A. Slik Toxik was a Canadian hard rock band formed in 1988 in Toronto.
Slik Toxik was formed out of Toronto hard rock band Portrait. he band was brought to the attention of Drew Masters who was a national music writer and manager for the band Succsexx. Drew thought that the band should change their name to have more attitude and impact to stand out from the bands that were currently playing on the scene. After adopting a new moniker Slik Toxik was then asked to be support act for Succexx. It was at one of those gigs at the Siboney Club in Toronto’s Kensington Market area that manager John Boyes saw the band performing. Shortly after that he courted them to sign a management deal with his brothers company Robert Luhtala Management.
The band started to demo some material that was to be produced by Bob Potter (Scorpions, Hawkwind, Marianne Faithfull) at Toronto’s Comfort Sound and shopped by RLM to major labels. It was during these sessions that the band was told that they needed to get a different drummer for the studio that had more practical experience. That’s when Neal Busby was brought in for the job. The band gave Alex Munro the opportunity to work harder and remain in the band, but being hurt by this situation he opted to resign from the band and Neal was hired full-time.
Those sessions with Bob Potter at the helm didn’t work out for the band. So they plotted along, self producing the demo with Andrew St.George (Killer Dwarfs, Dan Gibson) engineering the recording and then mixer/producer Anthony Vanderburgh and engineer Rick Anderson (Rush) were brought in to mix and finish the job.
After a chance meeting between Nick Walsh, Rob Bruce and producer Paul Gross (SAGA, Lee Aaron) at an EMI publishing gala, a meeting was immediately set up to start working on an album. After finishing 6 songs that would eventually become the album known as ‘Doin’ the Nasty’ the band shopped once again garnering the attention of some major labels.
Capitol Records (EMI) signed the band in 1991 and issued an EP, ‘Smooth And Deadly’. This was followed in 1992 by the full album Doin’ the Nasty.
Slik Toxik toured throughout North America and released four singles which helped the album reach gold status in Canada and placed No. 61 on the Canadian music charts. They won the 1993 Juno Award for Hardt Rock Album of the Year. The “White Lies/Black Truth” video won the People’s Choice Award for ‘Best Video Of The Year’ and “Helluvatime” took home the ‘Best Metal Video Award’ at the 1992 MuchMusic Video Awards.
Slik Toxik kept in close touch with their fans through mail-outs and contests, which earned the band an enthusiastic grassroots following. As an indicator of their openness toward their fans, they were invited to be one of the last acts to play Toronto’s popular Rock And Roll Bar, The Gas Works, on its closing night.
In 1992 they played at ‘The Great Canadian Party’ a Canada Day festival with The Tragically Hip, Spinal Tap and 54-40 at Molson Park in Barrie, Ontario, and they toured North America as opening acts for Kim Mitchell, Faster Pussycat, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Black Sabbath before doing their own headlining tours with Sven Gali and Big House as their opening bands.
At the 1994 post-Juno Awards party an intoxicated Pat Howarth stole and smashed a limousine, which led EMI to question the stability of the band as well as their viability in the changing hard rock climate. After the band had given him a chance to clean himself up, another incident occurred almost immediately and Howarth was then let go from the band. In need of a bass player, long time friend of Neal Busby’s B.I.T. graduate Adam Headland was brought in as a hired gun to record the album and tour. It was at this time that EMI also suggested that Slik Toxik be moved to one of their subsidiary record labels with less money,less support and still carrying a huge debt load. So it was decided by the band to leave the EMI and start fresh considering they had a wide fanbase .