'Slanted: How an Asian American Troublemaker Took on the Supreme Court' is out on 30 April
The Slants founder Simon Tam is releasing a memoir about the band’s Supreme Court case
The all Asian American rock band were originally refused a trademark registration for their name on the grounds that it was too offensive.
At the start of 2017, The Slants took their battle to the US Supreme Court, claiming they were re-appropriating an anti-Asian slur with their name.
In June 2017, the band won their Supreme Court battle to secure the trademark of their name.
Now, Tam has detailed his experience in a new memoir titled Slanted: How an Asian American Troublemaker Took on the Supreme Court.
Talking to NBC Tam said dealing with the court case made him extremely busy. He was touring with the band and speaking at law schools simultaneously.
“That part was probably the most chaotic,” Tam said. “We were on tour, and I crammed about 70-plus appearances in about 60 days.”
“The more difficult part is always narrowing down everything,” he added. “But I think actually traveling and speaking about the story on a regular basis helps — naturally certain stories would resonate with different audiences better than others, and that’s what kind of gave me a really good clue as to what people really enjoyed.”
After the group won the case, Tam moved to Nashville and is now setting up The Slants Foundation. The organisation will provide “resources, scholarships and mentorship to Asian Americans looking to incorporate activism into their art.”
Although Tam said Crazy Rich Asians did well for representing Asian Americans, he expressed his frustration at the general lack of representation in the media.
“I think that’s there so few representatives in the entertainment industry,” Tam said. “I mean, we’re seeing more of it now … but when I started this band, there was nobody.”
Nonetheless, he hopes to inspire others to persist.
“It seems that we’ve become so impatient these days, especially when we see wrongs in our world,” Tam said. “I want to encourage folks that you can persist. … If you show up on a regular basis and you work hard at it, over time you’ll start seeing positive changes being made.”
Click here to read our interview with The Slants.