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 Slam Cartel - Interview (At Rock and Metal Circus Festival 2013)

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Zodiac : Aries Metal Reputation : 88
Join date : 2012-01-05
Location : Vacationing in Hell

20131116
PostSlam Cartel - Interview (At Rock and Metal Circus Festival 2013)





Slam Cartel - Interview

Rock and Metal Circus Festival Saturday 21st September 2013


I am still amazed that covering one festival can introduce you to so many fantastic people and new music. Knowing that you're not just watching but also writing about what you've seen and then getting the chance to interview some of the acts really focuses your mind. I may be getting on a bit now but I'm still a novice at this job and I'll always be learning, hence as I'm looking at some of the transcripts of interviews that I completed over this weekend I realise there are many things I should have done better. However, Hard Rock band Slam Cartel from London made me feel very relaxed and I thank them immensely for that. This is the chat we managed to have before they played a great set later in the day!


Rick: Now, I have heard of your name but I've not seen you live or heard your material before so I'm looking forward to your set later on. For the listeners and readers at Brutiful Metal Radio can we get a history of the band and tell us what you've been up to until this point?

Slam Cartel: Yeah, yeah okay, well how long have we been doing this? Too long, about five minutes with this current line up (laughs). When Steve (Campkin, Drummer) joined that completed the whole thing! (Steve continues) I was drafted against my will. Marc just came in and said you're our new drummer, I've known him for 10 years or so.

Rick: It always happens with drummers doesn't it?

Slam Cartel: Yeah we needed a drummer and you're a drummer! That's diplomacy for you! Yeah, so the album was recorded what about five years ago now and then it was just a case of lets all get together, take it out on the road and see where we can go with it. So since then we've been lucky enough to do some big gigs like Sonisphere Festival which we did two years in a row which kind of kick started us quite a lot and then last year we did a more complete UK tour for a couple of months. Going all over the country trying to get ourselves out there and see what happens and has kind of brought us to here really. You know, sort of normal band thing going up and down the motorway in a transit van with either a thousand people or one man and his dog where the dog leaves! Just having fun doing what we love and seeing where we can take it and meeting some great bands as well. Yeah it's been a really good vibe this year too!

Rick: Well I was gonna bring it up later but these smaller festivals, they're popping up all over the place and it's perfect isn't it.

Slam Cartel: Yeah we did Steelhouse Festival in Wales.

Rick: Ahh! you did Steelhouse, I was meant to go but I couldn't get there unfortunately!

Slam Cartel: Yeah it's on top of a mountain and it's fucking brilliant! Yeah, you're absolutely right, these small venues and festivals are, well it's how you make them. You get to chill out and we do have some fun as well. Pig Iron are on later and Marc used to be in a band with their guitarist fifteen years ago. Toadstool, they supported us in Nottingham last week and Headrush we were with them at some point last year!

Rick: So it's nice to get together, meet up and have a beer?

Slam Cartel: ...and go 'I remember you, what band are you in?' 'I don't know what band are you in?' (laughs). It's like a big family isn't it?

Rick: I think it's superb. So you said the album is about five years old?

Slam Cartel: Well, we recorded it about five years ago yeah. We released it on iTunes and online in 2011. We had a few singles released that we were lucky enough to get quite a lot of airplay on Planet Rock Radio, and things like that, which kind of helped us and so we've now got to the point where we've toured that quite a lot. We still love playing it coz we're still new to a lot of people. You know, we've been playing it for years but we're still relatively unknown, but now we've got to the point where we're working on some new material so we're gonna be trying to get a new album together this year. Well... we're getting there with it. We've got two songs in five years (laughs). So by that rationale we'll have a new album, like Tool, to release in about seven years. (laughs). The thing is, you know we are entirely self funded so we all go back to day jobs after we do all this so it's just sort of fitting it all in!

Rick: So many bands are doing it that way nowadays!

Slam Cartel: It's impossible to do it any other way!

Rick: The days of advances and record deals are gone!

Slam Cartel: Yeah, which is kind of disappointing you know because you want someone to come along and say 'right we can do this and we can do that for you'. Obviously we're self funded, we've got kids, cats and allsorts going on but at the same time it's filtering out the rubbish. The kids, the people wanting to get involved just to make a quick buck, well they're gone. They're doing something else and this is just pure rock and roll now and only the people that want to do it are left playing to each other. There's definitely a north south divide as well. Music scenes everywhere north are great but in London and below no one comes out, no one bothers! We haven't done the south coast yet, we haven't tried Eastbourne, Brighton and Hastings!

At this point and for the next five minutes the conversation took an unexpected turn. Slam Cartel decided that they wanted to talk about the wig that my wife was wearing that day and it was an extremely funny conversation. I wouldn't necessarily have mentioned this but as I was beginning to learn, when interviewing, you never know what's going to happen next! We were back on track soon enough!

Rick: I notice that on the 17th of October you're supporting Queensrÿche

Slam Cartel: Oh yeah!

Rick: Now that's going to be a biggie isn't it?

Slam Cartel: Fucking right yeah! Looking forward to that one!

Rick: How did that come about?

Slam Cartel: You know Dave Herron (DJ at Nottingham Rock City) well, we've played a couple of gigs up there already and he's been trying to get us in!

Rick: It's a great little venue isn't it? It's not too far from me!

Slam Cartel: Yeah! He's been trying to get us to be a main support for someone on the main stage there for a while and for whatever reason it hasn't happened or the venue's changed or whatever, and then back in January we got the opportunity to play for Queensrÿche and it was all agreed. They then put their dates back by six months so then yeah when we found out we were doing it, amazing!

Rick: That's fantastic!

Slam Cartel: We were there last week so we had a little go up on the main stage you know? Yeah, that's gonna be a really good night and you know it will be really nice, hopefully we'll get on really well with them and with any luck we might get a couple more dates with them that would be nice.

Rick: That would be great!

Slam Cartel: Well, dinner dates anyway! Yeah, yeah yeah. (laughs)

Rick: Oh, a proper date!

Slam Cartel: I've just got to lube up my lips coz I smashed myself with a microphone the other day and it keeps cracking, I'm running out of teeth!

Rick: That's your excuse anyway.

Slam Cartel: Yeah, but it is lube though!

Rick: Yeah, is it lube?

Slam Cartel: I don't know what's going on in your mind but it's definitely taking lube to new levels I think! (lots of laughing)

Rick: I'm going to pick up now on what you said about the people and bands not really interested or making quick money disappearing, but the bands left still need to get their names out there. The internet is now such a big side of it isn't it, using social media and websites?

Slam Cartel: It's a way the bands and promoters can work with each other.

Rick: It's a hugely important tool isn't it, but how do you balance that against the people that are illegally downloading? I always ask this because I think it's such a big subject!

Slam Cartel: Well you have to like give and take you know? you're never gonna get rid of it. Shit, I mean if we were in it for the money we wouldn't do it but it does get you to the wider audience you know and that's cool! Yeah, I mean there's always two ways of looking at it isn't there? You know on the one hand we're kind of losing out on the little bit of money but on the other hand there's more people getting to hear us! But on the other hand...

Rick: Hang on a minute that's three hands! (laughs)

Slam Cartel: I work down in a power station, you know what can I say? I glow green at night but you know on the third hand and the fourth dimension, I think it's also good to get stuff out to our audience but also. people say they like it so they'll take it! It's fucking rude coz bands don't make any money but If you're gonna go sticking a price tag on everything... I mean we do need the money to fund ourselves but at the same time you put a price tag on it and you're saying right, if you can't afford it, you can't listen to it. You're holding poor people out I think basically, as certain bands have done recently by putting expensive tickets out, certain London bands, I'm not mentioning names!

Rick: I think I know who you mean! Okay so apart from an album you've got hopefully coming out at some point next year, what are your plans for gigs? I mean the festival circuit sort of elongates now doesn't it! March right through to September October time now?

Slam Cartel: Absolutely yeah and you've got like the places where you go on holiday camps as well now which we think is brilliant! You know 'Hard Rock Hell' and 'Planet Rock Stock'.

Rick: You're doing one later in the year aren't you?

Slam Cartel: 'Planet Rock Stock' we're doing in December.

Rick: In Great Yarmouth yeah? (Just in case you don't know Great Yarmouth is a seaside town in Norfolk on the East coast of the UK)

Slam Cartel: Yeah!

Rick: I think they're great!

Slam Cartel: You know what we're doing better than we do!

Rick: Ahh, you see I told you the internet was a wonderful thing! But you're right 'Hard Rock Hell' and 'Hammerfest' etc are brilliant because you get that festival experience but you can go back to your apartment at the end of the night and sleep in a proper bed!

Slam Cartel: Yes, absolutely!

Rick: I mean that's a great thing and for a lot of us that are getting old now that's what you need, you don't want to camp! (laughs)

Slam Cartel: I'm gonna say this, it's all very British! You need a kettle in a room and a shower etc. So what we do now is set the tent up and then go back to the hotel, yeah makes you look good, like you're trying. (laughs)

Rick: You're trying yeah absolutely (laughs)! So have you got any working titles for the two songs you've got sorted yet?

Slam Cartel: Yeah 'Hypnotised' is one of them and this is the Hypnotised tour apparently! Also 'Ship of Bones' which Terry (Warville, Guitarist) wrote the lyrics for. You would have to ask him what that's all about but I think it's about survival. It is abbreviated SOB and on the set list it always looks like Son of a Bitch!!

Rick: So are you here for the whole weekend now or are you popping off after this, have you got any more gigs to play this weekend or what?

Slam Cartel: No we've got to head off. We've got stuff to do tomorrow to sort our lives out because we're all back at work on Monday morning.!

Rick: Yeah it's the same old thing sometimes isn't it?

Slam Cartel: We'll probably stick around and watch a couple of bands obviously coz there's some good bands on the line up. We'll hang about maybe have a couple of night caps and I think we should have a curry before we go!!,

After wrapping up we continued talking about the UK's fascination with Indian curry, bed, Formula One and other stuff. Slam Cartel are a fabulous bunch and, as already mentioned, went on to perform a fantastic set as special guests to Jettblack later in the day. They have a very authentic outlook on what to expect from being in a Rock 'n' Roll band these days and it is a very refreshing opinion. By all accounts their support slot to Queensrÿche , that we talked about, went very well, with the band winning over the crowd by the end of their set and they are one of those bands who you really end up rooting for. I think we'll be hearing a lot more of them in 2014!

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