Slapstick Family Tree
Slapstick was a seminal Chicago ska-punk band formed in 1993 and officially broke up in 1996 and is known for being the root of the "Slapstick Family Tree", a group of musical projects which spawned from members of Slapstick, many of which are still active. Despite the fact that they were only officially together for less than four years, and only released one LP, Lookit on Dill Records (originally the Skankin' Pickle label) in early of 1996; recorded in late 1995, (re-released on Asian Man - the label that Dill Records became), their influence is immeasurable. Asian Man issued a compilation record in 1997 simply called Slapstick containing all of the band's recorded songs, eight of which had previously been unreleased. Much later two DVDs were released by Asian Man as well - one in 2001 - Live from the Fireside Bowl and another in 2006 titled Reunion Show.
Despite their shortly lived existence, Slapstick acted as a segue to many bands that were to highlight the mid 90's scene into the new millennium. If you follow their member's full history beyond the "tree," it also illustrates what a close knit community Chicago punk has been before and after Slapstick.
The Slapstick Family Tree
- Alkaline Trio
- Lawrence Arms
- The Broadways
- The Honor System
- Tricky Dick
- The Falcon
- Smoking Popes
- Less Than Jake
Slapstick Members & Subsequent Bands Formed*
- Brendan Kelly: vocals The Broadways, Lawrence Arms, The Falcon
- Dan Andriano: bass, backing vocals - Tuesday, Alkaline Trio, The Falcon
- Dan Hanaway: trumpet, backing vocals The Broadways, The Honor System
- Matt Stamps: guitar Tuesday
- Rob Kellenberger: drums, backing vocals Tuesday, Colassal, Smoking Popes
- Peter Anna: trombone Less Than Jake
- *Smoking Popes and Less Than Jake already existed and not a product of the tree as per creation
The Slapstick Family Tree weaves a tangled web: if you were to follow each members personal bio you'd find that they ended up playing with other members again in different projects / bands / reunions, and other bands indirectly spawned from Slapstick members later after the main list, but this is the primary family tree. For instance, Mike Felumlee played for three of Slapstick Tree bands: The Smoking Popes, Duvall, and Alkaline Trio, but was not a Slapstick member, but was part of a "family" of musicians and bands, all helped formed by Slapstick. As stated on the Slapstick page, the continuing Chicago punk scene into the later 90's and on wouldn't be what it is without Slapstick's direct influence and the bands it subsequently formed. You could even bargain to suggest that Slapstick was to the 1990's scene as Naked Raygun was to the 1980's - not in sound whatsoever, but in importance. While Slapstick did not have the endurance that Raygun did, as they were only around for 3 years, its band's members were central and key to many of the bands that were to go on and makeup the scene and what followed.
Also stated on the Slapstick page, they were one of those bands that inspired a whole generation of kids to go out and buy a used Strat copy for 50 bucks and a 10 watt amp and start a garage band - or basement band, whatever the case.