33 Slade formed in the long-ago year of 1996, when if you wanted someone to hear your band you had to make a tape and hand or mail it to them, and if you wanted people to know about shows you had to make posters and postcards - sometimes you had a mailing list of people’s actual mailing addresses (sounds crazy, I know, but I swear it’s true). None of them was yet 21 when they started playing together. (Boey was still in high school, but he was the one with the van.) The original lineup - Buick Audra on vocals and guitar, John Neylon on guitar, Boey Russell on drums, and Levi Fuller on bass - rehearsed in the attic of the house that gave them their name in Belmont, a by turns charming and squalid suburb of Boston.
33 Slade played a lot of shows during the late ‘90s, mostly at The Middle East or TT The Bear’s and sometimes with bands you might have heard of, such as Karate, Blonde Redhead, Les Savy Fav, Smog, and New Radiant Storm King. This lineup never really toured, and only recorded a short and very limited edition tape in the attic before John moved on, leaving the band in the three-piece lineup that would go on to record two full-length CDs only after splintering across the continent.
Their first album, The Way to Win: A True Story, was recorded at Inner Ear Studios by J. Robbins. The album was recorded in the fall of 2001, right after Levi moved to Seattle; the band drove past a Pentagon with a giant hole in it on the way to the studio each morning.
Between albums, Buick and Boey continued to play shows with some stalwart friends filling in on bass duties, even hitting the road for a couple short tours which Levi was bummed to have to miss. A couple years later Buick had another basket of killer songs ready and they decided to come together to record a second album in Boston, working at the gorgeous Camp St. Studios. Buick co-produced Harmonies for One with engineer Matt Squire, and Paul Kolderie mixed.
33 Slade officially disbanded in 2004. Buick, Boey, and Levi are all active musicians (in Nashville, Boston, and Seattle respectively), each busy with their own solo projects and other bands, and they’re all still friends, and continue to collaborate from time-to-time.