Herald JournalHerald Journal, Feb. 2, 2004

Three friends, one goal

By Ryan Gueningsman

Not every household has a free concert for a couple of hours a few nights out of the week.

Dean and Margaret Long's house, just west of Lester Prairie, is a different story.

Their 15-year-old son Scott, along with his buddies Pat Sandoz, 17, and Zach Godel, 17, can be heard most nights until 10 p.m. practicing some of their self-written tunes, coming up with new guitar riffs, and just having a good time.

Long, Sandoz, and Godel are the band Sliver.

The name originated from Long drawing the word "Sliver" in science class one day at school and thinking it would be a "cool name for a band."

The three boys began playing together at the end of last March. They each were in separate bands, but came together after band breakups happened.

"It's hard to get one right band," Sandoz said.

"We like all the guys that are no longer playing with us," Godel said. "They're all our friends."

Musically, the group has a sound similar to Mudvayne and The DefTones, according to Sandoz.

The band also cites Nirvana as one of its favorites, and one of their biggest influences.

All three members have some musical influence in their families. Sandoz has his father, Jim, who is in the band Rambone, Godel's aunt plays the piano and flute, and a majority of Long's aunts and uncles play the guitar and other instruments.

"I got my first and only guitar lesson from my uncle Andy," Long said. "He showed me a few chords and I built off that."

From that, eventually, came the self-categorization of "Androll."

"We started out as rock and roll," Long explained. "But we were also diverse and had our own style, and we couldn't be classified in any rock categories, so we dropped the 'rock' and became Androll."

Right now, the band is perfecting its sound in Long's basement, and working on getting a demo recorded. Thanks to Sandoz's father, the three will be able to be in a recording studio in March working on some songs.

The trio will play a concert at Lester Prairie High School Friday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. This concert will be a fund raiser for the Lester Prairie After Prom Party committee.

Working at a contract

All three members of Sliver said that their biggest goal would be to eventually be offered a recording contract.

Sandoz's father, Jim, is the drummer for the band Rambone, and has been helping the boys work towards their goal.

A lot of Sliver's equipment is Rambone "hand-me-downs," including the drum set, which still features a ram on it.

All of the songs that the trio has been working on are self-penned originals. The group only does cover songs (songs recorded by other artists) if they have a concert.

Each member of the band has done fewer than six concerts, but is looking forward to potentially playing in some clubs in the Twin Cities area, Long said.

The songwriting process for the three can be as simple as a minute and a half for a completed song to weeks, and sometimes even months.

"The way we come up with a song is one of those two (Long or Godel) come up with a guitar riff or a bass line. It gets played through, and the song writes itself," Sandoz said.

"The songs I write usually reflect something that's going on in my life," Godel said. Long compared the songwriting process to the way an author writes a novel, and also said that their songs apply to him also.

A lot of times, Long will be sitting in class, come up with an idea, and walk out of the class with his homework done and a full page of lyrics.

Godel said that some ideas come to him while he is driving to his cabin.

"There are also some songs that we haven't really written yet, but the idea is there," Sandoz said.

Even with their goals set, the most important thing is remaining friends, and true to themselves.

"When we're not playing music together," Long said, "we're driving around together in the car listening to music."

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