Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The SLAVE TRAITOR review & interview!

SLAVE TRAITOR – “Man Infest Destiny” CD ’08 (Private, US) – They say you should always go with your first reaction. Which begs the question, who the hell are “they” anyhow? See, the problem is, “they” are not always correct. When I first heard the name “SLAVE TRAITOR,” mentioned in passing by somebody at Declaration Of Doom, I was thinking “Whoa! Is this some kind of pro-slavery deal?” Soon, however, I realized the spelling of the name was not Slave Trader, but TRAITOR. A further exploration of this unit from Seattle, Washington revealed that they had just released their 2nd record, the self-issued “Man Infest Destiny.” The first thing I found out, upon slapping this lil’ puppy in my player is that it’s pretty damn short. Six songs and most in the 4 minute range. The second thing I found out is that the length is just about perfect because the intensity level never diminishes through any of the 6 tracks and, if it were longer, the listener just might not survive. So, what are we talking about here style-wise? Take the crushing, deep-toned guitar slabs of High On Fire, infuse it with the 3-pronged vocal attack of Mastodon and then brush-stroke it with surprisingly melodic guitar leads. Combine this all with darn catchy riffs/songs, have legend Jack Endino sit at the knobs and you’ve got a winner. You don’t have to go any further than opener “Wilderness Of Mirrors” to see what I’m talking about. When the NWOBHM-flavoured guitar solo merges with the Pike-like chords in this one, you’ll be hooked just like I was. Also, check out “Pill Cutter” & “The Middle Passage,” each giving way at points to chordal sections that could be out of the Alex Lifeson songbook before slamming back into a sludgy metallic assault. The differences in the 3 gruff vocalists add to the freshness of this record too, and make it an absolute keeper. Check out the band’s previous (2006) effort, “Black Narcissus” as well. 9.0

I was fortunate to be able to arrange for a nice sit-down with SLAVE TRAITOR and all 4 members joined to make this a very interesting conversation! Chief characters include: RAY (some asshole who was asking the questions J ), Steve Hass – drums, Marc Burno – bass & vocals, Eric Kempton – guitar & vocals, Jake Willanger – guitar & vocals.

RAY - The name SLAVE TRAITOR is one that caught me the first time I came across it. Even seeing the name and how it’s spelled, the first thing that came to mind was “Slave Trader” and I’m thinking right off, “ok, what the hell are these guys saying here!” Then I look again & realize the 2nd word is “Traitor” and my thought process changes to “Hmmm…exactly what is that?” So, then I go to your site to try to figure it out and see some pictures and one guy looks like he’s black, so I’m now convinced “I’m sure these guys are not glorifying slavery.” A very provocative and unusual name! What’s the story?

ERIC - We needed a band name. We were at a rehearsal. At that point it was just Marc, Jake, and myself. We had a list of names. Marc loudly exclaimed “SLAVE TRADER!” And he had that same reaction that you did. He thought “TRADER” spelled “T-R-A-D-E-R” like “trading slaves”.

MARC - We tried to come up with the most offensive thing we could think of.

ERIC - We're a metal band! What's the most offensive thing we could do? I realized there was that option, that we could switch the word around, to do a sort of play on words. Instead of “TRADER” like “trading slaves”, it could be “TRAITOR” like “stabbing you in the back.”

MARC - We like plays on words.

JAKE - And that's what we did. And here we are today!

STEVE - People don't forget that name.

ERIC - Each of us definitely has their own take on what the band name means to them. I think most importantly that it inspires a reaction, all kinds of reactions. And it's very memorable!

MARC - You think twice about it. The reaction that you had to it, that's the exact reaction that I would want someone to have from it. They're not just taking the name and going, “Oh it's that band BLAH BLAH BLAH.” They're thinking about it. If they have to think about it, they'll remember it. If they have do any mental process in there and if it provokes thought then maybe they'll actually, you know, buy something other than a cheeseburger.

ERIC - Like our merch.

JAKE - If it's something you see on a t-shirt or in print or on a poster or a flier, people tend to see it and remember it. It kinda sticks in their brain.

MARC - It's like being like a traitor to the slave mindset!

STEVE - Something like that...

(everyone laughs)

RAY - So what led the 4 of you to come together to create the unholy racket you call SLAVE TRAITOR? Please don’t shoot me for asking the “influence” question, I can’t help myself. Plus, I kinda like it.

MARC - We were influenced by the rain. And the gloominess. And the doom of it.

JAKE - Essentially we were all playing in different bands together.

MARC - We've all been in the scene together for a long time, playing around in different bands together. Steve and I played in a band. Eric and Jake have known each other...

ERIC - Since we were teenagers in high school.

JAKE - We've been playing music together since the early 90s.

MARC - I ended up playing music with them, on the drums. Then we all ended up banding together, playing the instrument we're all better at playing.

STEVE - They couldn't find a bass player, so they decided that Marc should just play bass and they got me for drums.

MARC - At one point Eric was playing bass. It's been a shift all-around.

ERIC - We also made a very conscious decision that we wanted to use three vocals. It would let us do vocal arrangements in a way that we'd never had a chance to do.

MARC - And not have a lead vocalist, not have someone that was sitting there just doing the vocals and nothing else. To have us all work together on it and bring something to the table.

ERIC - In terms of over-all influence I would say that it's metal. And that all kinds of metal! There are elements of hardcore, rock, blues, jazz and so on. But our unifying influence is metal and metal bands.

MARC - Especially since we all grew up in the 80s. I mean, early thrash and all the things around it, that came to it, and that came from it. Everybody's got their things that they listened to at the time.

ERIC - Everyone in the band brings their own interests and influences but it's overwhelmingly...

MARC - Metal!
(everyone laughs)

RAY - You’re from Seattle. I’m not sure how old you guys are and I know you formed in 2005, right? Were you around/aware of the whole grunge thing that came into the public view in the late ‘80’s/ early ‘90’s? What do you think of all that, looking back on it? What has been the lingering effect, if any, on the local scene there? The bands that got popularized from that whole time were Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains but there were also some lesser-mainstream like Green River/Mudhoney/Mother Love Bone, Tad, etc. who didn’t make it as far.

STEVE - I'll just say off-the-bat, I'm from Connecticut and I was one of the millions of kids that heard it, dorked out on it, and loved it to death. That's one of the reasons why I moved out here. But these guys, they have a very different viewpoint and a very different approach.

JAKE - Yeah, that stuff I saw from the very start, from the beginning to the end of it, when I was a teenager. By the time I was 21 or 22, it was pretty much over, you know, for the most part. And those bands and those people were very much people that were from my neighborhood. It just seemed really odd when it was exposed on the national level, to me, because it's something you'd never expect to see happen ever. And then after awhile it just sorta faded away like it never happened. It was also a really cool time to be alive and to live through, I'll have to say.

MARC - I grew up in Alaska, so all the stuff that was happening down here was like sort of this distant thing. I kinda got the same viewpoint that a lot of other people had of it, where you see this thing and there's like this band from down there. You know, I liked some bands from down there but I wasn't really into the whole Seattle scene. I didn't listen listen to a lot of it. I came to things after-the-fact, hearing them from a different context from an outsider's point of view, and looking back on the scene instead of being there. I mean, a lot of that stuff survived!

JAKE - Even though the hype has sorta faded away, a lot of these people are still here doing the same thing that they were before.

MARC - Yeah they're still here, they're still doing it. Some of them are more out in the scene and actually hanging out, some of them are just hiding and not wanting to talk to people, you know. There's all that crazy stuff that's influenced so many people and it's still here. It's influenced all of us in certain ways, you know.

STEVE - You can't avoid it.

MARC - Personally I'm a big Melvins fan and that's like huge from around here. Some people don't know who they are, some people don't care.

ERIC - I'm like Jake, I saw it from the beginning to the end. It's one of the reasons that I wanted to live in Seattle and play music. Growing up as a teenager and getting exposed to new bands, seeing the fliers that were around. Everybody was playing music and there was a real atmosphere of anything goes. There was no difference between a person standing in the crowd and someone playing on a stage. They were dressed the same, they acted the same, they were just like you. Everyone was totally approachable. That's a really amazing thing. And there's a lot of music going on now too. The scene here is very supportive

MARC - Grunge may have gone away but it seems like it's coming back.

STEVE - Sooner or later...

(everyone laughs)

RAY - RED LIGHT CHALLENGE: Do people really drink Starbucks Coffee by the bucketload up there? If so, is it because of the rain or having to watch the Mariners? Don’t worry, we also have a bad baseball team here. Of course, you took Erik Bedard off our hands, so I guess we made out there.

JAKE - I love coffee. I drink a pot of coffee every day before I go to work.

STEVE - I couldn't function without the coffee. But not Starbucks, that's only if you literally can't find anything else.

MARC - No one goes to the Starbucks. I mean, there's a lot of people that go to Starbucks here but there's so many coffee shops here, it's like you find the coffee shop that you like and you go to it. When I first moved here, I went overboard on the coffee, so much so that I have a stomach problem now.

(everyone laughs)

MARC - I kinda do that, I go overboard on things.

JAKE - It's surreal going into a coffee shop, looking across the street, and seeing the same coffee shop.

STEVE - That joke about the Starbucks across the street from the Starbucks, that's true. It's here.

MARC - It's true, there's a Starbucks on every corner. Then there's other coffee shops in-between those.

ERIC - There's lots of independent chains plus small coffee shops and cafes up in the Northwest. You can get coffee really easily.

JAKE - Any given block within the city, you can go to four or five different coffee shops.

MARC - It's liquid sunshine, you know. The caffeine keeps you happy.

STEVE - Six months out of the year you don't really see the sun, that is true. You gotta get through it somehow.

ERIC - As for sports teams, if you're a fan of sports in the Pacific Northwest, it's because you love the sports and not because you necessarily love the teams here.

(everyone laughs)

ERIC - We don't have the Sonics anymore. The Seahawks aren't any good.

JAKE - The Seahawks aren't showing up this year.

ERIC - The Mariners weren't any good this year. I think we have a soccer team...

STEVE - The Sounders.

JAKE - The Storm are doing quite well, from what I hear.

MARC - They're doing really well. I've got a buddy who love them. He's got season tickets to it...

ERIC - We need to start a coffee-drinking league!

RAY - Both “Black Narcissus” and the new disc, “Man Infest Destiny” are somewhat short in physical time and yet…they just don’t seem it. I have to say that, especially with the new one, I have very rarely heard 6 songs in a row in which the intensity lets up so little. Any comments?

JAKE - We try to not have any filler on our records. We don't want the intensity to let up or any kind of a lull in the pounding or anything like that. It works well for us.

STEVE - And if it's short, it's because that's the only songs we had at the time. I don't think we intentionally go out to write EPs. It's just what we do. We're trying to get away from that now.

MARC - We try to write really good songs.

STEVE - And that takes time!

MARC - Everything we put out, we want to make sure that it's really good and unfortunately we haven't been able to do more than 5 or 6 at a time. The intensity comes from where we were at when we recorded that thing. We've sorta gotta a little more dynamic since then.

ERIC - All the songs on both of our releases “Black Narcissus” and “Man Infest Destiny” are songs that we tested in front of live audiences, that we played out and then worked on afterwards. They were always works in progress. In the final stages of “Man Infest Destiny”, we worked together on the vocals and the vocal harmonies, vocal arrangements, the lyrics, and so forth.

MARC - It worked really well when we played them out. We refined the songs. Then we recorded them, did preproduction, added new vocal arrangements, and played them out. They went over like gangbusters! We recorded it like that and it worked out amazingly.

ERIC - We want to be able to tell people who saw us at the show, “You can buy the CD and that's pretty much what we sound like. What you heard tonight is probably all here on whatever the recording was from that particular era for us.”

RAY - Even with this kind of bludgeoning assault, the dynamics are outstanding. One of the things I constantly go back to is the way the guitar solo comes in during “Wilderness Of Mirrors.” The solo has such an “old school” sound that, on first take, is so surprising and then, nearly just as quickly fits like a glove. Did a lot of thought go into planning something like that?

JAKE - I had a general idea for the solo already planned out in my head before I went into the studio. And then Endino and the guys in the band were making suggestions about they wanted to hear from me. So we talked about it a lot, then I improvised a lot of things while we were recording, and that's how it came out.

MARC - You had entire solos done before we even went into the studio.

JAKE - Yeah yeah!

MARC - But then you worked those with what we were working on and how we all did it together. It was well thought out.

ERIC - A solo in Slave Traitor isn't just a showcase for a person to display their individual prowess. In fact it's an integral part of the song. For example in “Wilderness of Mirrors” we felt that Jake needed to take a solo there and he worked with us on it. He came up with incredible improvisational as well as organized, very well orchestrated ideas. And there's that old school approach where it comes in and it builds up.

MARC - I think it wails!

RAY - Three of you do lead vocals, which involves in a lot of high-power guttural stuff. Did any of this idea come from Mastodon? To me, your stuff is a lot more raw, direct than their’s musically, more in line with things like High On Fire & even Coffins (Japan), but with some added intricacy in the guitar work.

STEVE - I think we've all listened to Mastodon and High on Fire at one time or another, that's for sure.

(everyone laughs)

MARC - Definitely our earlier stuff was inspired directly from us listening heavily to Mastodon since it was the only thing we all really really liked.

STEVE - And agreed upon.

MARC - Especially when we were going out doing shows, like the thing we can all listen to in the van that we were all really excited about. I think a lot of people were, it wasn't just us that were excited about Mastodon at the time.

ERIC - We all went to Mastodon shows together and thought “Wow! What an incredible band, what an amazing thing they're doing!” It inspired us to changed a lot of our approach, to rethink what we were doing. For example – the triple vocals. That's not just Mastodon, though.

JAKE - Neurosis is a huge vocal influence for us. Where they would use multiple vocalists, no one would take the lead per say, and they'd all have other parts to add during the course of any given song.

MARC - The influence of the three-vocals came from a lot of different things. We had a band where it was just one vocalist. We wanted to do more vocals all the way around, not have a front person. In doing that, everybody has to contribute to the vocals. On the new album honestly we've had different influences on the vocals. I brought something, I mean it's a weird influence, but the Beastie Boys. How they do a change-up in the vocals where they each deliver a line. They don't just do it in just 1-2-3, 1-2-3. They switch it and change it up and it's not just a whole line, it might be as a phrase or it might be an entire section. They think about it. So we kinda started to think about it that way too and approach it from that direction. At least on a couple of songs, we've succeeded.

JAKE - I think that in a lot of ways that like the hiphop MCs sorta trade off one another, we kinda took from that but it's a very much more rock thing that we do. That influence really isn't very prevalent if you just listen to the music but it's there.

ERIC - And it is a direct approach, what we're trying to do. It's very heart-felt, very genuine, it's coming from a very real place.

MARC - The vocal style we came at from doing it in all the different bands that we've been doing over the years. It grew to this. It's not like we trash our vocals doing this, we've educated ourselves. It's a lot of work getting to the point where we're at and it may sounds like whatever but it's been a lot of work and I think it's paid off.

STEVE - From the one member who doesn't sing I've watched these guys work on this and I just shake my head going “Wow, you're really thinking about this!” Because I don't.

(everyone laughs)

RAY - How did you get involved with Jack Endino, as far as him doing the production work for this new disc?

MARC - We wanted to work with Jack.

JAKE - We had for years.

MARC - A long time ago, when we first got together, we put together a list of who we wanted to work with, and Jack was on that short list.

JAKE - He didn't seem very attainable at that point in time, we didn't think it was going to happen.

MARC - That was our dream list. It wasn't like, “Yeah let's go get that dude and everything!” But I mean he's in the scene, he lives in Seattle. He lives right over there, right down the street from us pretty much. We have friends that he plays music with and eventually it got around to people talking. We talked to friends and someone said, “I can talk to Jack about it!” Then Jack said, “Let me listen to your CD.” We gave him a CD!

JAKE - He seemed to like our music.

MARC - He really is into it.

JAKE- And he was more than happy to take our money too. That's pretty much how that works. Honestly, he gave us a screaming deal.

MARC - A screaming deal! He said that he really enjoyed it and he saw potential in us to record something.

JAKE - And he enjoys what he does for a living and he goes out of his way to help local musicians put out quality records.

STEVE - Yeah definitely!

JAKE - He's a really cool guy to work with. It was probably something we'll never forget and we can hopefully do our next CD with him as well.

ERIC - I've loved Jack Endino's work as a producer, that was the first time I ever noticed that credit on a recording. I read all the linear notes on the vinyl, the cassettes, the CDs that I loved. And I saw his name over and over again. We had a good friend who played in a band with Jack, who actually recommended us to him. Jack can afford to be selective about who he works with. Then we had the opportunity to play with one of Jack's bands on a bill with...

JAKE - High on Fire!

MARC - Yeah, that was a really good show.

ERIC - So he got a chance to check us out. Almost a year later we contacted him about doing a record and to our surprise, he agreed to do it!

MARC - It was our easiest, most low stress, no questions, no problems session ever. We came in, we did our part, he did his part. No one questioned anybody on anything. There were questions like “Oh what's this? What's that?” Really simple stuff, no artistic creative head-butting or anything.

ERIC - How Jack wanted to work was exactly how we wanted to work. His comments and thoughts often mirrored our own. We'd turn to each other to make a remark and before we could turn to Jack, he'd already cleared up the issue or took care of whatever.

MARC - He already saw it. He was fixing it as we were talking about it, not even knowing we were discussing it.

STEVE - He was fixing things that we didn't even notice were wrong.

ERIC - We can do nothing but praise Jack Endino and hope that people seek him out for work.

RAY - Did you ever say “Jack Endino” to anybody and have them think you were talking about two people named Jack & Dino?
(everyone): Yes!

MARC - That's the funniest thing in the world because a guy I know, I was talking with him and told him we recorded with Jack Endino and he asked that same exact question. He was like, “I thought it was Jack & Dino you know, for the longest time!” Which is kinda funny...

STEVE - I think it's just a matter of reading his name first or hearing his name first, I guess.

ERIC - Yeah, I had friends that I told that I was working with Jack Endino and they asked me about Dino. No no , it's Jack Endino. It's his first and last name. And then Jack told us stories about it himself, when we were in the studio. He had hysterical stories about the mistaken “Jack & Dino” Productions.

MARC - Where's Dino?!

ERIC - Where is Dino? Where is he at?

MARC - I want to meet Dino! Where is he?!

ERIC - Does Dino operate the tape machine?

MARC - You do a good job but where's Dino?! I know we'll step it up when we see Dino!

(everyone laughs)

RAY - Let’s say the phone rings tomorrow and Donald Fagan (Steely Dan) is at the other end. He says, “I’m going to fly to Seattle to produce your next record as long as you promise to do a cover of ‘Your Gold Teeth II,’” what is your response?

MARC - He's completely out of his mind. What happened in the planet, what has gone on in the universe, what has shifted to cause this to happen.

JAKE - He needs to taking his meds. And get off Myspace!

ERIC - How could we ever brought to the attention of Donald Fagen? Oh man, if he wanted to work with us, that'd be truly fantastic.

MARC - It'd be great because we wouldn't have to play a lick on the album. He'd hire out the entire crew.

JAKE - He'd eventually fire us all.

STEVE - First thing off you're all fired!

(everyone laughs)

RAY - What’s happening with a song like “The Middle Passage,” lyrically? The title reminds me of a Tolkien-type thing. Unfortunately, being elderly, my eyes are poor and I haven’t hit up the Dollar Store for a magnifying glass lately, so reading the lyrics is beyond my grasp.

STEVE - I didn't write the lyrics.

MARC - It's all about being caught in-between, in the middle, “The Middle Passage”. It's like, you know when you're at a party and you're standing there but no matter where you're at, you're always in the middle. There's this crowd of people and they always channel past where you are. You're stuck in the hallway, you're stuck in the doorway. Or when you're stuck in a stadium and you're right in the middle. It's that “Middle Passage” you go between, you're stuck there and everything is like “Thhbbbbbbt!” and you're always moving out of the way.

ERIC - Lyrically we try to tell stories. We try to make it something personal and we're trying to do epic things, big stories. The song “The Middle Passage” lyrically is about purgatory, about being trapped in-between two things. The rock and the hard place. Heaven and hell.

MARC - In-between the New World and the Old World, in the belly of a ship.

JAKE - For me it's about the personal struggles, how to maintain through your daily life. About going from day-to-day, having to make a certain amount of money to be able to do certain things. And how you have to struggle through that, it's constant, and it's not going away anytime soon. It's something you have to deal with for however long you're alive.

STEVE - Yeah, it's a happy song.

MARC - It's a good song, it's got that play-on-words. We like to have titles mean several different things, where you take it anyway you want. With the lyrics you can take it from your own perspective. We all have our own perspectives. With anything that we have, from the name of our band to different song titles and the lyrics within, it's all take it how it is at the moment that you feel. With the name of our band, we can tell you one story one time and tell you another the next time depending on how we feel.

JAKE - That song in particular is more open to the listener's interpretation as far as what the lyrics would mean to them. A lot of our other songs aren't like that at all. They're very blunt.

RAY - Both of your albums have been put out as self-release kind of deals. Do you think this is what best suits you, as far as future projects go or are you in the market for some kind of deal?

MARC & STEVE - We want to sell out!

(everyone laughs)

MARC - This current situation has worked really well for us because we put a lot of work into it. It sucks to be poor and having to put all your money into this. We spend a lot of money on it and it all comes out of our own pockets. But in the end it's our product. We can pitch it and do what we want with it. We would love to have some kind of distribution.

STEVE - Some kind of support. Any support.

MARC - We don't mind spending money, we don't mind doing the work, we don't mind doing everything. We also want to own our material, own everything that we do. That's the benefit, we own everything that we've done.

JAKE - That's the way things work in life. We wanted to start a band, we wanted to write music, we wanted to play songs. If there's something we wanted to do, then we're going to have to do it ourselves. There's no one out there who's going to give us money at this point. That's not going to stop us from being in a band and doing stuff.

MARC - We're successful in our own eyes at this point. For what we've done, we've accomplished so much to get to this point. Monetarily we have gone in the hole you could say.

STEVE - It's all worth it. It all keeps us sane.

ERIC - If someone was to approach us with proposals, we would eager listen to anyone's offer of a deal. We're open to any kind of offer! The reality is we're more than happy to continue at it ourselves until someone else feels that they'd like to work with Slave Traitor.

RAY - RED LIGHT CHALLENGE: World tour supporting High On Fire or a week in a secluded villa with Beyonce: You choose!

ERIC - Jay-Z would have us killed.

JAKE - Yeah, no kidding!

MARC - Yeah, you know I ain't battling with that. And you know, Beyonce is all that but...

JAKE - We're all complete scrubs and she probably wouldn't even give us the time of day. We'd be sitting in this room with this chick who wouldn't talk to us.

STEVE - It'd be a long and uncomfortable week.

ERIC - We'd choose High on Fire world tour support

RAY - When is SLAVE TRAITOR going to get to the East Coast?

STEVE - Now that is a good question! When are we going to the East Cost?

JAKE - Well, Steve's going there for Christmas.

(everyone laughs)

MARC - That counts! I mean he's been out there quite a few times since we've been together.

JAKE - He's from there!

ERIC - The reality of getting to the East Coast from Seattle is a lot of time and money just to get at least halfway there, not even all the way to the East Coast. We had plans to do that in 2009 and unfortunately the economy has taken an absolute nose-dive.

MARC - The economy is crazy! So we're focusing more on the West Coast. Not necessarily just our region but the whole West Coast. To try and do as many tours as we can here, to promote what we can, and to make it viable for us. Still getting out, still touring, still playing shows around, and still trying to promote what we've put out.

ERIC - We'd love to be tour, to be support for someone going East or touring the US. Once again, we'd be open to any kind of proposal that someone had.

STEVE - Don't get us wrong, all we want to do is get to the East Coast.

MARC - We've planned and plotted tours out there. The East Coast is where it's at for touring. Everything is close together and there's a lot of really cool supportive people out there.

JAKE - We actually had one that fell through in 2006.

STEVE - Yeah, we were going to get there.

MARC - We've planned quite a few times.

RAY - What is the absolute most stupid story you can think of, associated with SLAVE TRAITOR?

JAKE - Man, we've got to narrow it down to one? That's hard.

ERIC - Can we do something like a David Letterman Top 10 List?

STEVE - When you say stupid, I think of bad gigs.

MARC - Yeah, we've had a lot of bad gigs.

ERIC - I would say that the stupidest story about Slave Traitor is the aggressive violent reactions we get from people about the band name and it's largely because they can't spell.

MARC - They can't recognize the different between “TRAITOR” and “TRADER”, even when you spell it out for them. Even when you slowly enunciate it for them. I don't know, people are dumb. That's all I've got to say.

STEVE - People are dumb.

RAY - Any final comments?

ERIC - Thanks for the interview, Ray!

MARC - Thanks Ray!

STEVE - Right on, Ray. Thanks for the interview!

JAKE - Yeah Ray thanks!

Well, as you’ve just read, SLAVE TRAITOR are a very cool bunch of guys. They’ve also put out 2 exceptional discs that any fan bands like High On Fire, Mastodon, Neurosis and the like will pee themselves over. Not only that, I think that their interesting, melodic take on this kind of music will make them appeal to a wider audience, including folks who are into things like NWOBHM, prog metal, etc. In any case, check these guys out. They’re another great band with that DIY attitude and a real passion for their craft. Just what we dig at the ‘REALM!

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