Good news, Slaves fans! The punk duo, already announced to perform at Download Festival in Melbourne and Sydney will be playing their debut headline shows at Amplifer Bar in Perth and The Brightside in Brisbane.

Fresh from the release of their critically acclaimed third album, Acts of Fear and Love, Isaac Holman (drums, vocals) and Laurie Vincent (guitar, vocals) are bringing their anthemic songs to Australia, smashing up festival stages and venues alike in a joyous, celebration of big riffs, big beats and even bigger choruses. Laurie Vincent talks to Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles about their first trip down under.

There are many Australian fans that are looking forward to your first trip to Australia.
Me too, I can’t wait!

Were Slaves invited to play Download Festival? How does that work?
We’ve been pushing pretty hard to get to a festival spot for a long time and finally they took a chance on us. It is a really good opportunity, we haven’t played Download in the UK. We grew up listening to everything particularly rock and metal so it is really cool to have a chance to play with these bands who we wouldn’t normally play with and in Australia where we have never been.

After a massive 2018 do you feel like you have had a well deserved break to recharge for what’s coming this year?
Absolutely right, we’ve gone in to hibernation and my girlfriend is expecting our second baby and she is five months pregnant. It has been good to step in to domestic bliss as it has been really good for my head, keeping my feet firmly on the ground and be inspired to make new music and be inspired. I think you really appreciate those minutes you get free when you do get them.

When you are on a break do you totally remove yourself from music?
I have a guitar laying around the house and I go through stages where I can’t even look at the guitar so I draw and paint doing something creative. I am writing quite a lot, everyday in my living room and on my computer in the corner. It is good to keep exercising that all the time.

With no shortage of topics to write about do you think Britons are still really frustrated with what’s going on over there?
I think we come from a real confusion towards it because it is dividing families at their core and you’re faced with not talking about it. Just trying to work out how to deal with it is quite hard because you’ve grown up in such privilege and it feels like you have been thrown in the bin especially when you have kids as well. They are missing out because of our mistakes and the frustration. It feels like everyone is lying to you all the time. It feels like a foreign language and that it’s all coded with no one speaking bluntly and plainly. It’s set up for you so you feel like you don’t understand and it is frustrating for people who are really angry over here.

Acts of Fear and Love is a killer album, you have to be quietly chuffed with how well it has gone?
Thank you, I’m really proud, I don’t think we could of hoped for anything more than what we got. I’m always one step ahead in looking to the future. We don’t look back and think we should have done this, this and this. Everything from the writing to the recording, the artwork, the videos, everything felt like the best we could do and that is a great sense of accomplishment.

When songs such as Chokehold and Magnolia come together did you just know that you were sitting on an awesome album?
With Chokehold I had that riff, right from that opening riff I knew this song could be great.We kept pushing it in rehearsals and even with song writing I’m becoming more and more interested in what makes a good song and the theory behind it. When we first started writing it was instinctive and it came out naturally. The more you write, you can choose you think more about it, learn and develop or you just keep doing what you’re doing. I was fascinated by the idea of writing and the structure of songs, melodies and it felt like the song was really close. In the studio it was like let’s take it a part again and build it up again, learning patience from the craft in building the song rather than trying to smash it out in one go.

Do you think that’s where you’ve changed sonically between both albums?
I think it is being way more considered about every aspect of the music. I listen back to the first record and I think there are great tunes but I get frustrated with the guitar sound in that it doesn’t sound how I wanted it, we didn’t experiment. There is a massive part in trusting producers and on this album we really let ourselves be produced. Before we used to say to whatever our producer was suggesting rather than listening and trying things . I think it was a process of becoming more mature as well.

Are you thinking about the next album yet?
We’ve got some plans but it will probably be an EP next and we have a single ready to go. It was a song that just didn’t sit with the last album so we held off putting it on. The plan was to come back to it afterwards, it’s pretty heavy and the other songs on the EP incorporate so many different styles of music. It is quite an experimental EP coming back really heavy.

Is that the way of the future doing more EP’s than albums?
It’s what people are doing but it’s not entwined with my ambition and the who EP things sits really uncomfortably with me because an album really feels likes a piece of work that you craft. The album tracks are important and I think that’s what modern music will miss out on. If you’re just trying to write singles then you are a missing out on those special moments, like those songs that will never make it to radio. I’m always going to be there for the album and a lot of other bands feel the same.

Interview by Rob Lyon

Catch Slaves at Download or on one of their side shows, tickets through XIII Touring

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