On Friday October 7, Slaves on Dope played a show at The Rockpile in support of their new album ‘Horse’, and I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with them.
Nu: Did you guys want to tell me a bit about how you met and why you decided to form a band?
Slaves on Dope: Sure! It happened years and years and years ago. Kevin and I (Jason) met 24 years ago. We took a break from the band in 2004, and we came back to the band in 2009, and that’s when we enlisted Peter to play drums with us and almost enlisted Rob to play bass with us, but he was in another band and the timing wasn’t right, but he joined later on. But we’ve all been friends for a really long time, since high school.
Nu: So you guys just released your new album ‘Horse’. How do you think it differs from your other albums?
Slaves on Dope: I think it’s more focused, it’s more mature, but I don’t think its contrived. When you’re doing a certain style of music, if you go in another direction, sometimes it can really seem forced. The thing with us is that ever since we started the band, we just did what felt natural, we’ve never had these meetings to plan these things out. Maybe we should have done that, but, we’ve always just kind of went with our gut and what felt right. I can look back on my 24 years of doing Slaves on Dope and I’ve never once felt like I’ve done something because someone’s made me do it.
Nu: Of course. You have to stay true to who you are.
Slaves on Dope: But, at the same time, if someone’s a life long fan, and they’ve been a fan since a certain record, if they come on the journey to the next record and they’re like ‘what are you doing, I want my old Slaves on Dope back’, that can be a little bit frustrating.
Nu: True fans will stick with it though.
Slaves on Dope: Yes, and we have amazing people that stick with us! But I’m proud of this record, I think its definitely different, I think the last record and this record are like where the band is now. I think ‘Inches from the Mainline’, which was a popular record we did in 2000 was a snapshot of a time where we were very angry, we were very frustrated, we were beating our heads against the wall in Canada, we couldn’t get anywhere in Canada, so we said, lets just go to the U.S., and that’s when everything opened up for us.
Nu: Do you guys have a main songwriter?
Slaves on Dope: Kevin pretty much starts off. When it comes to music and instruments, its Kevin. When it comes to vocal melody it me (Jason). When it comes to lyrics, it’s everyone. Kevin’s a producer and has his own studio so he’s always working on stuff and gets a head start on things.
Nu: What are your ultimate goals for the band?
Slaves on Dope: World domination. Just kidding. We’d like to get as many people to hear this record as possible. We’re all proud of the record. We want a lot of people to hear it, because it’s a good record. And we’re going to do a bunch of videos too.
Nu: Do you guys have any advice for young aspiring musicians?
Slaves on Dope: Yeah, get a day job, haha. But if you’re really going to go with this, and make it your career, do it for the right reasons. Do it because you love it. Play as much as you can. Be really good on your instrument, be a good songwriter, spend a lot of time writing songs, and handle it like a business. Every aspect has got to be like a business, and unfortunately, if you think you’re going to go and just get signed to a major label, that’s done. That just doesn’t exist anymore. The music business is too different now. Now it’s really survival of the fittest. But it is doable. You have to work hard. There are people out there now who are probably making more money than they ever did.
Slaves on Dope – Script Writer W/ Darryl McDaniels ( Official Music Video)