Slave is a powerviolence trio from Birmingham (Alabama), that release in july their first full lenght tape (self titled). What is cool with this band is that groove and dynamic are often present in the 13 unrelenting tracks of the tape, with a good use of rythm changes. the dual high/low screams vocal attack is also a good point. The sound can be improved but it's ok. If you're into powerviolence or grind/punk/hardcore it is a release that you should listen to and Slave a band to follow because this first full lenght is promising.
you can listen to some of the songs on their Bandcamp page
Aaron Gibbs their guitarist/singer kindly answered to my questions so you can read it below :
-can you present the band, its members, what was the project at the start, how it evolved etc… ?
SLAVE is a three-piece power violence band from Birmingham, Alabama consisting of Aaron on guitar/vocals, Chandlar on drums/vocals and Kevin on bass/vocals. Chandlar and I started the band and have been playing together since May 2011. At first we messed around with our sound a lot and played a few shows as a two-piece. Our best friend Justin started playing with us around July of last year. Unfortunately, he passed away in October of last year, so we took time off from playing shows and ended up recording the "Erode" demo with our good friend Carter Wilson. We started writing a lot of songs and playing more shows in January, followed by a short-lived bassist named Ben. We kicked him out because he was shooting up drugs and selling his body on the streets to maintain his drug habits behind our backs. We kept writing more songs and Kevin joined the band a few months back. He's a great guy, one of the best bass players I know and has been in a ton of great local Birmingham bands. That's pretty much the story so far. In a nutshell, it's been a slow and interesting adventure, but things are at full speed and better now than ever.
-what can you tell about your self titled cassette that will be out in july? Why on cassette?
Our self titled cassette is 13 songs total. 12 originals and a cover of "Culpa Mia" by Despise You. It's all six songs from the "Erode" demo tape and six new ones we wrote this year. It was recorded in May by our friend Shibby Poole in Nashville, TN.
We decided to do a tape for a few reasons. Number one being that everyone in the band is really into owning a physical copy of recorded material by bands we like. I can't speak for the other two guys in my band, but I get a certain feeling when I'm looking at the artwork or insert of the piece of music I'm listening to that gives me a little more insight on what I'm hearing wether it be what they're singing about, where they're from, pictures of the band or where/how they recorded the material. I'm kind of a nerd. Once I get into a band I want to know as much as I possibly can about them.
Another reason we decided to do a tape is because my good friend Daniel runs a DIY label out of Memphis, Tennesse called Fat Sandwich records and said he wanted to put it out. We were going to self release the new recordings on a tape ourselves, but after he approached us we decided it'd be a good move to let him put out the tape. We're also looking to put all of these songs on a 7" but we'll see how that goes.
-what about it’s cover artwork?
The artwork was done by our friend Chase Wilson from Nashville, Tennessee. He knows the powerviolence genre well and knew what we were going for so we chose him to do it. He does great work. There are two versions of cover art for the S/T release. The first one is a man being whipped. The second is a deceased, tortured body on the ground, surrounded by people. We sing about some pretty fucked up things that are going on everywhere in some way, shape or form.
-what I like in your songs is that with rhythm changes, with the vocals, etc, you introduce diversity, dynamic and groove while keeping the intensity on a high. Is that something you have in mind when you write songs?
I think in the beginning we tried to write powerviolence songs with a bit of grind influence on them and I think we accomplished that sound on the "Erode" demo tape. We're all into a lot of different stuff wether it be heavy music or not and I think this recording really showed that. When we were writing the new songs I was listening to a ton of death metal and tried to incorporate a simplified version of those breakdowns into our music. Also, a lot of the older songs are played faster, in addition to the newer material just being faster in general. I'm a fan of bands trying to do new things wether it just be something totally off the wall or mesh multiple styles together. I don't think we're necessarily doing anything new or original, but I want listeners to see that we're into a wide variety of music.
-what are the lyrics about?
Our lyrics are pretty straight forward and simple. We talk about our distaste for police and the legal system in a few songs. A few songs are about our religious beliefs and views on racism, sexism and homophobia. None of that shit is cool at all. Living in the "Bible Belt" of the United States is pretty crazy and at times, disheartening. I feel like a lot of people in the southeast, where we're from, are raised into going to church every Sunday and are threatened by the bible and Christian values into doing what's "right". I think that's bullshit and it really sucks that some people will only know those ideals and feelings because it's been forced upon them since day one . There are a lot of good people in this world regardless of their race, gender, religious beliefs or sexual orientation. If you have a good heart and are a good person, then you have a good heart and are a good person. It's really sad that people around the world aren't accepted for who they are because of something so minuscule like that. It's fucking bullshit in my opinion. Another thing we talk about a lot is use of heavy drugs. I smoke and drink and am completely okay with whatever a person wants to do, but I have a problem when it starts fucking up mine or my friends and families lives. I know everyone in the band has had at least one bad personal experience with friends or family being hurt or torn apart from drug use.
-does the name of the band indicates you feel that the freedom we have in today’s society is illusory and that we should revolt? If so in which ways can/should it be done in your opinion?
We originally took the name from the title of the Infest record, but the more I think about it everyone is a slave to something or someone in some way, shape or form. Wether you be a slave to your job, school, the legal system, drugs, a relationship, religion, etc. there's something always holding you back from doing exactly what you want to be doing in the exact moment you want to be doing it.
-what drives you to play extreme/pissed off music?
I like the speed and intensity of it. I like that I can write a song in my room on my guitar, practice it with my band and and scream as loud as I want about what pisses me off. The most rewarding part of it is being able to do this in a room in front of people who feel the same way that I do. I consider myself to be a really nice and approachable person, but that does't mean I don't have a lot of things that I'm not angry about. It's a way for me to get out a lot of bottled up aggression in about ten minutes, Haha.
-your music is somewhere between, or mixing, punk/hardcore and extreme metal/grind, with what kinds of bands do you usually play with? do you fell like being part of a scene and in which way?
Everyone got into the music we're playing now from listening and going to punk rock and hardcore shows. I hope to show and share the music of my influences through the music I write. We usually play with a lot of different kinds of bands. We've played shows with a lot of punk and hardcore bands. We've also played a few shows with stoner/doom metal bands and a few powerviolence and grind bands. Unfortunately there aren't many bands similar to us that come through the area, but we try to book shows and jump on ones we'd correspond well with any chance we get.
I absolutely love being a part of the scene in Birmingham. I try to go to every local show and catch regional ones when I have the time. If you don't support your local bands and venues you aren't going to have anyone to play with and you aren't going to have anywhere to play. There is a ton of diversity in our scene. We honestly have a little bit of it all and I really don't think there's a single bad band in Birmingham. It's cool, though. Birmingham isn't huge, but it isn't small, either. Everyone knows or knows of each other. Everyone hangs out all the time. We all love each other. There's not a lot of bullshit or drama here at all. It's perfect. I've done a lot of touring and I can honestly say there's nowhere else in the United States I'd rather live. Birmingham is my favorite place.
-which bands from your area would you recommend?
From Alabama - Legion, Deism, Grandaddy Ghostlegs, Younger Siblings, The Urns, Belial, Central Fires. Yautja and Choking on Ash from Nashville, TN are great. Seraphim from Mississippi and Dead in the Dirt from Georgia are also really rad.
-what have you planned for 2012 apart from the release of the cassette?
In 2012 we plan to play as many shows as we can. We're currently writing for splits with Yautja from Nashville, TN and Consent from Chicago, IL. We want to get the S/T pressed onto a 7", too. We're doing a lot of weekend shows out of town and hopefully can do some touring this fall or winter.
-when are you touring Europe?
We would love to tour Europe. That has been something we've all wanted to do for years. As soon as the opportunity is there we'll take it. I literally know nothing about setting up shows in Europe, but I know we'd do it in a heartbeat.
-Something you’ll like to ask me (it’s your turn now if you want!)? something you want to add?
Thanks for the interview, Dennis. Your review/interview and kind words are appreciated. We don't have a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, but anyone who's interested in our band, booking us on a show or picking up some shirts or tapes can email me. You can also check us out on bandcamp and read our blog.