“We’re just a rock band with a very heavy groove,” says Sledd guitarist Kevin Michael. “We have a modern sound, but we don’t sound like any of the other contemporary groups because we pull from so many styles in our writing. And we’re not afraid to have fun with the music, to do something a little tongue-in-cheek once in awhile, if it really fits the song. We’re a hard-rocking, in-your-face kind of band that might surprise you with a catchy pop hook when you least expect it.”
According to keyboardist Peter DeLuke Jr., who cofounded the band with his brother Dino in the mid-1990s, “We were just recently offered and signed a worldwide recording contract, management deal, and apparel-merchandising agreement with HighVolMusic.” The partnership brings back to life at least a few songs from their unreleased second album Crooked Smiles, recorded and produced by Mark Kendall (Great White), which will be re-recorded with the current lineup and released by the label.
“We were on the verge of finalizing Crooked Smiles when the Great White [nightclub fire] tragedy in Rhode Island occurred,” says Peter. “At that point, Mark was unavailable to continue as our management, and until this day we haven’t resumed the final completion.” Their debut full-length for the label, Get Rich Quick Scheme, is also being prepped for release.
WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?
Cary: “Soundgarden, King Animal. Very sick. Best in ten years, in my opinion.”
Peter: “Air, Love Gun II. Air is a music duo from Versailles, France...they combine the avant-garde sound of European techno and heavy alternative rock mixed with dark metal.”
Ronnie: “Pink Floyd, Meddle. It brings me back to ninth grade, a time when I was stoned and ditching school.”
Kevin: “Aretha Franklin, Aretha’s Gold is my single number-one desert-island record because of the expressivity and raw emotional power of her voice and phrasing.”
Dino: “Guns N’ Roses, Chinese Democracy.”
BEST FREE HANGOUT?
Cary: “Mount Helix has the best view.”
Peter: “Little Italy.”
Kevin: “If you love live music, lots of local venues don’t charge a cover to get inside.”
MOST EMBARRASSING CD YOU OWN?
Peter: “Neil Diamond’s Greatest Hits. he man is brilliant.”
Ronnie: “I’m not embarrassed about anything I like, including Madonna.”
YOUR GO-TO USELESS TRIVIA?
Peter: “Led Zeppelin has never won a Grammy Award.”
Kevin: “When James Garner first came to Hollywood, he used to knock on random doors and introduce himself.”
Cary: “Rush and Golden Earring, Long Beach Convention Center in 1984.”
Peter: “Led Zeppelin, Madison Square Garden, 1977.”
Ronnie: “Rush, every single time I’ve ever seen them, at every venue I’ve ever seen them.”
Kevin: “Rolling Stones, Colorado University Stadium in 1982, [on their] first farewell tour. You’ve never heard such a huge sound out of such little amps.”
Dino: “Buddy Rich, when I was ten years old, at Hastings-on-Hudson High School in 1975.”
SONG THAT BEST DESCRIBES YOUR LIFE?
Cary: “‘The Weapon,’ by Rush.”
Peter: “‘Changes,’ by David Bowie.”
Kevin: “‘It’s A Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ’N’ Roll),’ by AC/DC.”
Dino: “‘Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out),’ by Tesla.”
FEARS OR PHOBIAS?
Peter: “Dying in a nightclub or house fire.”
Kevin: “I could never stand being incarcerated.”
WHO DO PEOPLE SAY YOU LOOK LIKE?
Cary: “Woody Harrelson.”
Peter: “Freddie Prinze Jr.”
Dino: “Young Ozzy Osbourne.”
Kevin: “A former landlord invaded my home and illegally seized all of my personal property, including my guitar-building tools and woods and my entire catalog of recordings.”
Dino: “Someone once stole drums out of my garage in Allied Gardens. They had Hells Angel Dago support stickers on them, and the drums were returned 72 hours later. Yes, we found the guys that did it. It was ugly for them.”
BRUSH WITH FAME?
Kevin: “Jimmy Page took two evenings out to party with us at a little club in Reno in 1991 while on recreation from his recording sessions for the Coverdale/Page project.”
FAVORITE MOVIE BASED ON A BOOK?
Cary: “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Classic. Reminds me of a three-day tour.”
Peter: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, but I like the ending better in the movie.”
Ronnie: “I would say Forrest Gump ranks up there in my top ten.”
Kevin: “The Lord of the Rings, not only because of the depth and intensity of the characters and plot in the original books, but also because of the strong role models and the quality of the relationships depicted.”