The Slackers are self styled masters of Reggae, Ska and Rock'n'Roll from New York City.
The Slackers began in 1991 in NYC. After years of local gigs and rehearsing in a dingy basement in Manhattan's lower east side, the band released its debut album, Better Late Than Never, in 1996. The band's success resulted in the release of a second album, Red Light, on the Epitaph label in 1997. Since then the Slackers have released 11 more studio albums (The Question, Wasted Days, Slackers & Friends, Close My Eyes, Slackers in Dub, Peculiar, Boss Harmony Sessions, Self Medication, Lost and Found, The Great Rocksteady Swindle, and The Slackers [self-titled, 2016] ) 3 live albums (Live at Ernestos, Upsettin Ernestos, Slack in Japan), several EPs (International War Crimminal, My Bed is a Boat), and numerous singles and compilation tracks.
Since 1997 the Slackers have played over 100 shows every year in a total of 46 american states, 7 Canadian provinces, 22 European countries, 5 Latin American countries, and 2 Asian countries.
The band's musical style is distinct from their contempories; a mix of early Jamaican music with classic 50's and 60s American styles. There are influences from 50s and 60s Rock'n'Roll, Rythmn and Blues, Jazz and Latin music. Singer Vic Ruggiero has coined the term 'Jamaican Rock'nRoll.' to describe it. He says, "The band might play a classic Jamaican style but the vocals are distinctly American east coast, revealing the obvious connection of Jamaican music to the Doo-Wop of Harlem and the Bronx."
With the demise of record companies over the last 5 years, the Slackers have successfully used crowdfunding (www.bigtun.es/theslackers.) to release new music including the latest release, The Slackers [self-titled] in February 2016.
A cornerstone band for the third wave of ska, New York’s Slackers are one of a handful of bands from that early-'90s movement that has remained vital and active. Based around New York’s Moon Ska label, the third-wave scene focused on traditional Jamaican ska sounds while embracing both the English two-tone movement and aspects of punk. Slackers were committed to furthering the music’s legacy while pushing the boundaries. Over the course of their career, they’ve experimented with soul, British invasion pop, Latin music, and even country while playing over 100 shows a year all over the world. ~ Rovi
The Slackers are a New York City band, formed in Brooklyn in 1991. The band's sound is a mix of ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, soul, garage rock, and jazz. The Slackers' notability is credited to their prolific career, tours of North America, Europe, and elsewhere, and signing to notable punk label Hellcat Records.
There are several side projects of The Slackers, including David Hillyard & The Rocksteady Seven, Crazy Baldhead Sound System, Da Whole Thing, the SKAndalous All Stars, as well as an acoustic solo project by Vic Ruggiero. Vic Ruggiero, Jay Nugent, and David Hillyard were also in the New York City ska band Stubborn All-Stars led by frontman King Django.
The Slackers are a classic American band that is equal parts grit and grace. Their slow rise against the odds is a story of perseverance and a belief in their musical vision, what Vic likes to call, "Jamaican Rock N Roll." While they have been influenced, and even personally taught by Jamaican Ska/Reggae originators, like the Skatalites and the Upsetters (Original backing band for the Wailers), the band sees its music as an extension of the traditions of the United States. This band is equally appreciative of old Blues, Country, 60s Soul, Rock, and Rn'B as it is of Reggae, Rocksteady, Dub, and Ska. It is as if the Rolling Stones or the Yardbirds had grown up on Bob Marley as well as Muddy Waters.