration from and to incorporate into hardcore or into metal. To make something still very familiar and based on aggressive, fast, loud music but also incorporate something that’s usually never found in that, especially out of the blue. Still keeping it that fast-paced, breakneck speed but then switching back and forth between rhythms that you wouldn’t expect. I think that’s a good way to keep originality.

Constant experimentation.

Andy: Yeah, and it keeps it fun for us.

CD: It keeps every song different but still relatively the same. Familiar ground but still a bit weird.

You have a new album coming out later this year that doesn’t have a name yet. What can people expect from the new album?

Andy: Yep, still untitled and hopefully that will be later this summer or later this year. Expect a little bit of what you’re going to hear from the Trapped On Blood Island EP on the 27th. As CD said, we’re trying to incorporate a few different sounds and rhythms but within our Slime formula. We’re still a fast short songs hardcore band but we’re always trying to give little tidbits and little interesting pieces so you’re going to hear a lot more of that on this one.

CD: We still keep a similar formula in terms of songs compared to the last two releases but I’d say that this time we’ve gone and experimented a bit more, especially in terms of song length. I feel like now compared to the last two releases, we’ve made songs that are longer. Like you’ll hear on Trapped On Blood Island, “Blood Island” is already a two-minute song. That's some of our longest material yet. [laughs] Expect more of that.

Do you have a song off the new album that you’re the most proud of?

Andy: I guess “Nude”, that’s a cool song. It’s a little bit different for us. We’ve played that one live a bunch and people really like the tempo so that’s what I look for for sure. If it’s one that gets people really into it and jumping around, I really like that. It’s a little bit more approachable. It’s not super fast but it’s a fun one if you want to be moshing or dancing or two-stepping or just pogoing up and down. It’s a fun song for that. I’m really liking that one right now.

CD: I agree, that’s one that I’m pretty proud of overall. That’s one that I had a lot of fun writing the riffs for. Another one I really enjoyed writing is the last song on the album which is called “Bumblebee”. That’s another one that I’m really proud of how it turned out in the studio. It's a particularly tough and fast song and it’s very Poison Idea-like and that’s what I really like about it - it’s very early Poison Idea inspired. The way it turned out on the recording was perfect and it’s everything I would have wanted.

Along with being released digitally your album will be out on cassette and on vinyl. What importance does physical media hold for you?

CD: Physical media is pretty important overall because, to me, it was so much more convenient. Back in 2011/2012 when I just finally started getting pocket money, iTunes was getting popular and you could buy individual songs for maybe three bucks. I liked the idea of that but at the same time, I was like, “Ok, but I can only have it downloaded and then I have to transfer it. What if I just bought a CD, burned the whole album on my computer, and then I could transfer it to my iPod and have that on me at all times?” That was just so much more convenient. Then eventually I started using vinyl and cassettes because I was going to live shows. I wanted to support bands that I liked and I wanted to listen to more of their music. To me, physical media is pretty damn important, and having it for our music is great. [laughs]

Andy: I think on my end as a consumer of physical media I’m kind of behind some of the other guys as far as vinyl and all that, but I’ve gotten more into it now. I appreciate having that. We’re so digital now it’s nice to disconnect and just listen to a record and not have to be on my phone. From the band's perspective what I really like about doing a vinyl release and a tape is that people can support it and have it in their collection but I also like the collaborative side of it. I mentioned before that we worked with our friend Andrew Wright, who’s doing the album art, and we also worked with our good friend Tera - who goes by - who has done a ton of our photos and being able to feature that in the gatefold or wherever, is really cool. I like to be able to support the other artists around us whether they’re photographers or visual artists or whatever. I think that’s a fun thing to be a part of, it makes it more of a community effort. You’re not just putting out the album. It doesn’t really end with just doing the recording and putting it out online and hoping that people listen to it. You get to involve people in the art that you’ve made and have that. I really enjoy that aspect and that’s why I think we should always be doing that as a band when we can.

How would you describe the hardcore punk scene in Toronto?

Andy: Huge. It’s great. [laughs]

CD: It’s big. It’s honestly thriving a lot post-pandemic. I didn’t even realize the scale of how big the scene was.

Andy: It’s so big. In Toronto, with the hardcore scene, there’s so many bands and there’s so much happening. There’s so many cool bands out there right now and it’s almost hard to keep track of it all which is good. As a band sometimes there’s a lot of competition so if you’re having a show on a Friday or Saturday night there’s definitely at least one other punk or hardcore show happening in the city on the same night. There’s something for everyone which is good. It can be a little overwhelming with how much is happening.

Seeing all the flyers and stuff online I’m like, “Oh my god, there’s so much!”

Andy: Yeah! When I go on Instagram I’m like, “Oh my god! I can’t believe there’s this and that and this and that going on”. Eventually being in the band you’re playing shows, playing shows, going to shows, going to shows, and sometimes you’re like, “Oh my god, I need the weekend off”. [laughs]

CD: It’s hard to keep track sometimes of how many shows are happening. There’s so much. I’ll see my friends posting something on their story saying, “Who’s pulling up to this tonight?” Then I’ll see the next one and it’s another friend advertising another show and I’m like, “Ok, well, which friend am I hanging out with tonight?” [laughs]

Like, “Can I go to both shows somehow? There has to be a way!”


Andy: We’ve done it! Luckily they all happen to be along Dundas West so you can go to a show at the Hard Luck and then just take the streetcar down to The Garrison, Doc Ellis, Bar Orwell, 1978, Baby G. So if there’s a couple shows on that street in one night and you have a little extra spending money then you can probably do two or three in one night. [laughs]

Every night’s a festival.

CD: [laughs] Exactly!

It’s good to see!

Andy: It’s great overall. Shoutout to our friends in Choices Made, The Holdouts from Niagara, Heavy Petter from Barrie, Random Killing - they’re a classic band, Gag Order, Reckless Upstarts - who are friends from Windsor, and all the other cool Toronto punk and hardcore bands around the area as well.

You’ve said that one of your goals with The Slime is to keep the music heavy and the vibes light. What helps you keep the vibes light?

Andy: I do a lot of what may appear to be interpretive dance but I’m actually stretching up there. [laughs] I like to work on my mobility and I think the boys really think that that’s pretty funny when I’m doing that.

CD: It is. [laughs] It’s quite the sight to see Andy go through his whole stretch routine. It’s like, “What the fuck’s this guy doing? Aren’t you supposed to be up there holding a microphone and singing?” And then there’s all this movement. [laughs]

Andy: [laughs] CD likes to smash the bass, run around, all that stuff. It’s for fun at the end and it’s for people to have fun so we don’t need to be too serious about it.

CD: Yeah, exactly. I mean my whole goal whenever we play live or with this band overall is just to have fun, always. The running around, smashing my bass and all that stuff keeps me in shape so it keeps me in check, making sure I’m taking care of myself. If I can’t run around it’s like, “Alright, I need to maybe back off on beer a bit and start working out a bit more”. [laughs] But also it’s fun for people to see. If I’m having fun just running around and screaming and just being wild then in turn a lot of other people like that and I feel like if there’s that element of fun at every show. That’s how we keep the vibes light and the fun factor always at maximum.

And the TikToks you were doing two-stepping to non-punk songs too.

CD: Oh yeah, that was my idea. Some of my friends were like, “Hey, you should try two-stepping to 12-bar blues!” and I was like, “That is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard but I’m still going to do it anyway”. [laughs] With TikTok trends it’s like, “Just do something that’s kind of weird and unique” so I thought of two-stepping to songs that aren’t hardcore because why not? It stuck! It’s an idea that works well and people seem to like it.

Do you have a favourite non-punk song to two-step to?

CD: That’s a hard choice!

Andy: Do you think you could do “Voulez-Vous” by ABBA?

CD: [laughs] Absolutely! Actually, I do know which ABBA song I’d wanna two-step to and that’s “Gimme Gimme”. You wouldn’t just see me two-stepping, you’d see me doing windmills and probably punching three drywalls or something like that. [laughs] You’re not going to just get a two-step, you’re going to get a full-on assault!


CD: “Gimme Gimme” by ABBA is my favourite non-hardcore song to two-step to. Who doesn’t like ABBA?

Exactly! If you don’t, you gotta leave. It’s that simple.

Andy: We normally say that at the beginning of the set. If you don’t like ABBA, get out!


ABBA cover when?

Andy: We’ve done a few covers and they’ve always been in the genre but we were thinking that we should really get one from outside the genre and Slime it up a little bit. Maybe you’ve just planted the seed. [laughs]

ABBA gets Slimed.

CD: Two years from now we’ll release a new EP where it’s just ABBA covers. The world will not be ready, [laughs]

It goes multi-platinum.

CD: Oh my god. [laughs]

Andy: That would be the one. That’s how it works right?

CD: It will be our highest-selling record of all time.

Andy: What you least expect is what people latch on to.

Is there anything that I didn’t ask that you’d like to add?

Andy: Shoutout to Cursed Blessings Records. Gabe and Al have been helping us out a lot. We’re happy to be working with them again. Of course, shoutout to our lovely drummer and guitar player who weren’t here. Thanks to all the folks who have been helping us out and coming to the shows and Hilary, our big supporter Shorty.

CD: Shoutout to Braydan, Billie, and Matteo. They’re three close friends of mine and they’ve been supporting The Slime for a long time. They’re in another band called Resthaven, love those guys. Shoutout to the Toronto scene overall. There are so many bands that I could name but it’s hard just to name a few without the list being 20 bands long.

April 27SeeScapeToronto, ONw/Shed, The Dominion, Yung Scumz