Slaves have curated the line-up for the main stage on the Saturday of this year’s Wheels And Fins festival. Check it out below, along with our interview with the specially hand-picked band Lady Bird.
Headlined by the punk duo themselves, the Kent seaside festival at Joss Bay will see Slaves joined by some friends and other favourite rising artists with Willie J Healey, Lady Bird, Queen Zee, Para Fiction, Hockeysmith, FEET, MarthaGunn, and Ditz all on the bill for the event.
“Having Slaves involved was a total no brainer for us,” said Wheels And Fins founder Dave Melmoth. “With the success of The Libertines curating the lineup in 2018, we needed something energetic, credible and in your face – and there’s no denying that Slaves are that band. Personally, I love a bit of punk plus these dudes are from Kent so they’re the perfect fit for the festival – it’ll be sick to see them rock out on home turf. Watch out for this one, it’s going to go off!”
Wheels And Fins 2019 takes place from Saturday 7 – Sunday 8 September at Joss Bay Beach at Broadstairs in Kent. Visit here for tickets and more information.
Among the line-up are rising trio Lady Bird, the first and only band to be signed to Slaves’ own label, Girl Fight Records.
“We’ve got a lot of pals on that bill at Wheels And Fins,” drummer Joe Walker told NME, before they stormed the Fender Stage at The Great Escape 2019. “It looks like a party plus – it’s in Kent. It’s going to be a beauty.”
Read our full interview with the band below.
How have Girl Fight Records been nurturing you as a new band?
Joe Walker, drummer: “It’s been really cool, because they’ve properly taken care of us and invested their hearts. It’s given us a lot of confidence in what we’re doing. Sam and Alex were both good friends of Isaac’s for several years. I was a fan of Slaves before we signed to Girl Fight records – I didn’t know then, I just looked up to them. Now it’s very much a mutual friendship and I see them getting as much joy out of watching us carve our own path as they did out of having carved that path in the first place. It’s a really beautiful thing.”
Alex Deadman, guitarist: “They gave us the platform to do what we want to and just let us do it. We did a little private show at The Great Escape and Laurie came up to me and said, ‘I feel like a proud parent’. That’s our relationship. They’re just watching their children grow up.”
So Laurie’s not been coming in the studio like a svengali, chomping on a cigar and demanding hits?
A: “Not quite! But he was in the studio with us a couple of times this year, and just having him around has been encouraging. We went to him with our song ‘Love’ and said, ‘What’s your opinion on this, because it doesn’t sound like a Lady Bird song?’ He said ‘Just play it anyway’.”
How’s progress going on your debut album?
J: “It’s coming in the next year. Moving forwards, there are no clear limits on our sound. Each session has its own essence and what we’re doing now feels very new.”
Sam Cox, frontman: “On our album, there are some pop elements in there, some prog elements in there and some even newer sounds that we’re looking forward to portraying. We haven’t got any rules in place, and our next singles will just knock down more doors for us. It’s going to be quite eclectic.”
What’s your mission as a band?
S: “Essentially we just want to continue the dialogue that a lot of our peers are having, regarding empowering one another through having a heart to heart. Value creation throughout the nation is the best way of describing what we’re trying to. It’s about a human revolution.”
J: “We want to play a part in this beautiful wave that’s going on at the moment of people awakening to their sense of value. There are so many platforms on human beings throughout the world are taking a stand against just how diabolical things can look on the surface so they can take a look deeper down to a level where people can believe it’s possible to grow.”
A: “It’s so easy to get into a rut and go, ‘Oh, this is how my life is and I don’t have any power to change that’. The realisation that you can is something that we want to communicate in every which way. The general story that runs through most of our songs is that you can have agency in your own life, you can be happy if you’re not happy, you can be someone else if you’re not there yet.”
J: “There’s an underlying philosophy running across many spectrums, not just for artists. I’ve just broken up with someone and I’m in my car straight away listening to Green Day and The Strokes. Rock music is where I get the vibrations to lift my spirit so that I can face my life with clear eyes and move forward. You know what moves you and you find yourself trying to move others in the same way.”
S: “In its very essence, now for than ever feels like the time for the youth.”
You guys seem quite nice for a bunch of rowdy punks.
S: “People often say to us, ‘Oh, I thought you were going to be really loud punks and here you are talking about really positive things’. I don’t know if some people listen to us as heavy music and overlook the deeper meaning we try to put into our songs. All of them have a point, essentially.”
J: “I think people get it these days. There’s more to everything than meets the eye, and the people who are still consuming live music understand the nuances of that.”
S: “Especially with our brothers who are doing it as well, like the IDLES and Slaves boys. It’s the opposite to ‘Act like your hard’.
J: “Witch Fever too, they’re a punk band from Manchester. They’re out to make a point with a venom because it’s what’s needed, but they’re the loveliest women off stage. We just had the best time with them. If you’ve got a point to make, and you think it’s important for society to develop, then your desire to make that point comes from the fact that you care about society. You need to care about people to a degree.”