The SLiP iTs' lead singer/guitarist David Hoffmann isn't trying to fool anyone. He knows his three-chord punk songs aren't breaking any new ground. He knows the SLiP iTs take from the Ramones and Chuck Berry. He knows his band will never make millions. And he doesn't really care.
"I'm not trying to change the world or nothin'," he says, "We're not trying to be completely innovative or original. We just want to have fun and rock out."
He's serious. Hoffmann and mates—bassist Teri Lea Graves, guitarist Kris Chapman, and drummer John Chilson—aren't trying to fashion a strategy for success or sell an image. In fact, their blatant disregard for image and everything image entails (dishonesty, superficiality) speaks loud in Hoffmann's no-bullshit tone and carefree admissions. "Playing in a band is just something to do," he says. "It's either do this or watch TV."
But don't let the way he underestimates himself fool you. He's been playing guitar and writing songs for almost 15 years—clearly, it means more to him than just an alternative to watching TV. It's also evident in the SLiP iTs' impassioned (and quite good) punk rock/garage songs that they recall the music surrounding Hoffmann's teenage years: the Ramones, New York Dolls, Supercharger, and the Zeros.
Hoffmann and Graves began playing together in the late '90s in a New York punk band called the Tie Reds, which garnered a large local following before the pair split for the Northwest. Finding a music scene dominated by soft indie, they were inclined to fill the gap where raw punk rock lacked, placing an ad on craigslist, to which Chilson responded. "When I first met John," Hoffmann recalls, "here's what I said, 'We're not gonna make money, we're gonna lose money, and we're not gonna be famous.'"
It's an attitude that makes the SLiP iTs what they are: A band so unconcerned with big breaks or false fronts, they're left to focus on the music; on writing blistering punk songs and playing blistering punk shows. "And getting free beer," laughs Hoffmann.