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Rank Your Records: Sloan’s Jay Ferguson Meticulously Ranks His Band’s 11 Albums

Here are the Halifax, Nova Scotia indie rock heroes' albums in order, according to them.
June 11, 2015, 2:57pm

In Rank Your Records, we talk to members of bands who have amassed substantial discographies over the years and ask them to rate their releases in order of personal preference.

A good decade before Broken Social Scene, Arcade Fire, and Death From Above 1979 all became international stars, a band from a far less densely populated area put Canada on the indie rock map. Halifax, Nova Scotia’s Sloan may not have achieved the same amount of international recognition as said bands, but in 1992 they did what so few before them could: They made the rest of the world take notice of Canada’s burgeoning underground scene. After buzz began to travel from their hometown, Sloan were signed by Geffen Records, the label behind Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana, and Sonic Youth, and almost immediately turned East Coast music into a scene. The press began calling Halifax “the next Seattle” and “Seattle of the North,” and soon their friends in Eric’s Trip (Moncton), Jale (Halifax), the Hardship Post (St. John’s) all found deals, ironically, with Seattle’s Sub Pop.


The East Coast music explosion may have been short-lived, but Sloan persisted by going against the grain. Their 1992 debut album, Smeared, fit in nicely with both the grunge and shoegaze movements, but come 1994, they were ready to evolve. And despite insistence by their label not to, Sloan went and made what turned out to be their most endearing album, the jangly power/chamber pop of Twice Removed. Of course, it nearly killed them. Actually, it did kill them—at the end of 1994 they actually broke up. But circumstances led to making one more album, 1996’s One Chord To Another, which turned out to be both a critical and commercial success. After this, Sloan came to their senses and released eight good to great studio albums over the next 18 years.

What is unique about Sloan isn’t their longevity or their consistency, but the fact that this band features four talented singer-songwriters. On most of Sloan’s 11 albums, Jay Ferguson, Chris Murphy, Patrick Pentland and Andrew Scott all contributed equally to the songwriting process. They might not be the only band to achieve such a democratic state (i.e. the Beatles, the Beach Boys, etc.), but for 24 years, Sloan has always been about Ferguson, Murphy, Pentland, and Scott bringing their own songwriting flair to the table, oftentimes with a different concept in mind.

Noisey put Jay Ferguson to the test to see if he could rank all 11 of Sloan’s full-lengths. He found it to be an arduous task. “I like all of our records,” he says. “There aren’t any where I look back and cringe. I don’t know how my picks stand, because it’s the kind of thing that could change tomorrow. It really is a bit like Sophie’s Choice. I find sometimes an album isn’t my favorite, but I like all of my songs on that particular album. But it’s a fun exercise.”

11. Action Pact (2003)

Noisey: Action Pact at the bottom?
Jay Ferguson: I almost feel bad because when I listen to it, I like it. The reason why it’s at the bottom is because it’s the one album where we gave the decision of which songs would be on the album to the producer, Tom Rothrock. We sort of knew this going in, but he was leaning more towards songs that leant themselves to being played on stage. There are basically no piano songs or acoustic songs, no ballads. So it’s a record that was less about variety and taking what we do best live and translating that into a record. One of his things was that he didn’t think any of the songs Andrew had on the go would fit the template of the record. The fact that there aren’t any Andrew songs makes it feel unbalanced, like it’s less of a Sloan record. And I felt like I really had to fight to get some of my songs on. I also think the songs I was writing didn’t fit the template either. So he was definitely leaning more towards Patrick and Chris’ songs. And I think most of the songs he was choosing weren’t my favorite of the bunch. It was more of an experiment for us. Up until that point we had made most of our records without any outside refereeing, but for this one we decided to. I don’t think I agree with all of his choices, even though on the record there are some excellent songs.

10. Pretty Together (2001)

Maybe there are certain production choices that I would have made in this day and age, but I think there are some excellent songs on the record. I’m not bowled over by my songs. I really like Andrew’s contributions and Chris’ “I Love A Long Goodbye” is one of my favorite Sloan songs. It’s one of those records, along with Parallel Play, where I don’t know if I love the whole record, but some of my favorite Sloan songs are within that record. I think there is maybe a bit of gloss that I am not as fond of. It took two years to make, which was a little longer for us. It was the first record we made in our practice space, and we recorded with Brendan McGuire, so it was made over a long period of time. And we had also changed labels. We took Murderecords from MCA/Universal over to BMG, so there was a bit of gap there due to negotiation and figuring out what we’d do next. I don’t know if it was a songwriting thing. Chris was almost trying to put together a riff farm. There are all these CDs we made as reference discs with 30-second riffs and bits so we could build songs out of them.

I read that you were really into the Flaming Lips’ The Soft Bulletin while you were writing this record, but your management said you should go in a more “rock” direction.
Really? Wow! [Laughs] No, I don’t think we’ve ever had any intervention from management about management. And The Soft Bulletin? That might have come from Patrick, because I know he liked that record at the time.


Around this time, Alan McGee had shut down Creation Records and started Poptones. Apparently he was courting Sloan?
That is actually true. I guess Pretty Together was done, but it hadn’t come out yet. We played in England at one of his Poptones nights in Notting Hill, in 2000, and he was DJing. We had met McGee years ago when we had made Smeared, which he liked. We had already signed to Geffen by the time he heard it, but he said, “If things don’t work out with Geffen call me up and we’ll figure something out for Creation.” We had lost touch with him over the years, but when he started Poptones he saw us play and asked if we had a label for the next record. He offered to put it out in England sight unseen, or without even hearing it. So we stayed in touch with him and eventually it was going to come out on Poptones. And that fall of 2001, as we were negotiating with Poptones, I think it was the economic slump after 9/11 and businesses were all doing badly, his label was starting to really go under. So we basically just stopped negotiations. He said, “I don’t think I can put out records for a while.” He kind of buried Poptones for a while. And that’s what happened with that relationship. It fell through, and his label started to fall apart, unfortunately.

9. Parallel Play (2008)

Overall, I think we’ve made better records, but on that record I was really happy with my own songs. I feel bad putting it low on the list, but I think if I take in the context of the whole band I think we’ve made better records than that. There are just a few things that knock it down a bit for me.

The title is great.
I think it really sums up our band. It’s the way children play on their own sitting next to each other before they begin to interact. Chris heard the term, and by the time the record came out his kid was two years old, so he had already gone through that stage already. It sort of summed up the way we make records. We don’t necessarily interact with each other but we all make recordings next to each other. I mean, we play on each other’s songs but not all the time. Sometimes Andrew and Patrick will play all of the instruments on their songs, but I feel like Chris and I are the most involved in each other’s songs, as well as Gregory Macdonald, who plays keyboards with us. Once again it falls into that category where I don’t know if I love the album as much as our other records, but I really like the songs I contributed. I think it just falls down the list as a result of the quality.

8. Smeared (1992)

I still love Smeared. It’s the record we made in a living room in Halifax and it got us signed. We started it about seven or eight months after we began, and finished it about a year and two months after we formed. We made it on our own dime and that’s the way Geffen released it. There are certain songs that I’m not crazy about, but it’s probably the most current, of-the-time record that we’ve ever made. In Canada, the music press really called it a grunge record. But we felt it was more of a British record informed by those bands on Creation Records, whether it was Ride, Swervedriver or My Bloody Valentine, or even things like Dinosaur or Sonic Youth. And I even think Andrew drums like Dave Grohl on the record, but I definitely don’t think of it as an angsty grunge record. I know Chris is always crapping on “Raspberry,” and “Lemon Zinger” I would never perform live until we do a Smeared reissue and I’m forced to play it live. There are still songs we play live like “500 Up,” “I Am the Cancer,” and “Underwhelmed.” I’d say “Underwhelmed” still holds up and it’s the song that did it for a lot of people. I think it’s excellent. It just feels like an early record to me, like the first Beatles record, which I still love. It just seems very young compared to the second side of Abbey Road.

This album was important as it really put Canada on the map for alternative music. It also established the East Coast music scene and brought on those comparisons between Seattle and Halifax. It was highly influential.
We were aware of it. Things were moving so fast. I was shocked, even in the beginning when a guy from Nettwerk saw us in Halifax and within 48 hours we had a contract for that label. We were like, “Holy shit! This is insane!” But a guy named Cam Carpenter in Toronto said, “Don’t sign with Nettwerk yet because I think there’s a guy at Geffen who’s interested.” And we were like “Geffen?” They had Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Teenage Fanclub, and Urge Overkill. It was really Geffen’s golden era. To me that was almost the most overwhelming part. Because I was really into music and records and record labels, and I was blown away by DGC. No Toronto labels were ever interested in East Coast bands, and then the most influential label in the United States wanted to sign us. But we had some things that put us in our place. Like we’d sell out our show in Hamilton and the stage collapsed, and then play an in-store in Detroit with a lot of people there. But then we’d drive to Cincinnati and there was nobody there. So we were able to put it into perspective early on. No doubt though that it was an exciting time. It was basically what I wanted to do since I was young and it was coming true. And there were a lot of our friends’ records that were getting noticed, like Eric’s Trip, Jale, and Hardship Post, who were getting scouted by Sub Pop. Everything was happening so quickly.

7. Commonwealth (2014)

I think it was the sort of experiment whose time has come. We had sort of joked about each making solo records because I think we can. Without sounding obnoxious, I think we’re one of the few bands where everybody can make a solo record. I don’t think Peter Criss should have been allowed to make his solo record. Ace, sure. Gene’s is pretty bad though. Also doing four solo albums at once, we couldn’t afford to do that. I mean, 48 songs to put all out at once? That seemed overwhelming and obnoxious. So we just said, “Let’s try and do it in the template of a Sloan record and make a double album where everyone gets their own side.” And we could still sell it as Sloan, just to keep it under the brand. But I really like it because of, I forget what Pitchfork said about it, I think that it was a glorious failure or a valiant effort but in the end a Sloan album should have a Chris song, then a Patrick song, then an Andrew song, and one of my songs. I was very happy with my side of the record. I liked my songs and how they flowed together. And I liked how Andrew decided to just make one long song, where it’s not just like Bob Dylan’s “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands,” where it’s just verse after verse after verse. He made a bunch of mini songs all strung together. I think Chris really helped Andrew seam parts together or come up with melodies. Andrew had all of these bits that had been lying around for years that he hadn’t made into fully formed songs, so he just decided to string them together. So I think it was a way for cleaning house for him. He’s so musical.

How did you decide on the album’s sequencing?
We did it alphabetically basically. For a CD, it’s alphabetical. There’s no real side one, two, three, or four. It’s just a diamond, heart, spade, or clubs. With the record any side can be side one, technically. But because of a CD or a download scenario it has to begin and end somewhere so for that case it’s just alphabetical: Ferguson, Murphy, Pentland, Scott. But I think you can start with Andrew’s side. If my side started the record, technically, there is a little intro that actually references our band, and I think it’s s good starting place for the record. And then ending with Andrew’s giant song I think makes sense. If you take that out of the context though I think you can start anywhere. When we finished mastering I started to panic because I thought Chris’ side was stronger than mine. That starting it with my songs, people would skip through it thinking, “What is this crap? What is this fruity music? I just want to get to a recognizable voice.” So I was having a bit of a panic attack.

6. Double Cross (2011)

I was really happy with Double Cross when we finished it and I still like it a lot. It’s a short record, which is something I really like about it. I think it’s economical and it’s quality. Again I was happy with my contributions. After Parallel Play I thought Chris’ songs on this record were really great, and better than Parallel Play. I don’t want to sound like I’m knocking him as a songwriter, because I’m a big fan of his songs. And I liked how the first three songs are interconnected. And I liked Andrew’s songs on here. And I like Patrick’s songs, which are short and snappy and a lot of fun. There’s nothing I dislike about this record. I would put it even higher, to be honest. I was almost going to put it up to two or three, but I’ll leave it there for now. I rate it highly.

This album came out when Sloan was celebrating a 20th anniversary. The title signifies that: two crosses in Roman numerals being 20.
I think we knew it was the 20th anniversary and talked about whether we should do an anniversary tour. There was a point where we didn’t know what we’d do next. But we felt with a 20th anniversary we should “exploit it.” So we were quite aware of it. We interviewed people in other bands, like Sebastian from Death From Above, Kevin Drew from Broken Social Scene, and Jason Schwartzman, asking what their favorite record of ours was and what they liked about it, for this 20th anniversary video. We thought it was a good time to reflect on our history, but not completely bask in our nostalgia by making a new, good record. So it was really about making a new record for the 20th anniversary and not make it so much about nostalgia. I really liked that we were able to make a record I liked that much that far into our career.

5. Navy Blues (1998)

Navy Blues is probably the record I play the least on. I played a bit of guitar on “Money City Maniacs” and some acoustic guitar on “Keep On Thinkin’,” but aside from that, I really did not play a lot on this record. I think maybe that's why I didn't consider it, but when I listen back to it I think there are a lot of great songs. “Suppose They Close the Door” we played at Coachella recently, which was maybe a weird choice. When we play it live though I love it. “She Says What She Means” is excellent too. I think that is Leslie Feist's favorite Sloan song, I believe.

I wasn’t expecting such big rock songs after One Chord To Another.
From what I remember at the time, I think the common feeling was, "Oh, they're making a jokey, 70s riff rock record." Even in reviews they would say things like, "What is Sloan doing? Why are they making fun of 70s riff rock? Is this a joke or something?" Well, it wasn't. That was a song of Patrick's and AC/DC was one of his favorite bands growing up, and they might still be. I think that was a bit of an homage to that. And I think it was a way of writing a song that could graduate to being a top ten rock radio record. He might have been thinking about that. Not doing anything he didn't want to do, but at that time I think he thought, "If I write a song like this I wonder if it could get on the radio." Because it's something that he loves. And "She Says What She Means" I think is definitely one of the best songs on the record, and that is a big riff rock song.


“Money City Maniacs” really became your signature song after that. Before that it was “Underwhelmed.” They play it at hockey games, it was in those Future Shop and beer ads. It's really become an anthem.
I think you're right. And I’m grateful for it because it’s definitely paid the bills over the years for sure. But yeah, it really has superseded it. We notice when we play live that at the end of a show we'll play “Underwhelmed” and there is a smattering of applause. But when we play “Money City Maniacs” and the place goes bananas. It definitely has eclipsed “Underwhelmed” as the song people know us for, for sure. To me I prefer “Underwhelmed,” but “Money City Maniacs” is super fun to play and I’m grateful it's in our catalog. I like it, and I like a lot of Navy Blues. When I go back to it I really love Andrew's songs. It was recorded to tape, and I was talking to a friend of mine recently and he said he thinks Navy Blues is the best recorded Canadian album of all time. He thinks it’s the most technically satisfying record of ours, and all of the records ever made in Canada! [Laughs]

I don’t think I’d go that far but I really like the way it sounds. I remember the first time Death Cab For Cutie came to Toronto they went to Chemical Sound because Navy Blues was recorded there and they loved that album so much they had to go see the studio where it was made. The same with Between the Bridges, they loved that record, so when they found out it was made at Chemical they went there to check it out. I don't know if they were planning to record there or what. I think it had an effect on a lot of people, even in the States where it wasn't a big record like it was in Canada, or even one that got a lot of attention. I think it was seen as an underground record, and I think it had a lot of people listening to it at a different angle than in Canada.

4. Between the Bridges (1999)

Once again, it's a record that I have fond memories of. It came after Navy Blues, where I feel my contribution wasn’t great. After Navy Blues I felt I wasn't carrying my weight in the band, so I just sat down and really analyzed songs that I liked and tried to come up with my own that I thought were good. I was happy with contributions to this record, which were “Take Good Care of the Poor Boy,” “Don't You Believe A Word,” and “Waiting For Slow Songs.” I felt better about the record, and we enjoyed making it. We worked with Brendan McGuire for the first time, he's our live sound engineer, and it was made again at Chemical. I felt like I connected with Brendan on this record, because we had a lot of similar things we really liked, like Prefab Sprout and Aztec Camera. So it was a fun process for me, and it was a quickly made record. We wanted to get it out in 1999 so we could go back to Japan and Australia before we did North America. Also I really liked all of the contributions from Andrew, Patrick, and Chris. It was one of the first records where we experimented with stringing songs together.

Is this the one Sloan album where you each have three songs?
Do we have another album like that? Maybe we don't have another album. You're right! I think that does make it a unique record. It was the beginning of Sloan being very democratic as well. And I think it benefits from that. Like you said, the album was carved up evenly. The next album, Pretty Together, was close. Everyone had three songs on that one, but “The Other Man,” which was Chris's song, was more of a hybrid. Everyone was involved with that one and had their fingers in it. So Between the Bridges is the most democratic album, maybe along with Commonwealth, which doesn't have the same number of songs, but everyone gets their own side.


I think this is your best album cover.
Really? It's nice of you to say but at the time I thought it was a bit of a failure. I really wanted it to look like this old poster for a movie called Putney Swope, which I know very little about. But I saw it in a book and it was black and white, like it was photocopied. So I thought, "Let's make a cover like this." Between The Bridges was made really quickly, and I didn't want to get into a really elaborate cover. So I said to do something quick and photocopy looking. I just remember thinking it turned out too grey and bland, not as contrast-y as we had intended. So it’s funny that you say that because I think of it as one of our album cover failures. Except for the font! We were happy with the font.

3. Never Hear The End Of It (2006)

This was a very long, double record. It’s a kind of record I think Chris and I had talked about making for years. And I think it was the time to make it, after Action Pact, which we sort of gave the reins of to Tom Rothrock. After it came out I think some people were asking where the Andrew songs were, and where the variety of most Sloan albums was. So after that we just decided to make a 180-degree record that was sprawling, with all different types of songs. Some of the songs are 50 seconds long, and some are five minutes long. It was an attempt to make something like The White Album, which was a real reaction to Action Pact, where we just said, “Let’s go for it!” There was such a span of time between Action Pact and Never Hear The End Of It, that we had amassed a lot of songs over those three years. If we were ever gonna make that record it was the right time. And I think it really freed up Andrew. He was like, “I have a song that’s just a riff and a verse. Can I do that?” It was the kind of record where you could just do something like that and it would be fine. We weren’t working with three songs each. Andrew had eight songs on this record! When you have that much real estate with a record, it’s more freeing to do something that’s more of an experiment and not have to think, “Oh, I only have three songs. Maybe I should do something more substantial.” It was fun to make that record, for sure. A lot of it was recorded live off the floor, and even while it was being mixed.

The fact that it’s such a free-for-all is what made it such a refreshing Sloan album.
I love records like that, like The White Album and Screamadelica by Primal Scream. It’s all over the place. I love records that bounce around like that but still have some sort of cohesion. That’s the kind of record that we made. We were with BMG at the time, and there was a guy there who was trying to convince us to release it as two separate records within a short period of time. But I said no. It had to come out as one giant, 30-song lump, because maybe it was harder to sell but I think it was more of a statement.


One of my favorite songs is “HFXNSHC” because it sounded nothing like Sloan.
Me too. There’s a hardcore song in the middle of the record. I thought that was really freeing and it was definitely a side that hadn’t come out on our records before. Chris had played in hardcore bands and Patrick played in punk bands before Sloan ever got together. I didn’t really grow up with hardcore, and I didn’t really know any of the records until I met Chris. But I thought it was a good way of reflecting that influence, by putting it in the middle of this “anything goes” type of record.

2. Twice Removed (1994)

I enjoyed making this record, but there were times when it was frustrating. I really like the songs and the lyrics, and it’s kind of a Chris-heavy record. We may have criticized Jim Rondinelli to the press afterwards about the way he made the record, but I can’t criticize him for the sounds that he got. I think it’s a great sounding record. I just think everything from the bass, to the guitars, to the drums, to the mix, it really stood out at the time in a glut of post-Nirvana, grunge fall out. I think at the time we were trying to escape from that. And that’s why the record goes in this direction. It ends on what is maybe my favorite Patrick song, “I Can Feel It.” I know that Chris, for example, doesn’t like it as much. But I also know that Chris is reactionary. He thinks everybody likes it, so he’s gonna crap on it. He thinks it’s like Sgt. Pepper. That is the most important Beatles record so it’s his least favorite. I’m happy with my two songs. I remember Ric Ocasek hearing “Snowsuit Sound” and saying, “Hey man, that should be the single!” So that made me feel really good. Overall I really like the album and I was really happy when it was done. It was sort of sad that Geffen said, “We just don’t know how to market the record in this musical climate.” We sort of understood, but it was a little defeating. In Canada it was treated a little differently, but over the years it became an underdog record. I think that’s part of its charm.

Were you surprised at the reaction people had to the sound of this record considering it sounded so different from Smeared?
I had friends that weren’t really as keen on Smeared. But when they heard Twice Removed they were like, “Wow, this is fantastic!” It was nice to hear that. People were surprised. Some people thought it was a weird left turn, but there was nobody that really didn’t like it. Though when we did the Twice Removed box set a few years ago, we made sure to include the one star review writer Tim Perlich gave us in Now magazine. He basically called it a bunch of “Pavement rip-offs” and said, “these guys don’t have a leg to stand on.” Which I thought was funny.


I’ll never forget how Chart Magazine listed Twice Removed at number one on its list of the Top 50 Canadian Albums of All Time, ahead of Neil Young’s Harvest and Joni Mitchell’s Blue.
It happened once, then it slid down to number four, and then the next time they did a poll it was back up at number one. Of course, in the press we’d say, “That’s ridiculous! Harvest and Blue are the best records. This is preposterous!” But behind closed doors we were high-fiving and saying, “Yeah, of course!” But it’s a little bit ridiculous. It’s a good record that, again, had an underdog status, so people felt the need to cheer for it. But is it better than Joni Mitchell’s Blue? I don’t know. That’s a pretty great statement by one person. And Neil Young’s Harvest? I don’t know if that’s his best but it’s preposterous when you think about it, in the history of music. But at the time it was very flattering. Our band was kind of over at that point, and it was really a good boost to our confidence because we were starting to think about whether we should continue. I think we had actually begun recording One Chord To Another at that point, so it was a really good boost to our spirits.

1. One Chord To Another (1996)

Making One Chord To Another was very relaxed, and I was glad we were back together making a record. I didn’t know if it would be the last one, but with Universal backing Murderecords in Canada, things really snowballed with making videos and touring. I remember we egomaniacally listened to One Chord To Another in full on the bus about a year or two ago and we all felt it was a really great record. So aside from it being a really great record, it was also meaningful because we were back in control of our career, we owned the record, it was on our own label, and it was the most successful record of our career. It still is the record that has sold the most, but at the time it was out-selling our first two by a wide margin. It just felt really good, like owning our own small business that was doing well, and we were making good music. That’s probably why it’s number one for me. I think it’s the reason why we’re still here today, because we decided to make One Chord To Another.

This album is your only Juno win.
[Laughs] It is our only Juno win! Best Alternative Album. We’ve been nominated for every record except Commonwealth, which I was annoyed by.

How broken up was Sloan before you made this album?
Pretty broken up. We knew Geffen in the States weren’t going to put much effort into the record. We did the American tour, which was pretty disheartening. I think we were still going to be signed to Geffen, and they were going to renew a series of three two-album options. So six records where every two records they could pull out of the deal. The ball was in their court. And I remember we had a meeting over the phone, and Andrew was living in Toronto, which was fine. It did kind of affect the band, Chris was a little annoyed by that. But we just didn’t think we could exist as a band anymore. We kind of ended our band in a meeting. I think Patrick and I were the most affected by this. We were like, “What, we’re just gonna give all of this up because Andrew’s living in Toronto and Chris is upset?” So that was very frustrating. We knew we had shows to play in February, so we had to stay together to play those. And then we were offered to play this big Edgefest show in the summer, and stayed together until then. And we kept getting these little offers for good money, and we didn’t turn them down. It appeared more like a hiatus, but as far as I knew our band was over. Chris went to play drums for the Super Friendz that summer, and I think he was looking forward to that. And then he went on tour with them and fought with Matt [Murphy] as much as he did with us, so it wasn’t the dream scenario he thought getting out of Sloan would be. We kind of got out of our Geffen contract as we told them we were breaking up. We had been working on Murderecords at the time, and felt we should make one more Sloan record to help the label. Like a cash cow for Murderecords. That was the initial impetus to make a new Sloan record, to help Murderecords financially.

So was this album recorded in secret?
I think it was. We didn’t tell anybody or talk about it to the press. It didn’t come out until the record was almost finished that we were making it. I think we just said, “Oh we’ll just make one more record.” I believe we even offered it to Geffen. And they were going to put out One Chord To Another in the US the following year. They were sort of stalling and we thought it’d go the same route as Twice Removed. But then the Enclave expressed interest, which was Tom Zutaut’s label. He used to work at Geffen, and I think he was interested in signing Sloan and making Sloan popular, almost as a way of getting back at Geffen. Anyhow the Enclave basically folded nine months after we signed with them. It’s too bad that they went belly up because they were very supportive.

How did four songs from this record end up in The Virgin Suicides?
That was through our friend Brian Reitzell, who played drums in Redd Kross and the touring version of Air. He worked with Air on the soundtrack, but he was also a good friend of Sofia Coppola, I think through a Redd Kross connection. So he was doing music supervision for The Virgin Suicides, and he was a massive Sloan fan. He didn’t have much of a budget, so he asked us because he was a fan and because we were inexpensive and quick because we owned our masters. We could make it happen in 24 hours, where in most cases you had to go through the artist, the label and the publishing to secure the rights to the music. I think he brought Sofia Coppola to see us at the Troubadour and she was like, “Yeah, okay, this works.”

Cam Lindsay is on Twitter.