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SLAVES Are you satisfied?


UK punk duo Slaves are finally heading to Australia after years of dominating the scene in England and Europe. With three albums under their belt and plenty of buzz surrounding their shows, they are not to be missed when they hit up Amplifier on Wednesday, March 6. KIERRA POLLOCK talked to drummer and vocalist Isaac Holman about the duo’s creative process, music videos and how he has dealt with past injuries.

You guys make incredible music videos, which one was your favourite to make?

I dunno that’s a tough one! I quite enjoyed doing the Cut and Run video because it’s really stupid (check it out below). We really enjoy doing videos, we enjoy it as much as we do making the music to be honest, it’s really fun. We just did quite a long tour and every night we had at least a few people on stage doing the Cut and Run dance.

You have made three albums in a fairly short amount of time, and your debut was nominated for the Mercury Prize, how do you and Laurie work to turn over albums so quickly whilst also keeping them at such a high quality?

I think we’re just consistently writing, individually as well. When we aren’t touring, we don’t see each other that much because we live in different cities so when we do meet up we both have so many ideas, it just comes out really quickly. We never wanted to be one of those bands that sits around waiting for the hype or procrastinates, we’re just quite creative and we just like making music all the time.

What’s the story behind Cut and Run?

Well there isn’t many words in it, but it was something my dad said. Basically, it was a door knocker that came around, for the elections and he was a conservative dude, and we’d known him since we were quite young, and my dad said “fucking hell, he’s looking unwell” and I just quite liked those words. When we got into the studio and started writing, I just started saying it over this beat that we’d made and then should I write some more lyrics? And everyone was like “nah” so we kept it as the weird dance tune. It happened differently from how we usually write, we put it together almost like a dance tune.

This will be your first time touring Australia. How are you feeling and are you ready for the heat?

Yeah I’m most excited about the heat I think! I could definitely use some of that! But I’m really excited it’s a place that I’ve always wanted to go and play gigs, so I really can’t wait. I’ve never been to Perth but I went to Australia for a bit last year.

Do you think that you are bringing punk, especially British punk to a new audience?

I think we have a very varied audience. I think that’s one of the best things about our shows is the sheer mix of the crowd there’s no one demographic and its really cool to just see anyone and everyone coming together. I’m not sure if we are bringing it to a new audience, but it’s just for anyone and everyone.

You guys seem close to a lot of other great British acts, what is the music scene like over in the UK?

Its good! It’s nice that everyone gets on and backs each other. A lot of us started around the same time, so the ones that haven’t dropped off have kind of stuck together and stayed friends. It’s quite a good little scene, and things are bubbling over here at the moment, it’s quite exciting for guitar music at the moment.

Will there be an Australian episode of Slaves TV?

Most definitely! I love doing them. We’ve got our guy who shoots all of them for us meeting us out there, so there will definitely be a Slaves TV Australia.

You have had some injuries from performing live, how are you managing now and has it changed the way you have to perform?

I’m alright now, I’ve had three operations in total on my shoulders. I’ve got hyper-mobility in my joints anyway, but the way I perform definitely doesn’t help matters and I’ve done some stupid, reckless things when I’ve been playing that haven’t helped, but I’ve had a few surgeries now so I think I’m all nailed in! Don’t think they’ll be coming out anymore.

Why do you include skits on your albums?

We grew up listening to quite a lot of hip hop and skits are always a big part of hip hop records. We always quite liked the little interludes and stuff between songs, it’s quite interesting. It breaks it up, and I don’t think there’s enough of that in guitar music if you ask me.

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