Contrary to popular belief, punk is not dead. It will never die. But it will be constantly re-defined.
Sometimes even in the form of a well-heeled pair of lads from Kent, who have a lovely time making a lovely load of noise and don’t sniff at the pop success of the likes of Ed Sheeran.
“It is a mind-set and you can't steal people’s ideals,” Laurie Vincent, on half of garage rock duo Slave, said. “It will always exist in the back of peoples’ minds.”
The band are currently preparing to catapult their feedback-friendly aural conception to the forefront of our imaginations when they join Palma Violets, Fat White Family and the Amazing Snakeheads on the NME tour this month.
They’ve recently supported comeback kid Jamie T, a man they also describe as “lovely” on a string of surprisingly “tame” dates. Plus, they’ve just their new single “Hunter”, which you can watch here:
Here’s what you should know about them.
Their earliest memory of music is the least punk soundtrack you’ve ever heard
“It would probably be listening to Bon Jovi or Shania Twain in my dad’s car or something equally as cheesy,” Laurie says. “I always enjoyed it though. I would sing along or nod my head. I always felt engaged with music of any kind. Then I got taken to see Boyzone when I was really young too. Rock ‘n’ roll.”
They define the word “punk” in two ways
“a) A fashion trend where people have mohawks and leather studded jackets and have become victim to the idea of the word
“And b) The attitude and state of mind people can have when they want to do something different. Achieve something different. Change something in themselves and not conform to any set of fixed rules. A licence to do what you want, in what style you want.”
Unlike most punk bands, they don’t believe their music necessarily has to have a message
“Sometimes it can just be a guitar riff, a synth hook or a drum beat that has the sentiment. The message can be the music.”
And unlike most punk bands, they’re not entirely opposed to the establishment
“I'd like to get involved with the Green Party,” Laurie continues. “I think it’s amazing they now have more members than UKIP.”
Plus they don’t despise everything that Ed Sheeran stands for. Again, like most punk bands. And Noel Gallagher.
“Everyone has opinions but Ed Sheeran’s success is admirable. He has done well and the British culture is too quick to slam any success in any way. I’m sure someone will have a problem with us at some point. Just be nice. Live and let live. It doesn't do anyone any good just hating people.”
And they actually don’t hate streaming services like Spotify
“I use Spotify I and I think it’s great. I still buy records but I can listen to so much music on Spotify that I wouldn't search out if I didn't have it. The world is changing and so is music. We need to embrace the services that are growing and find out how to make them work in our benefit. If Spotify are paying artists what they should be for the streams they are getting, then I don't see a problem with it. There’s always going to be people downloading music, so it seems like a fair compromise.”
But they do blame bedroom producers for destroying the music industry
“This is completely a personal feeling as I find it sad to see studios closing down. Huge mixing consoles being relegated to a small interface and a laptop. I wish we could keep the legendary venues and studios open but they are all falling like flies.”
They are frightened by mobile phones and that has something to do with freedom of expression. Sort of.
“I think we probably live in the most conservative culture to date,” Laurie added. “Even though we are all allowed to do and say much more, social media provides an open view to everything we do and how we act. It's quite frightening to see everyone consumed by their mobile phones. I wish I could have lived in a pre-existing time sometimes. Where people just engaged more.”
They are “young and healthy”, and hope they won’t die soon, but if they do their epitaph would read something about as unpunk as the rest of this interview
“Nice blokes, liked biscuits and were nice to their pets.”