An Interview with: SlavesBy Sj.Cliff
British two-piece Slaves have been busy spreading a classic Brit-punk sound through a sea of terrible pop music as of late. The waves they’ve been creating are certainly paying off, with their upcoming tour selling out in multiple areas and their summer chocked full of festivals. Lucky for us, we managed to catch Laurie Vincent for a chat before the tide dragged them out too far…
Your first UK headline tour starts in May, how are you feeling about it?
Very excited! It’s just selling really well, there are quite a number of dates that we’ve found out have sold out which kind of give you a big triumphant feeling. It’s going to be good to go out to a completely Slaves crowd.
Does the fact you’ve had to add extra dates put a bit more pressure on you to perform?
I don’t know, I mean I think it just adds to it because when there are more crowds you feed off it more. I always feel more pressure in a smaller situation where you have to sort of prove what you’re made of.
I think this almost feels like a glory tour, like, we’ve done the hard work and know we get to enjoy ourselves.
So are we going to hear a lot of album track considering its out in June?
Yeah, I think so. We’re going to be playing an hour set where pretty much 90% will be new stuff but, where we’ve already released so much material, we do get a lot of requests for old stuff so I don’t think we’re going to be doing the full album.
It is something I’d like to do at some point, play the whole album. Then I’d like to do a tour of the first EP we released and play that for a few nights. I think it would be cool. I love bands that have been together for ages, like Nas is just coming back and doing Illmatic isn’t he? It’s just pretty cool.
So, something for the future then?
So, why did you choose to call it “Are You Satisfied?”?
It was just a phrase that kept coming up in my head and I said it Isaac. It was an idea for a song to start off with and it is the title track on the album, but it’s just, for what we were doing, it just really applied. To everything. Like from where we were to our jobs and to being signed and just the bigger question of life I guess. It applies to so many different things and I feel it’s one of the most important questions you can ask yourself I think.
Are you satisfied says a lot more. It adds a lot more. It includes a lot more depth to the question.
And are you satisfied with how the album’s come together if that’s your predominant thought?
Yeah, very satisfied.
Was it difficult putting the album together considering all your other EP material?
Yeah, I mean it was, but I’m my eyes it was our second album. It is our first official album, but we’re already done the tricky second songwriting process. I actually think it came our really naturally.
We’re quite a lucky band, we struck on a really good patch of songwriting, we were even writing songs in the studio. It was all just flowing out really. It wasn’t really that hard I don’t think. It’s defiantly a tiring process; we’ve never really done that whole “month in the studio” thing so it was a lot harder than we expected. There were a lot more hours to put in, but I think all in all we were quite fortunate with it. Our producer really nailed it, Jolyon Thomas. Really nailed it. He kind of brought our sound out. To be honest, I can’t wait for people to hear it now and see what they think. It’s a huge step up from the last stuff.
Have you got any studio material on the album?
Yeah, we have. Feed the Manta Ray was written in the studio.
The way we wrote that song – we hadn’t even played it as a song, we’d just play the different parts and then pieced it together. And then there’s a song called Do Something which was written in the studio that has a riff in it that I wrote that at the time was double the speed and more metal, but then we half timed it. We were really experimenting and stuff in the studio so we were taking stuff and playing it half as fast and that was one of those.
A lot of your music has been really hard to define genre-wise, so does the album follow that?
I think our music would stick to a genre in the sense that we are the same band and we play the same instruments but I think there're a lot more developed styles in there. We’ve got some that are way more danceable but then we’ve got songs that are a lot softer. I mean, the title song is acoustic with a piano part.
The stuff we’ve released before is quite straight up, guitar music and I think we’ve strayed a bit from that which has made the album a lot more developed. It doesn’t just stay in one place because it isn’t 13 tracks that sound the same.