Every Member of Slushy so Far

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Slushy is a colorful cast of characters. Sometimes. Sometimes it’s a monologue.

Who is Slushy? Who is in Slushy? Who was in Slushy? Who should be in Slushy? These are the questions on the nation’s most in-demand lips. Let’s see if I can provide some answers.

Drum machine roll please…

Chris “Twist” Kramer


Hi, that’s me. I started writing and recording a lot of songs when I first moved to Chicago, then started playing those songs live solo as Kramer Versus Kramer, then found a bunch of dummies to play them with me, then changed the name of the band to Slushy, and that’s the whole story. I write or co-write all the songs, sing the songs, play many or all instruments on recordings, write emails, draw monsters, and sleep in a basement that is full of junk musical equipment.

Brent Zmrhal


The man about town who left town. Brent is probably the most important member of Slushy and always will be. He lives in Seattle now, but we like to meet up and play shows, write songs, crack wise, etc, etc. He’d like you to know, officially he’s an ex-Slushy.

Max Epstein


The original other member, Max was the bass player in the first 4-piece incarnation of Slushy. Max helped me choose the name Slushy after Brent told us he would only book us a show if we had a different name. He lasted about a year, then said adios to tunes.

Justin Vittori


Justin is one of the nicest people I know. That’s why, when I heard a rumor that he wanted to play drums in Slushy, I went down to the rumor mill and gave him the old formal invite. Good call. He also plays guitar and bass on some recordings and plays in lots of other bands around town.

Luke Tokyo Drifter


aka KennDogg Millionaire, Luke plays lead guitar in the current Slushy live band. Unless he doesn’t. Sometimes he doesn’t. But sometimes he does. He’s good at all instruments, really.

James Swanberg


aka Jimmy Swine. We played with Swannie’s band Today’s Hits at Subterranean in February of 2013. Afterwards, he said “If you ever need a bass player in Slushy, I wanna be that guy.” Took about a year, but I gave him the call up to the majors. He plays bass like he plays drums – Juicy style. Then he quit. But sometimes he’s back.

Sarah Greenwell


Sarah was in town one day and played the Omnichord while sitting on stage and I keep threatening to have her do that at every Slushy show til the end of time and fly her in just to be in her presence.

C.J. Meyer


C.J. is the terrific drummer in the Pinheads, and an occasional bassist in Slushy. Also he’s currently setting up his drums in the livingroom, I think that’s a good omen!

Donny Walsh


Donny plucked the six strings while Kenny went on a driveabout, which is like a walkabout but for affluent Americans. Donny is very good at the guitar! Expect to see a lot more of him.

Jen Page


Jen knows a lot about flowers, carpentry, and shaking a lit maraca. Guess which she does in the group! (All of the above)

Alexa Roberts


Alexa took me to see the Zombies perform Odessey And Oracle, I asked her to be in my band. That’s the long and short of it!

Jason Meyer


I would have given up on music a LONG time ago if it wasn’t for Jason. I played his birthday party in 2001 or 2002 then we were in a dozen bands together then he motivated to “Just Do It” when I moved to Chicago and got the whole ball rolling. We built bunkbeds in the back of his van and saw America together.

Jade Jalali


Jade gave us some great tips about what to do in Florida, then we met her in Oakland and gave her some great tips about calling in sick to work and playing guitar in Slushy. She writes great songs too.

Dottie Larson


Synth noodler and ink doodler extraordinaire.

Spikes Mayor


Extremely cool guy, it says so right on his business card.

Jen Lemasters


I bought a sax thinking it would be easy to play and it wasn’t, so I bought a second sax and still couldn’t get it right. Now Jen plays sax.

J.B. Champlin


J.B. likes to hit the drums.

Sam Mentzer


Sam was my roommate and is an all-around good guy. He occasionally sits in on drums and/or tambourine on recordings and at shows.

Colin Croom


I love Colin. When Slushy tried making a new record in the fall/winter of 2014, we enlisted Colin as producer. He took it seriously, and was there more than most of the band, so a lot of that record ended up featuring Colin playing bass, drums, guitar, keys, whatever. Note: none of these recordings will ever be released but I still have them and willing to entertain offers. He’s a terrific musician, which is why Twin Peaks snatched him up. Sometimes he’ll still tickle an ivory or beat a skin or record us racketeering.

Alex Mentzer


The original Mentz, Alex is the first drummer in Slushy. He drums standing up, and kicks the kick drum sparingly, more like a Bop drummer. He would drape a horse tapestry over the kick drum, and would make the horses run.

Ben Haley


Ben played guitar in Slushy for a while, and is on the first 2 or 3 abandoned Slushy records (who knows how many of those there are). He played in Boshus before that, my favorite Chicago band ever. I had to go to his apartment and kick him out of the band, which really sucked. Sorry for doing that Ben, not sure why I am so awkward!

Jason Jones


Jason played drums at a few shows. He also played guitar in a NWOBHM band called Wizard Castle as well as Boshus.

Elliott Thomas


EZ recorded us at on point then played drums at a few shows, replacing Jason, but I forget why. When Max quit the band, Elliott quit, too, and the two-piece version of Slushy was born. Now he lives in San Francisco.

Rich Crook


Rich is a great musician/songwriter (see: Lover, Thing). He played drums once or twice in the hazy period shortly after Slushy became a two-piece, and we weren’t quite sure what the heck we were doing. He’s a great drummer and has a great name. He and I were really into the idea of starting a krautrock band for a while, but I think our girlfriends didn’t get along so that never came to be.

Doug Boldon


Doug’s another terrific drummer who played drums with us once or twice in the hazy period shortly after Slushy became a two-piece, and we weren’t quite sure what the heck we were doing. He also plays all the drums on the “Five Little Leaves” tape. Doug and his twin brother Dan used to be in Sleepovers and I couldn’t tell them apart for a long time, but now I can. Doug’s the one who lives in LA now.

Nick Beaudoin

2011, 2014

Nick lived across the street from me, and he’s probably the best bass player in Chicago, so we’ve practiced and recorded once or twice together. He also bassed in two Halloween cover bands with me, once as the Velvet Underground and once as the Modern Lovers, but I don’t think Nick’s ever played in Slushy. Some day.

Shimby McCreery


Shimby recorded “Five Little Leaves” and ended up playing quite a bit of keys, percussion and even a little guitar. He also mixed “Pastime Gardens” and really defined the sound of that record. That counts as being in the band.

Ted Appert, Ron Appert, Jack Callahan


The Bing-Aires, Illinois’s premier vocal backing group. Sometimes you’ll still catch them on stage strumming a guitar and sweet breathing.

Paul Cherowick


One time we asked Paul to fill in on bass at a gig and he christened it a “Cherry Slushy” and he liked that joke so much that he keeps threatening to make it again.