INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Slaughtered are a four-piece thrash metal outfit from Stoke-on-Trent, consisting of vocalist and bassist Liam Stubbs, lead guitarist Dan Hankey, guitarist Carl Shaw and drummer Dave Basnett.
They place emphasis on a sound that is fast, heavy and loud, and their aim is to, according to their Facebook page, “give some good old fashioned traditional metal back into the Stoke music scene.”
With a promising future ahead, I met and talked with them all things Slaughtered.
How did you all get together?
DAN HANKEY (LEAD GUITAR): Me and Carl were friends and I taught him how to play the guitar.
He knew Liam and introduced me to him.
LIAM STUBBS (VOCALS/BASS): I said I could play the bass, but I lied.
DAN: So I had to teach Liam how to play the bass.
We ended up having a falling-out, so Liam left and then set up his own band some time later.
We buried the hatchet though, and he invited me and Carl to join his band.
DAVE BASNETT (DRUMS): They stole me from another band!
What band were you in before Slaughtered?
DAVE: I had been the drummer with Inscriptions, who we recently played with.
I left them and after two years of being bandless, I joined a deathcore band which Liam was a part of, and that was amazing, but Liam then left to start what would eventually be Slaughtered.
The original drummer left and they asked me to be the replacement.
I turned them down at first, but then they started saying some nice words, complimenting me on my drumming, and then I decided to take the slot in the band after all.
What was the name of the deathcore band you and Liam were a part of?
LIAM: What was it called? I can’t remember.
DAVE: It was something daft, along the lines of The Rested Dead, something like that?
How did the name Slaughtered come about?
DAN: It came literally out of the blue.
Before we had the falling-out, me, Carl and Liam had thought of names for the band that we were going to set up.
LIAM: I think we had the name Resurrection at one point.
DAN: One of us came up with Slaughtered, and that just ended up being our name.
We liked it because it just came up at random.
To anybody discovering your music for the first time, how would you describe it?
LIAM: Heavy and crazy as fuck!
DAN: Thrash heavy.
DAVE: We looked online at videos from when thrash was starting out back in the day, and from when Download was good.
We looked at what they were doing, and we copied that pretty much!
What bands are you influenced by?
LIAM: The main band for us has to be Metallica. Also, Anthrax, Slipknot, bands like that.
DAVE: While I’m totally influenced by a completely different end of the metal genre.
What is the band’s approach to songwriting?
LIAM: We usually get a lot of song ideas just after we play a gig.
DAN: We’re influenced by thrash metal and the bands we play with. We then take the songs we’ve come up with and practice them.
How often do you get to practice?
LIAM: We usually practice twice a week at a place in Hanley called Crank Studios.
What inspires your lyrics?
LIAM: Personal experiences and the world around us. We try to reflect how fucked up the world is at the moment.
You’re from Stoke-on-Trent. What’s your opinion of the local music scene?
LIAM: It’s getting a lot better, with a lot of great new bands coming through.
DAVE: Twelve months ago, a few people I know came up to me and said that they thought the music scene in Stoke was dying, because nothing seemed to be happening.
But almost immediately after that, it started showing signs of improvement.
Now we’re featuring on the local music scene a lot more, I’ve been impressed with how much it’s improved in a short time.
Like Liam said, it’s getting better and more diverse, to the point where now, there’s a lot of Stoke bands who play a few different metal genres.
At the moment, there seems to be something for everyone.
How is it playing live?
LIAM: It’s quite an experience.
DAN: It’s just amazing being on stage, it really is.
DAVE: It’s totally different to the studio, I find.
DAN: Yeah, it really is, isn’t it?
LIAM: Playing live, you can really hear the solos, rhythm and vocals and feel the vibrations.
You can also clearly see everyone in the crowd is up for it and having a good time.
CARL SHAW (GUITAR): When you play well, playing live is really easy.
Do any of you suffer from any pre-gig nerves?
LIAM: For me, not any more.
DAVE: I still get nervous, but the other guys don’t really. They’re so lucky!
DAN: I don’t get as nervous as I used to.
The very first gig I did at the Sugarmill, I very nearly had a panic attack just as I was about to go on, but after I got that first gig out of the way, ever since, it’s all been fun.
LIAM: On stage, we all seem to get this big adrenaline boost that gets us through.
DAN: I’ve noticed that we seem different when we’re off stage compared to when we’re on.
Has there been any moments to forget?
DAVE: The second gig we ever did, my drum sticks came flying out of my hand, and Liam just looked at me and walked away.
LIAM: I was a bit drunk, though.
DAVE: You’re always drunk when you’re on stage!
Is this true, Liam?
LIAM: Yeah, I’m always the one that is drunk even before we get on stage!
Carl and Dan, they’re the sensible ones.
DAVE: I did have an incident around five years ago, this was with my old band, where I got absolutely legless, and the show just didn’t happen for me.
It was that, and the fact that the venue we played had a terrible sound system.
If I had known that was the case, I probably wouldn’t have got drunk.
Ever since then, I’ve never drank before a gig.
It says on the band’s Facebook page that you have some stuff coming up. Can you possibly give me any more information on this at all?
LIAM: Yeah, we’re going to start getting some proper recordings done.
DAVE: We currently have a little arrangement with Crank.
LIAM: Yeah, so it’s all golden.
Will you be getting a producer in to help you with the recordings?
CARL: Sean, the guy at Crank, will be giving us a hand, and we hope to get an EP out.
When do you hope to get the EP out by?
DAN: Hopefully by around Christmas.
How many songs are you hoping to get on to the EP?
DAN: I’d say about five.
CARL: We’ll probably stick to our live setlist, but we may change the order around.
DAVE: We are writing some new songs at the moment, and we’ll probably add them to our setlist.
If they get a good reaction, we’ll consider adding them to the EP, so there could be around eight or nine songs to choose from, which will hopefully give us some variation.
What’s the band’s long-term aim?
LIAM: To get out of fucking England.
CARL: To definitely try and becoming a world touring band.
DAVE: The good thing about music is that you don’t have to be really big to go on tour.
Just play your music to more crowds, by that you’re increasing the fanbase.
That way, you can get quite well-known and go on to play in some cool countries without the need to become as big as Metallica.
I think that is a realistic aim for us.
DAN: An aim would be to play with any of the ‘Big 4’.
LIAM: It would also be amazing to play with some of the good up-and-coming thrash bands.
CARL: There have been bands from around Stoke who have gone on to support the likes of Soulfly, and there’s no reason why we can’t go on to do the same.