Chatting it up with the guys in SLAVES By: Stephanie Stevens
Before I even get into this fabulous band I want to wish the bands singer Jonny Craig a speedy recovery from his spine surgery. So, SLAVES you might not be familiar with them but one listen and you will be hooked. I have known the bands singer for some time now since I did some interviews and saw them live numerous times when he was in Dance Gavin Dance (think we even did pizza in providence with a tour they were on, but that was years ago, and I’m old and probably back them a little tipsy.) but that was the this is now and this band SLAVES that hail from Sacramento has blown my mind with the bands newest single I’D RATHER SEE YOUR STAR EXPLODE. From the lyrical content the passionate vocals and the explosive music this band has captured my heart. A new album is on the verge of release, tours are coming up and I have a feeling this band will be a household name in no time. They are a band that is relentless, passionate and stronger than your average rock band these days. I had a chance to speak with Colin Vieira to ask him about getting the band back together, the new single and when there will be a release for the full album.
HOW DID SLAVES ALL GET TOGETHER? Slaves pretty much got together when Jonny wanted to get back in a band. He pretty much just asked a few dudes that inspired him and knew of through the music biz and after many turns and twist. Here we are!
WHEN YOU GUYS GOT TOGETHER YOU RELEASED AN ALBUM A YEAR. DO YOU TEND TO WRITE THROUGHOUT THE TOURING CYCLE OR DO YOU USE OLD MATERIAL THAT DOESN’T MAKE THE RECORDS OR ARE YOU BETTER WITH JUST GETTING OFF THE ROAD AND HIDING OUT AND WRITING?
The first two albums were music that Alex already had written previously or shortly after joining SLAVES. Now that he isn't in the band, Weston and I went in the studio with half written songs or ideas and Erik Ron made magic with them. Erik is a genius and would come in the studio extremely inspired and just start laying ideas down based on what we were jamming in the studio as well.
IT SAYS YOU GUYS BROKE UP FOR A BIT BUT FROM AN ARTICLE I READ IT DOESN’T SEEM THE CASE SO WHAT WAS THE LITTLE HIATUS YOU HAD AND HAS IT MADE YOU GUYS A STRONGER UNIT?
That was when a few members left the band, I guess they felt like posting that the band was over. Maybe they didn't believe we couldn't or wouldn't go on without them, but clearly that's not the case. Honestly, yes it 100% made us a stronger unit. We are a lot pickier of who we allow to get involved in with SLAVES and are staying focused on positivity. It also gave us more freedom to have more of a different sound and get more people writing on this album.
THE NEW SINGLE “I’D RATHER SEE YOUR STAR EXPLODE” DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING THAT HAPPEN WITH THE BAND OR IS THIS SOMETHING AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL THAT YOU WROTE ABOUT YOURSELF?
Yeah, in a way it does. It's a song about finding inspiration when you're down and out and feel like everything is working against you, much like the situations our band has been in the past, or relationships with loved ones. I’m sure a lot of people can relate.
IS THE NEW SINGLES TITLE A NAME FROM A BOOK? AND IF SO, WHAT BOOK AND WHAT MADE YOU NAME IT THAT?
Yes, it's a book called A Wrinkle in Time and Jonny was reading that while writing the song. I think it was just a quote that inspired him at the time.
WHO DID THE VIDEO AND HOW DO YOU FEEL IT FITS WITH THE STORY YOU HAD WHEN WRITING THE SONG?
Shan Dan (President of Artery Recordings) did our video. I think it fits perfectly with the song. The concept of the video is just different situations you can end up in depending on how you handle being at a low point in your life.
IF SOMEONE WAS TO MEET YOU HOW DO YOU THINK YOU ARE PORTRAYED FROM A FIRST IMPRESSION AND DO YOU FEEL THAT MAKES YOU THE ARTIST YOU ARE?
I think most people that meet me personally think I'm pretty down to earth guy, they might have formed a different opinion of me before they met me. As a band, I think people used to make early judgments on us before getting to ACTUALLY know us, but when they sit and have real conversations with us and hang out it's always " you guys are just normal genuine people, thanks for chatting with us" and things like that. I think it's just one of a bunch of things that make us the artist we are.
YOU WORKED WITH ERIK RON AND I HEARD THIS HAS BEEN AN ONGOING PARTNERSHIP WHAT IS IT ABOUT HIM THAT YOU FEEL BRINGS OUT THE BEST OF YOU AS AN ARTIST?
Erik Ron is literally a musical genius. He just understands song writing so well. We can have some shitty idea that we only like on part of, and have it sound like a toddler recorded it, and then we show him and he turns it into gold every time. He just knows " where to go next" with every song. Can't say enough about that dude.
WHEN IS, THE NEW ALBUM DROPPING AND WHY DO YOU CONSIDER THIS ALBUM THE MOST POWERFUL RELEASE THAT YOU HAVE DONE SO FAR?
We are still undecided on the album release date. Hoping sometime this summer. This album just takes SLAVES to another level. It's diverse, none of the songs sound similar to the next. There is something special in each song. It's a more mature multi genre album. It was a team effort. And there was blood sweat and tears put into every song. This is a step up for us for sure.
LAST ALBUM YOU HAD GUEST APPEARANCES ON IT WILL WE SEE ANYONE ON THIS NEW DISC?
We are in talks with someone right now about a feature. Hopefully we can make it work. Can't say too much at this time. But if we have any features I think it will only be one, but it will be by FAR the biggest feature we have had on an album and someone you may not expect.
WHO ARE THE NEW MEMBERS OF THE BAND AND HOW HAVE THEY BROUGHT SLAVES TO THE NEXT LEVEL AS MUSICIANS AND A BAND?
Slaves is currently Jonny, Wes, and I (Colin). I think each one of us has a fight in us that keeps us going and motivated as a band. We all get along pretty good and that's important when you're constantly touring together, making business decisions, and writing. We all try to lift each other's spirits and be each other's best support system. Musically, I know we all inspire each other and try and make each other better and that will keep us constantly getting better as musicians.
WILL A STATE’S TOUR BE COMING AFTER AND ANY IDEAS OR BANDS YOU WOULD LOVE TO GO OUT WITH OR TAKE WITH YOU FOR THE TOUR?
We plan to tour a good amount after this album is released. Jonny will be needing physical therapy after he gets out of the hospital to get him back on his feet. So, we obviously won't be touring until he is 100% healthy and cleared by a doctor.
We can't say enough about how much we love all of our supporters and the people who constantly go to our shows, buy our Merch, and we hope we can keep making music that inspires other people. Keep an eye out for new singles we will be releasing. Tell a friend about our new album. Tell someone who doesn't care for us as band about our new album. Peace and love.