They are one of our favourite new acts of 2015, so with the release of their debut album approaching, we caught up with Tunbridge Wells punk duo, Slaves.

Joost Vandebrug SLAVES-2_resized

Slaves, one of the most hotly tipped young bands in the UK, are about to unleash their brand new anthem ‘Cheer up London impacting June 1st. The song is a blistering call-to-arms against the malaise of the modern world, a rallying cry against wage slave apathy, and metropolitan cynicism.

We caught up with the boys, Laurie and Isaac, to talk bad gigs, Bon Jovi and joining the fash-pack.

Give us an insight into your journey – where did it all begin with you guys?

It began in the depths of a dark winter in the garden of England (Kent). A conversation close to Christmas 2011 entailed ideas of a new rock boy group. Now we are here.

When did you both realise that you wanted to make being musicians your full time occupation?

I’ve always wanted music to be my ‘full time occupation’ for as long as I can remember. I wasn’t ever 100% sure it was achievable or realistic though.

Were there any previous bands / projects before Slaves?

 We both had many projects on the way up. Developing our sounds and style. 

What were you both into, musically, as you were growing up – your sound has an almost timeless, anarchic tinge to it.

Classic rock early on like led Zeppelin and Hendrix which lead to punk and at the same time the streets and eminem became massive influences on me. Classic stuff I guess.

What album did you listen too that made you want to start making music?

Probably Bon Jovi’s greatest hits or something. My dads influence.

What has been the best and worst gigs that you’ve played to date?

Probably the bar below at Belushis in 2012 being the best and worst. Supporting an Iron Maiden live dvd (which got a better response) what a night.

Tell us more about the album – are there any particular tracks on it that you’re most proud of? Who have you been collaborating with to make it happen?

Jolyon Vaughan Thomas was our wonderful producer. We are very excited about a tune called ninety nine. I use a bass guitar and there are some drum samples and the like in it. A different sort of slaves to what people would expect.

If you could be in any other band – replacing a member, which would you choose?

Me and Isaac would be in Fleetwood and Mac. I’d be Fleetwood and he’d be Mac. He loves the idea of playing bass in a band!

Are there any new emerging, unsigned bands / musicians, that you are currently championing at the moment?

I’m never sure who is signed or not but we love Baby Strange, Crows, Baxter Dury, Stormzy and most recently Spring King.

What were the last 3 songs that you listened too?

Die antwoord – ‘Cookie Thumper’

Blur – ‘Go Out’

And Courtney Barnets new one

You seem pretty style-savvy. What would you say is the signature Slaves look?

Whatever you want with a big grin.

 Do Slaves have a style icon?

I love the way Leon looks in the film Leon. He’s an icon right?

Festival season is fast approaching. Do you have any festival tips / essentials, either as a punter or as a performer?

Enjoy yourself. Don’t burn out to quick. 

Catch the boys live throughout May:

Tue 05 May Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Wed 06 May Scala, London (SOLD OUT)
Thurs 07 May Scala, London (SOLD OUT)
Sat 09 May Gorilla, Manchester (SOLD OUT)
Sun 10 King Tuts, Glasgow (SOLD OUT)
Mon 11 May The Cluny, Newcastle (SOLD OUT)
Wed 13 May Thekla, Bristol (SOLD OUT
Thu 14 May Rescue Rooms, Nottingham (SOLD OUT)
Mon 18 May Library at the Institute, Birmingham
Tue 19 May Leadmill, Sheffield


New single ‘Cheer Up London’ and debut album ‘Are You Satisfied‘ are both released on June 1st.
Words: Shane Hawkins


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