The Nickel Slots

  • Genres
  • Alt-Country
  • Americana
  • Rock 'N' Roll
  • Awards and Nominations
    • SAMMIES 2019 Nominee★ Country/Americana/Alt-Country ★
    • SAMMIES 2018 Nominee★ Country/Americana/Alt-Country ★
  • Musicians
    • Christopher Amaral — drums
    • Paul Zinn — bass, mandolin, vocals
    • Steve Amaral — lead guitar, vocals
    • Tony Brusca — guitar, lead vocals
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Q & A

How do you describe your music to people?


We connect the line between Johnny Cash, Tom Petty and The Clash.

Tell us about how the band formed.


We are all veteran musicians from the Sacramento area. Tony Brusca wanted to start a band that could play the songs that he had been writing for years that didn't fit his other band. After contacting Chris Amaral and Paul Zinn, the three of them started playing and auditioned a few guitarists before asking Steve Amaral to join. That was in late October of 2008. The chemistry between the band was strong, and since then the band has released four albums, a Christmas EP, and a tribute to Tom Petty. We've toured up and down the West Coast and to Europe four times, where the band's fan base also continues to grow.

Tell us about your best gig in Sac.


We've had a handful of great shows in our hometown of Sacramento, but in 2015, we opened for Bob Seger at Sleep Train Arena here in Sacramento. We played great, the audience was into it. We got up in front of 17,000 people and played the same energetic and honest show that we play at The Torch Club or Harlow's!

Tell us about your worst gig.


We've had our share, hard to pick one...

What's next for the band?


We are releasing our fourth full-length album, filming more music videos to support the record and planing our next tour to Europe.

What's the story behind the band name?


The name came out of the lyrics from one of our early songs called Evolution. It's about being desperate but hopeful and taking chances.

What's your favorite local artist/group?


50-Watt Heavy, the Californios, Danny Morse and the California Stars.

Who are your biggest influences?


Rank and File, Steve Earle, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Johnny Cash, The Clash, The Blasters, The Mavericks, Buck Owens.

Who first inspired you to play music?


As a band, we all have a ton of inspiration from many genres and manage to channel it into our sound.

Words to live by?


Freedom is a state of mind.

Contact Us

Sacramento News & Review
1124 Del Paso Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95815