Sloan and You Am I List 5 Favorite Songs From Each Others' Catalogs

Sloan (top): Yep Roc Records; You Am I: Shaker Maker

Two of the best bands born of the 90s major label signing spree -- Canada’s Sloan and Australia’s You Am I -- are teaming up for an east coast tour which kicks off tonight at Washington DC’s Rock and Roll Hotel.

For fans of power pop and sludgy guitars, it’s a match made in rock heaven. For You Am I’s Tim Rogers, it’s a make-good, of sorts. “Years ago, You Am I toured with Sloan and we were at such a heightened state of tour fatigue and brattiness that I don't think we endeared ourselves to them at all,” the singer tells The Hollywood Reporter. “We were in super snarky, drunk, convict mode.”

So it wasn’t exactly a honeymoon with the relatively clean-cut Nova Scotia natives, but as it turns out, the two bands have plenty in common: both have played the teeniest bars and toured stadiums with ginormous bands like Oasis and Foo Fighters (“There is one side where the catering is better, I can tell you that,” cracks Rogers), both got the major label star treatment in the mid-90s (Sloan with DGC in the Nirvana era, You Am I with Warner Bros. in 1995) and the eventual runaround which threw them back into indie world. And both have maintained loyal, you could even say cult-like followings ever since. 

Plus, adds Rogers, “I think there's a certain loose sensibility that maybe the bands have in common. We seem a little less in tune, so there's some variety for you.” Strip away the sarcasm, and it’s more like a mutual admiration society, which is why THR had both bands -- Sloan represented by guitarist-vocalist Jay Ferguson -- list five songs they love from each other’s catalogs.  

You Am I’s Favorite Sloan Songs (by Tim Rogers)

1. “The Answer is You:" Off the latest record, this song takes twists and turns I didn't see coming and has some creamy harmonies. Sturdy Elliot Easton like guitar. Sweet as pie.

2. "Money City Maniacs:" Because it's big and stoopid. Great drumming. And any song that starts with a siren pushes all my fleshy buttons.

3. "If It Feels Good Do It:" Although I'm starting to hate it because it's mashing in my head with "Does Your Mother Know You're Out" by Abba.

4. "People Of the Sky:" The first Sloan song I heard. Will always love it.

5. "The Good In Everyone:" Always excites me. I listen to it on the way to footy training.

 Sloan "Money City Maniacs"

Sloan’s Favorite You Am I Songs (by Jay Ferguson):

1. “Forget It Sister:” Funny that this was 'hidden track' on their Hourly, Daily LP... I think it's one of the standouts from that record! A summery, breezy acoustic number. Even though I guess they’re known more generally for that rave up, maximum energy sound, I always thought You Am I did these kind of numbers so nicely that I wish there was even more of them within their catalogue.

2. “Beau Geste:” From the second to last LP, a nice nod to The Zombies right off the top. I dig Tim's voice when he sings in this more relaxed fashion (see song 3 as well). It’s nice to see them recording some of their best stuff this far into their career (again, see song 3 as well). Video also contains French Foreign Legion outfits and a sitar -- finally!

3. “Lie And Face The Sun:" A track from their latest that I quite like as it, funnily, really brings me back to that early 90's Creation Records sound from the UK. I can get behind that.

4. “Deliverance:" Super, dry early 70s rock n roll sound that reminds me a bit of our good friend Joel Plaskett from Nova Scotia. Handclaps? Cowbell? Bonjour!

5. “Soldiers:" I'm not sure, but I think I remember You Am I playing this back on the shows we did with them back about 10 years ago. Yes? An oldie, but a great example of that high-energy economical sound that made Hourly Daily a stand-out in 1996. It's funny how this LP has, in my mind, so many similar sonic touchstones with our own One Chord To Another album released at the exact same time. Two Commonwealth bands half a world apart, one brain.

Twitter: @shirleyhalperin