My friend Thomas Schlatter has been playing music for over fourteen years (including one of my current favorite bands called In First Person), and it’s always been some of the most intense stuff you could ever imagine. His previous bands including You and I and The Assistant were a huge influence on artists like Thursday and countless others in the hardcore and emo/screamo scenes. Tom’s still playing some of the craziest music I’ve heard, so I wanted to plug his hard work and his commitment to over a decade of veganism and many other great social issues.
What got you interested in animal rights?
I worked at a restaurant starting when I was 14. I had to cook, slice and handle meat all day. I went vegetarian a little over a year after starting there. Much of the hardcore music I was listening to at the time had an animal rights message and some of my friends were already vegetarian, so the transition was easy due to all the support, experience and education. After that I would just pick up as much literature as possible at shows.
Are there any issues that you are particularly passionate about when it comes to animal rights?
Veganism has become second nature to me, like breathing. I think all these aspects are important of course.
Do you think there’s a relationship between music and social change (human rights, environmentalism, animal rights)?
I think it’s possible and I would say I’m proof of that. One person changing their behavior is a step in the right direction, no matter how small. If someone hears a song and it makes them think twice about their actions, and even leads them to change their actions, then that’s a success.
What bands have you been in?
You and I, The Assistant, This Ship Will Sink and a few others over the years. I am currently playing guitar for In First Person and Black Kites.
What are your favorite restaurants from years of touring?
Soul Vegetarian in Atlanta, Watercourse in Denver, Herbivore in San Francisco.
Good stuff! When Tom’s not busy cooking up vegetable casseroles or listening to his current favorite bands including 108, Have Heart, and Zegota, he’s hard at work on his music. Check out In First Person and Black Kites when you get a chance!