Kevin Basko found himself making a living out of rock music in an Almost Famous-like way: Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado texted him while Basko was on his way to the career fair at the Berklee College of Music.
Under his own moniker Rubber Band Gun, Basko has been releasing music prolifically since 2013 with the intention of creating fully-realized concept albums, which he works on at his home studio called Historic New Jersey. He’s also produced, engineered, or played on releases by Jackie Cohen, The Lemon Twigs, Jake Elijah, and more.
I know what you’re thinking: There’s already a dance for this song… and there’s already a song for this dance! With every instructional dance song, they tell you the steps and the moves. From Drake to the Cotton-Eyed Joe, people are always telling you what to do. Cha Cha real smooth, you know the drill.
But this song is about taking a dance that already exists, and making the moves whatever YOU want. Forget those old rules and do your own moves. Slide to the left when you want. Hell, slide to the right! The options are endless.
In the bridge, I give you a place to start, but it’s up to you to give it something special. To me, “The Electric Slide” brings back memories of being at a Bar Mitzvah or a graduation party and not really knowing the dance. In this version, you can’t go wrong, the balls in your court.
I wrote and recorded the song a few months into lockdown, and I call it the quintessential pandemic song: half-assed and disjointed, it’s a real Home Alone 4. It’s like if Tom Cruise fell and skinned his knee during that slide in Risky Business. It’s like Footloose but with Kevin James running through a warehouse instead of Bacon.
It’s hokey and tacky and just what I needed to pull the serious tone out of both music and life. It made me laugh when I wrote it. Then, in one afternoon, I captured the song on tape. It was mostly improvised first takes in the arrangement and in the lyrics.
When working with the producer and director — Andrew Galanter and Adam Roat — for this music video, they told me they wanted to tonally match the song. They said, “the track struck us as infectiously groovy (you can’t help but get sucked into it) and intoxicatingly fun (you can’t help but *smile* that you’re getting sucked into it).”
As we worked together, we wanted to capture at least some of the spirit of the original campy instructional video from the ‘80s song “Electric Boogie.” Our music video is like the digital companion to the old dusty VHS tapes that live on a shelf in your parents’ house.
Andrew and Adam said to achieve this old VHS effect: “We cut between clips from this tape and a colorful cast of characters following along at home. We increasingly escalate in lunacy — paralleling the euphoric odyssey the music itself takes us on — to the point where said characters literally get transported into the video. In a baffling star turn, the role of Kevin Basko is played by comedian William Banks.”
I’d put this song in the children’s music category — almost like a poor man’s Monster Mash or a dropped outtake from the old Sesame Street soundtracks. If you just lean into it, you’ll love it.
— Kevin Basko