1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
We recorded this full length at Very Tight Recordings early in 2017. Aside from waiting on the vinyl to come back, we have been making a lot of changes.
We added a new drummer (just live so far), a new bass player (just live so far), and Brandon our bass player moved to 2nd guitar. I moved back to doing live vocals without drums for the first time since 2012. That has been both exciting and challenging.
Brandon set up a studio in his basement later in 2017, and we have been writing like crazy. While figuring out his home studio, we have recorded two singles for two different compilations and a single "wither" that we released on Bandcamp in December 2017.
All three singles were written and recorded in one day each. We also are working on a digital only EP that will be released later in 2018.
2.In March you have a new album coming out, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Musically, we pulled from our various influences to combine elements of Doom, Black, and Death metal. The recording of "Lo, and I Am Burning" was the first time Brandon really started to contribute to guitar, so this allowed us to add new layers of atmosphere and noise.
I think if you look back through our discography, we have been phasing out the hardcore elements of our music more and more until now it is almost completely gone. I would say that "Lo, and I Am Burning" is the first release that as a whole captured exactly what we have been working towards since the beginning.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
The lyrics have always been directly taken from various books of the Bible. "This World Shall Pass Away" was taken from the book of Revelation. "All Is Dust and I Am Nothing" was taken from the book of Ecclesiastes. "Naked We Return" (our digital EP out later in 2018) was taken from the book of Job. With the exception of "The Wolf You Feed" and "Through Broken Teeth" from the "Cursed Breath / Innocent Blood" split 12", I have not really allowed my personal experiences to bleed much into the lyrics.
"Lo and I Am Burning" is completely the opposite. The lyrics for the songs on this album are pulled from lyrics I have written during my hardest days in my last 13 years. "When Her Prayers Are Silenced" was written while I was watching my Grandmother die in the fall of 2016. "Honor Thy Father and Mother" is about recognizing and admitting abuse and trying to free myself from what had been done to me. "XLV" was written the day after Trump got elected and was my response to some of my fellow Christians who voted for him. "Glory" is a shortened and slightly re-written version of a suicide note that I had written about 10 years ago. Most of the rest of the songs act as confessionals for my own struggles and insecurities with my place in the world and with my faith.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Slaves B.C'?
The name comes from imagery that the Apostle Paul used in the New Testament. He referred to himself as a slave to sin/death before encountering Christ. So "Slaves Before Christ".
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We played at the Odditorium in Asheville a while back and that was one of the best shows we ever had. Such a cool space and welcoming scene there. We also got to play at The Acheron in Brooklyn before it closed. That was a fantastic time because I got to meet so many awesome people that I consider friends but had never talked to outside of Twitter before.
Our stage performance is usally me looking tired/angry/sad/pained and sweating a lot while everyone else in the band looks cool and jams out.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
We would like to get back to Brooklyn soon after the album comes out. We would like to hit local-ish places like Cleveland, Philadelphia, Erie, and Asheville again.
7.The new album is coming out on 'The Fear And The Void Recordings', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
The Fear and the Void Recordings is a label that was started by myself and an anonymous friend. The label is something I have wanted to do for a while. So far we have releases from Twilight Fauna (which I am the drummer for), Evergreen Refuge, Young Hunter, and Unleash the Archers. We don't take money from the label, if we sell a record, we just put it towards the next record. I am hoping we don't bankrupt ourselves and this Slaves record sells well. There are quite a few death/black metal bands that I want to do releases for.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal and hardcore?
I have honestly continued to be surprised and humbled by the reception of our music. "All Is Dust..." was received with high praise from Noisey, Cvlt Nation, Metalsucks and many, many more. A lot of people that are fans of heavier music seem to have interests in more than one subgenre. Those are the people that really get into us. A lot of people that only like trve cvlt black metal hated us because someone referred to us as black metal while we were blending black metal with sludge or hardcore or grind or whatever. Some people that just like hardcore or metalcore did not get it at all because there were no breakdowns or we sound too "gross".
The people that get it, really get it. For the rest of the people, thanks for stopping by, maybe see you again when you are older. I don't think we will ever really capture those types of fans. We like a lot of different types of music so we will continue to blend more and more subgenres into our sound. We write what we want to write. We write what we want to hear.
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We are just going to keep going. We will continue to push further into the more nauseating and horrific soundscapes that is polluting our newer material. If you look at our history, you know where we've been and where we are going. The path is before us. There is no end to the music inside of us. We will only get better. We will expand our sound to encapsulate more genre-blending and sharpen our current wheelhouse. We have only just begun.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
As a band, we have been influenced heavily over the last several years by bands like Lord Mantis and Portal. For the singles we have been doing and our future material, you will hear a lot more influence from bands like Skaphe and Misthyrming.
I myself have been listening to new records from the following almost daily for a while now:
The Ominous Circle
and anything on Fallen Empire Records
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Our wives/ladyfriends, beer, whiskey, food, and really horrible movies. Dogs.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you for your time and interest.
To everyone else:
Don't give up.
You are not alone.
You are loved.
You are deserving of love.
Find your voice, and never silence it.