CAN’T GET NO SATISFACTION
No, Jonny Craig hasn’t performed a brutal member cull – it’s time you acquainted yourselves with the UK’s blistering new punk duo, Slaves.
It’s fair to say that some of the world’s greatest ideas have come about after knocking back a few cheeky frothies. Of course, go too far and you can find yourself contemplating something that puts you in serious contention for a Darwin Award, but hit that tipsy sweet spot… “Laurie used to come and watch my old band quite a lot and I got chatting to him one night after a few beers and he was like, ‘Hey, if you ever need a bassist, I’m your guy’,” Isaac Holman tells us, explaining how he and guitarist Laurie Vincent came to be the rollicking garage punk duo Slaves. “We actually ended up getting rid of our bassist so I called up Laurie and soon after that, we realised we didn’t really want to be doing that style of music anymore, so we broke off and started Slaves. We were looking for a drummer but we didn’t really know many – it’s a pretty small place around here [Kent, England] and there’s not many likeminded people. So Laurie brought two drums to my house for writing purposes, and then we never really changed. I still can’t play a small drum kit,” Holman laughs. Sometimes the simplest conversations can snowball into the most miraculous things. When we speak, Slaves are gearing up for a largely sold out UK tour and awaiting the release of their debut album, Are You
Satisfied? – a fiercely British and belligerent tonguein-cheek take on modern punk and the world. Vincent churns out the simple yet menacing riffs while Holman barks and bashes the drums. The album may be their official debut, but in the years since 2012’s mini release, Sugar Coated Bitter Truth, the band have been able to sharpen their cause and find their sound. And Holman’s dad is one of their biggest fans. “He loves it!” the singer beams. “Laurie often says that he played a big part in shaping our sound when we first started. I sort of grew up on a lot of punk music and garage rock and when we first started out, my dad would sit us down and just put a big pile of records in our laps and play them to us, playing other bands that had stand-up drummers, playing Laurie other bands that had similar guitar tones… I grew up with a lot of vinyl around the house because my dad’s a massive muso, so I would watch him lie there and listen to full albums day after day.” Charmingly, the band treat their Facebook page as if it were their only personal account, filling it with anecdotes about competitive hotdog eating, their cats, and their favourite member of Take That (it’s Robbie). Rather than presenting themselves as untouchable godlike figures, Slaves are using social media to salvage that personal aspect in an overtly commercial industry. “I think everyone gets too consumed in the industry; it’s quite horrible and unattractive,” Holman says. “Me and Laurie are just really quite normal people and little things amuse us. I think it’s important for our fans and for everyone to know that that’s what we’re like because I wouldn’t ever want anyone to think that I wasn’t like that. It’s gone way further than we ever thought it would, but we’re still the same people that we were when we started the band. “We were saying when we started our live shows as well, we have a lot of crowd interaction and we like talking to the crowd and hearing what they think and having conversations mid-song. It should be an experience for everyone; it’s not just everyone looking at us on stage, we want everyone to be a part of what we’re doing. Our shows are definitely quite chaotic and disjointed and I think some of the best live performances you can watch are the ones that look like they’re gonna fall apart at any second.”
“SOME OF THE BEST LIVE PERFORMANCES YOU CAN WATCH ARE THE ONES THAT LOOK LIKE THEY’RE GONNA FALL APART AT ANY SECOND.” ISAAC HOLMAN