Interview: Slaves

One guitarist. One drummer. Both standing up making a fuck load of noise. Slaves are, in a way, an accidental band. There was no initial intention to join forces alone; however their presence is in no way affected by the bands lack of members, if anything just the two of them make for a much more interesting overall aesthetic.

Watching Slaves live is a ceremony of thrashing madness, you often have to stop still in the adrenaline riddled crowd moshing around you to take a moment to appreciate the sound being created by only two people.

Isaac Holman and Laurie Vincent are best mates on a mission. Spindle caught up with Laurie to unravel a little bit more information about this new phenomenon know as Slaves.

When did you start playing music?
I picked up guitar at the age of about 7 or 8 and struggled to grasp it for years until I finally met a great guitar teacher at about 12 who helped me kick it all off. Music probably didn’t actually happen for a few years after still.

How did the two piece idea come about?
We broke away from a band we were both in with the intention of forming something new and heavier. Isaac broke the news to the band that we were leaving and then shortly after we realised we had no musicians who wanted to join us. In a writing session we had the idea that Isaac should use parts of my drum kit whilst singing so that we had a beat to practice too. It worked instantly!

Ahh so that’s why Isaac plays stood up?
Yea pretty much. I lent Isaac my snare and floor tom and a couple of cymbals for the practices. The standing up thing was just how we started and it never changed. It looks more dynamic than sitting down as well!

So are there plans for an album?
That is the dream, we are demoing new material currently and I am very excited about the demos!

Where do you guys write your material?
We practice in a couple different places. Currently our favourite spot is a friends sound proof room in their garden. It’s tiny and really hot but we love it.

Who is influentially responsible for the punching ‘Slaves’ sound?
I’ve never pin pointed it before but I think Joy Division are definitely up there even if that is cliché but more for Peter Hook than anything else; his bass lines are incredible. I aim to play my guitar the way he plays his bass in some ways. My other huge influences who have to be mentioned are ‘Thee Husbands’ a three piece garage rock band from America, they’re fairly unknown (I don’t think they’re together anymore) but their album “introducing thee husbands’ is pretty much where my guitar sound started for slaves.

Yourself and Isaac consistently dress very well, where did this old school inspiration come from?
We both have a lot of love for British subcultures including Mods/Skin Heads/original rude boi. I guess it started there. Films like Babylon definitely have an influence on the way we look at fashion.

If you could live and play music anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’d like to live in a different place every day and play in a new venue every day. Meeting people and playing shows all over the world is why I do what I do. I think to narrow it down to one place would defeat the reason I love playing in Slaves.

Your new visuals for Nervous Energy is brilliant, who directed it?
His name is Chris Hugall, he is a genius.

What is the song about?
The tune is about a bloke Isaac works with that is really nervous and taps his feet all the time, Isaac tries to avoid his presence as it’s irritating for him.

So Leeds Festival, how did that feel to play your first festival?
It was mental! Getting to see behind the scenes and how all the cogs work was fun. Constantly getting star struck by people in the backstage areas too! We saw someone at the front row of Leeds who regularly attends our shows in London called AJ. She was alone and it was crazy seeing a London friends face standing at the barrier in Leeds. There isn’t a better feeling in music than having those friends and fans that follow you and sing back your songs. The festival epitomised this for me. Lots of happy faces singing along and dancing.

Words: Cameron Toman