The Slaps are a beach blues trio that formed in 2017 during their freshman year at Depaul University in Lincoln Park, Chicago. They are an indie rock band based out of Chicago, comprised of members Rand Kelley (lead vocals and guitar), Ramsey Bell (bass), and Josh Resing (drums). “We love a tightly-packed road trip, talking to strangers, and dreaming.” The Slaps’ music can’t be placed into a single genre, combining poetic lyricism with rock ‘n’ roll and smooth ballads. Rand Kelley’s harmonic voice has subtle hints of Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, which pairs extremely well with the strong, bluesy beats on display in the band’s catalog.
The seeds for The Slaps were planted long before their college arrangement, as long-time best friends and Lexington, Kentucky natives Rand Kelley and Ramsey Bell have been musical compadres for the better part of a decade now. The duo grew up going to the same schools, the same tennis clinic, and even played trumpet and bass clarinet in their high school band. However, it wasn’t until their senior year that they began playing in a band together– “Rand was on his singer-songwriter vibes and his first band was called ‘Safety City,’” explained Ramsey. Rand added, “Yeah, the drummer was dismissed for that band, then a new drummer was added and then we added Ramsey. We were called ‘Little Chap’. You can still find some of our songs on The Slaps’ Bandcamp.”
As Rand and Ramsey’s journey continued onto Depaul University, they wanted to start something fresh and new. The Lexington pair decided to jump right into the action, playing a handful of free sets in Depaul’s common area to start getting their name out there. Soon thereafter, it was time for them to play a “real show,” and they were in urgent need of a drummer. It was the first weekend of college parties there at Depaul, so Rand and Ramsey concocted a precise and well-thought-out plan to find the missing piece to their soon-to-be trio. They were to infiltrate each party they came across, asking “everyone they met,” if they could play the drums and wanted to be a part of their band. Turns out, the plan was genius. The first person they happened to ask was Josh Resing, a serendipitous last line to their drummer-deficient musical triangle.
The band has since put out one mixtape (Susan’s Room (2017)), two EP’s (A and B (Both 2019)), and a handful of singles. Additionally, The Slaps recently recorded an Audiotree Live album that you can find on streaming platforms. On January 11th, the first single off of the band’s upcoming, debut LP, “Tomato Tree,” was released, so make sure to go check that out for a preview of what’s to come on the album. Check out The Slaps website here, and check out our Q&A below!