When you throw dance rock, funk and jazz influences together, you get the recently-formed local band The Slack Theory.
Officially formed last spring, the genre blending live group consists of Emporia State University students P.J. Stephenson, sophomore music major, on saxophone and vocals; percussion performance graduate John Gilmore on drums; graduate music student Jason Brooks on keyboards and vocals; sophomore music major Colin Jones on bass guitar and senior music major Riley Day and local musician Wade Krump on guitar.
Regarding their influences, Day said their biggest ones include Parliament, Bad Rabbits, Cannonball Adderley and Gnarls Barkley. Day said that he would describe the band’s sound as “party funk rock.”
Jones said there is also a definite influence of free jazz and bebop on their live performances.
The Slack Theory only plays shows locally and intermittently right now, performing about once a month on average at bars and house parties in Emporia. The most recent show they played was on New Years Eve at Beer: 30. But the dance-funk sextet is planning to play more shows this spring.
“We would like to play at some bigger venues,” Day said, “because with at least six people in the band, you need the space.”
Day and Jones said The Slack Theory plays originals as well as covers at their shows, though they are not sure what the band’s set list could consist of in shows to come. Day said the group plans on playing shows outside of Emporia later this year.
The band would like to release an album in the future, but there are no plans to do so right now.
Day and Jones said The Slack Theory’s main focus as of now is to just play more shows in the spring and work on new music.
“Recording is a definite possibility, and we are working on some new material,” Jones said, “but there are no plans to record any material as of yet. We just started doing this nine months ago, and we would like to play more shows before we work on recording anything.”
The Slack Theory will have formed one year ago this May, and although they have only performed a handful of shows so far, it’s a challenge to work around each member’s individual schedule.
“We all have school or work, so finding time to record would be hard.” Day said, “Our saxophone player P.J. has to travel for work pretty often.”
Stephenson said he works for Flint Hills Music.
The Slack Theory is planning on playing shows at Natasha’s and Beer: 30 in March.