An Interview With: Slaves

Posted: Tuesday 4 September 2018

They've become one of the loudest, most raucous live bands on the planet and in three years they've released three electrifying albums. We caught up with indie-punk duo, Slaves ahead of their huge performance at Reading and Leeds Festival to get the details on their upcoming headline tour, starting their own label and what else they want to achieve.

Your new album has been out just over a week, how are you feeling now, has it all sunk in?

Laurie: No, not at all. Because we’re doing festivals now, you’re mind just goes. I was thinking about it a lot last week and now I’ve just sort of forgotten about it. These festivals sometimes feel like the peak of the year, so I’m anticipating the blues tomorrow, but then it’s great to know we’ve got all this album stuff going on and it’s only just started.

Did you celebrate at all on release day?

Laurie: [To Isaac] You did, didn’t you

Isaac: Yeah I did celebrate haha

Did you go a little bit too far?

Isaac: I did, yeah

You’ve been battling two very big musical albums in the charts, but if you were to write an album for a musical, which would it be? Or would you write your own musical?

Laurie: I like the idea of doing something for film, more than musicals

Isaac: I reckon we’d do our own film. I’d like to make our own one and do all the music for it.

What type of film would you write?

Laurie: Gritty, British comedy, so maybe moments of This Is England but then at the same time, Bottom haha.

That sounds great, we can picture that. Now this is your third album, so do you still get the release-day nerves about getting it out there and people hearing it?

Laurie: Yeah, you always definitely get those feelings, I don’t think that ever changes. As much as you try and not have them, it just happens.

What did you want to do differently this time around? Did you learn anything from the previous albums?

Laurie: I just wanted to make sure that it felt like every single song was ready before we released it. I think in the past we might have just settled and gone, “yeah, that’s good enough”, whereas this time we didn’t ever just let anything slide. We worked harder on it.

And you’re a bit older now, you’ve matured and grown a lot, so did you find your inspirations lyrically and sonically changed?

Laurie: Yeah, I think it’s bound to. If your life’s changing, what you write about is going to change.

You’ve been heralded as a punk band for a new generation, with references to The Clash and The Sex Pistols, does that add pressure on to you, to be that sort of band?

Laurie: I think depending on your mood, sometimes it’s annoying people think you think that of yourself. It’s a compliment when people say it, but when people go, “ugh you’re nothing like them” and it’s like, we never said we were? When people say it, I just take it as a massive compliment, because those bands are amazing. The pressure is always just on yourself, about what you want, I don’t feel pressure from other people really.

What advice would you give to bands wishing to follow in your footsteps?

Laurie: Make music that you want to make, don’t make music that sounds like someone else, because they’ve already made that.

Isaac: Don’t make what you think is good and will do well

Laurie: You’ve got to be in love with your own project, before anyone else is going to love it

Isaac: It’s got to be a passion project

Laurie: That was the first thing that was different about this band, verses all the other bands we’ve been in

You launched your own record label as well, so what was the idea behind that, why did you want to start up a side project?

Laurie: It’s really hard, especially for guitar bands at the moment, to get that first little break and Lady Bird were friends of ours and just seeing them for the first time a couple of years ago, I was like, this needs to happen. There was a day at the Tunbridge Wells Forum where they got an agent, management and us, all because it was a light bulb went off and we were like, “we need to help this band”. We’ve always wanted to have a label and they were the spark.

Are you looking to take on more artists, or are you just focusing on Lady Bird at the moment?

Isaac: We’ll just see what happens, we’re definitely up for having some more artists on it but it has to be right

Are there any other side projects you’d like to work on?

Laurie: We’re always doing stuff, I paint a lot

Isaac: We’ve got some bits on the side, but nothing set in stone

Nice! You’ve got your huge headline tour coming up as well, have you got any big plans?

Laurie: I just think maybe the sets are going to be the best that the people have seen. I feel like we’ve done a lot of touring this year, a lot of festivals and we’ve perfected our performance and I still feel like we’re getting better and better.

Isaac: We’ve just realised that we don’t need all this big production and stuff, our performance will just be better than ever.

Finally, if we were to speak to you five years from now, what else would you like to have achieved?

Laurie: Headline Reading and Leeds Festival

Isaac: Yeah, headline some festies, that’d be good. Another good couple of albums under our belts.

Laurie: Have my own studio to paint in and my own studio to record in.

A nice big house then?

Laurie: Yeah, big house, pool, cars…

The dream! Thank you guys, we’ll see you on tour!

Want to see the perfect performances they're talking about? Here's where to catch them:

O2 Academy Newcastle: Wednesday 7 NovemberBuy Tickets

O2 Academy Liverpool: Friday 16 November Buy Tickets

O2 Academy Leeds: Monday 19 November Buy Tickets

O2 Academy Bristol: Tuesday 20 November Buy Tickets

O2 Academy Birmingham: Friday 23 November Buy Tickets

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