In the spotlight – The Slates

In the spotlight – The Slates
In the spotlight - The Slates

In the spotlight – The Slates are a four-piece indie rock band from Mirfield (UK). They are a young rising indie rock band who are passionate about their songwriting and eagerness to get a crowd bouncing. The Slates formed in summer 2019 with frontman Louis Barnes, guitarist Joe Briggs, bassist Jude Wales and drummer Zak Oldroyd.

How did the band come together?

“Joe, Zak and Louis have been mates since birth and Jude gave us a bell on Instagram asking if we wanted a bassist and he just fitted straight in, easy as that.”

Having been friends before becoming bandmates, has anything surprised you? Have you learned anything new about each other since starting the band?

“I’d say it’s quite surprising how we all enjoy playing/listening to so many different types of music but then we come together and make some exciting but unique tunes.”

Did you guys have any formal training or are you self-taught?

“We’ve had the odd guitar/singing/drumming lesson when we were younger but we’re all primarily self-taught.”

Tell us a little bit about how you ended up with The Slates as a band name and what other name options (if any) you also had in mind?

“In lockdown it took ages for us to find a new name, Zak ended up sending us a message saying ‘The Slates’ whilst having a number two. This was because he looked at the floor of the bathroom and thought they looked like roof slates and he messaged the group chat with a recommendation of The Slates’ and it’s just stuck with us haha.”

What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?

“Just life in general, I think all of our songs are the subject of life experiences we’ve had and then put into songs – so yeah just the notions of life is probably the prominent inspiration for our tunes.”

For those who may not be familiar with you, what would you say makes your band distinct or unique? 

“We’re just four mates, having a laugh, pissing about, making some banging tunes.”

What is the writing process – does it come together in rehearsals or is there a primary songwriter?

“We’ll always write our tunes individually, then whoever’s written the tune will make it come to life at practice with the band.”

Do you have any particular habits or rituals when you create music?

“We always want energy in our tunes.”

What are your touring plans this year? Any gigs you’re especially looking forward to?

“We’ve just supported The Skinner Brothers in Leeds. We’ve got a couple of shows we’re looking forward to later on this year. We’re supporting Pastel – who supported Liam Gallagher at Knebworth last year – on 6th October at Belgrave in Leeds as well as a Leeds headline show planned for December.”

Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety? How did you handle it? 

“We never really get performance anxiety, there’s that much excitement and eagerness to get out there to perform that it always blows past us. I’d say we all get just a big adrenaline rush.”

What’s the best thing about performing to an audience?

“When the crowd sings your own lyrics back to you, there’s nothing better.”

If you could tour with any three bands, which bands would you choose to take with you on the road and why?

“First would have to be ourgood pals The Rosadocs because they’re a good laugh and we get along well. Then probably The Stone Roses because it would just be cool as fuck; and lastly it would probably be the Blossoms because they look like a good group of lads and they come from Stockport which isn’t too far from us, so i’d like to think we have some northerner stuff in common.”

Where do you see the band being in a couple of years’ time?

“At the top.”

Any plans for the rest of the year?

“More tunes, more shows and more fun.”

What’s your favourite song from the Cool Top 20?

“‘Killer’ by Shop Front Heroes

What song would you like to add as a bonus track and why?

“‘Step On’ by Happy Mondays”


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