Laurie Vincent (guitar, bass, vocals) and Isaac Holman (drums, vocals) are Slaves, the excellent English punk duo from Kent. Storming onto the scene in 2012, they are renown for blowing people away by their sheer power and rawness from just a guitarist and drummer/singer. They found fame after sending their demos to BBC Introducing in Kent to then escalating to playing the main stage this year at Leeds and Reading. We caught up with the one-half of the ferocious, but ever so lovely, dynamic punk duo Laurie, as part of our Leeds Festival Special.
How’s the festival season been so far this year for Slaves?
Really good, amazing, bigger stages which I enjoy so its fun, challenging.
You mentioned bigger stages, what’s the transition been like from playing the smaller stages to now playing the main stage?
Using the same approach, just don’t change. If you change what you do then you look weird we’ve just kept doing what we’ve always done all the time and that works for us and then we just take that and do it on a bigger stage, we’re lucky it just works.
The band name Slaves, where did it come from?
It’s just one of those things, starting a band, your batting names around and a lot of names have been taking so your looking through dictionaries and Slaves was the first thing that stuck and as a punk band, it’s got that abrasive edge to it, you know slave to the routine. It just felt appropriate.
Talking of Punk music, were you always into punk music growing up?
No, I think originally what inspired me to play the guitar was rock music, so things like Led Zepplin, ACDC, even things like Bon Jovi. I always loved the sound of the guitar and knew that’s what I wanted to do. Guns and Roses were a huge influence. As I got older and the internet started coming about, well before it I did have stuff like The Ramones, greatest hits of The Clash and Londons Calling but I didn’t really like it, I preferred the heavier stuff like from what was in Kerrang, the heavier shit. I just wanted to annoy my parents then and as the internet evolved I started out playing more and more, going to record stores and found it on my own and starting loving things like Joy Division, Nirvana and Gang Of Four. It’s just always been how my mind works. I love the punk attitude so anything from like Dizzy Rascal to The Streets, Eminem. For me, Eminem is the best punk in the world I love what he does.
Where do gather your own personal songwriting inspiration?
I think its hard its just everyday life if you stop and stay in at home that is when it doesn’t work. I paint as well, so if I run out of ideas I have to go and do stuff. Like, travel for example. We obviously get to travel as part of our job, so that helps. When we are on the road we collate ideas and write notes, I take pictures and when we get home we sit and put it all together.
Clearly, the painting is another creative outlet, it’s great you can merge the two, must be a great help to write lyrics?
Yeah definitely, I do find it hard to write as that is Issac’s forte. So for me, paintings like a therapy it helps me get all my ideas out and now the new album cover is one of my paintings, which is cool. It’s all very DIY.
Where do you channel your onstage energy and anger from?
When you start to get a bit of success it’s harder to be angry, because you are actually happy. So before we channelled our anger from working in dead in jobs, I did alright in school so people would always say don’t drop out, get a degree, you could do it. So I channelled it on that, people were very small minded of what you could achieve in music so I always wanted to prove everyone wrong and I still think I do. Our music isn’t made for the mainstream and that’s where a lot of the passion comes from of going out there and proving everyone wrong.
What advice would you give to the bands who are starting out?
Don’t rely on the internet to promote yourself. Its a good tool but you need to get out and play your own shows as well. You need to meet people, and very importantly you need to be nice to people you’re never too big unless you’re like RHCP, and again I still don’t think it’s acceptable you shouldn’t be a dick to anyone. You’ve got to be pleasant, use your manners!
Last night you dedicated Shutdown to Skeptor in your set, you’ve performed with them in the past, how important is grime music in this day and age?
I think it’s really important, its one of the only genres that are saying something I guess. Really stepping out, and doing their own thing, we’ve a huge respect for it and listen to it a lot, it’s always on in the van and its very anarchist music, its angry and dark. I think it’s important it’s what kids growing up should and want to listen to.
Can you tell me about the new album ‘Take Control’?
It’s out on the 30th September, Mike D from the Beastie Boys produced it. It’s a better developed, recorded better, new sounds, we swapped a lot of instruments around and I’m really excited about it. We’re also doing a smaller venue tour in September and then the bigger ones in November.
You can check out Slave tour dates here…………. Slaves Tour
Buy merch: http://po.st/SlvsMerch
Interview by Rachel Brown/Imogen Thomas
Photography: Imogen Thomas